They Never Saw it Coming… The Sinking of the Titanic.

December 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

We may at times wonder what happens to a person as they experience a traumatic event. What drives them to react as they do? My brother-in-law, who served as a Marine, once told me that people rarely rise to a higher level of nobility when faced with crisis. They are either overcome by terror, or they default to their training.

As I read through an article covering testimonies of Titanic survivors printed in the Evening Tribune (San Diego) from April 23, 1912 (shown below), while I have no life experience to know firsthand, I had to admit he may be right. After considering the quotes of a lifeboat captain who was being questioned by Congress, it was clear he was surrounded by two types of individuals: your average everyday citizen and ship hands who had been trained to follow orders. Pondering this type situation, I would like to think I would respond differently, but perhaps I should put a bit of preparation alongside of my hope. Of course, how does one prepare for such a calamity?

Announcing: Catalog #325 for December, 2022 – Rare & Early Newspapers for collectors…

December 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

 

December’s catalog (#325) 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 #325 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: the Battle of Gettysburg (in a Confederate newspaper), the Gettysburg Address in a PA newspaper, creation of the Department of the Navy, coverage of the Battles of New York and Long Island, a rare mention of Jefferson’s “Sally”, Lincoln’s famous Cooper Union speech, the Oxford Gazette dated in 1665, the Custer Massacre, a Revolutionary War map from 1776, Isaiah Thomas’s famous ‘Massachusetts Spy’ (1776), 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.]

Time-Lapse… Frederick Douglass (1834) to Henry Garnett (1865)…

November 24, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

As I continue to slowly devour every word of the autobiography, “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”, I was recently moved to as close to tears as I come as I pondered his retelling of the crushing hopelessness he felt after having been beaten to a whisper of death:

“I have often, in the deep stillness of a summer’s Sabbath, stood all alone upon the banks of that noble [Chesapeake] bay, and traced, with saddened heart and tearful eye, the countless number of sails moving off to the mighty ocean. The sight of these always affected me powerfully. My thoughts would compel utterance; and there, with no audience but the Almighty, I would pour out my soul’s complaint in my rude way with an apostrophe to the moving multitude of ships.”

‘You are loosed from your moorings, and free. I am fast in my chains, and am a slave! You move merrily before the gentle gale, and I sadly before the bloody whip. You are freedom’s swift-winged angels, that fly around the world; I am confined in bonds of iron. O, that I were free! O, that I were on one of your gallant decks, and under your protecting wing! Alas! betwixt me and you the turbid waters roll. Go on, go on; O, that I could also go! Could I but swim! If I could fly! O, why was I born a man, of whom to make a brute! The glad ship is gone: she hides in the dim distance. I am left in the hell of unending slavery. O, God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free!–Is there any God? Why am I a slave? I will run away. I will not stand it. Get caught or get clear, I’ll try it. I had as well die with ague as with fever. I have only one life to lose. I had as well be killed running as die standing. Only think of it: one hundred miles north, and I am free! Try it? Yes! God helping me, I will. It cannot be that I shall live and die a slave. I will take to the water. This very bay shall yet bear me into freedom. The steamboats steer in a northeast course from North Point; I will do the same; and when I get to the head of the bay, I will turn my canoe adrift, and walk straight through Delaware into Pennsylvania. When I get there, I shall not be required to have a pass: I will travel there without being disturbed. Let but the first opportunity offer, and come what will, I am off. Meanwhile I will try to bear the yoke. I am not the only slave in the world. Why should I fret? I can bear as much as any of them. Besides I am but a boy yet, and all boys are bound out to someone. It may be that my misery in slavery will only increase my happiness when I get free. There is a better day coming.’

I shall never be able to narrate half the mental experience through which it was my lot to pass, during my stay at Covey’s. I was completely wrecked, changed, and bewildered; goaded almost to madness at one time, and at another reconciling myself to my wretched condition.”

All bound by the common thread of having been given the breath of life by the same Creator, how could one “brother” treat a fellow sojourner with such abject cruelty? This goes beyond black and white as the relationship between slave an owner has played out similarly since the dawn of time, however, will it never end? Would ”The Almighty” hear his cry?

Fastforward approximately 30 years. Frederick Douglass is now free, residing in the North, and is living a life of gratitude expressed by his exhaustive efforts for the cause of abolition. Slaves are on the cusp of being emancipated, and for the first time in the history of the United States, a former slave of African descent, Rev. Henry Garnett, was permitted to preach (a common occurrence for whites) at The Capital. The article below regarding this event was printed in the New York Tribune, dated February 13, 1865. There would still be many obstacles to overcome before former slaves (or their descendants) would be viewed as “equal under the law”, and some might (rightfully) argue additional progress still needs to be made, but in this moment in time, with the Frederick Douglass quote fixed firmly in my mind and weighing heavy on my heart, I am grateful for the hope provided by the gains which have been made through time.

