04 July 2020

The Broad Ax

July 4 1896 Edition of the Broad Ax 
Happy 4th of July!

This image was featured in the July 4 1896 edition of the Broad Ax newspaper of SLC.

Published between 1895 and 1899, the Broad Ax was a Black-owned newspaper, one of four Black newspapers in SLC at the time.

Published and edited by Julius F. Taylor (1853-1934) and his wife, Anna Emogne Taylor (1857-1932), the Broad Ax focused on politics and race relations.

Julius endeavored to promote the virtues of the Democratic Party to the Black population at a time when the majority supported the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln.

In this edition of the Broad Ax, Julius endorsed Democrat William Jennings Bryan for President, one of the earliest newspapers in the country to do so. Julius believed that Bryan would fight for the working man against the wealthy.

Julius F. Taylor was born into slavery in Virginia. After the Civil War he lived in several cities including Philadelphia, St. Paul, Fargo, and Chicago.

In 1895 the Taylors moved to SLC for the dry climate which would better suit Emogene’s health. Julius immediately started publishing the Broad Ax and Emogene set up an art studio in their home at 710 S Main SLC.

The Broad Ax was never a profitable endeavor in SLC and Julius’s outspoken nature eventually wore on many advertisers.

In July 1899 the Taylors moved back to Chicago, which had a much larger Black population; Julius continued to publish the Broad Ax in Chicago where he found a more receptive audience to his writings.

Source: “Julius F. Taylor and the Broad Ax of SLC” by Michael S. Sweeney, UHQ V77 N3.

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