The Wachter am Erie, founded in 1852, is the second oldest German language newspaper in Cleveland. It was started by two Forty-eighters, Jakob Muller and Louis Ritter. These two men found the other older German language newspaper in Cleveland too conservative and too dependent on the Democratic Party. They wanted to start a newspaper that would be free of party or church control, and one that would criticize political and social injustice. Muller and Ritter wanted to convince their readers of the importance of becoming involved in the politics of their adopted homeland and the importance of taking a position on issues concerning human rights and individual freedom. Also they hoped, through the paper, to support and promote German cultural activities. Muller and Ritter invited another Forty-eighter, August Thieme. who was living in Buffalo at the time, to become the editor of the newspaper. It was Thieme who, until his death in 1879, determined most of the political direction of the Wachter.



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