Posts Tagged Washington Bee

Washington Bee publishes pamphlet of DC Emancipation Day speeches of Hon. Dr. Frederick Douglass [1886]

Image result for william calvin chaseIn the twilight of a public career spanning more than a half-century, as one of the last old world abolitionist newspapermen breathing, Dr. Frederick Douglass took it upon himself to mentor a quarrelsome younger generation of correspondents and editors of the colored press that vacillated between admiration and antipathy for the former runaway fugitive slave editor.

Of the most pugnacious and confrontational voices within the leading class of Reconstruction journalists of the “colored press” Douglass embraced was native Washingtonian William Calvin Chase, Esq., publisher of the weekly Washington Bee from 1882 until his death in 1921.

Douglass and Chase had countless public disagreements over national and local politics, including the evolution of rival factions in the 1880s over the annual April celebration of Washington City’s Emancipation Day. Some years two parades would occur.

Not part of the modern mythomania advanced by Douglass scholars is the support Douglass directly and indirectly contributed to veterans organizations, relief associations, orphanages, churches, colleges, night schools and the local press, female press and black press during his more than a quarter-century of public life in Washington City.

Don’t believe the dishonorable and shameful lies of the disgraceful scandalmongering David Blight.

Since William Calvin Chase is not among the living to eviscerate Blight’s Pulitzer I will embrace the mandate as a contributing correspondent of Washington City’s modern black press corps.

The extra necessary seriousness of history today is due the extra necessary seriousness of properly and scholastically recognizing and uplifting the history and story of yesterday.

Get your pamphlets up. Study your lessons.

No mercy nor pardon will be afforded.

JM
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JUST OUT.

FOUR GREAT SPEECHES

-OF-

HON. FRED. DOUGLASS.

The people of this country who desire to read the four great speeches of Hon. Fred. Douglass in pamphlet form can obtain them by sending 30 cents in postage stamps. The pamphlet will contain the Louisville speech, and the three great speeches delivered in this city April 16th, ’84, April 16th, ’85, April 16th, ’86.

The occasions being the anniversaries of the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia. For 30 cents in postage stamps a pamphlet will be sent to any address in the United States. Or we will send a copy of the BEE for one year and Mr. Douglass speeches for $2.20 ets.

Address
W. CALVIN CHASE,
Editors of the Beee 1109 I st. n.w.
Washington, D.C.


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The “Bee”, a Negro business place, Washington, D.C. [LOC photo]

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

SOURCE:

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs; Call Number: LOT 11303

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William Calvin Chase of the Washington Bee writes to Frederick Douglass [Jan. 6, 1888]

Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress

Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress

Immediately drop what you are doing and stop with the “No struggle, no progress,” cliched sloganeering of Frederick Douglass. Study Douglass. Research Douglass. Know who he ran with and knocked heads with. Stop disgracing his lived legacy by reducing his more than half-century worth of grinding to a singular expression much like Dr. King and “I have a Dream…”

Get up on game. Know the public and private battles of “Old Man Eloquent” and William Calvin Chase.

If I hear one more random person say, “As Frederick Douglass said, ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.'” I am going to get on my William Calvin Chase and downright act a dignified and intellectual fool up in the place.

SOURCE:

Frederick Douglass Papers, Manuscripts: 1888, Jan. – Feb., Image 5

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Brief bio on “The Washington Bee” from Library of Congress

Library of Congress

The first issue of the Bee was printed on June 3, 1882. William C. Chase, a lawyer, local politician, businessman, and native Washingtonian took over as the paper’s principal editor by the end of the first year of publication, and his superb editorial skills eventually turned the Bee into one of the most influential African American newspapers in the country. The Bee represented the Republican attitudes of its editor, although Chase did not hesitate to criticize Republican Party leaders when he thought they were on the wrong side of an issue. The initial motto of the paper was “Sting for Our Enemies—Honey for Our Friends.” Civil rights for America’s blacks was a primary concern. Although figures are not available for each year of publication, circulation of the Bee varied from a low of 1,250 in 1892 to a high of 9,700 in 1922.

