The Washington Bee newspaper was published weekly from 1882 through 1922. During its run, it was the oldest secular newspaper in continuous publication in the country. W. Calvin Chase served as editor, beginning a few months after its launch until his death in 1921. In the style of the great 19th-century editors, Chase, a quintessential "race man," used the newspaper to voice his opinions about all issues relating to African Americans.
W. Calvin Chase (1854-1921), a native Washingtonian, was born in his parents' home, which would later serve as the Bee office. He attended John F. Cook's school in the basement of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church.
The Bee's motto, "Honey for Friends, Stings for Enemies," summed up well Chase's approach. He could be exuberant with praise for ideas, individuals, organizations, and businesses with whom he agreed, and extremely caustic about those with whom he disagreed. The Bee was read locally, nationally, and internationally.
Apparently the newspaper was Chase's avocation and law, his vocation. Chase graduated from Howard University Law School and set up in practice at 503 D Street, NW. Nannie Helen Burroughs served as his first clerk.
There were a number of other papers published during the Bee's run — the People's Advocate, the Grit, the Colored American, the Washington Eagle, and the Washington American.
Calvin Chase lived at 1212 Florida Avenue, NW.