The Tomahawk

The Tomahawk (White Earth, Minn.) 1903-1926 Browse the title

After the demise of the White Earth Progress in 1889, Gus H. Beaulieu launched another weekly newspaper on April 9, 1903, the White Earth Tomahawk. The four-page, six-column newspaper proclaimed itself the official organ of the Minnesota Ojibwe, and its motto was "Truth before Favor." Beaulieu wrote, "Believing the pen is mightier than the sword we start on the war-path with a paper tomahawk."

Although the surviving copies of the Tomahawk are quite scattered, it is possible to reconstruct the history of the many hands involved in publishing the newspaper over its lifetime. With Lee Logan serving as editor, Beaulieu sold the newspaper in 1905 to F.J. Smith, whose name disappears in connection with the Tomahawk sometime before 1909. A.L. Dorsey then owned and edited the newspaper until at least 1911. By 1915, Gus H. Beaulieu was again editor and publisher, promising "justice and fair dealing for every Indian who desires to become a good citizen." Beaulieu expanded his vision of equal rights to include all American Indians of the United States. He increased the newspaper to eight pages, giving space to world news, fiction, fashion, and travel features. After Beaulieu’s death on August 8, 1917, interest in the newspaper was purchased by a group of White Earth businessmen who called themselves the Tomahawk Publishing Company. The group’s largest interest holder, Benjamine L. Fairbanks, bought the Tomahawk in March of 1920; however, his death in late 1921 placed the newspaper in probate. Lee Logan became editor once again and continued in the roles of publisher and editor until his death on April 12, 1926.

The Fairbanks estate sold the Tomahawk to L.A. Weston in late 1926. He moved the Tomahawk to nearby Callaway, Minnesota, in January 1927. Although the newspaper was listed as a continuation of the original White Earth Tomahawk, it had changed considerably. The Callaway Tomahawk covered some White Earth news but lost its original political focus and added more local Callaway news. The last issue was published on June 2, 1927.


Littlefield, Daniel F. American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984.