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Tue, 04.01.1862

The Pacific Appeal is published

*On this date in 1862, the Pacific Appeal published its first edition.  This was a weekly African American newspaper based in San Francisco, California.  

The Pacific Appeal was co-founded by Philip Alexander Bell, a civil rights and antislavery activist who had established Weekly Advocate (edited by Samuel Cornish) and worked for William Lloyd Garrison's Liberator News and Peter Anderson, a San Francisco civil rights activist and delegate at the California Colored Citizens Convention.  

It was the successor to The Mirror of the Times, another San Francisco-based black newspaper that had been established in 1855.  This change of name occurred with a new owner from Judge Mifflin W. Gibbs to William H. Carter.  Its contemporaries at the time included the Anglo-African, and it was regarded as the official organ of blacks on America’s Pacific slope.  The paper’s motto was “He who would be free, himself must strike the blow.”  Later, Bell and Anderson would split, with Bell accusing Anderson of becoming less antislavery and more accommodationist.  

The inaugural 1862 volume contained eight antislavery poems, including four poems by San Francisco poet James Madison Bell, writing under the initials JMB.  The Pacific Appeal also published a number of letters by Emperor Norton, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States, including his proposals for what would later become the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Transbay Tube. The Pacific Appeal stopped publishing in June 1880. 

Reference:

Library of Congress

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