Edited jointly by Benjamin Pelham and his brother, Robert Pelham, Jr., along with William H. Anderson, Walter H. Stowers, and later Byron G. Redmond, the Plaindealer began publication in 1883. The editors sought to foster trust and promote civil rights for African Americans in Detroit and southern Michigan. After the paper ceased publication in 1894, the editors went on to pursue careers in public life. Benjamin Pelham came to be one of the most influential African-American leaders in Detroit.