Where History Comes Alive (Part 1)… Savannah in the mid-18th century…

November 26, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

People often say a trip to Israel brings Scripture to life as you walk in the same dust Christ did.  Now that is a journey at the top of my bucket list!  Until I get to check this one off, living on the East Coast gives me many similar opportunities albeit to a lesser degree. Standing on a spot where people who exuded bravery and conviction stood so many years before, is a moving and inspirational experience every time.  One of my favorite locations is Savannah Ga.  The Historical District has something for everyone, from history overviews and current culture to stunning architecture and sweeping landscapes. Reading stories of those 1st fearless Georgia Settlers in an APPLEBEE’S ORIGINAL WEEKLY JOURNAL dated September 15, 1733 brings the dreams of James Edward Oglethorpe to life and motivates a lover of history to embrace the challenges of their time.  Moments like this help to satiate my passion to see the world until I can complete my bucket list.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Louisa May Alcott – a sad, but poetic death…

November 22, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

Today I found a gem as I was sorting through some volumes from the late 19th century.  While this one might not have broad appeal, it was the highlight of my archive adventures.  Within The Woman’s Journal dated March 10, 1888  is following editorial note by Lucy Stone:

To the editors of the WOMAN’s JOURNAL the death of Miss Alcott comes with a sense of personal bereavement.  From the beginning she was a steadfast friend of the suffrage cause.  She was always ready to serve it.  Her cordial endorsement of it in many letters sent to be read at suffrage conventions, her repeated reaffirmation of her increasing conviction of the need of woman suffrage has been again and again like a tower of strength, or like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.  Millions of people on both sides of the ocean, whose lives her pen has enriched and made better, will hear with pain and sorrow of her untimely death.

From her home state newspaper, to which she was a regular subscriber, the details of her life and sudden departure from it are particularly poignant: “It is difficult, within the limits of an obituary notice, to do justice to a genius so rare and a character so lovely,”  writes one contributor.  However, the anecdotes and details that fill the paper  attempt to do just that as they chronicle her life, her career, and the many efforts to enrich the lives of those around her.  The author of Little Women, Little Men, Eight Cousins and so many other popular titles, became sick while visiting her father, Amos Bronson Alcott — the Transcendentalist teacher, writer, woman’s suffrage advocate and philosopher.  To him, while a mere breath removed from her last, Louisa wrote,  “Surely dear father some good angel or elf dropped a talisman in your cradle that gave you force to walk thro life in quiet sunshine while others groped in the dark…”.

Sadly, it was on the morning of his funeral that she passed away.  Following the obituary for her father, the three-column tribute to the beloved author begins with a statement that is heart wrenching in its simplicity.

“Louisa May Alcott is no more.”

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Fascinating Conspiracies (Episode 2) – Secret Societies in the 18th century…

November 15, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

I have a dear friend who, while attending Penn State in the late 70’s, became intrigued with The Illuminati and spent countless hours in the library pouring over microfiche of old newspapers for insight into this Secret Society which made it’s way from Europe to the Colonies during America’s founding years.  Fast forward 40 years…

Now I spend my days surrounded by old newspapers… probably some of the very same titles and dates my friend was digging through (albeit electronically), so it should come as no surprise the following snippet in an issue of THE GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE for February, 1798 caught my attention (see below).  A quick mention to my friend is certainly in order and perhaps a bit more perusing of other issues on Secret Societies.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Last Words Can Say it All… John Hancock’s thankful heart…

November 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

What do the following sayings have in common: “A man’s last words reflect what he held most dear”… “He finished well”… “He ran with perseverance the race set before him”?

I would argue, based on a fascinating issue of the Columbian Centinel (Oct. 9, 1793) I found today, they are all applicable to John Hancock. What began as intrigue with a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving by this notable Founding Father, turned to a swell of warmth as I noticed his death announcement within the same issue. At the end of his life, he was clearly focused on giving thanks: “Where as it is the Duty of Men, as well in their social, as individual state, religiously to consider the dispensation of God’s Holy Providence – To acknowledge with gratitude, their obligations to Him and their entire dependence upon Him: I have therefore thought fit, by and with Advice and Confident of the the council, to appoint, and I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Seventh Day of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving throughout this Commonwealth…”

His well-run race, punctuated by an abundance of highlights along the way, stands as an emphatic reminder to never take thankfulness for granted. While it is easy to assume gratitude has always been in the hearts of men, truth is, its more rare than one would hope and needs to be proclaimed more often. In John Hancock’s case, his words and deeds proclaimed the overflow of his heart long before he signed off on this life and entered the next.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

