On January 1, 1864, at age 40, Pattison bought the office and printing equipment of an Ypsilanti paper called the Herald. He began publishing the True Democrat, later renamed the Commercial.

C. R. Pattison was the most fiery editor in all of Ypsilanti history. He treated his paper, the Ypsilanti Commercial, as a large cannon. He didn't fire it in every weekly issue of the Commercial, but when he did not even local ministers were out of range.

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