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date: 06 August 2020

North Starlocked

  • Glen Anthony Harris


Founded in Rochester, New York, which was one of the end lines for the legendary Underground Railroad, the antislavery newspaper North Star was published from 1847 to 1851; it was the first of three newspapers edited by Frederick Douglass. Although viewed by some as a despondent polemical journal, the North Star was a weekly broadsheet that allowed Douglass the artistic and journalistic freedom to speak his mind on the subject of American slavery and the betterment of black Americans without fear of censorship.

In its focus, format, and typography, the North Star differed little from the other antislavery weeklies published between 1837 and 1865: the Colored American and the Anti-Slavery Standard, both of New York; the Liberator of Boston; and the Pennsylvania Freedom Douglass designed his paper not only to advocate universal emancipation and attack slavery in all its forms but also to promote the ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895.

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