The Appeal newspaper was established in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1885. It was originally called the Western Appeal, and was founded by two Black businessmen, Samuel E. Hardy and John T. Burgett who saw the need for a journal that would defend their interest in the Black race while highlighting achievements as well.
It was difficult keeping the paper going and the owners fell on difficult financial times. The paper was eventually sold J. K. Hilyard and Thomas Lyles in 1886. Later John Q. Adams a Black journalist from Louisville was hired to work as the editor for the paper.
The Appeal became one of the leading Afro-American newspapers in the nation. At its high point in the 1880s, it was published in Dallas, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Louisville, and Chicago. By December 1888, the Chicago Appeal, under the editorship of Cyrus F. Adams (John’s brother), became the most-read black newspaper in that city.