 

Separation of Church & State – Catholic concern in early 1800’s…

November 14, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

On April 23, 1804, The Order of Ursuline Nuns from New Orleans penned a letter to then President Thomas Jefferson. In their letter, they expressed concerns about their property being confiscated. The letter said in part: “they [those within the Order] cannot but be anxious to know that the property which is to enable them to fulfil these duties will be secure to them”.  Just seven months later, Jefferson replied with the following:

“To the Soeur Therese de St. Xavier farjon Superior, and the Nuns of the order of St. Ursula at New Orleans:

I have received, holy sisters, the letter you have written me wherein you express anxiety for the property vested in your institution by the former governments of Louisiana. the principles of the constitution and government of the United States are a sure guarantee to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate, and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules, without interference from the civil authority. whatever diversity of shade may appear in the religious opinions of our fellow citizens, the charitable objects of your institution cannot be indifferent to any; and its furtherance of the wholesome purposes of society, by training up its younger members in the way they should go, cannot fail to ensure it the patronage of the government it is under. be assured it will meet all the protection which my office can give it.

I salute you, holy sisters, with friendship & respect.

Th: Jefferson”

The POLITICAL OBSERVATORY, November 17, 1804, carried the entire letter with Jefferson’s signature.

Ironically, within the next 30 years, a very different story was recorded. The October 11, 1834, NILES’ WEEKLY REGISTER, had multiple pages of coverage of the August 11 and 12, 1834 Ursuline Convent riots in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Wiki states these riots were, “fueled by the rebirth of extreme anti-Catholic sentiment in antebellum New England.”

Perhaps the Nuns of 1804 had a prophetic gift enabling them to foresee troubles to come.

 

It’s All About the Headline…

November 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of our collectors are drawn to a poignant political speech and some are passionate about 17th – 19th century maps. More than a few seek reports of famous battles while others can’t resist death reports of notable generals. When it comes to the Rare & Early Newspapers collectible, breadth of interest runs from the heart-wrenching past (illustrated slave ads – lest we forget), to the lighthearted (a recent issue containing an ad & review of a favorite movie. However, regardless of their interest, for a majority of collectors it’s all about the headline – the more frameable and dramatic, the better!

With this in mind, may I submit as an example the banner headline of Hearst’s Boston American for April 23, 1906: “SAN FRANCISCO SUFFERERS GO MAD! “, followed by: “Crazed By Horrors They Roam The Streets”. Can we all agree… even the tabloids of today can’t touch this! So, whether you are drawn to the macabre, the triumphant, or merely the historical, for many it’s all about the headline. After all…

GREAT HEADLINES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Announcing: Catalog #324 for November, 2022 – Rare & Early Newspapers for collectors…

October 31, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

 

November’s catalog (#324) 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 #324 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: the “Black Sox” scandal (in a Chicago newspaper), an issue of The Virginia Gazette (1775, Williamsburg), The Royal Gazette (American loyalist-leaning), printing of The Declaration of Independence, rarer than “Dewey Defeats Truman”, Lincoln’s 2nd Inauguration, the Battle of Fort Washington, the death pf Alexander Hamilton, The Polynesian (early from Hawaii), tarring and feathering, 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.]

Collecting Rare & Early Newspapers… on a budget…

October 24, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

People who collect stamps… like stamps, collect trains… like trains, collect coins… like coins, collect classic cars… like classic cars, etc.. However, those who collect rare & early newspapers may have the collecting bug for Colonial America, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Old West, sports, elections, inventions, early flight, tragedies, famous death reports, incredible achievements, illustrated ads of new products as they developed over time, beautiful wood-cut prints from famous artists and illustrators, the progress of civil rights and suffrage from the 1700’s through the present, … – oh, and articles, illustrations and/or ads related to stamps, trains, coins, classic cars and other popular collectibles. They may also simply value history and appreciate viewing events through the eyes of those who experienced them first had.

Of course it’s always best to enter a specific collectible before it becomes over-saturated, exploited, or over-priced, but most collectors arrive on the scene when the prices are either too high, or the value of the collectible is starting to decline.

