The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865

Browse Items (15 total)

  • Tags: Slavery

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The most famous African American in antebellum America was Frederick Douglass (ca. 1818-95), an escaped slave from Maryland who achieved renown in the North as an antislavery lecturer and writer. Douglass began his abolitionist career in league with…

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An important category of newspapers in antebellum America was the organizational paper. Every religious or reform movement seemed to have its national and state associations and every association its newspaper. That certainly was true of the…

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The Anti-Slavery Alphabet is a reader that was published in 1846 for the purpose of being sold at the Anti-Slavery Fair in Philadelphia. The fair was organized by the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS) and raised money for abolitionism…

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As with many other reform movements of the day, abolitionists used all available forms of mass communication to disseminate their message, including almanacs. Antebellum reform organizations published almanacs that included—among their charts…

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The Soldier’s Letter was a military camp newspaper published in Kansas City, Missouri, and Fort Riley, Kansas.It was issued by the Second Colorado Cavalry and edited by Private Oliver F. Wallace with contributions by other enlisted men and a…

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The New-York Commercial Advertiser was perhaps the most prosperous of the half dozen or so mercantile dailies that dominated journalism in New York in the 1820s and 1830s before the rise of penny papers such as the New York Sun. These papers were…

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Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) was an influential author, abolitionist, Unitarian minister, and soldier. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1823, Higginson attended Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School, finishing his divinity…

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Charles Carleton Coffin (1823-96) was one of a dozen or so battlefield correspondents whose work during the Civil War made them into something new in American journalism: celebrity reporters. Writing under the penname “Carleton” for the…

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African Americans and abolitionists were among the voices that gained a new outlet during the antebellum newspaper boom. The first newspaper published by African Americans was the Freedom’s Journal, beginning in March 1827. Cofounded by…

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Just as the abolition movement harnessed the power of the printed word in newspapers, periodicals, tracts, and almanacs to spread its antislavery message, it also used printed visuals in the form of lithographs, engravings, and political cartoons. In…
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