Gross, Tabbs(born: 1820 - died: 1880) Tabbs Gross was the first African American to publish and own a newspaper in Arkansas. The Arkansas Freeman newspaper was published 1869-1870 in Little Rock. Tabbs Gross was also a lawyer; he was admitted to practice law in 1869 by the Arkansas Supreme Court. He ran unsuccessfully for several political offices, including that of an Arkansas Legislator. He served as vice president of the Liberal Republican state convention in Little Rock in 1869. Tabbs Gross was active in the Republican Party and fought to gain a higher position within the party. He was outspoken about the party's indifference to its African American members and the needs of African Americans in general.
Tabbs Gross was a former slave who was born in Germantown, KY. He purchased his freedom and moved to Cincinnati, OH where he helped other slaves to escape through the Underground Railroad and to get housing. He served with Company C of the Black Brigade in Cincinnati during the U.S. Civil War. In 1863, he was listed in the city directory as an Intelligence Officer. Tabbs Gross had been a free man since before the war; on January 8, 1851, he married Elizabeth Jane Turner in Hamilton, OH. He moved to Arkansas in 1867, but maintained a residence in Cincinnati, OH, where he returned to practice law starting in 1870.
For more information see the Tabbs Gross webpage at The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture website; the 1870 U.S. Census; The State of Ohio, County Marriage Records; p.24 in The Black Brigade of Cincinnati: being a report of its labors and a muster-roll of its members...; p.71 in Henderson and Albertson's Little Rock City Directory 1871; and the Cincinnati city directories starting with Williams' Cincinnati Directory, June 1863 through Williams' Cincinnati Directory, June 1879.