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What could happen to a rumor…

The Daily Journal” newspaper of August 20, 1861 [1] from Wilmington, North Carolina, a Confederate publication, printed an interesting series of dispatches of a fictitious assassination attempt upon President Lincoln (see below). They provide an interesting perspective on how a dramatic event could be much less so once more trustworthy news reports found their way to the press.

The reliability of news reports was a big problem in the 18th & 19th centuries during the pre-telegraph, pre-wire service days when word of mouth was often the source of what made it into the newspaper. This somewhat comical piece illustrates a quandary likely dealt with by most newspaper publishers of the  day. [2]