The Only Known Copy Of “The Colored Enterprise” Newspaper (1897) Found In North Carolina Time Capsule

Written by Rewindingblack

Earlier this month the (Asheville, North Carolina) Citizen-Times led its homepage and front page with a story about a lost newspaper. Emily Patrick wrote about how the only known copy of The Colored Enterprise was found, and what it has taught people in the area about their history.

In March, a time capsule in the base of the Vance Monument yielded a voice from Asheville’s 1890s African-American community.

The Colored Enterprise, a newspaper representing about a third of Asheville’s population in its day, lay concealed in a box at the base of the Vance Monument for more than a century.

It was put there secretly by Masons in 1897, when the monument was dedicated, and recently discovered during restoration efforts.

Patrick’s piece explores several facets of the story, including more on the editor and publisher of the Enterprise, and how the paper regularly debated with the Citizen through columnists.

In October 1896, The Tattler cautioned that any vote for a Republican would be an “endorsement in proportion of the policy of elevating the negro above his station.”

The Colored Enterprise chided The Tattler for being “frightened at a few Negroes” and unable to see the difference between a black takeover of the country — often called “negro domination” in that day — and equal representation in politics.



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