Although not a poetry aficionado, I am aware that “Leaves Of Grass” by Walt Whitman is considered a seminal work in 19th century literature. So when I stumbled across a small article on page 7 of a New York Tribune issue dated Oct. 10, 1855 I took a moment to read it. Most of the report is taken up with a letter signed in type: R. W. Emerson, so my interest was piqued.
After a number of Google searches I discovered this report to be much more significant that I might have thought.
Although considered highly controversial during his era, “Leaves of Grass” has infiltrated popular culture & been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry. As such, the article is interesting, mentioning in part: “…call the attention of our readers to this original & striking collection of poems, by Mr. Whitman…could not avoid noticing certain faults which seemed to us to be prominent in the work. The following opinion, from a distinguished source, views the matter from a more positive and less critical stand-point:…” and what follows is the famous letter by Ralph Waldo Emerson–who inspired this work by Whitman–in which he comments: “…I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed…I am very happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy…” and even more, signed in type: R. W. Emerson. This original letter is in the Library of Congress.
This letter’s appearance in the Tribune would seem to be the only newspaper printing of the time, as records indicate that the: “…letter to Whitman from Ralph Waldo Emerson, 21 July, 1855 is among the most famous letters ever written to an aspiring writer…Without asking Emerson’s permission, Whitman gave this private letter to Charles Dana [managing editor of the New York Tribune] for publication in the New York Tribune on October, 1855.” (see this hyperlink).
We recently discovered a report from Syria in the New York Observer, September 29, 1881 which had an interesting article discussing the existence of a document, signed by Muhammad, which provided for the protection of Christians. The article in its entirety is shown through the link. One website states:
“During our research with the Greek Orthodox Church, we have located numerous documents hand signed by Muhammad granting permanent protection to Christians and to their churches. These documents have been in existence since the original order given by Muhammad in 628 ACE. We have located several recent documents which sustain the original charter of rights. We question why are these mandates not known to the Muslim world? Why does the media avoid reporting these critical religious instructions?”
Can anyone comment on the authenticity of this covenant as described in the NY Observer?
Today I traveled back to New York City by the means of the New York Evening Post dated July 2, 1816. Under the “Died” column is “Departed this life, at 9 o’clock this morning, the Rev. Mr. GERSHOM SEIXAS, the venerable Pastor of the Hebrew congregation, in the 71st year of his age…”.
Mr. Seixas was the first Native-born American rabbi. He also delivered the first Thanksgiving address in an American synagogue after the adoption of the United States Constitution. He was one of the fourteen ministers to participate in George Washington’s first inauguration.
At the merger of the 200th anniversary of his death and the 240th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence it is fitting to consider how quickly the Jewish population became acclimated and accepted in the United States. While not without considerable bumps in the road, George Washington’s outspoken support for Jewish citizens was certainly a good beginning.
Question: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI received a response from Rabbi Moses Seixas. If anyone can confirm whether or not Moses and Gershom were related, please contact Guy at email@example.com.
Movie prop newspapers are exactly that – newspapers which have been created for the purpose of being used within a specific movie. In some instances they are created using an authentic (actual) newspaper from the period in question, and splice-in content that meets the movie’s needs. In other instances a newspaper if created from scratch. Both are collectible and are typically hard to come by since only a handful were originally printed. We’ve had the privilege of having a few to offer over the years, but a new set of movie-prop issues has us (Rare & Early Newspapers) perplexed. We simply do not know from which movies they came. How do we know they are actually movie-prop issues?
- The actual titles do not exist.
- The paper upon which they are printed does not quite match the era from which they supposedly came.
- They were included as part of the Richard Robinson Collection (see http://blog.rarenewspapers.com/?p=7359), which included several properly identified movie prop issues.
So now the fun begins. Can anyone definitively state the movie from which the movie prop newspaper shown below (The Record Herald) came from? Note: Since this post was initially published, we’ve posted several additional movie prop issues. These posts may be viewed at: Unidentified Movie Prop Newspapers
Today, June 14th, is Flag Day, which is based on the Continental Congress’ adoption of the 1st version of the American flag on June 14, 1777:
“Resolved, That the Flag of the Thirteen United States, be Thirteen Stripes, alternate Red and White; That the Union be Thirteen Stars, White in a Blue Field, representing a new Constellation.” signed in by the Secretary: Charles Thomson (as reported in the May 29, 1783 issue of The Connecticut Journal).
