The Illustrated London News… Beautiful imagery…

September 16, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, as I was searching for an issue for a collector, I was paging through an 1857 issue of The Illustrated London News.  In the midst of all of the intricate black and white sketches I happened upon two full-color double page portraits of what I believed to be women’s fashion of the day… one titled “Town” and the other titled “Country”. Of course, my immediate thought went to the popular American magazine which began in the 1800’s.  However, upon a bit of investigating, I found that the current Town and Country Magazine had a predecessor two hundred years prior to its inception (some of which we have sold). This English version which began in the 1760’s is described as follows by Wikipedia:

“Town and Country Magazine was an 18th-century London-based publication that featured tales of scandals and affairs between members of London’s upper classes. Town and Country Magazine was founded by Archibald Hamilton in 1769. It gained the name ‘Town and Country’ because Hamilton had two offices, one in urban Clerkenwell and one in a rural area near Highgate. In the 1770s there was a dramatic increase in suits brought by men and their wives’ lovers in England. Many people became eager to read transcripts of adultery trials…”.

Yikes!  After reading this, I am no longer sure what I found was describing women’s fashion.

An oddity from 1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg…

September 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I don’t know about you, but if my town was occupied by enemy troops and the battle was ragging all around me, I’m thinking I would likely take up arms and join my fellow compatriots – and a host of my neighbors would certainly do the same. So, when I recently saw the illustration of “John Burns, the only man in Gettysburg, PA, who fought at the battle” on the cover of the August 22, 1863 Harper’s Weekly, I was perplexed. I understand the majority of able-bodied men were likely off to war elsewhere, but to think no one was left to “defend the home-front” other than this one man is a bit confounding. The writer of the corresponding article also took note of this curiosity, and his comments are posted below.

This statement was written shortly after the battle, and often, as time goes on, new information is unearthed. With this in mind, if anyone has information which would refute this claim, please send us a note and we will update this post. Thanks in advance.

Labor Day… the closing of summer…

September 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Growing up, it seemed as if summer was full of fun days.  Not just the daily delights of no school and long warm evenings where you could still see to play until 9pm but, special days as well… holidays filled with picnics and parades and flags fluttering in the breeze.  As a child, each of those festivals seemed the same with some being punctuated by fireworks but all being filled with extended family, community and tables full of family favorites. As I got a bit older, my diligent grandparents helped me to understand the differences in these summer observances… the founding of our one-of-a-kind country being celebrated one day and those who lost their lives defending her being honored on another. In the midst of my growing understanding, I did not quite grasp the importance of Labor Day.  To me it was the last vestige of summer, deserving of celebration. Fortunately, even though my elders did not instill in me a full understanding of this final summer festival, they did foster in me a strong work ethic and so, in time, I came to realize the tremendous importance of honoring those who toiled and labored to build this grand country and continue to sustain her.  With these childhood images in mind, I was so delighted to find a New York Times dated June 29, 1894 with a front-page announcement of President Grover Cleveland’s establishment of Labor Day as a National Holiday.  May our flag keep billowing, and may American parents continue to raise up generations who will be willing to labor and sacrifice for her so she may continue to shine.

Announcing: Catalog #322 for September, 2022 – Rare & Early Newspapers for collectors…

September 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

 

September’s catalog (#322) is now available. Also shown below are links to a video featuring highlights from the catalog, our currently discounted newspapers, and recent posts to the History’s Newsstand Blog. Please enjoy.

CATALOG #322 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: North Carolina secedes (in a North Carolina newspaper), a rare colonial title with a Battle of Bunker Hill report, the Emancipation Proclamation on the front page, a Paul Revere engraving in the masthead, the Funding Act of 1790, the Battle of Gettysburg (from a Confederate perspective), and more.

 

Helpful Links to the Catalog:
————–
DISCOUNTED ISSUES – What remains of last month’s discounted issues may be viewed at: Discount (select items at 50% off)
————–

HISTORY’S NEWSSTAND – Recent Posts on the History’s Newsstand Blog may be accessed at: History’s Newsstand

————–

Thanks for collecting with us.

Sincerely,

Guy Heilenman & The Rare & Early Newspapers Team

570-326-1045

[The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.]

If Only They Could Have Known… France Tackles the Panama Canal…

August 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I happened upon a Frank Leslie’s Illustrated newspaper from February 14, 1880. On the front cover was a riveting image of Ferdinand Marie, Comte de Lesseps with his engineers in Panama right before the hard work to build the canal was to begin (see below). As I scanned the faces of the 23 men who joined him, I saw serious contemplation, enthusiasm, apprehension and perhaps a bit of excitement. What I didn’t see was horror, which is what seems to me was in the very near future.  Even glancing through this quick summary from Wiki …

” After two years of surveys, work on the canal began in 1882. However, the technical difficulties of operating in the wet tropics dogged the project. Particularly disastrous were recurrent landslides into the excavations from the bordering water-saturated hills, and the death toll from malaria and yellow fever. In the end, insufficient financial capital and financial corruption ended the project. The Panama Canal Company declared itself bankrupt in December 1888 and entered liquidation in February 1889.”

… I walked away shuddering at the thought of what must have been a fearsome scene. It seems fitting that these brave men are enshrined on the cover of a Leslie’s. Hopefully, I won’t be the only one who pauses to take notice…andexplore.