In contrast, while there are several collectible newspapers priced in the $10,000 to $750,000+ range, many can still be obtained “on the cheap”. It is with this in mind one of our staff decided to create a brief video highlighting a few items priced under $50. In fact, there are well over 15,000 such items available on the RareNewspapers.com website. Please enjoy:

YouTube player

 

John Brown, 1859… What would you be willing to die for?

October 21, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

On November 2, 1859, John Brown was declared to be guilty of murder and treason. Before his sentencing was announced the court clerk asked him if he had any last words. Expecting the question (for it was required by law), he rose, and with full composure and clarity of voice he gave his last speech – the text of which appeared in many newspapers the following day. Upon searching our archives, we discovered one of these reports in a New York Tribune:

As I read the article, in addition to being reminded of the sacrifices made by so many in order to bring about the abolition of American slavery, I was challenged to consider if there was a cause for which I would (truly) be willing to die. It is one thing to sacrifice one’s life to save a loved one, but a “cause”? I pray my faith would rise to such a height (for it’s certainly worthy), but until the moment of truth is at hand…

So, I ask again: What is worthy of the ultimate sacrifice? Those who gave their lives in an effort to gain and/or preserve our freedom had their answer. John Brown had his. How about you and me?

PS  If anyone can recommend a good book which provides an honest assessment of whether John Brown was a hero or a villain, please email me at guy@rarenewspapers.com. Please know I understand this may be a very complex analysis.

 

A Fly on the Wall at the Constitutional Convention of 1787…

October 17, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

It is not uncommon these days to hear people discussing The Constitution.  How they discuss this crucial founding document may differ radically and the accuracy with which they discuss it may vary as well. As you can imagine, those of us at Rare Newspapers fall into the “Perhaps the best secular document ever written” camp. So, I am sure it will not surprise you to know that I have always longed to have been “a fly on the wall” during the Constitutional Convention. Given the writings of the Founders, I have to imagine we would all be blown away by their passionate discussions. Just the other day I heard someone discussing various states’ desire to hold a Constitutional Convention… to make some changes. His comment went something like this (paraphrased)…

– I have been in favor of a current day Constitutional Convention in the past however, as I look at where we are today as a nation, I do not think we can be trusted as a people to open this precious document and leave it vulnerable to changes made by this culture. –

He went on to say (again, paraphrased) … -I believe the day may come in the future when we could be trusted with such a sobering task, but today is not that day. –

For now, we will just need to content ourselves with protecting this amazing document as is until/if that day comes.

Note: The image shown above announcing a quorum had finally been reached at the Constitutional Convention was taken from THE INDEPENDENT GAZETTEER; OR THE CHRONICLE OF FREEDOM, Philadelphia, May 26, 1787.

George Washington and the Hebrew Congregation in Savannah… 1790…

October 7, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

At times, when I sit down to write a blog post, I feel woefully inadequate to add anything to what has been said within the issue I’m seeking to highlight.  Such is the case with one of my favorite issues we have ever held here at Rare Newspapers.  On July 1, 1790, the MASSACHUSETTS SPY OR THE WORCESTER GAZETTE published a letter:  “Address from the Hebrew Congregation of the city of Savannah, in Georgia, to the President of the United States”, signed in type by: Levi Sheftall, President, on behalf of the Hebrew Congregation. This letter is so beautifully written and expresses a sentiment which must have been a balm to the anxious souls of Jews throughout the United States of America. Rather than quote a piece or paraphrase, please indulge me with a reading of the letter in its entirety. Hopefully, you will also breathe a calming sigh of relief as you visualize the readers from over 200 years ago.

Gentlemen,

I thank you with great sincerity for your congratulations on my appointment to the office, which I have the honor to hold by the unanimous choice of my fellow-citizens: and especially for the expressions which you are pleased to use in testifying the confidence that is reposed in me by your congregation.

As the delay which has naturally intervened between my election and your address has afforded an opportunity for appreciating the merits of the federal-government, and for communicating your sentiments of its administration—I have rather to express my satisfaction than regret at a circumstance, which demonstrates (upon experiment) your attachment to the former as well as approbation of the latter.

I rejoice that a spirit of liberality and philanthropy is much more prevalent than it formerly was among the enlightened nations of the earth; and that your brethren will benefit thereby in proportion as it shall become still more extensive. Happily, the people of the United States of America have, in many instances, exhibited examples worthy of imitation—The salutary influence of which will doubtless extend much farther, if gratefully enjoying those blessings of peace which (under favor of Heaven) have been obtained by fortitude in war, they shall conduct themselves with reverence to the Deity, and charity towards their fellow-creatures.

May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian Oppressors planted them in the promised land—whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation—still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

G. Washington

All I can say is, “Wow!”

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