Indianapolis Freeman

The Indianapolis Freeman, first published on July 14, 1888, by Edward Elder Cooper in Indianapolis, Indiana, was the first illustrated black newspaper in the United States.[1] Cooper sold the paper to George L. Knox in 1892; Knox shifted the paper's political allegiance from Democratic to Republican. However, the paper would shift toward the Democratic Party again in its final days due to the power of the Ku Klux Klan over the Indiana Republican Party. It was circulated nationally and considered by many the leading black newspaper in America. Hurt by the Depression and competition from the Indianapolis Recorder, the paper ceased publication in 1926.[2] [3]

The paper frequently featured the writings of Richard W. Thompson, who was managing editor from 1888–1893.[4]


  1. ^ Ratzlaff, Aleen J. (2009). "Illustrated African American Journalism: Political Cartooning in the Indianapolis Freeman". In Sachsman, David B. (ed.). Seeking a voice: images of race and gender in the 19th century press. S. Kittrell Rushing, Roy Morris, Jr. West Lafayette: Purdue UP. pp. 131–140. ISBN 9781557535054.
  2. ^ Taylor Jr., Robert M. (1994). "Indianapolis Freeman". In David J. Bodenhamer (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Robert Graham Barrows. Indiana UP. p. 781. ISBN 9780253312228. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  3. ^ Giffin, William W. (June 1, 1983). "The Political Realignment of Black Voters in Indianapolis, 1924". Indiana Magazine of History – via
  4. ^ Booker T. Washington, Louis R. Harlan, The Booker T. Washington Papers: 1899-1900 University of Illinois Press, 1976