Tag Archives: African American Newspapers

Nicotine: The Heart Poison (1867)

The Christian Recorder embodied secular as well as religious material, and included good coverage of the black regiments together with the major incidents of the Civil War. The four-page weekly contained such departments as Religious Intelligence, Domestic News, General Items, Foreign News, Obituaries, Marriages, Notices and Advertisements. It also included the normal complement of prose and poetry found in the newspapers of the day.

The Last Cigar

(Philadelphia, December 14, 1867) One of the most eminent physicians of this city, and deservedly so, attributes the premature death of three of the most eminent divines of this country to the inveterate use of tobacco. The recent death of one of the great financial and political leaders in Paris has directed public attention to the subject. In reading the facts, let every man who smokes take notice.

M. Fould wrote to several people, inviting them to his estate, and giving some account of his late hunting experiences. The fable was set at six o’clock, but the dinner had scarcely begun when M. Fould was seized with a fit of shivering and complained of sudden pains in the arms and hands. At the entreaty of Madame Fould, he left the room, and went to bed, asking to be left alone saying that it was but a slight indisposition and he wanted to sleep. At half-past seven, Madame Fould went up to the room to see how he was, and receiving no reply to her question, thought he was in a deep sleep and withdrew. At nine o’clock she went again, and, receiving no answer from him, hastened to his bed, took his hand, and found he was dead. It is believed that he died immediately after he got into bed. The remains of M. Fould were interred in the Protestant cemetery, at Pero La Chaise, where the deceased had a family vault constructed.


Please help me to find her – Reconnecting Families After Slavery

Information Wanted Ads: Reconnecting Families After Slavery

As late as July 31, 1902, there were still formerly enslaved Americans using national newspapers in hopes of somehow reconnecting with the families shattered by slave owners before the end of the Civil War nearly 40 years before. These are a tiny sample of the requests in The Christian Recorder.

I was thinking about writing more about this phenomenon in post-Civil War America, but I feel that the messages, and the people asking for help, made themselves very clear.


February 4, 1865 – Of John Pierson, son of Hannah Pierson. When last seen by his mother he was about 12 years of age, and resided in Alexandria, Va., Fairfax county, from which place his mother was sold to New Orleans, La., by one Alexander Saxton. Nine long and dreary years have passed away since his mother has seen him. Through the reverses of this war she has made her way to New Bedford, Mass., where she now resides. Her name is now Hannah Cole. Any information concerning him or his grandmother, Sophia Pierson, will be thankfully received by his anxious mother.

February 18, 1865 – INFORMATION WANTED – Mrs. Harriet Mayo, of Detroit, Michigan, wishes to make inquiry of Joseph Mayo, Richard Mayo, Aaron Mayo, and Lucy Mayo. The last she heard of them they were in Petersburg, Virginia. She now thinks they are some where within the lines of the Union army. Any one knowing of their whereabouts will please address MRS. MATILDA ROBINSON, No. 88 Mullet St., Detroit, Mich. (more…)


[Watch Now] Black History Month Webinar

If you missed our January 25th webinar, it is not too late.  You can watch it below.

About the Webinar:

Our African American Newspapers Collection provides important original source material—written by African Americans for African Americans—readily available for research and fresh interpretation by historians, educators, and students. In addition, The Liberator and the National Anti-Slavery Standard will be thoroughly discussed.

The event was hosted by Bob Lester, Product Development & Strategy Consultant, Unlimited Priorities, LLC

You can also download the PowerPoint slideshow.


The Domestic Slave Trade (1837)

On January 7, 1837 Phillip A. Bell began to publish a weekly newspaper called Weekly Advocate. From the beginning, one of the major goals of this newspaper was to educate its subscribers, and much information appeared in a list format including: principal railroads, lengths of rivers, heights of principal mountains, principal colleges in the United States and the principal features of various countries of the nations of the earth.


The following article is taken from a late number of the New York Sun, and the Editor anxiously asks, “CAN THIS BE TRUE?” as if he had never heard before of such inhuman conduct. We answer, “YES,” and we have FACTS in our possession, in relation to the traffic to American Citizens, which are ten-fold worse than the African slave trade itself. Let it be remembered, that all the particulars, in this case, come directly from the very scene of shear atrocities.

Shall we conceal, from motives of delicacy, the awful features of this nefarious traffic? But this is only one solitary instance, and yet we weep when we peruse it. O! how different would our cold and lukewarm brethren, feel and act on the subject, if they could only have brought up, vividly, before their imaginations, the several thousand free Citizens of these United States, who are now pining in hopeless captivity in this LAND OF FREEDOM!

Now here is a free MAN, born and brought up in one of the British Provinces of America, put in prison by some ruthless white ruffian; and unless he has some white witness at hand to prove his freedom, HE MUST BE SOLD INTO SLAVERY, to pay for the expenses of his arrest! Is not this acting on inhuman and worse than heathen principles? Shall it not be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the Judgment, than for slaveholding America? We caution colored seamen, especially, against going among those soul-searchers and man-stealers. When will that day arrive, that we shall be spared the painful necessity of calling the attention of the public, to such inhuman and disgraceful conduct, in a land of Bibles and Missionaries; and in a country, too, professedly the freest, most enlightened, and Christian, of any other on the face of our globe.

Yours, &c.


This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.


The 1850 National Woman’s Rights Convention and People of Color

The first National Women’s Rights Convention began on October 23, 1850, in Worcester, Massachusetts in the USA.

The National Women’s Rights Convention became an annual series of meetings that increased the visibility of the early women’s rights movement in the United States.

Parker Pillsbury

Parker Pillsbury

The National Women’s Rights Convention combined both male and female leadership, and attracted a wide base of support including temperance advocates and abolitionists. Speeches were given on the subjects of equal wages, expanded education and career opportunities, women’s property rights, marriage reform, abolition, racial equality, and temperance.

Chief among the concerns discussed at the convention was the passage of laws that would give suffrage to women.

A letter in a Pittsburgh newspaper criticized the convention for statements made for the record to include people of color in the demands for equality.

This is Parker Pillsbury’s response to that criticism. It appeared in the December 5, 1850 issue of Frederick Douglass’s newspaper, The North Star. This paper can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspaper Collection.

Parker Pillsbury (1809-1898) was an American minister and advocate for abolition and women’s rights.

DEAR MRS. SWISSHELM: – In the last Visitor, you say of a resolution relating to people of color, offered by Mr. Wendell Phillips in the late Convention of Women, at Worcester, Mass.

“We are pretty nearly out of patience with the dogged perseverance with which so many of our Reformers persist in their attempt to do everything at once.”

And again:

“In a Women’s Rights Convention , the question of color had no right to a hearing.”

It seemed as though the usually kindly spirit and good judgment of the Visiter were a little wanting in these two utterances. I should not have noticed it at all in most of the public journals – indeed, I neither know nor care what but few of them do say; for I should no more think of having them in my house, political or religious, than I would of inoculating the family with the foulest leprosy that ever unjointed the bones of a son of Abraham. But your Visiter finds a ready entrance and cheerful greeting so that we are a little solicitous about its bearing towards the few other … we have invited.

“Dogged and perseverance ” are two ugly words standing together, and Mr. Phillips has ever been very watchful to prevent any other topic from creeping to whatever platform he occupied, devoted to any particular reform. And those two words look strange indeed to some of us, standing in connection with his name and the resolutions to which you have taken exception.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

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