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Date

4-27-2022

Abstract

From July to November 1876, Reverend Thomas W. Henderson of the A.M.E. Church, edited a newspaper (“campaign paper”) in Leavenworth and Lawrence, Kansas named the Colored Radical. The following year in Fort Scott, Kansas, William L. Eagleson edited a newspaper named the Colored Citizen. While these were the first two African American newspapers published in the state, both were printed by the white publishers in Lawrence and Fort Scott. In February 1878, William and his brother, James, purchased their own printing equipment and restarted publication of the Colored Citizen, making it the first newspaper in Kansas written, edited, and printed as a Black-owned enterprise. In July 1878, the Eaglesons moved their printshop to Topeka and continued to publish the Colored Citizen. William Eagleson remained the editor and was joined in this role by Reverend Henderson. This monograph summarizes the history of the Colored Citizen and its successors in Topeka during the nineteenth century, which serves as a prelude to a biography of its editor, William Lewis Eagleson (1835–1899). In addition to establishing the Colored Citizen, he was the editor of the first weekly African American newspaper in Oklahoma and the first Black columnist hired by a white-owned newspaper in Kansas.

Keywords

William Eagleson, W. L. Eagleson, Colored Citizen, Langston City Herald, African American newspapers, Black newspapers, Kansas newspapers, Fort Scott, Topeka, Langston Oklahoma, Thomas W. Henderson, T. W. Henderson, Edward H. White, Frederick L. Jeltz, F. L. Jeltz, J. Hume Childers, Nicholas Chiles, Nick Chiles, Carrie Nation, Carry Nation.

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William Lewis Eagleson and the Origins of African American Newspapers in Kansas

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