A Tale of Two Sides – Belle Boyd vs. Elizabeth Van Lew…

November 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

How often, as we are investigating the Civil War, do we come upon stories about families divided… brother fighting brother?  The question was a bit rhetorical as any of us who have spent much time studying the Civil War knows, it was a tale of two sides and fractured relationships.  Recently, I came upon a New York Times with fascinating coverage of an infamous female spy for the Confederacy named Belle Boyd.  The issue describes her as follows:  “Bello Boyd… being about twenty-five years of age, of sorrel hair, piercing gray eyes, closely knit form, strictly virtuous, very energetic, and decidedly ‘gabby’ “. The article goes on to say: “Her father, who is in moderate circumstances, was unable to endow her with a ‘magnificent fortune’, or ‘ superior education’. So much for this Southern heroine; and yet she has not failed to accomplishing her full share of treason, having undoubtedly betrayed our forces at Front Royal, whereby the First Maryland Regiment was so badly cut up”. Wikipedia states: “Boyd was arrested at least six times but somehow evaded incarceration. By late July 1862, detective Allan Pinkerton had assigned three men to work on her case.” [see the image below for more]

Intrigued by this Confederate femme fatale, I began to look for a Union counterpart.  It wasn’t long before I came upon, Elizabeth Van Lew.  Elizabeth lived in Richmond Va. but was born into a family with abolitionist ties and was educated in Philadelphia, the city where her abolitionist grandfather had been mayor. Working as a nurse to Union soldiers imprisoned in Richmond, she aided prisoners trying to escape and listened for information she could pass on to the Union Army. General Grant said of Van Lew, “You have sent me the most valuable information received from Richmond during the war.” On July 14, 1866, Harper’s Weekly covered this amazingly brave woman and her undercover work for the north.

Feeling as if I have just scratched the surface with these woman spies… perhaps there’ll be more to come.

 

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Snapshot 1801… The importance of newspapers…

November 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

In 1803 the well-respected Columbian Centinel and Massachusetts Federalist dated August 19, 1801 printed an article affirming a new publication, the Country Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia), and made a powerful statement regarding the importance of newspapers which we have shown below. This declaration is reflective of new president Thomas Jefferson’s comments regarding newspapers from back in the late 1780’s:

“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.”

If either the publisher of the Columbian Centinel or Thomas Jefferson were alive today, do you think they’d feel the same? Please share your thoughts.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Snapshot 1909… The American Spirit takes flight…

November 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

It is easy to assume the 1903 “first flight” in Kitty Hawk instantly made Wilbur and Orville Wright household names, but the truth is this momentous event was ignored by many newspapers, and even when it did appear the coverage was minimal and often buried on an inside page. Sadly, this trend continued for several years, with the newspapers in France being a notable exception. However, continued progress with their experiments in flight, coupled with the setting of one record after another, eventually led to them receiving the recognition they deserved. Although a hair more than 5 years after their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, the January 2, 1909 Scientific American, published shortly after the Wright brothers won the first-ever Michelin Cup, included one of the most eloquent tributes of the era – words which embody what was once meant by “The American Spirit”, and continue to stand tall as a recipe for meaningful achievement.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

WW2 Era Newspapers Found In The Attic… Are They Worth Anything?

October 25, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

Perhaps the most common inquiry we receive concerns newspapers from World War II found in parents’ attics. As generations pass it is incumbent upon their children to sort out what is of value and what is not.

The list which follows is a guide for determining what to keep and what to dispose.

In general, there are only about 15 events which are sufficiently notable to excite most collectors. Those event not included on the list are considered “generic” or “atmosphere” issues which, although reporting much on the war, are generally not significant enough to draw the attention of the serious collector.

It’s worth noting that graphic appeal tends to trump title. Example: the New York Times remains one of the more notable newspapers of the 20th century, but their headlines were typically conservative, lacking any drama, flash, or graphic appeal. Small town newspapers with dramatic graphic appeal will be more desired.

Issues which fit the events and criteria noted below could well have collector value. Feel free to send the exact title and date of each along with photos of the entire front pages (showing margins) to: info@rarenewspapers.com

Note: Perhaps the mostly commonly reprinted issue of the war is the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of Dec. 7, 1941. Most of the issues on the market are the common reprint, still sold at the souvenir stand at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Honolulu. See this blog post on how to tell a reprint from the genuine issue.

Top 15 events of World War II:

1) Germany invades Poland, 9/1/1939

* This event marked what many regard as the start of the war. Although not an American
event, most collectors want this report among their holdings.

2) Attack on Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941

* Japan’s naval air force attacks military bases on Oahu, Hawaii, thus thrusting the United States into the war. The more dramatic and shocking the wording in a banner headline the better.

3) U.S. Declares war against Japan, 12/8/1941

* Just one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States officially declares war against Japan, formalizing America’s entry in the war in the Pacific.

4) U.S. declares war against Germany & Italy, 12/11/1941

* The United States enters the war in Europe as well, just 3 days after declaring war against Japan.

5) Battle of Midway, 6/4-7/1942

* Just six months after Pearl Harbor the United States scores a major naval victory in the Pacific against Japan. Being a multi-day event, collectors would pursue the best headline near the end of the battle reporting the American victory.

