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In 1908 retired army Colonel, Allen Allensworth, and Professor William Payne established the all black community of Allensworth in Tulare County. “Allensworth is the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.” (From the California Department of Parks and Recreation website.)
The Sentiment Maker was printed in May 1912 by the Pacific Farming Company of Los Angeles. It is an eight-page promotional newspaper which was used to attract residents for the town of Allensworth. It was mostly distributed to the men of Colonel Allensworth’s old regiments, and focused on attracting black soldiers and their families to Allensworth.
The title of the newspaper refers to Colonel Allensworth’s belief that the achievements at Allensworth would create favorable public sentiment. “The settlement of Allensworth would aid by example, in making sentiment favorable to the race.” (From Allensworth, a Study in Social Change, a dissertation by Eleanor Mason Ramsey.)
The Sentiment Maker, the dissertation, and many original documents from Allensworth are in the Annie Mitchell History Room at the Visalia Library.
This article first appeared in the March 2015 issue of the Los Tulares, the quarterly bulletin of the Tulare County Historical Society.
You can read all eight pages of the Sentiment Maker on the Tulare County Library website.