To Colored Professionals. - A good catcher and good left hand pitcher are wanted for the Brown Stockings, of St. Louis. A good salary will be given for the season. Address Douglas Smith, 109 North 5th street, St. Louis, Mo.
-New York Clipper, April 8, 1871
The St. Louis Base Ball Club, composed of men with money, has undertaken to pay the traveling expenses of a strong nine of colored baseballists to travel through the Eastern States early 1871. They desire the address of the secretaries of colored clubs in the United States North.
-Daily Observer (Utica, NY), November 29, 1870
As to the question of professionalism, which is what interested Richard, it's not surprising to see a professional baseball club in St. Louis in 1871. What is surprising is that it was an openly professional club. Certainly, by 1867, St. Louis clubs were compensating their players in some form. By that time, they had enclosed grounds and were charging for admission. Money was being made. Also, you had players jumping from club to club beginning at about the same time, implying that players were being induced to change clubs. Half the Empire Club was working for the St. Louis Fire Department, whose chief just happened to be the president of the club. St. Louis ballplayers were getting paid in the late 1860s and there are hints to this effect in both the local and national press. Nobody came right out and said it but guys were getting paid. And the black players were no exception. Interestingly, it appears that they were more honest and open about it than their white counterparts.