6) D-Day, 6/6/1944

* With Axis forces controlling much of Western Europe, this day marks the offensive of the Allied forces in re-taking conquered countries. The word “Invasion” is desired somewhere within the headlines.

7) Battle of the Bulge, 12/16/1944

* This was the last major German offensive on the Western Front taking place from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. Issues near the end of the battle which reported an Allied victory would be more desired.

8) Photo of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 2/23/1945

* If there was a single, iconic photo of American successes in the Pacific it would be this Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. Many newspapers included it in their editions of a day or two later, many did not. Better if the photo is on the front page, as many newspapers—when using it—did so on an inside page.

9) Death of FDR, 4/12/1945

* Although arguably not a true war event, the death of the President who was Commander-In- Chief of the military through almost the entirety of the war cannot be missed as a notable event.

10) Death of Hitler, 4/30/1945

* Hitler’s suicide deep inside a Berlin bunker essentially ended the war in Europe as just days later terms of surrender were agreed to by Nazi officials. Most newspapers reported his death on May 2, and a few published the Nazi propaganda report that the Fuehrer: “…has fallen in battle at the head of the heroic defenders of the Reich capital…”. The blunt words: “Hitler Dead” are more dramatic than “Death of Hitler”.

11) V-E Day, 5/7/1945

* The official end of the War in Europe. This was one event where newspapers often used patriotic embellishments to celebrate the victory, some multi-colored, some incorporating war photos within letters, etc.

12) Atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima, 8/6/1945

* With the war in the Pacific still raging, the first atomic bomb ever deployed was dropped over the city of Hiroshima. Some newspaper down-played the horrific affects of the bomb. More desired are headlines which more accurately reported the incredible devastation.

13) Atomic bomb drop on Nagasaki, 8/9/1945

* Just 3 days after Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb was dropped, which prompted the Japanese to pursue surrender terms. Again, bluntly accurate reporting in the headline is desired over a more subdued report.

14) V-J Day, 8/15/1945

* Terms for surrender were agreed upon, and the world announced the end of World War II. Much like V-E Day, newspapers typically became very creative in patriotically celebrating the end of the war. The more creative the front page the better.

15) Formal surrender of Japan, ending WWII, 9/2/1945

* Signing of the surrender terms happened on board the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Although most collectors would consider V-J Day as the end of the war, and in many respects it was, collectors often pursue this event as well.

There are also 2nd-tier items which could be collectible, but the extent of coverage and graphic appeal are paramount, and in some cases the title/publisher is essential. The list below contains such items, and will be updated from time-to-time.

Pre-War

Nuremberg Laws enacted, 9/15/1935

Jews no longer permitted to own property (various)

Opening of Concentration Camps (various)

Kristallnacht,  11/9-10/1938

During The War

Fake Report of attack on Los Angeles, “Battle of Los Angeles” (2/25/1942)

Bismarck Sunk, 5/27/2941

Star of David Badge, 9/7/1941

Doolittle Raid , 4/18-20/1942

USS Lexington Lost, 6/12/1942

Bataan Death March, 1/28/1944

JFK PT Boat, 6/11/1944

MacArthur returns to the Philippines, 10/20/1944

Post-War

USS Missouri – Peace Treaty Signed, 9/2/1945

Louis Zamperini Found, 9/9/1945

Patton’s Death, 12/21/1945

 

 

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Fascinating Conspiracies (Episode 1) – The Lincoln Conspirators…

October 21, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a person really is a philosopher. So it is with the author of the profound statement, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”. Philosophical or lyrical, it is the perfect jumping off point for a short series on more obscure conspiracies in American History.  Sure, we have all heard of John Wilks Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald.  Perhaps we have even heard of George Atzerodt, who conspired with Booth to assassinate Lincoln and Johnson however, there are others that will most defiantly leave you a bit slack-jawed if not curious. To begin our series, let’s start with our 16th President and those who colluded to bring about his demise. Booth’s main conspirators, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Lewis Powell and Mary Surratt had their own press coverage, even if they were not quite as infamous as the malicious actor Booth, but reading their confessions and stories can bring this horrific event into clearer focus.  So, hopefully you will enjoy reading these Lincoln Conspiracy issues… and, until next time, remember the wise words of Kurt Cobain and keep looking over your shoulder.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

All Things Nautical… 1773…

October 18, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

In our thoroughly modern world, many of us chuckle when we see photos of Bigfoot or The Loch Ness Monster gracing the front of a supermarket tabloid. However, in 1773, Gentleman’s Magazine, a more reputable publisher, featured several seafaring articles including one which stated: “…a most hideous sea monster was seen”. Not to worry, they did balance out this salacious coverage of all things nautical with a more noble seven page article on : “Capt. Wallis’s Voyage round the World”. Pick your passion, sea monsters or great explorers. Both awaken the imagination and draw our interest.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Next Page »