Lot 13 of 559:
1884 Florida 'Colored Printer' proposes Black Republican newspaper  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$192
$200 - $300

‘Colored Printer’ proposes a Black Republican newspaper in Florida during the 1884 presidential election


Tallahassee, Florida




Ed.[mund] M.Shakespeare, “A Colored Printer”. Autograph Letter Signed. Tallahassee, July 2, 1884. 2pp. To James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate for President.

Asking Blaine's help to start a Black Republican newspaper. “All we want in Florida is a little help and we can carry her successfully for you in Nov. We needs a first class paper published here at the Capitol of the State. Our State Convention meets here ..on the 24th…and then I will boom my paper up for you as our next President…”

Edmund Shakespeare was born in Florida in 1855, probably the son of slaves brought there from South Carolina. Little is known of him – 20 years later, he was working for the Gainesville Sun newspaper. How he acquired his surname is a mystery. (“Edmund” was the name of William Shakespeare’s actor-brother). But he did not apparently fulfill his dream of starting Florida’s first Black newspaper, which began three years later as a small Gainesville weekly. Nor did Blaine carry the state; that year, Democrat Grover Cleveland won Florida (by 3700 votes) and the Presidency.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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