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The weekly loyal Georgian. [volume] : (Augusta, Ga.) 1867-1868
Alternative Titles:
  • Loyal Georgian
Place of publication:
Augusta, Ga.
Geographic coverage:
  • Augusta, Richmond, Georgia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Georgia Print. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1867; ceased in 1868.
  • English
  • African Americans--Georgia--Newspapers.
  • African Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00799558
  • Augusta (Ga.)--Newspapers.
  • Georgia--Augusta.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206406
  • Georgia.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204622
  • Also published in a daily ed.: Daily loyal Georgian.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 27 (Aug. 10, 1867).
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 2, no. 54 (Feb. 15, 1868).
  • Microfilmed by the Library of Congress for the Committee on Negro Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies.
  • Organ of: Georgia Education Association and the Republican Party.
sn 83027105
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
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The weekly loyal Georgian. [volume] August 10, 1867 , Image 1


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The Loyal Georgian, The Daily Loyal Georgian, The Weekly Loyal Georgian, and The Georgia Republican

Founded by African American John T. Shuften in Augusta in October 1865, the Colored American was Georgia's first African American newspaper. By January 1866, the paper experienced financial hardships and was bought by the Georgia Equal Rights Association (GERA), which was created at the Freedmen's Convention in Augusta, GA. Delegates chose John E. Bryant to be GERA's first president. Bryant was a former Union soldier from Maine, a Freedmen's Bureau agent, and the only White man in attendance at the convention. GERA renamed the paper the Loyal Georgian and published its first issue on January 20, 1866. Bryant was selected as editor and Thomas P. Beard, an African American grocer and leader, as agent to promote and collect subscriptions for the paper.

The Loyal Georgian retained much of the Colored American's structure and content. It was a four-page, five-columned weekly paper that advocated for racial harmony and African American equality. Specifically, the paper stood for "the cause of impartial justice for every citizen without regard to race, descent or color" under the motto "Peace and Good Will to all" as noted in the first issue. The paper claimed to be nonpartisan although it focused on local, state, and national Republican Party news. It published news about social activities, poetry and literature columns, children and family columns, convention proceedings, and advertisements. Bryant's editorials protested racial violence and promoted African American educational access and enfranchisement. Bryant's opinions were considered radical and often resulted in violence against him and his family.

During Reconstruction, Bryant wanted the Loyal Georgian to be the Republican Party's organ, but the paper experienced financial and reputational difficulties. Despite having traveling agents and a circulation reportedly approaching 20,000 as noted in the March 10, 1866 issue, the Loyal Georgian was on the verge of suspension by the summer of 1866. At this same time, Bryant was also accused of misconduct and misappropriation of freed people funds. Bryant was found not guilty of these charges. By October 1866, at another GERA meeting, Bryant detailed these difficulties and proposed that the paper be subsumed under a joint-stock company.

Political opportunity for southern African Americans and the Republican Party increased in early 1867. This opportunity made the Loyal Georgian a popular paper once more. With the Reconstruction Act in March 1867, Representative Edward McPherson chose Bryant's Loyal Georgian and the Savannah Republican to circulate laws. The paper also became the "official organ of the Georgia Educational Association." With these changes, the paper dedicated more space to educational issues and conventions, laws, military notices, and Republican Party state issues and conventions. It still endorsed African American equality and events. In April 1867, Bryant split the paper into the Daily Loyal Georgian and the Weekly Loyal Georgian. He expanded the Weekly Loyal Georgian to eight columns and sold it at a reduced price.

Bryant's success made the paper a target of the Democratic Party and conservative Republicans in the state. Papers like the Atlanta Daily Opinion and Augusta Daily Press would protest Bryant's patronage and promote anti-Reconstruction sentiments. Due to these rivalries and decreasing patronage, the Weekly Loyal Georgian was purchased by the Georgia Print Company in 1867 under the future first Republican Governor of Georgia, Rufus Bullock. Under new management, the Weekly Georgian would become the "official organ of the U.S. Government" and continue its sponsorship with the Georgia Education Association. However, the Company would no longer publish the Daily Loyal Georgian.

In 1868, Bryant hoped that this support would help the Republicans win the state election in April 1868, and the new administration would choose the Weekly Georgian as its sole organ. The 1868 election resulted in a divided Republican Party in power and also the end of the Weekly Loyal Georgian. Bryant became angry at the directions of the party and not being selected as the state printer. He formed a new Republican paper, the Georgia Republican, in July 1869. Bryant's succeeding papers would increasingly become more conservative and less concerned with African American rights and equality.

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