Fascinating Conspiracies (Episode 1) – The Lincoln Conspirators…

October 21, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Announcing: Catalog #311 (for October, 2021) is now available…

October 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 311 (for October) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items, a selection which includes: the Articles of Confederation, a nice account of Lincoln’s assassination, a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, George Washington is elected President, Winslow Homer’s famous ‘Snap The Whip’, Washington crosses the Delaware, an issue almost entirely devoted to the Lincoln assassination (with a print of Booth), the first newspaper published in Alaska (with Seward’s speech to the citizens of Sitka), an issue with the iconic Uncle Sam print, a Civil War broadside, the famous Hamilton and Burr duel, the creation of the United States Marine Corps, nice content on Lewis & Clark, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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

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

Announcing: Catalog #310 (for September, 2021) is now available…

September 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 310 (for September) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the “Handshake of the Century” (between Jackie Robinson & George Shuba), Edmund Burke’s historic: On American Taxation… First Continental Congress’ appeal, Nice front page reporting on the Custer Massacre, Progressive “Bull Moose” Party is founded in 1912, New York City’s Graffiti artists, “The North Star” becomes “Frederick Douglass’ Paper”, the first convention of clubs: the birth of organized baseball, Lincoln steps upon the national stage… The Cooper Union speech, Synagogues hold memorial services… with much on the assassination & funeral of Lincoln, Extremely early mention of George Washington… French & Indian War, the full text of the Louisiana Purchase, the formation of the Mormon Church, the first full-fledged Broadway musical, and more, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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

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

Daniel Webster – “Defender of the Constitution”…

August 27, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Daniel Webster, “Defender of the Constitution,” needs no introduction to the collectors of Rare & Early Newspapers.  A search of his name on the Rare & Early Newspapers website brings up over 25 active listings (select “view details” to see the Webster content), including an illustration of his residence, the text of his, Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable! speech, and the black-bordered notice of his death.

Among these, however, there is no mention of the six page biography contained in the August 1867 Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.  Prompted by the publication of The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster, this unsigned submission reflects on the character of the great man.  Of greatest impact to me is the refrain that Webster was the same refined, organized, gentleman in private as he was in public.  And, it seems it was his self-proclaimed standard.  “So rigidly had he adhered to the rule he frequently avowed in his lifetime–never to write anything which he would not be willing to see in print the next morning — that scarcely was there a letter which even delicacy could withhold from the public eye.”

I was fortunate to read this account firsthand, to fill in many details in this larger-than-life figure of American history.  His impact covered three presidencies, and his correspondence –saturated with wisdom and reason– was prolific.  That said, I feel compelled to share a larger than usual portion from the actual text.

No view of this man is at all complete unless regard be had to his love of the grand and beautiful in nature…It has been said: “his face warmed to a fine tree as to the face of a friend.”  The most noticeable feature, it may be, of the Correspondence is the general silence that pervades it concerning the author’s own efforts.  While all other tongues are sounding of his exploits, his is still. Or if he breaks the silence, he does so with such moderation and modesty that refinement even could not torture the allusion into a ray of vanity.

Note: Many of his speeches were printed within contemporary newspapers and are often available upon request.

Am I Dating Myself? The B&O Railroad…

August 6, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Raise your hand if you spent hours as a kid playing Monopoly. Raise your hand if you can’t imagine why you spent hours as a kid playing Monopoly. Somehow, back in the day before handheld electronics did more than play music, I loved that game. Nowadays it would seem agonizing to play; however, my interest was peeked by a March 5, 1827 issue of The National Gazette and Literary Register which had: “the founding of the historic B & O Railroad, the first common carrier railroad and the oldest railroad in the United States.” Amazingly, this property is able to be purchased for a mere $200 in a Monopoly game – and just think, B&O was not the only railroad made famous by the world’s longest lasting board game.