Frederick Douglass – A true American hero…

August 15, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

I’m currently reading “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”, and I must say, although I have always appreciated his accomplishments and admired him for his perseverance and tenacity as he moved from slavery to freedom, and then on to being a passionate herald for the freedom and equal right of others, over the past few weeks my eyes have been opened to his astounding skills as both a writer and orator. The fact that his cause resonates deep within me makes this revelation even more satisfying.

The quote shown above is from the introduction penned by George L. Ruffin. I couldn’t help but smile upon reading his statement about the value of historic newspapers as primary source material. While I personally prefer the label “contextual-source material”, he certainly seems to grasp the point – and the fact that Douglass himself was a long-time publisher of what we now refer to as rare & early newspapers only adds to the statement’s relevance.

Considering much was also written about (and by) Frederick Douglass in the newspapers of his day, please forgive me if I indulge readers of this blog with related posts over the next few months. At my age, placing the quest to explore more about his life on the backburner would likely be tantamount to tossing it into the recycling bin. Therefore, there is no time like the present. Thanks in advance for your understanding. If anyone would like to contribute a post regarding his life and can tether it to a newspaper (or newspapers) from the past, please be in touch (guy@rarenewspapers.com).

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” – Historic Baseball Coverage…

August 12, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the popular subsets of the Rare & Early Newspapers hobby is the collecting of historic baseball reports (as well as detailed coverage of favorite teams and players from the past). As of the writing of this post, more than 1,000 such issues were available for browsing and/or collecting at:

Baseball Reports and Headlines

One of our staff recently gathered a few issues together and created a one-minute video which we hope you will enjoy:

YouTube player

Snapshot 1822 – Before the last Mohican tugged at our heartstrings…

August 4, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

When one thinks of James Fenimore Cooper they no doubt think of his classic novel, “The Last of the Mohicans” – an extraordinarily compelling account (albeit fictional) of the attack on Fort William Henry during the French and Indian War. However, somewhat lost over time is his highly respected work from 5 years prior which brought him national attention and respect as an American novelist: “The Spy” (another work of historical fiction but set during the American Revolution). While still early in his career, the Feb. 2, 1922 Columbian Centinel had a nice report announcing its release and included a mention of “coming attractions”. It also made reference to his deceased father, a former New York State Judge and Senator. Although not mentioned in the article, the reading of it inspired me to do a little digging at which point I discovered his boyhood home was in the village of Cooperstown, New York, which had been named after his family.

Announcing: Catalog #321 (for August, 2022) – Rare & Early Newspapers for collectors…

July 29, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

 

August’s catalog (#321) is now available. Also shown below are links to a video featuring highlights from the catalog, our currently discounted newspapers, and recent posts to the History’s Newsstand Blog. Please enjoy.

CATALOG #321 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: the most-desired masthead from the 18th century (Franklin’s “Join or Die”), a 1665 Oxford Gazette (predecessor of the London Gazette), the Battle of Gettysburg (the desirable New York Times), a Newsbook from 1664 with American reports, the first newspaper printed in Alaska, Lincoln’s assassination (illustrated), and more.

 

Helpful Links to the Catalog:
————–
DISCOUNTED ISSUES – What remains of last month’s discounted issues may be viewed at: Discount (select items at 50% off)
————–

HISTORY’S NEWSSTAND – Recent Posts on the History’s Newsstand Blog may be accessed at: History’s Newsstand

————–

Thanks for collecting with us.

Sincerely,

Guy Heilenman & The Rare & Early Newspapers Team

570-326-1045

[The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.]

Mike Drop from 1886… Frederick Douglass Leaves Us All Stunned…

July 25, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

The phrase “mike drop” is a trendy phrase in 2022, however, none could hold a candle to Frederick Douglass‘ address to Congress in 1886/1887. The Atlantic Monthly from December 1886 & January 1887 carried his plea, and while I would like to have something to add to his words, I believe I’ll let a portion of his address speak for itself:

“The Principle of slavery, which [The Founding Fathers] tolerated under the erroneous impression that [slavery] would soon die out, became at last the dominant principle and power at the South. It early mastered the Constitution, became superior to the Union, and enthroned itself above the law. Freedom of speech and of the press it slowly but successfully banished from the South, dictated its own code of honor and manners to the nation, brandished the bludgeon and the bowie knife over Congressional debate, sapped the foundations of loyalty, dried up the springs of patriotism, blotted out the testimonies of the fathers against oppression, padlocked the pulpit, expelled liberty from its literature, invented nonsensical theories about master-races and slave-races of men, and in due season, produced a Rebellion fierce, foul, and bloody. This evil principle again seeks admission into our body politic. It comes now in shape of a denial of political rights to four million loyal colored people. The South does not now ask for slavery. It only asks for a large degraded caste, which shall have no political rights. This ends the case. Statesmen, beware what you do. The destiny of unborn and unnumbered generations is in your hands. Will you repeat the mistake of your fathers, who sinned ignorantly?”

Some may want to join me in picking our jaws up off of the floor as we stand in awe of a man who, as a former slave, (self) educated himself to such heights, ironically, using The Columbian Orator which was also used as a textbook by other familiar names: Ralph Waldo Emerson (philosopher/poet), Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), and Horace Greely (editor/publisher of the New York Tribune) to name a few.

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