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Count us in: The U.S. Census and other Socio-Economic Concerns of the Early African American Press in New York 1859-1865

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Abstract:

When Thomas Hamilton began publishing the monthly Anglo-African Magazine and the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper on the eve of the Civil War in New York he provided a local platform of sophisticated black journalism in antebellum America. Carrying essays, short stories, editorials and poetry, Hamilton’s publications were the gold standard of the African American press in nineteenth century New York. This presentation is a meditation on both the sustainability of the Anglo-African Magazine and the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper as well as the socio-economic issues that Hamilton’s publications persistently covered. In an era of sparse record keeping, migratory shifts and the Fugitive Slave Law, Hamilton highlighted the inconsistencies and disparities in the census taking of African Americans and strongly urged blacks to take an active role in ensuring that they were counted. Financial empowerment, self-help initiatives in education and land acquisition were central to the credo of Hamilton’s magazine and newspaper. Readers were encouraged to be prudent in pecuniary matters. The weekly newspaper called for the creation of an Anglo-African bank and the investment in burning fuels to bolster the African American economic base. Instructions on how to effectively save one’s earnings were often outlined. The press sought to garner support for teachers, schools and ministers. In 1863 Hamilton also ventured into the world of book publishing with William Wells Brown’s The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius and His Achievements. This was not the first time that Hamilton published Brown’s work. The latter along with other notable black intellectuals submitted literary works to the Anglo-African Magazine. Leading voices for reform in the anti-slavery crusade, Hamilton and Brown also shared common ground as entrepreneurs. Hamilton was the exemplar of independent black journalism in New York and Brown was a self-proclaimed medical practitioner with a steady clientele and the co-owner of a clothing store in Boston. Thus, when Hamilton addressed the theme of thrift in the African American community and when Brown wrote about the ways African Americans could strategically improve their economic lot, they were speaking from experience. It is these sorts of intersections that I seek to unveil in my paper.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435466_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Archer, Jermaine. "Count us in: The U.S. Census and other Socio-Economic Concerns of the Early African American Press in New York 1859-1865" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435466_index.html>

APA Citation:

Archer, J. , 2010-09-29 "Count us in: The U.S. Census and other Socio-Economic Concerns of the Early African American Press in New York 1859-1865" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435466_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: When Thomas Hamilton began publishing the monthly Anglo-African Magazine and the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper on the eve of the Civil War in New York he provided a local platform of sophisticated black journalism in antebellum America. Carrying essays, short stories, editorials and poetry, Hamilton’s publications were the gold standard of the African American press in nineteenth century New York. This presentation is a meditation on both the sustainability of the Anglo-African Magazine and the Weekly Anglo-African newspaper as well as the socio-economic issues that Hamilton’s publications persistently covered. In an era of sparse record keeping, migratory shifts and the Fugitive Slave Law, Hamilton highlighted the inconsistencies and disparities in the census taking of African Americans and strongly urged blacks to take an active role in ensuring that they were counted. Financial empowerment, self-help initiatives in education and land acquisition were central to the credo of Hamilton’s magazine and newspaper. Readers were encouraged to be prudent in pecuniary matters. The weekly newspaper called for the creation of an Anglo-African bank and the investment in burning fuels to bolster the African American economic base. Instructions on how to effectively save one’s earnings were often outlined. The press sought to garner support for teachers, schools and ministers. In 1863 Hamilton also ventured into the world of book publishing with William Wells Brown’s The Black Man: His Antecedents, His Genius and His Achievements. This was not the first time that Hamilton published Brown’s work. The latter along with other notable black intellectuals submitted literary works to the Anglo-African Magazine. Leading voices for reform in the anti-slavery crusade, Hamilton and Brown also shared common ground as entrepreneurs. Hamilton was the exemplar of independent black journalism in New York and Brown was a self-proclaimed medical practitioner with a steady clientele and the co-owner of a clothing store in Boston. Thus, when Hamilton addressed the theme of thrift in the African American community and when Brown wrote about the ways African Americans could strategically improve their economic lot, they were speaking from experience. It is these sorts of intersections that I seek to unveil in my paper.


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