Diana J. Kleiner
Front page of The Houston Informer and Texas Freeman
Front page of The Houston Informer and Texas Freeman from December 12, 1931. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Carter W. Wesley
Carter W. Wesley, former owner of the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HOUSTON INFORMER AND TEXAS FREEMAN. 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).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "HOUSTON INFORMER AND TEXAS FREEMAN," accessed July 20, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eeh11.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 23, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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