WA Secretary of State Wikis


Grant Admin
Newspaper Titles
Progress Reports
Working Groups

Search NDNP Wiki:

Advanced Search »


All pages


Chronicling America (LOC)
About NDNP (NEH)
WSL Online Newspapers
WSL catalog
UW catalog


Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

   Digitization plan
   Essay Draft


January 16, 1903

January 16, 1903

  • Ayer Annual1
    • Content: Republican
    • Established: 1896
    • Pages: 4; 8 (changed in Apr. 1903); some special issues of 30+ pages
    • Size: 18 x 24
    • Editor: H.R. Cayton
    • Publisher: H.R. Cayton
  • Frequency: Weekly, Friday, AM paper
  • Coverage
    • Region: King county
    • County: King county
  • Unique ids
    • LCCN: sn84025811
    • OCLC: 10328970

Digitization plan

2008-2009 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1900-1913
  • Sample reel - UW Microfilm # A3151, dates 1896.02.26 - 1902.12.26 (includes two issues of Daily republican and two issues of Republican).
  • Reels ordered by UW


Essay Draft


Seattle Republican - final draft


The Seattle Republican was Seattle's first truly successful African American newspaper. Out of seven black newspapers to appear in the city between 1891 and 1901, it alone survived into the early 20th century. First issued on May 19, 1894 and continuing until 1913, the paper (initially called simply the Republican) represented the political views of the Republican Party, but not without critical scrutiny by its publisher and editor Horace Cayton Sr. Begun as a weekly, the Seattle Republican aimed for both a national and biracial audience, reporting on events well beyond the borders of Washington State. It covered national political news in some depth, and is a particularly rich single source of information concerning the treatment and successes of African Americans all around the country, particularly in the South. But its primary focus was local party politics and Seattle's African American community. It became a daily in February 1896 in order to publish a newly revised City Charter and help the daily Seattle Post Intelligencer outmaneuver its rival the Seattle Times, but it quickly reverted to a weekly a month later and remained so to the end of its run. The story of the Seattle Republican is the story of Horace Roscoe Cayton. Born into slavery in 1859, he became a college educated intellectual and made his paper a strong and respected voice in the rapidly growing city of Seattle. Assisted by his wife Susie Revels (herself a published author), he emphasized the advantages of this booming frontier city, growing prosperous as a supply center for the gold fields in the Klondyke and later in Alaska.

Cayton used his paper to encourage African Americans to migrate west where opportunity was not crushed by prejudice, or at least not openly denied. Employment was the big issue in the Pacific Northwest, not race relations. He never failed to recognize white citizens who treated blacks fairly, nor hestitate to criticize African Americand who failed to live up to his standards. Cayton spoke for the New Negro, saw education and determination as the keys to realizing the American Dream. As did many black newspaper editors, Cayton worked closely with the Republican Party and promoted its political agenda. But as Seattle grew, so did graft, prostitution and political corruption. The paper took on this growing crime problem and Cayton occasionally paid the price for his honest reporting on powerful local citizens. Arrest, lawsuits and other ploys were used against him, but the general public, once apprised of the facts, usually rallied to his cause. Readership was racially mixed although circulation remained modest, probably never exceeding about 2,000 subscriptions.

Cayton was an avid consumer of all sorts of news coverage and during the 1890's his was the only West Coast paper regularly receiving cable and telegraphic news reports from both the New York Sun and New York World. He produced several regular columns; "Political Pot Pie," analysed local politics while the "Afro American" and "Brother in Black" usually focused on national events. "Realm of Religion" commented on local, national and international church matters. The paper included local Jewish community news and took up the cause of Japanese immigrants in California. Theatre and musical events were covered. As Seattle matured into a more cosmopolitan city, race relations hardened. In 1912 Cayton wrote: "The Negro in the United States is half free and half serf. Those of them in the North, East and West are theoretically free and enjoy equal privileges before the law, while those of them in the South are serfs with no rights which the white man is bound to or does respect. This country will be rent asunder sooner or later if it tries to maintain such a state of affairs. The questions involving human rights can not be settle by compormises [sic], but must be settled on the square and in the open. Will you do it?" (August 9, 1912,p.8) But Cayton, his family and his paper faced mounting difficulties. The Republican Party also faltered. In 1913 the Seattle Republican ceased publication. Cayton's political activism continued but was often stymied. He edited several more papers (Cayton's Weekly, Cayton's Monthly and Cayton's Yearbook) but never regained the prominence he had once enjoyed. He died in 1940, leaving behind a published record of his unique and significant contributions to the development of a city and its ethnic populations.


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1897 -- 828
  2. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  3. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Seattle Republican
  4. WorldCat record - Seattle Republican
  5. WSL record - Seattle Republican
  6. UW record - Seattle Republican



  • Filmed by: UW (OCLC)
  • Positives held by: UW (1908-1913 also held by WSL)
  • Negatives held by: UW
  • UW Holdings:
    • Location: MicNews
    • Call Number: Microfilm A3151
    • Lib. Has Feb. 23, 1900- May 2, 1913, Incomplete


Duplication and testing paid for by UW lrobinson, 2009/03/23 11:06

Data re-batched WA-NDNP_DB_20090312 and uploaded, OCLC fixed reel dates, commas and character returns, I fixed dateAsPrinted for 1900-08-05 and marc org codes in database lrobinson, 2009/03/12 10:39

Film eval data batched (WSL_Metadata_2009-02-03) and sent to OCLC Feb. 03, 2009 lrobinson, 2009/02/09 16:19

Evaluation of film is finished - see results below lrobinson, 2008/12/19 16:14

Going through the first reel and notice that the first title for Feb. 26, 1896 is the Daily Republican. Researching if this was an earlier title or a separate paper. lrobinson, 2008/11/14 14:08

Refilmed. Masters and service copies held by OCLC. Holdings list in UW catalog doesn't seem to match excatly. Dates begin Feb. 26, 1896. lrobinson, 2008/11/10 10:50



Link to Seattle Republican Spreadsheets (Google)



ScrewTurn Wiki version Some of the icons created by FamFamFam.