White Man

By: David Minor

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

The White Man (Whiteman), a weekly newspaper devoted to the removal of Indians from the North Texas area, published its first edition at Jacksboro, the county seat of Jack County, by sometime early in 1860. The paper reflected the anti-Indian sentiments of its original editors, which included H. A. Hamner, John R. Baylor, and Isaac Worrall. Hamner left Johnson County for Jacksboro in 1856. He quickly established a reputation in Jack County as a critic of Governor Sam Houston's frontier defense policy; as an advocate of Indian extermination; and, later, as a supporter of secession. Baylor was the first Indian agent in charge of the Upper Comanche Reservation in Young County. He was appointed in 1856 and dismissed in March 1857. From that date, he became one of the most vocal critics of the state's Indian policy and, like Hamner, specifically blamed Houston for the failure to protect North Texas from Indians. From its first edition in 1860, the White Man exploited the fear and frustration of settlers in the North Texas area. Jacksboro was a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route and thus the paper was provided with an established delivery system. One source suggests that the White Man reached well over 1,000 readers. As its name implies, the weekly did not hide its prejudice, leading one historian to conclude that it was "the worst Indian condemnatory sheet in all history." While the White Man continued to attack Governor Houston's Indian policy, other events soon overshadowed the anti-Indian comments. Both editors were secessionists and used their paper to condemn Houston's support of the Union. The White Man's influence on national politics suffered a setback in the summer of 1860. On July 29, 1860, the offices of the paper burned. The editors blamed the fire on a conspiracy by abolitionists (see ABOLITION). Publication resumed in Weatherford in September under the partnership of B. L. Richey, John Deavors, and Alfred Obenchain. In late 1861 the weekly ceased publication. Baylor and Hamner joined the Confederate Army.

Carrie J. Crouch, Young County: History and Biography (Dallas: Dealey and Love, 1937; rev. ed., A History of Young County, Texas, Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1956). Ida Lasater Huckabay, Ninety-Four Years in Jack County (Austin: Steck, 1949; centennial ed., Waco: Texian Press, 1974). Lynnell Jackson, True Witness: A Checklist of Newspapers, 1845–1861 (University of Texas at Austin Department of Journalism, 1971). Rupert N. Richardson, The Frontier of Northwest Texas, 1846 to 1876 (Glendale, California: Clark, 1963). Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

David Minor, “White Man,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 16, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/white-man.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995