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Newspaper The Aliened American (Cleveland, Ohio) 1853-18??

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About The Aliened American (Cleveland, Ohio) 1853-18??

Published by William Howard Day, the Aliened American was one of the earliest African American newspapers in Ohio. Born in 1825, Day grew up and received his early education in New York City. He was eventually adopted by J.P. Williston, a white abolitionist ink maker in Northampton, MA. Day started his career in journalism during high school by apprenticing at local newspapers. After being denied admission at Williams College in Massachusetts, Day would go on to pursue his education at and graduate from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1847.

In Cleveland, Day became actively involved in the local and statewide political and press movements. He worked for several papers such as the Oberlin Evangelist and the Cleveland True Democrat. He also participated in Ohio’s Colored Conventions. Day was involved in talks about starting newspapers as early as 1849. According to the Aliened American‘s first issue, the paper was founded at a convention in Cleveland in 1852. That first issue lamented that there were “but two newspapers conducted by Colored Americans, and those in New York State.” The Aliened American symbolized hope and change for the delegates. In the first issue, Day noted that “this paper speaks for [African American Ohioans], first through its name—Aliened American… The State and National Governments have not only disfranchised, they have ostracized—have made them aliens—through their Law, their Public Opinion and their Community-Regulations.” At another convention in January 1853, in Columbus, Day was appointed to publish the Aliened American and the delegates vowed to support the newspaper.

Along with Day, well-known African American men, Samuel R. Ward of Toronto, and J. C. W. Pennington of New York, were corresponding editors of the paper. The paper was published as a four page, seven-columned, independent weekly. Its motto was, “To Furnish News: To favor Literature, Science and Art: To aid the development, Educational, Mechanical, and Social, of Colored Americans: To Defend the Rights of Humanity.” The paper served Cuyahoga County and Cleveland. It published national and international news on the American Colonization Society, the seizure of San Juan by the US, and President Franklin Pierce’s inaugural speech. The paper also included information about bank note values, newly published books, and more. However, the paper primarily focused on the political and social activities of African American Ohioans. These activities included conventions, anti-slavery societies, travels, achievements, deaths, and statements from corresponding editors.

The paper was progressive for its time because it included the poetry, short stories, and correspondence of African American and White women. The first issue contained short stories titled the “Original Tale. ‘Charles and Clara Hayes'” by Day’s wife, Lucie Stanton Day Sessions. This story is one of the first published stories by a Black woman in the country. Other similar content was a speech from Mrs. H.M. Tracy Cutler, a widow in the area who was married to an important local activist. Pennington reprinted his correspondence to and from Elizabeth S. Greenfield, a well-known singer known as “The Black Swan,” about repeating her concert. He and other African Americans in New York City were barred from attending her concert due to their race. The Aliened American republished correspondence from Mahala McGuyre, a young missionary who visited Kaw Mendi in West Africa. The paper also reported Harriet Beecher Stowe’s travels. According to the historian Derrick Spires, the Aliened American had a host of other African American women as correspondents, including Mary Frances Vashon (Colder), Maria M. DeGrasse, “Becky,” and “Nancy” and included poetry from Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

The Aliened American was supported and praised by other papers such as the Cleveland Herald, Frederick Douglass’s Paper, and others. Yet, it was difficult for the paper to acquire paying subscribers and advertisers. The paper suspended publication by May 1854 and likely folded at that point or in the following year. Day restarted the paper as the short-lived People’s Exposition, later known as the People’s Record, that likely ended in 1855. Throughout Day’s life, he worked for and edited African American newspapers and periodicals. These papers included the Provincial Freeman (edited by Mary Ann Shadd Cary in Canada West), Zion Herald (also known as the Zion’s Standard and Weekly Review for the AME Zion Church in New York), and Our National Progress, originally published as the Progress of Liberty in Harrisburg, PA.

Note: A portion of the issues digitized for this newspaper were microfilmed as part of the Miscellaneous Negro newspapers microfilm collection, a 12-reel collection containing issues of African American newspapers published in the U.S. throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Creation of the microfilm project was sponsored by the Committee on Negro Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies in 1947. For more information on the microfilm collection, see: Negro Newspapers on Microfilm, a Selected List (Library of Congress), published in 1953. While this collection contains selections from more than 150 U.S. newspapers titles, for further coverage, view a complete list of all digitized African American titles available in the Chronicling America collection.

Provided By: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

About this Newspaper


  • The Aliened American (Cleveland, Ohio) 1853-18??

Dates of Publication

  • 1853-18??

Created / Published

  • Cleveland, Ohio : W.H. Day, 1853-


  • -  African American newspapers--Ohio
  • -  African Americans--Ohio--Newspapers
  • -  Cleveland (Ohio)--Newspapers
  • -  African American newspapers
  • -  African Americans
  • -  Ohio
  • -  Ohio--Cleveland
  • -  United States--Ohio--Cuyahoga--Cleveland


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 9, 1853)-
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 1 announces that there will be a temporary suspension in publication.
  • -  Microfilmed by the Library of Congress for the Committee on Negro Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies.


  • volumes

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn83035397

OCLC Number

  • 9777824

ISSN Number

  • 2836-0982

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Aliened American Cleveland, Ohio -18??. (Cleveland, OH), Jan. 1 1853.

APA citation style:

(1853, January 1) The Aliened American Cleveland, Ohio -18??. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Aliened American Cleveland, Ohio -18??. (Cleveland, OH) 1 Jan. 1853. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,