Gentleman’s Magazine & Insanity…

August 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Living in a time of health concerns brought on by a previously unknown viral threat brings me a heightened awareness of the historical mysteries recorded in these ledgers from the past.  Advertisements give a clue to the extensive maladies that troubled mankind hundreds of years ago, many of which remain challenges even today.  Liver ailments, gout, yellowed eyes, rashes, sleeplessness, and obesity are just a few things for which patented tonics and trusted treatments abound.  Based on a sampling of papers such as Leslie’s Illustrated, Harper’s Weekly and any of the Wild West titles in the vast Rare & Early Newspapers collection, there is no doubt left that disease is a plague of the human condition.

Nothing, however, seems to baffle and burden society as a whole, and physicians in particular, as diseases of the mind.  And The Gentleman’s Magazine that I pulled out from October of 1808 describes the tension brought about by the ignorance in a field so relevant to our existence.

In particular, the writer addresses Mr. Urban on the unfairness of the societal and ecclesiastical condemnation of suicide, without considering the mitigating circumstances of mental illness.

In consequence of an unusual conflux of suicidal cases occurring nearly together a few months ago, the feelings of Humanity appeared to be much outraged; many calumnious and violent opinions, mingled with false censure, were inserted in our daily prints; the conduct of Juries was the subject of much unqualified condemnation; and al almost entire ignorance of the true state of the awful cases brought under their cognizance, laid the foundation of much unmerited reproach.

His pointed statement halfway through the piece provides an explanation for suicide with the following question and answer: “Why does it appear that Suicide is more general than formerly?  The answer is at hand: Insanity is an increasing disease.  A few of the bulky catalogue of human ailments have evidently decreased; unfortunately, this is not of the number.”

There’s so much more in this article that speaks to the same subject today.  While I don’t know concerning the correlation between the two, I do applaud the perspective towards those who suffer in this way.  It was a lofty goal then and is, in my humble opinion, still.

It is an absolutely demonstrable fact, that in nine cases out of twelve of self-destruction which our daily papers record, the previous situation of the subject is known, and the fatal crisis might be prevented were this knowledge acted upon with firmness, promptitude, and that just method which honour, humanity, and justice demand.

Announcing: Catalog #297 (for August, 2020) is now available…

August 3, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 297 (for August) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a ‘Virginia Gazette’ from 1775, a ‘Tombstone Epitaph’ just before the gunfight, the “First Flight” of the Wright brothers, the very beginning of the Impressionist movement, a rare ‘Oxford Gazette’ (1665), a nice report: “Did Cook or Peary discover the North Pole?”, 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.

The Woman’s Tribune & Frederick Douglass…

July 27, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Many people who have faced difficult challenges in their personal lives become, in turn, sensitive to the struggles of others.  It might be a similar difficulty, but it isn’t always.  In the history of discrimination, a less-than-equal status has been designated to individuals or groups for reasons of socioeconomic status, color of skin, or gender.  Specific publications sprang up to give a voice to the unrepresented, and, at the very least, the power of the pen documented the demand to be heard.  Within the newspapers of early America are the abolitionist papers and the working men’s papers and the women’s papers.  The writers and editors called for equal status under the law, the right to own property (starting with the freedom of an individual over his or her own life) and the right to vote.

It’s this last one that has me looking intently at the front page of The Woman’s Tribune from March 2, 1895.  In the first place, I noticed that the paper is much better quality than, say, the New York Times from this era.  It seems the publishing board of this newspaper did not make the downgrade from rag paper.  But mostly I noticed that the masthead “EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW” is followed by the column heading “Frederick Douglass“.  There is a poem written by Mary Lowe Dicks in honor of the great abolitionist, followed by a tribute/obituary that fills two columns delineating his impact for the cause of freedom.  The ending portion is particularly poignant:

In him the hopes of his race were realized; in him humanity was dignified.  The world is poorer because he is gone; humanity is richer because he came.  The legacy of his life and service attests the truth that God keepeth watch above His own, that He shall turn and overturn until injustice dies and the right eternally triumphs.

