The Traveler… treaty ratified…

April 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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Blog-4-20-2015-Andrew-Jackson-TreatyToday I traveled to Baltimore, Maryland via Niles’ Weekly Register of April 22, 1815.  There I found significant coverage on the Battle of New Orleans as the end of the War of 1812 was drawing to the end. Also within the content was “…Copy of a letter from major general Jackson to secretary of war, dated New-Orleans, March 16, 1815…  Sir — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th ultimo, advising me of the ratification of the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States. In conformity with your directions, I have forwarded to the officer commanding his Britannic majesty’s forces in this quarter information of that event… I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, ANDREW JACKSON, Maj. gen. commanding.”

Also reported is the battle encounter of the United States’ frigate Constitution and Britannic “ships Cyane and Levant, which she captured after an action of 50 minutes.”

~The Traveler

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Discovering hidden treasure…

April 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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One of the many pleasures of the Rare Newspapers collectable is finding content which was unexpected. The following note from a collecting friend drives this point home:

Blog-2-13-2015-SurrattDear Guy,

Thank you for sending the recent “History’s Newsstand” [newsletter]. Good stuff.

I wanted to share with you, assuming that you are also a history “nut”, a news item that I came across in a recent purchase.

 From the Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, August 9, 1860 (see attached) a mention of a “Miss. A. Surratt” of Prince George’s County (Surrattsville now Clinton, MD.) Although I may never know for sure, the name, place and date seem to match up correctly with Elizabeth Susanna “Anna” Surratt (1843-1904), daughter of Lincoln assassination co conspirator Mary Surratt.

 I became interested in the tragic life of little Anna through my research on the Chapman sisters of Ford’s theater fame.

 Love these old newspapers. Historical goldmines each and every one.

Once again: History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.

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They put it in print… Sons of Liberty…

April 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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Finding reports in centuries-old newspapers which read like they came from today’s papers are always fascinating. They provide interesting evidence that  life today, in many ways, is not necessarily so much different from years ago.

A report in the October 12, 1776 issue of “The Pennsylvania Ledger” newspaper (see below) of Philadelphia contains a very interesting piece which accuses the manipulation of news, reading: “It is astonishing to see daily the insults offered by the Tories…since the news of the skirmish on Long Island; on the first report…congratulate each other…They have the effrontery to assert that it is much worse than reported, that it’s so bad that the Sons of Liberty are afraid to let it be known least the people should be discouraged. Is not this intolerable?…they propagate every intelligence they receive, taking care to calculate it so as to serve their own turn; its beyond a matter of doubt that they keep up a secret correspondence through the colonies in order to comfort one another to keep up their sinking spirits and to propagate falsehoods…” (see).

In light of on-going accusations by political parties today that news reports are manipulated to serve their own interests, it is fascinating to find the same happened during the Revolutionary War so many years ago.Blog-4-13-2015-Sons-of-Liberty

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The Civil War… April, 1865

April 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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What news was reported in April, 1865 – 150 years ago? Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite Blog-4-3-2015-Lincoln-Shotrevealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

April, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (along with much on his funeral), the capture and death of John Wilkes Booth, the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, the Fall of Richmond, and more. Enjoy!

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The Traveler… Too Much Pain and Suffraging…

April 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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Today I traveled to Fairmont, West Virginia, by the means of The Fairmont Times dated April 6, 1915. There I found a front page photo of Jess Willard who had just Blog-4-6-2015-Pain-and-Suffragebeaten world boxing champion Jack Johnson in the 26th round by a knock-out. This match held in Havana, Cuba, was the longest heavy-weight title fight of the 20th century. Jack Johnson was quoted “Fought hard enough to whip ten ordinary men.” There were reports that Johnson had thrown the fight, with Willard’s response being  “If he was going to throw the fight, I wish he’d done it sooner. It was hotter than hell out there.”

And if news of physical suffering was not enough…

Also on the front page is reporting of the upcoming Suffrage Convention: “Suffrage Convention Plans Complete”, which was to be in held in Fairmont.

~The Traveler

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A National calamity… What is one to do?

April 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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What does one do when abruptly ushered into one, if not the, most powerful positions on earth by the untimely death of the President of the United States? Today, in honor of the Easter Holiday Weekend, we reach back to 1841 to see how newly elevated President John Tyler responded when placed in this situation. The following proclamation, which begins in part, “When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize His righteous government over the children of men, to acknowledge His goodness in time past, as well as their own unworthiness, and to supplicate His merciful protection for the future…”, was printed in The Globe, Washington, D.C., April 15, 1841:Blog-4-3-2015-Tyler-Proclamation

Happy Easter from the Rare & Early Newspapers Team

 

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The things we take for granted… Let there be light…

March 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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Hofstra University maintains a Facebook page where staff from their special collections department can post interesting finds. We recently discovered yet another interesting post – this one showing a late 19th century image from a January 14, 1882 issue of Harper’s Weekly.  It sure brings to light one of the joys of the hobby – reading contemporary reactions to inventions and advancements of which we now take for granted. For an interesting historical journey, do a little internet research on the electric battles between Tesla and Edison.

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Yet another discovery… I love this hobby!

March 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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From time-to-time we (Rare & Early Newspapers) talk about one of the joys of the hobby being the unearthing of unexpected “finds”. A few weeks ago this was played out in spades as

Guy Heilenman, President, Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

we learned that the same issue we had sold for under $50 sold at a well-known auction house for well over $5,000 – the price driven by content we did not know was present. While we do our best to discover such hidden gems before offering issues, the reality is, it is nearly impossible to find everything of historical interest and/or collectable value. Some wonder if hearing about such events bothers us. Quite the contrary. This is one of characteristics of collecting old newspapers which make the hobby so enjoyable. While not all “finds” bring financial reward, it is rare to read through a rare newspaper from cover to cover without finding something unexpected beyond the original reason for purchasing – an interesting ad, the mention of a noteworthy name, contemporary viewpoints which add depth to the key content, etc. What fun!

While we won’t mention the exact date or title (that would be too easy), we will say the issue was from the 1760’s and was not American. :)

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They put it in print… The Vietnam Crisis… before it was a crisis…

March 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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One of the attractions of collecting old newspapers is the ability to look at history with the benefit of hindsight. Many times writers were right on the money when it came to predicting events in the future; many times they could not have been more wrong. Both views offer interesting reading.

Not long ago we came across a report of what would become a scar on the military history of the United States, specifically the lengthy war in Vietnam. A “Los Angeles Times” newspaper as early as March 25, 1965, some ten years before the Vietnam War would Blog-3-23-2015-Vietnam-Crisisofficially end (Saigon fell on April 29, 1975) had a headline announcing: “VIET CRISIS GROWS“. This report notes that Red China was committed to sending troops to fight in Vietnam if the Americans persisted in their growing involvement, and that they would: “…fight together with the South Vietnamese people to annihilate the U.S. aggressors.”  This is in response to the event of 3 weeks prior when the first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam, joining a force of 23,000 American “advisers”.  American involvement in the Vietnam War would only continue to grow for another 8 years.

I am sure almost no one who read this newspaper in the spring of 1965 could have guessed the future complexity and duration of American involvement in Southeast Asia. This issue constitutes half of what I would call “bookend newspapers”, or a pair of newspapers which report the beginning and end of noteworthy events.

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Ludicrous advertising in the late 1800’s…

March 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 
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Hofstra University maintains a Facebook page where staff from their special collections department can post interesting finds. We recently discovered the following which illustrates one of the collecting strands of the hobby: sensational (or absurd) advertising:

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