After the failure of Adams & Co. on Black Friday, James King had lost everything. He tried to start a second bank in partnership with Henry Reed, another former Adams employee, but on June 29, 1855, after less than four months, he dissolved the relationship and went out of the banking business permanently. But the frauds connected with the fall of Adams & Co. continued to fill the newspapers daily and King was repeatedly called upon to write articles or enter his opinion of matters. His success at this seems to have presented the suggestion to both himself and some friends that he should start his own newspaper and on the evening of Monday, October 8, 1855 the first edition of the Daily Evening Bulletin, a small sheet only ten by fifteen inches, was published.
In his opening editorial King said that necessity not choice had driven him to this decision and that no one could be more fully sensitive of the folly of a newspaper investment than himself. He added that since he had no money of his own, none of his money was invested in the Bulletin, but instead he had started it with only a few hundred dollars from friends and if he was successful he would be able to feed, house and clothe his family. He added that whatever his political bias he would act independently of either of the political parties dividing the state but by no means did that mean neutrality or indifference to public affairs. He would advocate those measures that he saw as best for the common good and do his best to present a readable paper for all men in San Francisco.