Thanks to our friends at the McClung Historical Collection for bringing this rare newspaper to our attention. As far as we know, it’s the only surviving copy of this title!
The Examiner was Knoxville’s first African American newspaper. Its publisher and editor, William F. Yardley, was a remarkable man. In fact, Frederick Douglass referred to him as “one of the most remarkable men that I have met.” As well as publishing the first African American paper in Knoxville, Yardley can claim several other firsts: he was Knoxville’s first African American lawyer and is believed to be the first African American lawyer to take a case to the State Supreme Court (1883). In 1881, Yardley established another newspaper in Knoxville, the Bulletin. For a neat summary of Yardley’s achievements, see this short bio in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, here.
Click the image above and it will take you to a zoomable (and legible) version of the four-page newspaper on McClung’s Digital Collection website. (And while you’re on that website, meander through all the other wonderful treasures on display!)
Special thanks to Jeanie for identifying this unique artifact, and to Sally for scanning it and making it accessible to the public.