Publication Date

Fall 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English and Comparative Literature


Susan Shillinglaw

Subject Areas

African American Studies.; History, Black.; History, United States.; Literature, American.; Mass Communications.


This thesis addresses the topic of literature of poetry, short stories, travel narratives, and didactic narratives published in the Pacific Appeal and the Elevator newspapers of San Francisco during 1862--1885. Many of the literary writings published in these newspapers were written by residents of San Francisco's African American communities and also residents of other communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. This research not only documents the imaginative writings by African American writers and others interested in the issues facing African American citizens, but it analyzes the trends, structure, tone, themes, imagery, language, and issues during the initial year of each newspaper's operation, 1862 and 1865, and then examines the trends in the years 1875 and 1885.