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Galveston Spectator

Alwyn Barr General Entry

The Galveston Spectator, the earliest newspaper in the state published under Black proprietorship and management, was established by Richard Nelson in 1873. It generally appeared as a weekly paper, although at times Nelson brought it out more frequently. The Spectator supported the Republican party and urged Blacks to pursue education and participate in public affairs. Its circulation apparently peaked at about 1,000 in 1876 but usually stood nearer 500. The last issue appeared in 1885; the paper was discontinued because of financial problems.

Charles William Grose, Black Newspapers in Texas, 1868–1970 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1972). Irvine Garland Penn, The Afro-American Press and Its Editors (Springfield, Massachusetts: Willey, 1891; rpt., New York: Arno, 1969). Henry Lewis Suggs, ed., The Black Press in the South, 1865–1979 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1983).


  • Journalism
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Newspapers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Alwyn Barr, “Galveston Spectator,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: