The Crusading Newsman Who Taught Americans to Give to the Poor

In the 1890s, Louis Klopsch’s Christian Herald Insisted That Philanthropy Was Not Only for the Elite, but Was a Duty for Everyday Citizens

On May 10, 1900, the Navy steamship Quito sailed from Brooklyn, New York, to deliver 5,000 tons of corn and seeds to the “starving multitudes” of India. This “great work of rescue” was the brainchild of Louis Klopsch, proprietor of the Christian Herald—the most influential religious newspaper in the United States. Since his purchase of the publication in 1890, the enterprising Klopsch and his editorial partner, the charismatic Brooklyn preacher Thomas De Witt Talmage, had combined scriptural injunctions about charity with emerging technologies of modern journalism—gripping headlines, heartrending reporting, …

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