Announcing: Catalog #309 (for August, 2021) is now available…

July 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 309 (for August) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: an American broadside with King’s announcement of American freedom, a Philadelphia newspaper from 1729, the Emancipation Proclamation in the N.Y. Herald, a terrific & very graphic issue on the Hindenburg disaster, Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game, front page report on the death of Jesse James, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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

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

A New Term For An Old Happening…

July 26, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

If I asked you what comes to mind when you hear the term “embedded reporter”, most of us would quickly picture some war scene… perhaps Vietnam … perhaps The Gulf War. Few of us would picture a train or “A Canadian Pacific Steamships” and yet, in 1870 an ingenious publisher decided to take a small printing press on board the first Transcontinental Railroad excursion and publish 6 issues westbound and 6 issues eastbound. Printed on a Gordon press in the baggage car, it is considered the very first newspaper composed, printed, & published on a train. Think … 1st embedded reporter. Similarly, in 1939, the PACIFIC EMPRESS was printed and considered “A Newspaper Printed & Published Daily Aboard Canadian Pacific Steamships”. These reporters may not have been dodging bullets behind enemy lines but they did boldly put themselves into harrowing circumstances to give 1st hand accounts covering big events during their lifetime. A fascinating precursor to Geraldo Rivera.

Happy Flag Day!

June 14, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy Flag Day, compliments of Harper’s Weekly and your friends at Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers… History’s Newsstand.

History’s Hidden Gems… President Lincoln, July 4th, 1861…

June 7, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana or, as we history buffs like to say, “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it”.

Lately, I have developed a bit of an obsession with Abraham Lincoln. I am sure there are many who would chuckle and say, “what took her so long?” Granted, I knew all the Lincoln Basics. I have helped my 6 children memorize the Gettysburg Address. I have stood more than once, for more time than my companions were comfortable, gazing in awe at each word on the Lincoln Memorial. But most recently I’ve been struck with wonder when I come across the more obscure, hidden treasures of our 16th President. . . overcome with a sense that his insights into his times may be equally applicable to mine. This last week I heard someone mention a portion of President Lincoln’s speech before Congress on July 4th, 1861. I have shared a portion of it below so you can make your determination as to whether his call to see beyond the surface events, to the heart of the matter, is as relevant today as it was then. If you agree, then we should be a people who remembers our past so we do not repeat it and for those fellow Lincoln lovers out there, let’s keep digging for his more obscure hidden gems.

“It might seem at first thought to be of little difference whether the present movement at the South be called “secession” or “rebellion.” The movers, however, well understand the difference. At the beginning they knew they could never raise their treason to any respectable magnitude by any name which implies violation of law. They knew their people possessed as much of moral sense, as much of devotion to law and order, and as much pride in and reverence for the history and Government of their common country as any other civilized and patriotic people. They knew they could make no advancement directly in the teeth of these strong and noble sentiments. Accordingly, they commenced by an insidious debauching of the public mind. They invented an ingenious sophism, which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps through all the incidents to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the National Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully , withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State. The little disguise that the supposed right is to be exercised only for just cause, themselves to be the sole judge of its justice, is too thin to merit any notice.
With rebellion thus sugar coated they have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than thirty years, and until at length they have brought many good men to a willingness to take up arms against the Government the day after some assemblage of men have enacted the farcical pretense of taking their State out of the Union who could have been brought to no such thing the day before .” ~ Abraham Lincoln, July 4th, 1861

 

Contemplating Memorial Day in light of the last 15 months…

May 31, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m embarrassed. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, I was so consumed by “in the moment” issues I neglected to take the time on Memorial Day to be thankful for “those who have gone before us” – specifically, the men and women who gave their lives so those of us who reside in the United States could live in safety… freedom… hope – in a land where the ideals of the pursuit of happiness, equality, freedom of speech, etc., while not yet fully realized, were and continue to be part an parcel of the dream we call America. Starting with a revisit of a post from a few years ago, this year I’m committed to being more thankful for others and less self-consumed. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the following as much as I have while preparing this post:

Memorial Day… The Blue and the Gray…

We recently discovered an original issue of The Atlantic Monthly for September, 1867, which contained the earliest nationally distributed printing (and maybe the first ever) of ‘The Blue and the Gray,” by Francis Miles Finch. Although Memorial Day had not been officially proclaimed (via General Order #11, May 5, 1868), the practice of placing flowers and wreaths on the tombstones if the fallen was somewhat common. What was uncommon was the act of a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi, which is best described in the preface to Finch’s poem (quoted from the New York Tribune):

“The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than are many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.”

In recognition of Memorial Day, please enjoy the full text of this grand expression of appreciation for those who have fallen in battle – be they blue or gray:

 

Two additional Memorial Day themed posts from the past are:

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

A simple reflection on Memorial Day…

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