The Washington Bee focused much of its attention on the activities of the city’s African Americans, and its society page paid special attention to events at local black churches. The paper also covered national issues; by the turn of the 20th century it was publishing articles about events across the country by its own correspondents as well as from wire services. Like most publications of the day, there was also an extensive array of advertising, much from white-owned businesses. The remaining space included the typical filler content purchased from various sources.

Through his editorials, Chase conveyed his passionate views on a variety of issues. The Bee’s editorials were noted for their criticism of Booker T. Washington and his apparently conservative positions on black racial progress. The attacks on Washington intensified in 1904 when the noted black educator provided financial assistance to the rival Colored American. The criticisms ended abruptly, however, when Chase’s paper began experiencing its own financial difficulties, and Washington, apparently, contributed financial support to theBee. Chase remained as editor until his death in 1921. Unfortunately, the paper’s financial troubles continued unabated. The Washington Bee, whose presses had operated at 1109 I Street in the city’s northwest quadrant, folded the year after its long-time editor died.

Provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

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“ARAB” tells readers of the Washington Bee [October 19, 1889] “Give the old man credit” and lists “material aid” Frederick Douglass has tendered to “young Negroes”

FREDERICK DOUGLASS WHAT IS SAID HE HAS DONE FOR THE NEGRO NORTH – GIVE THE OLD MAN CREDIT To the “Colored Veteran:” William Belkizer, of New York City, Preston Jackson, of Oxford, Ohio, Jermiah Perkins, of Rochester, N.Y., young colored men were taken by Mr. Frederick Douglass into his family the same as his own sons – fed, clothed, and taught the printers trade – all at Mr. Douglass’ expense and before the war. Nathaniel Moore, another young Negro was brought up and schooled by Mr. Douglass, Miss Mary Smith of Troy, N.Y., now married and residing in California, was also reared and educated in Mr. Douglass’ family along with his own children. Since the war, William E. Winston, a young Negro refugee from Alabama, was taken by Mr. Douglass at the age of fourteen, kept in school for five years in Rochester, N.Y., put to printers trade, and at the time of his death was receiving $90.00 per month at the Government Printing Office. Charles Mitchell of Maryland, up to a few years ago, made his home with Mr. Douglass and was kept in school for several years. Only last week paid Mr. Douglass a visit, and he is doing well. A score of other young colored men, if they cared to own the truth, can testify to the material aid given them by Mr. Douglass time after time, while trying to learn a trade or get an education. No enterprise of any importance, gotten up by colored people of his country, either before or since the war, but what has had his material support – not one. These facts are pretty well known to colored people worth considering, with perhaps a few exceptions, but as a correspondent of “The Washington Bee” asks “how many colored men and women and has he ever helped to get an education or [learn] a trade? and what public enterprise has he ever encouraged with his vas means?” I thought to recall the foregoing instances coming under my personal observation. I don’t know that Mr. Douglass is under any more obligation to educate other people’s children than any other man. I don’t know of a single obligation that he is under to his race (so called.) I don’t know that he ever held a position of any profit by their votes of encouragement. If ever a man in this world can lay claim to being self-made, that man is Mr. Douglass. He has never claimed leadership. He has never been an office seeker for himself, though he has a right to accept office, or say what he liked when asked. The young Negroes of today, who are spending their time and talent in trying to bring him into disrepute with his people, are the very ones who should be the most thankful for his past services, for had it not been for his early efforts, and those associated with him they would to-day be on the plantation of their parents former masters. I trust I may be pardoned for taking up so much of your limited space in my reply to the gentlemen from Albany, whose non de plume is “Saracen.” ARAB.

[Is ARAB Helen Pitts, Rosetta Douglass Sprague…?]

SOURCE:

Washington Bee, 19 October, 1889, 1.

* This was printed in numerous papers throughout the country.*

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