I like this honoring of another who had a different set of obstacles to overcome, but was admired for the battle he fought and the way he waged it.  I picture the huddled masses of abolitionists, suffragists, laborers — not pitted against one another, but rooting for the common goal of “liberty and justice for all.”

Announcing: Catalog #296 (for July, 2020) is now available…

July 3, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 296 (for July) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Sinking of the Titanic, the Killing of John Dillinger (in a Chicago newspaper), the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first Corvette is manufactured (report in a Detroit newspaper), an 1845 newspaper from Honolulu), 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 #295 (for June, 2020) is now available…

May 29, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 295 (for June) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: Lincoln’s assassination in the New York Times, the Vicksburg Daily Citizen (printed on wallpaper), Babe Ruth is sold to the Yankees (in a Boston newspaper), Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, a graphic issue on McKinley’s assassination., a great issue on the Chicago Fire (in a Chicago newspaper)”, 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 #294 (for May, 2020) is now available…

May 1, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 294 (for May) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a great issue on the birth of the Texas oil industry, a 1775 issue from Williamsburg (Virginia), the beginning of the Impressionist movement in France, a Chicago “Extra” on the Chicago Fire, a rare “Pennsylvania Magazine” from 1775, “War Declared” in a Honolulu newspaper, 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.

Note: after approximately 30 days the links above will redirect to the latest catalog.

March through the years via the lens of Rare & Early Newspapers…

March 6, 2020 by · 4 Comments 

Walk with us back through time to see what noteworthy, historic and collectible events occurred during the month of February. In so doing, we hope you’ll agree: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

March Through Time

Announcing: Catalog #292 (for March, 2020) is now available…

March 2, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 292 (for March) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a Confederate newspaper printed on wallpaper, the Funding Act of 1790, the Gettysburg Address, a Lincoln assassination issue from the Capital, Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, the “Battle of Los Angeles”, 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.)

February through the years via the lens of Rare & Early Newspapers…

February 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Walk with us back through time to see what noteworthy, historic and collectible events occurred during the month of February. In so doing, we hope you’ll agree: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

February Through Time

I’m New Here: Still Learning… Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper

February 7, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.   Winston S. Churchill

This is an appropriate enough quote to summarize my perspective at the close of a year of many new lessons – and not all of them pleasant at the time of learning.  It’s tough to be new, but it feels great to be not-new.  Since I find myself in a “next stage” here at Rare Newspapers, as of this week I am transitioning the title(s) of my blog.  Once a month I will continue to pass along something new I have learned, under the heading “Still Learning.” In the other three weeks I will focus on different aspects of this wonderful place.

My most recent orientation was a byproduct of searching the wide world of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  It seems these treasures, similar in size to Harper’s Weekly, are located in a completely different collection of Civil War Era papers.   Although our titles are meticulously indexed and cataloged, the facilities could not possibly be rearranged with each new collection acquired.  Consequently, the front warehouse has its own area of 1861-1865 issues, while the annex has a separate one.  It’s so funny to still be discovering a nook packed full of Historical Relevance (in capital letters).

Within a publication from 1862, I located a four-panel, tipped-in centerfold. It’s a beautiful illustration that measures 20″ high by 32″ wide, folded inside the magazine, with no binding holes or glue lines within the image margins.  The top half is titled “The Second Day of the Second Battle of Bunker Hill”, and depicts a lovely landscape in which lines of marching men wind along hilltops and alongside lanes of trees.  Even the award winning photography of later wars doesn’t compete with the impact of this intricate rendering.

Note that this is not a double-page centerfold, as I originally described it to Guy, but a more extravagantly sized and highly desirable four-panel, tipped-in centerfold.  I have recently been taught the difference.

Anyway, I have much more to learn, but in case you were wondering, I am ready for more Leslie’s requests — particularly Civil War issues.

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