December 3, 1847 — Today, abolitionist Frederick Douglass published the first issue of his anti-slavery newspaper, the “North Star.”
Its title was a reference to the directions given to runaway slaves trying to reach the Northern states and Canada: Follow the North Star. And its slogan was: “Right is of no Sex, Truth is of no Color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”
Published weekly, the North Star was four pages long and sold by subscription for $2 per year to more than 4,000 readers in the US, Europe, and the West Indies. The first of its four pages focused on current events concerning abolitionist issues.
Douglass was said to have founded the paper after reading “The Liberator,” a weekly newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison, which was founded on moral principles.
In June 1851, it merged with Gerrit Smith’s Liberty Party Paper (based in Syracuse, New York) to form the Frederick Douglass’ Paper.
Words of Wisdom for December 3, 2016
“We are now about to assume the management of the editorial department of a newspaper, devoted to the cause of Liberty, Humanity and Progress. The position is one which, with the purest motives, we have long desired to occupy. It has long been our anxious wish to see, in this slave-holding, slave-trading, and Negro-hating land, a printing-press and paper, permanently established, under the complete control and direction of the immediate victims of slavery and oppression.” Read more.
— Frederick Douglass, on the creation of The North Star, and the "Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, vol. 1"