A major revision of the flag began on July 4, 1817:
“The flag of the United States is to be altered. — The Stripes are to be reduced permanently to their original number of thirteen; but the stars are to be constantly increased in number, equal to the number of the States in the Union. The first change to take place on the 4th of July next, and the change of every additional star after that to take place on the succeeding 4th of July and not before.” (as reported in the January 16, 1817 issue of the Boston Commercial Gazette).
Of course other more minor alterations have occurred as states have been added, but regardless of its exact form, today we are reminded to Fly ’em high and fly ’em proud!
Is the United States perfect? Certainly not. Our forefathers did not sacrifice time, security, and in many cases, life or limb for the sake of a perfect system of government. Their hope was to establish a government for the people – which would provide the opportunity for all to pursue happiness in an environment free of governmental oppression and steeped with a host of inalienable rights. For some, “all” meant everyone. To others, “all” was defined quite narrowly. Still, even those who had a broader view understood the benefit of compromise – for the purpose of establishing a system which would have enough flexibility to adjust to their broader view of “all” over time. We know now the great advancement in this regards only came through a Civil War; however, it came. A perfect system? No. The best system ever constructed by man? Absolutely.
As we contemplate the great sacrifice paid by many to create and preserve this “best system” under God, the New York Tribune dated July 7, 1854 help us to capture the tension and need for growth that was evident to many in the 1850’s. Allow a negro to become a member of Congress? Could this be possible? Those who knew Frederick Douglass certainly thought so. Please enjoy:
If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you post the request via a comment to a post, we are likely to miss it. Thanks.
Over the past few years we have listed a series of posts titled: “Great Headlines Speak For Themselves,” with the first line being: “The best headlines need no commentary.” However, in some instances history would prove other headlines to be grossly understated. Such is the case of the headline on one of the most desirable newspapers reporting the horrific murders which would eventually be attributed to Charles Manson and some of his followers. While still dramatic, the initial (false) implication of the house pool boy, relative to the actual truth regarding the murders, deflates the historical impact of many “1st-report” headlines as illustrated in The Herald Examiner, Los Angeles, August 10, 1969.
The February 3, 1787 issue of The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser contains an 18th century translation of a letter self-described as being from Plubius Lutulus’ [Publius Lentulus’] to Caesar Tiberius (reg. 14-37 AD) which supposedly provides a contemporaneous description of Jesus Christ. Historians have spent countless hours trying to discover whether or not the letter is authentic. After more than a century of research, since there does not appear to be record of a Lentulus serving as Governor of Judea (which this letter suggests), most have come down on the side of it not being legitimate. Sadly, a 15 minute dig into the Bible could have saved them a considerable amount of energy.
The letter (see below) indicates the appearance of Jesus, with his long flowing hair, was quite a sight to behold. However, 1 Corinthians 11:14 makes it clear his hair could not have been long, and Isaiah 53:2 states: “He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” End of discussion. Case closed.
Thankfully, whether or not Jesus is God’s Son… the Messiah… the deliverer of all who might believe, according to the Bible, is not dependent on such works of man. He either is who He says HE IS, or he is not who he said he was – and the proof will be in the pudding. Still, the letter does make for interesting reading. Happy Easter.
It can be difficult to appreciate how stunning the event of the Soviet Union’s success with the Sputnik launch was given the phenomenal success of American space exploration in the 1960’s, but at the time this headline in the “Los Angeles Times” issue of October 5, 1957: “RUSS SATELLITE CIRCLING EARTH” was terrifying for many (see first few moments of October Sky).
The Soviet Union had taken the lead in what became known as the “space race”, with fears of what havoc Soviet domination of the heavens could mean to the United States. Early American attempts to reach outer space were plagued with failures before a string of successes would cause America to be the first to put man on the moon. Today there are joint American-Russian space efforts with the Space Station, a situation which could not have been imagined in 1957.