The Caucasian of Alexandria, Louisiana, was founded in April 1874, one year after the infamous Colfax Massacre (or Colfax Riot) in neighboring Grant Parish, a political conflict that resulted in the death of as many as 150 African Americans. Bearing the motto “Truth Crushed to Earth Will Rise Again,” the Caucasian reported on the prosecution of the massacre’s white participants and is thought to have been the first newspaper dedicated to the White League, a Reconstruction-era paramilitary organization founded to drive Republicans out of office and intimidate black voters.
The paper’s founder, George Waters Stafford (1844-1890), was an ex-Confederate soldier and commander of the Rapides Parish paramilitary company at the Colfax Massacre. It was co-owned and edited by lawyers Wilbur Fisk Blackman (1841-1923) and Robert Persifer Hunter (1847-1917); the latter became full owner in November 1874 when Stafford was elected to the state legislature. As a campaign paper for the local White Man’s Party, the Caucasian sought to unify white voters and disenfranchise African Americans. Editorials, essays, and excerpts from political speeches repeat much of the anti-black rhetoric of the day. The paper also criticized white Republican leaders both in Louisiana and elsewhere.
Other topics of discussion included immigration and agriculture. There are numerous advertisements for local businesses, as well as occasional marriage notices and obituaries. The first page typically carried literary essays and fiction, some of which was politically or racially charged, such as “The Origin of Man,” a satire on the theories of Charles Darwin, set in the jungles of Africa.
The Caucasian ceased publication in March 1875.