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*On this date in 1859, the Weekly edition of the Anglo-African newspaper was published. It and the Anglo-African magazine were perhaps the most influential Black journals of the late 1850s and during the American Civil War era.
They were unique in that they served as forums for debate rather than simply reflecting the views of the publisher. They were owned by the journalist Thomas Hamilton, the son of New York City community leader William Hamilton. He and his brother Robert were the editors. The Weekly Anglo-African, whose first issue was a four-page weekly, with seven columns of large type to a page. It cost four cents per copy, with a yearly subscription price of two dollars. Its motto was "Man must be free; if not through the law, then above the law." Unlike most Black newspapers of the time, which published only a few issues before folding, the paper was an almost immediate success.
It came to be respected for its sophisticated analysis of issues such as violent resistance to slavery, the ramifications of the Dred Scott Decision, and John Brown's Raid. Six months after the founding of the Anglo-African Magazine, Hamilton introduced its newspaper offshoot, entitled the Weekly Anglo-African. He published the magazine until March 1860, after which its publication was indefinitely suspended, but the weekly ran until March 1861, when Hamilton was forced to sell it to George Lawrence Jr. and James Redpath who renamed it The Palm and Pine two months later. Thomas’s brother, Robert, revived the old Weekly Anglo-African by August 1861. It remained in print until December 1865.