This essay calls for the concerted study of editorship as a distinct mode of cultural expression. Given that the collaborative craft of editors is often invisible, the study of editorship requires attending to the practices, habits, and techniques of editing as themselves historically contingent and significant objects of inquiry. This essay analyzes a cross section of editorial practices in 1862 when a controversy during the Civil War over slavery and emancipation entangled editors from Horace Greeley and Frederick Douglass to their less conspicuous peers at L’Union (a bilingual, Black Creole weekly in New Orleans). These examples reveal the practical language of editorship expressed through serial formats. By reading editing on its own terms, in the patterns of established formats and formal innovations, it becomes possible to envision the broader study of editorship not only for nineteenth-century Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and multilingual print cultures but also in the wider firmaments of literary and cultural history.

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