First newspapers in Tennessee…

February 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Tennessee–or at least a portion of it–had an interesting history. The Northeastern part originally belonged to North Carolina, and a plan was afoot to cede it to the national government. A serious of conventions at Jonesborough resulted in the adoption in 1784 of a constitution under the name of the state of Franklin. Ultimately statehood plans ended in 1788.

The first printing in Tennessee happened in Rogersville by George Roulstone, who on November 5, 1791 he printed the first issue of the Knoxville “Gazette“, because he intended to move the press to Knoxville when it was expected that town would be the permanent capital of the territory. This ultimately happened in 1792. He printed his first issue there on May 4, 1793 where it continued until 1797.

After a year in absence, Roulstone resumed the newspaper under the title of the “Register” with a subtitle of: “The Genius of Liberty“. After another year of lapse the “Gazette” was revived which in 1799 was consolidated with the “Impartial Observer“. A string of other newspapers begin in the early years of the  19th century.

Human ingenuity… not always successful…

February 25, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The editors of the June 13, 1885 issue of Scientific American thought the following “invention” was worthy of both an image and supporting text.  Interesting to note that the preceding (lengthy) article on the same page was titled, “How the Sewage of Paris is Disposed of”.  Perhaps they should have ended this article with the words, “and with this in mind…”.  My advance apologies to the distant relatives of this inventor who may still be receiving royalties.

The Civil War… 150 years ago… February 22, 1862…

February 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An ongoing reflection on the Civil War… 150 years prior to this post…

On February 22, 1862, news was spreading that Jefferson Davis was soon to be elected President of the Confederacy.  If so, what would this mean?  Would the war soon be over?  Would this entrench the opposing sides making an early end nearly impossible?  Additional news was spreading that Fort Donelson either was, or was soon to be, under fire.  It seemed as if every day brought discouraging news to the North, and quite the opposite to the South.  Please enjoy the following original newspapers printed for the day, and see life unfold through the eyes of those present during this flash-point period in American history:

Original Newspapers Read On February 22, 1862

“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”, Timothy Hughes, 1976

The Traveler… an honorable military by George Washington… snow-canoeing, where???

February 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today’s travels brought me to the Boston Gazette of February 20, 1812 where I found a continuing discussion about Captain Henry Purkitt and his removal from an official position. This lead to the inclusion of his honorable discharge which was signed by “G. Washington” for his seven years and one month of faithful service. In doing some internet researching, I found that he was one of the youth that was a participant in the Boston Tea Party!

A report of Georgia receiving twelve inches of snow in one day was quite interesting! “…To diversify the amusement, a large canoe was attached to a pair of horses, and with a full complement men, and with colours flying, went with considerable rapidity cruising up an down the streets, affording an excellent representations of a gunboat under way… but like a gun-boat she seemed destined to be unfortunate… we learn that she was upset and every soul on board precipitated into the melting snow and dirt…” There was also mention of snowballs being thrown as well. I guess snow-canoeing never really took off though as it hasn’t made it into the Winter Olympics… yet!

~The Traveler

Perhaps the precursor to the shell game?

February 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The following “invention” appeared in the Scientific American dated November 23, 1878.  Perhaps the “shell game” was developed to take advantage of the abundance of this unsold product?

The Civil War… 150 years ago… February 15, 1862…

February 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An ongoing reflection on the Civil War… 150 years prior to this post…

Today we take a look back at a sampling of the original newspapers printed for February 8, 1862.  It is hard to imagine what it was like to rely almost entirely upon newspapers for news concerning loved ones, battle reports, military movements, political decisions, etc. – all of which were rapidly changing the landscape of American experiment in self government.  Please enjoy:

Original Newspapers Read On February 15, 1862

“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”, Timothy Hughes, 1976

First newspapers in South Dakota…

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The very first printing of any kind to be done in present-day South Dakota wasn’t until Sept. 20, 1858, relatively late for that section of the country. It was an election notice, and less than a year later the first newspaper appeared on July 2, 1859 titled the “Democrat“,  printed in Sioux Falls. It published on an irregular schedule for less than a year when it was discontinued for lack of support. Reports are that the newspaper was revived as the “Northwestern Democrat“, however no copies under that name have survived. The press was destroyed by a band of hostile Sioux Indians in 1862.

The second newspaper in South Dakota was the “Weekly Dakotian” begun in Yankton on June 6, 1861, by Frank Ziebach. A year later it was absorbed by its rival, the “Press“, becoming the “Press and Dakotan“, and a bit  later the “Dakota Union“.

Note:  Images are not currently available for any of the above… but will be added if/when they are available.

Perhaps the most famous 19th century title is “The Black Hills Pioneer” which was printed in Deadwood City beginning in 1876. It would be an issue in early August of that year that would report the death of  Wild Bill Hickok while playing cards that would be one of the most sought after newspapers for any collection.

Interesting items on the Underground Railroad…

February 11, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The “Supplement to the New-York Daily Tribune“, May 11, 1849, has the following at the top of the front page. Note the incredibly strong pro-slavery bias in the first paragraph:

The Civil War… 150 years ago… February 8, 1862…

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An ongoing reflection on the Civil War… 150 years prior to this post…

150 years ago today, citizens, from both the north and the south, sat down over a cup of coffee (if they were lucky) to read newspapers telling of the capture of Fort Henry, the Battle of Mill Spring, the available (advertisement) speech by Frederick Douglass, and more, while perhaps looking over large detailed maps of related regions.  The daily newspaper was their connection to the events touching nearly every household in America.   Enjoy a glimpse of the issues printed for the day:

Original Newspapers Read On February 8, 1862

“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”, Timothy Hughes, 1976

The Traveler… on the rails… one more time…

February 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I traveled today to the Valley Sentinel in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (February 6, 1912) where I encountered an interesting article entitled “Hobos In Convention” which was being presided by “Millionaire Hobo” James Eads How. This intrigued me to see if there was further information about Mr. How. I found that he truly was a millionaire who dedicated his life to the homeless and migrant workers, published the Hobo News, organized the International Brotherhood Welfare Association, hobo colleges and hobo conventions.

Another article is of a man who had died at the Homeopathic hospital and then taken to the city morgue. As he was about to be embalmed, he emitted a groan and tried to turn on his side. Every effort was taken to keep him alive, but signs of life faded away again. Now the dispute is going on between the police and the hospital as to when he really died.

~The Traveler

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