Houston Informer and Texas Freeman

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: General Entry

Published: January 1, 1995

Updated: September 15, 2020

The Houston Informer and Texas Freeman is considered to be the oldest black newspaper published west of the Mississippi. Beginning in 1893 the Texas Freeman was published by Charles N. Love, with the help of his wife Lilla, in issues of four pages, later expanded to ten or twelve. Love advocated the annulment of the Jim Crow laws, equal pay for black teachers, the hiring of black postal workers, and the Carnegie Library for Negroes in Houston, completed in 1912. A weekly paper known as the Houston Informer was published by C. F. Richardson, Sr., from 1919 until January 3, 1931, when the paper was acquired by attorney Carter W. Wesley and two business partners and merged with the Texas Freeman to form the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman. Wesley expanded the paper into a chain of Informer newspapers in Galveston, Beaumont, Dallas, and Austin, Texas, and New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, and circulated a statewide edition in small Texas towns, including Groesbeck and Crockett. The Informer acquired a printing company, employed 1,500 people at its peak, and is credited with starting many black writers in their careers. The paper was subsequently published as a weekly and semiweekly that changed its name alternately to the Informer and Informer and Texas Freeman. In the 1990s the paper was known as the Informer, was published and edited by George McElroy, and had a circulation of 2,603.

Houston Chronicle, March 28, 1987. Texas Newspaper Directory (Austin: Texas Press Service, 1991).

  • Journalism
  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Publications, Journals, and Magazines
  • Newspapers
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Houston Informer and Texas Freeman,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/houston-informer-and-texas-freeman.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

January 1, 1995
September 15, 2020

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: