This page contains original, scanned newspaper articles covering the period from 1865 until 1920 concerning fires and accidents in Ypsilanti’s historic African-American community. The language and content of these stories, taken directly from period newspapers, is sometimes derisive and racist. Though the articles are presented without commentary, readers are asked to pay attention to how reporting in the local press changes as the years progress and the gains won in the Civil War era are overturned. While many of these clippings are simply notices or seemingly minor, together they tell a grand story of the life of the community.
The newspapers were accessed through microfilm at various libraries and archives. The Ypsilanti Public Library, The Ypsilanti Historical Society, The Library of Michigan as well as Eastern Michigan University’s Halle Library all have Ypsilanti newspapers.
They include: Ypsilanti True Democrat, 1864-1865. Changed to Ypsilanti Commercial in 1865 and published, with some interruptions, until 1900. Ypsilanti Sentinel published from the 1840s until it merged to form the above Commercial in 1865. Ypsilanti Daily Press, published from 1905-1920. The Ypsilantian, published from 1880-1912.
The date and publication of the article are in the title; for example 12dec1919press is December 12, 1919 Ypsilanti Daily Press, 4jul1897ian is July 4, 1897 Ypsilantian m and so on. Click on any thumbnail to cycle through a slide show of larger versions, which can be further enlarged and downloaded.