Who’s Who in Newspapers? Joseph A. Turner edition…

February 23, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The 4th installment of Who’s Who in Newspapers:

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton… Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Vince Lombardi… John Wayne, James Dean, Katharine Hepburn – these individuals, among many, are easily recognizable. However, there are quite a few historical figures who, while having adorned the pages of many a newspaper, are far from household names. Such is the case with Joseph A Turner. Who is he? What was he known for? When did he live?

Mr. Turner just happens to be the publisher of what is believed to be the only Confederate newspaper printed/published on a Southern Plantation: The Countryman. He was the owner of Turnwold Plantation, located about 9 miles from Eatonton, Georgia – of Chick-fil-A, J.C.H. (see below), and The Color Purple fame.

As if this distinction were not enough, he took on Joel Chandler Harris – the eventual famed author of the Uncle Remus, Br’er Rabbit, and Br’er Fox stories, as an apprentice at the age of 14 – and trained him to serve as the typesetter for the newspaper.

Whenever we post an installment of “Who’s Who in Newspapers,” we typically provide a link to a chronological listing of newspapers which have information regarding the notable person in question. In this case, however, the newspapers are extremely rare, and while we do (at the time of this post) have a handful of issues, in this instance our link simply goes to a sample issue of this title:

THE COUNTRYMAN, by Joseph A. Turner


Christmas Day… Not what one might expect…

December 24, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Over the years we have written various Christmas-themed posts for the 25th (or 24th) of December. Many of these (and a few extras) may be viewed at Christmas-Themed Posts. However, almost by accident, as I was preparing for this year I happened to notice that the “reason for the season” and what has appeared on the pages of many newspapers published on Christmas don’t necessarily correlate. Before accessing the following link (which will take you to a chronological listing of such issues we have listed on our website – most of which are no longer available), think back through the past 300-400 years and try to come up with a handful events which were reported on Christmas morning. Once done, go to the link to see if you were successful. Enjoy – oh, and Merry Christmas.

Christmas Morning Newspapers

The Traveler… in a heart-beat…

December 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this month I traveled to Russell, Kansas, via the Russell Daily News dated December 4, 1967. The news making the headlines was “Heart Transplant Appears Success”.  “Doctors with crossed fingers today tended a middle-aged man given a young woman’s heart and predicted ‘pretty good’ chances of success for history’s first cardiac transplant operation. The patient’s wife called the operation a miracle…”

Unfortunately due to the medication that was used to suppress his body to keep it from rejecting the heart caused him to become susceptible to illness and he died from double pneumonia eighteen days later with the heart functioning normally.

~The Traveler

“Believe It Or Not” – 1866 edition…

October 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

While browsing a set of rare Daily Wisconsin Union’s from 1866, I came across an interesting set of articles within the December 29, 1866 issue which seemed appropriate for Halloween – although I’m sure Charles Dickens would beg to differ. Please enjoy the following stories involving ghosts and dreams:

Feel free to also peruse our Halloween-themed blogs and listings.

An absolutely bizarre death report from 1911…

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mark Twain is credited with posing: ““Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” If a report our staff discovered on the back page of a Fitchburg Sentinel for October 28, 1911 is any indication… score one for Mr. Twain. View the photo below to see if you agree.

The Traveler… inhumanity at its worst…

August 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Today’s travels took me to Gloucester, England by the way of The Glocester Journal dated August 17, 1767. I found a very horrific report on the barbaric treatments that Elizabeth blog-8-21-2017-barbaricBrownrigg did to the girl apprentices. She had beaten the one girl so viciously that, even though she had been found, the doctors were not able to save her life.  “On Sunday morning one of the unfortunate girls who were cruelly beaten, and otherwise most barbarously treated by the their mistress… of the wounds she received from there said inhuman mistress… when it appeared by the evidence of the of the surviving girl, that, about a year and a half ago, the deceased was put apprentice, and was upon trial about a month, during which she eat and drank as the family did; that soon after her mistress, Elizabeth Brownrigg, began to beat and ill-treat the deceased, sometimes with a walking-cane, at other times with a horsewhip or a postillion’s whip… and beat her with a whalebone riding-whip on several parts of her body, and with the butt-end, divers times about the head, the blood gushing from her head and other parts of her body;…” A neighbor hearing noises from the lower area of the house had her journeyman investigate it and that is how she was found.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… must have been a slow news day…

August 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I journeyed today to London, England via The Post Boy dated August 8, 1717.  I found in the news from Paris that “On Wednesday last, about blog-8-7-2017-king-fallsNine o’Clock at Night, a small Accident befell the King, who being gone to be, tumbled off of it, upon the Floor… And tho’ he receiv’d no other Hurt, than rubbing the Skin off one of his little Fingers, the whole Court was put into a Fright… The Physicians were sent for, who could find no Hurt, but order’d him however, to be chased with Spirit of Wine…”

It must have been a slow news day if falling out a bed and receiving a skinned finger makes the big news! Hmmm, maybe the King had some of the “Spirit of Wine” prior to his going to bed as well? Food for thought!

~The Traveler

Mid-18th century math challenges found in Gentleman’s Magazines…

July 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Two weeks ago, as we were exploring the varied content to be found in 18th and 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines, we took time to focus on the monthly mathematical challenges the publisher would serve up to the subscribers. At the time we provided our readers with a set of challenges from an issue dated May, 1768. Admitting they were a bit difficult, the following week, along with the available solutions which appeared in the August issue, we provided yet another set of mathematical exercises. The results to this 2nd set are shown below. Whether it is content covering the (now) historical events of the day, book reviews, obituaries, poetry, maps, plates (diagrams), and yes, even mathematical challenges, 18th and 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines never fail to deliver on a truly contemporary experience. As we’ve often said (slightly revised): “History (and poetry, and book reviews, and discoveries, and ____) are never more fascinating than when read from the day they were first reported.”

Solutions to the May, 1768 Gentleman’s Magazine’s math exercises…

July 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week we posted a set of math exercises which were provided in the May, 1768 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine. Today we post the solutions (see below). Understanding that the set of problems were a bit cryptic to the 21st century mind, the bottom of the solutions below provides yet another set of problems to explore – which appear a bit more straight-forward. We’ll post the solutions to these next Thursday. Before you throw in the towel, don’t forget the famous words of W.E. Hickson: “If at first you don’t succeed…”

The Traveler… the loss of a first…

July 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I traveled today to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the means of The Pennsylvania Gazette of July 16, 1767. Within the issue I found the report blog-7-17-2017-william-pennabout the death of the first child ever born in Philadelphia. “At Kennet, in Chester County, the 5th Instant, died JOHN KEY, in the 85th Year of his Age, and the next Day was interred in the Burial Place belonging to the People called Quakers, in the Township, attended by a large Number of reputable People, his Neighbours, and Acquaintance, —- He was born in a Cave, long afterwards known by the Name of Penny-Pot, near Race-street, and WILLIAM PENN, our first Proprietor, gave him a Lot of Ground, as a Compliment on his being the first Child born in this City… His Constitution was very healthy till about 80, when he was seized with the Palsy, and continued weakly till his Death, —- About 6 Years ago he walked on Foot from Kennet to Philadelphia in one Day, which is near 30 Miles…”

He sounded like a very remarkable man.

~The Traveler

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