African American Newspapers and Periodicals 1820–60


Map Code: Ax02493

The America’s earliest abolitionist newspaper, the “Manumission Intelligencer” was actually published in the slave state of Tennessee by a white ex-slave owner, Elihu Embree in 1819. However, black leaders soon stepped forward to “plead their own cause”, in the words of the Reverend Samuel E.  Cornish, founder of “Freedom’s Journal”, published from 1827–29.  The Journal was produced In New York, which along with Boston became the primary centre for African American press activity, although much of their output circulated in samizdat fashion to readers in the antebellum South.  Indeed, publishing such material outside the sanctuary of the northeastern seaboard could be a risky activity: the offices of the abolitionist “National Enquirer” in Philadelphia, and the “Philanthropist” in Cincinnati were both destroyed by arson in 1838 and 1841 respectively. Hallowell in provincial Maine  saw publication of the  passionately polemical “Advocate of Freedom”, while Rochester in upstate New York  was home to the perhaps the most celebrated abolitionist periodical the “North Star” (1841–53), founded by Frederick Douglass.

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Personal Subscription – Annually
All of our downloadable maps are provided as JPEG at 300 DPI and a minimum of 1500px wide.
  • Different Formats

    Different Formats

  • Different Formats

    Request Variations

  • Institution Subscriptions

    Institution Subscriptions