In 1821 Benjamin Lundy, began publishing the anti-slavery newspaper, Genius of Universal Emancipation. Over the next thirty years there were over twenty radical newspapers that tended to concentrate on the issue of slavery and civil rights. This included The Liberator (William Lloyd Garrison and Maria Weston Chapman), The Free Enquirer (Fanny Wright and Robert Dale Owen), The Philanthropist (James Birney), North Star (Frederick Douglass), Freedom's Journal (Samuel E. Cornish), The Mystery (Martin Robinson Delany), Emancipator and Public Moralsand Mirror of Liberty(David Ruggles), Commonwealth (Julia Ward Howe and Samuel Gridley Howe), Colored American (James W. Pennington), St. Louis Observer (Elijah P. Lovejoy), National Anti-Slavery Standard (Lydia Maria Child), Palladium of Liberty (Charles Langston), National Watchman (Henry Highland Garnet), Pittsburgh Saturday Visiter and St. Cloud Visiter (Jane Grey Swisshelm), Cleveland True Democrat and the Aliened American (William Howard Day) and Pennsylvania Freeman (John Greenleaf Whittier).
These newspapers were published locally but received support from the national Anti-Slavery Society. They included speeches from Radical Republicans in Congress, passages from sermons, excerpts from slave narratives, reports on anti-slavery meetings and details of future events. Editors of these newspapers were often attacked and on 7th November, 1837, Elijah P. Lovejoy was killed while attempting to protect his printing press from a pro-slavery mob.