African-American Newspapers and Periodicals
LC card #: sn83-30455
"We wish to plead our own cause.
Too long have others spoken for us."
Thus declare Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm on
the front page of Freedom's Journal, the first
African-American owned and operated newspaper published
in the United States. The Journal was published weekly
in New York City from 1827 to 1829. Samuel Cornish served as
co-editor with John B. Russwurm between March 16, 1827 and
September 14, 1827. Russwurm became sole editor of the Journal
following the resignation of Cornish in September 1827.
Journal was superseded by The Rights of All,
published between 1829 and 1830 by S. E. Cornish. Learn more about history of the Journal and its editors on the PBS website.
Freedom's Journal provided international,
national, and regional information on current events and
contained editorials declaiming slavery, lynching, and
other injustices. The Journal also published biographies
of prominent African-Americans and listings of births,
deaths, and marriages in the African-American New York
community. Freedom's Journal circulated in 11
states, the District of Columbia, Haiti, Europe, and
The newspaper employed subscription agents. One of
these, David Walker, in 1829 published the first of four
articles that called for rebellion. Walker's
Appeal stated that ".it is no more harm
for you to kill the man who is trying to kill you than
it is for you to take a drink of water," this
bold attack was widely read. Walker distributed copies
of his pamphlet into the South, where it was widely
View Freedom's Journal
All 103 issues of the Freedom's Journal have been
digitized and placed into Adobe Acrobat
format. PLEASE NOTE: Each file is over 1 megabyte
in size, refer to the file size information next to the
link before clicking on the link.
The digital Freedom's Journal
was prepared by:
Peter Schroepfer - Student Assistant
Heather McCullough - Digital Librarian
Wendt Engineering Library