William Eagleson

From kshs.org

Black newspapers offer insight into the history of African American communities. These local publications often featured church news and items of specific interest to readers, usually without the support of advertising. They also discussed issues considered politically incorrect by other publishers.

Since 1876 black newspapers have been published in Kansas representing 22 communities and 18 counties. The first publication encouraged black voters to participate in the upcoming election. The paper went out of business the week after the election. Over the years many other newspapers have sprung up and faded during election years urging blacks to exercise their right to vote in order to preserve their hard-won freedom.

The Colored Citizen, a Topeka newspaper, promoted education of African Americans. As early as 1878 editor William Lewis Eagleson and other publishers spoke out against segregation in schools. A proponent of colonization, The Colored Citizen encouraged Black migration in the late 1870s and provided a unique message of realism. "Never leave home for Kansas without having some money over and above what it takes to pay your transportation," Eagleson warned." For the old men and women chances for great success in Kansas are not flattering."

Throughout history Black newspapers have given a voice to local communities in Kansas, promoted change, and championed important causes and leaders. Their voice is an important part of Black heritage and is being preserved at the Society, whose collections include nearly one hundred African American newspapers.

The Historical Society maintains an online list of more than 80 African American newspapers published in Kansas.

About  Historic Topeka Cemetery

Historic Topeka Cemetery is operated by its lot owners, each of whom is a member of the Topeka Cemetery Association. Day-to-day operations are overseen by the association’s nine member board of directors and conducted by the superintendent.

As you walk the grounds or visit the website, know that your loved ones rest with ours. As they have been since its founding in 1859, Historic Topeka Cemetery’s caretakers are committed to respectful maintenance and preserving memories for generations to come.

Thank you for your support and patronage of Historic Topeka Cemetery, the oldest chartered cemetery in Kansas.


Historic Topeka Cemetery

1601 SE 10th Avenue . Topeka, Kansas 66607

(785) 233-4132