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Wisconsin Labor Advocate, La Crosse, Wis. : Geo. E. Taylor, 1886- 

Special Collections Wisconsiana Oversize  F586 .W57

 
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“Wisconsin Labor Advocate” Newspaper  & Editor, George Edwin Taylor

The second item digitized with the help of Endowment Fund in 2002 was the only known original copy of the “Wisconsin Labor Advocate,” a newspaper published in La Crosse in 1886-1887.   La Crosse was a hotbed of Labor political party activity in the 1880s and the “Labor Advocate” was one of at least four La Crosse area Labor-related newspapers from that time.  Besides Murphy Library having the only original issues, what makes the “Labor Advocate” unique was its editor and owner: George Edwin Taylor.  Taylor was an African-American, born in Arkansas in 1857.  As a black business owner, he was an anomaly in La Crosse in the 1880s.  Taylor got his start in publishing working at other La Crosse newspapers.  He also became increasingly interested in politics as reflected in his editorship of the “Wisconsin Labor Advocate.”  The last existing edition of the paper dates from August 6, 1887 and George Edwin Taylor left La Crosse soon afterwards.  He maintained a life-long interest in politics and by 1904 had become involved in an all African-American political party called the National Liberty Party. Taylor accepted the nomination of that party in 1904 as its candidate for the office of the U.S. President.  In doing so, Taylor was the first candidate of a national African-American party for the U.S. presidency.

Charles Haas has written a very nice article for the recently published Past, Present, & Future newsletter of the La Crosse Co. Historical Society about George Edwin Taylor – the first black candidate of a “major” party in the presidential race who had La Crosse ties.  Included is a nice copy of his full-length portrait from the Univ. of North Florida library.

 There are some nice materials about Taylor and blacks in La Crosse on La Crosse History Unbound http://lacrossehistory.org/nhd/politicsafrican.htm including images of the paper Taylor published here in La Crosse from 1886-1887 Wisconsin Labor Advocate.

As the OCR was very poor, the following students rekeyed the issues by hand:  Evelyn Weibel, Stephanie, Carlin, Alexander Cherry, Michael Behringer, John Knepper.

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