You will be pleased to discover that local newspapers are a vital part of your LDS family search. Newspapers have frequently been known as the diary of a given community, with stories of crimes, murders, births, marriages, deaths etc. contained within their pages. Not only do newspapers cover a specific Geographical area, but they also cover specific social and ethnic communities as well. African American as well as newspapers against slavery from the nineteenth century are fabulous examples of newspapers that can be viewed by African American Genealogists. These newspapers contain biographical information about people living during that time as well as local news stories from that era.
The Freedoms Journal
The Freedom’s Journal, published in the City of New York by John B. Russwurm and Samuel Cornish was the first newspaper operated and also owned by African Americans to be circulated in the United States. Freedom’s Journal first issue was on sale March 15 1827, and contained national, international, local and regional news. The journal reached a large geographical area than the African American Communities in New York City alone during its two year circulation.
The Coloured American
The Coloured American, which ran from January 1837 to December of 1841 and was also edited by Samuel Cornish, and reached a much greater geographical area than its publication in the City of New York. These and other such newspapers published between the years of 1847 – 1860 were circulated for the advocacy of freeing African American slaves, and for the rights of every African American in the United States who lived during that time period.
The Liberator, published in Boston Massachusetts by William Lloyd Garrison, from 1831 – 1865 was the most widely circulated antislavery newspaper in the United States. This and other such newspapers covered news about antislavery activities throughout the entire country. Several libraries and universities have made a concerted effort to digitize all of the African American and antislavery newspapers, and made them available to the public online to help you in your LDS family search. James P. Danky has edited and compiled a national bibliography of African American newspapers and periodicals, to help Genealogical researchers find information from over 6 thousand publications. This bibliography not only gives a list of publications, but it also tells you in what formats these publications can be found and where they are located.
Online Resources for Anti-Slavery Newspapers
For instance Accessible Archives have recently developed a comprehensive database which includes complete circulations of the following newspapers on their web site: Freedom’s Journal, the Provincial Freeman, he Coloured American, Liberator, Christian Recorder, National Era and the North Star. Individuals can subscribe to the accessible archives, and these newspapers can also be accessed through university and public libraries. Cornell University has digitized Friend of Man and made it available over the Internet. These are just a few of the thousands of publications available to be reviewed by Genealogists. During your LDS family search, you may be surprised to find that these and many other newspapers have valuable information that you can use for your family tree.