I just a copy of Sol White's History Of Colored Base Ball in the mail and I'm going to try and get through it in the next day or so. Of course, the first thing I did when it arrived was to go to the index and look for "St. Louis" and, taking a quick first look through the book, I've found a few interesting things.
Left fielder. Wm. Whyte was born in Providence, April 10th, 1860, has played his position with the St. Louis Black Stockings to his great credit; he also played with the Resolutes of Boston, as left fielder and change pitcher, and made some of the finest catches that ever was seen on the Boston grounds. He joined the Cuban Giants in the season of 1885, and traveled through the South with them during the winter season, and now is in excellent condition.Center fielder. Richmond Robinson was born in Washington, April 1, 1856, has played baseball with all the principal colored teams in the country. With the famous St. Louis Black Stockings in 1883, and '84-'85, with the Altoonas, and he is a general player, good base runner and heavy batter.
The above came from a sketch of the Cuban Giants that White wrote for the Trenton Times in 1886.
There's also a mention of the St. Louis Browns in the book. White wrote in 1930 that the Cuban Giants, during the 1886 and 1887 season, "met every big league club in the country, with the exception of the St. Louis Browns, and held their own with them." Of course, what White failed to mention was that the Browns and Cuban Giants had arranged an exhibition game in 1887 but the Browns' players refused "to play against negroes."
In that same piece from 1930, White wrote "While the East was coming along with its baseball activities, out in the West the old game was only a stride or two behind their eastern brothers. Indeed, if it came to honors being conferred on the first colored team of note, although not a professional club, the Black Diamonds of St. Louis, Mo., would have to be conceded the palm. They were given considerable publicity by the white press of the country as far back as 1884."
While I'm not certain, it's possible that White, writing fifty years after the fact, was confusing the St. Louis Maroons, who were commonly called the Black Diamonds and were formed in 1884, with another club. It's also possible (and, now that I think about it, likely) that this is a reference to the Black Stockings and White just had the names mixed up. This is something that demands a closer look.
The photo at the top of the post is of the 1887 Cuban Giants and William T. White (not to be confused with William E. White) is in the first row at the far left. There's a much better photo of White in the book, which I'm looking forward to reading.