Top ten battles of the Civil War… Just for fun…

August 14, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

A common way to collect historic newspapers is to assemble reports regarding various “top ten” lists. In the past, we have explored several such lists:

When it comes to the Civil War (one of the most popular targets within the collectible community), “top tens” can take on various forms: Top ten noteworthy Generals, top ten most impacting events, top ten naval battles, top ten events/causes for the war, etc.  In this vein, shown below are various links focused on top ten battles. Which were the most important? Opinions certainly will vary… which is why no two collections are the same.  As an added bonus, how about exploring the top ten “under the radar” battles which do not typically make a top ten list? We’d love to have input.

Top 10 Battles of the Civil War – by Charles Gromley on Prezi

The Ten Costliest Battles of the Civil War

Top 10 Civil War Sites

Ten Bloodiest Civil War Battles

Top ten battles in civil war – WikiAnswers

Civil War Top 10 Lists

The top ten: “20th century”…

December 28, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

From this period in newspaper publishing history, displayability has much to do with the desirability of a newspaper, perhaps more so than historical significance. Since I come to this task of listing the “top ten” from the perspective of a rare newspaper dealer and knowing the requests we receive for certain events, the following list may not be the same as my most “historic” but they are my thoughts for the most “desirable” based on customer demand. Certainly FDR’s New Deal is more historically significant than the death of Bonnie & Clyde, but not more desirable from a collector standpoint. I’d be curious to hear of your thoughts.

Bonnie&ClydegifHere they are, beginning with number ten:

10) St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Feb. 14, 1929  An issue with a dramatic banner headline, & ideally dated the 14th. Morning papers would be dated the 15th.

9) Death of Bonnie & Clyde, May 23, 1934  The gangster era remains much in demand, & perhaps due to the movie this event beats out Dillinger, Capone & the others from the era. A dramatic headline drives desirability–ideally with a photo–even if not in a Louisiana newspaper.

8.) Charles Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, May 22, 1927  The New York Times had a nice headline account with a map of the route, and the prestige of the newspaper always keeps it in high demand.

Dewey_Defeats_Truman7) Call-Chronicle-Examiner, San Francisco, April 19, 1906  I note a specific title & date for this event, as these 3 newspapers combined to produce one 4 page newspaper filled with banner heads & the latest news. No advertisements.

6) Crash of the Hindenberg, May 6, 1937  The more dramatic the headline the better, & ideally with the Pulitizer Prize winning photo of the airship in flames.

5) Wright brothers fly, Dec. 17, 1903  Here’s where the significance of the event drives desirability over dramatic appeal. Few can argue the impact of manned flight on the world. Reports were typically brief & buried on an inside page with a small headline, so a lengthy front page report would be in top demand.

4) Stock market crash, October, 1929  Demand is driven by the dramatic headline and its wording. Too many newspapers tried to put an optimistic spin on the tragedy. Collectors want “collapse, disaster, crash” & similarly tragic words in the headline (how about Variety magazine’s: “Wall Street Lays On Egg”?)

Pearl_Harbor_HSB_1_extra3) Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Dec. 7, 1941  “1st Extra”  The defining issue from World War II but be careful of reprints as most issues on the market are not genuine.

2) Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 3, 1948 “Dewey Defeats Truman”. What more need be said?

1) Titanic sinking, April 14, 1912  Certainly low on the historically significant list, but off the charts on the desirability scale, much due to the block-busting movie. The more dramatic the headline the better, and hopefully with a nice illustration of the ship going down.

My “honorable mention” list might include baseball’s “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, sinking of the Lusitania, end of World War II, D-Day, JFK’s election, the New Deal, a great Babe Ruth issue, etc. Maybe they would rank higher on your list.

The “top ten”: 19th century…

December 21, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

This was a difficult century for selecting the top ten significant events or newspapers. Certainly an argument could be made that some specific newspapers–particularly from the Civil War era–could achieve retail values far in excess of those noted on the list, but their rarity as unique items pretty much removes them from the “accessible” list of collectibles.

My focus is more on including newspapers which have a certain degree to attainability and at the same time representing the broad range of events which helped to define the United States during the 19th century. I think I’ve achieved a happy compromise among desirability, rarity, and historical significance. Fully half of my choices are specific issues. I would be curious to hear of your comments:

Jessie_James_Leslie10) Vicksburg Daily Citizen, July 2/4, 1863 This wallpaper edition from when the town was captured by the Yankees turns up very frequently as a reprint, adding enhanced appeal to a genuine issue.

9) Battle of the Alamo, 1836  In a Texas newspaper. Any Texas newspaper from this notable year in the war for Texas independence would be great, and one with one of the more famous battles of the century would be better yet.

8.) Leslie’s Illustrated, April 22, 1882 The full front page is a terrific print of Jesse James, recently murdered. A very rare print of one of the more infamous characters of the century.

7) Lincoln’s assassination, 1865  Arguably the most noted death of the century, and great to have in a Washington, D.C. title. Very historic & desirable, but not terribly difficult to find so it doesn’t rank higher on my list.

6) Tombstone Epitaph, gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1881  I know of at least one genuine issue. Certainly a very romanticized event in a equally romanticized title and incredibly rare but not high on my historic list.

Gettysburg_Address_ANJ5) Baltimore Patriot, Sept. 20, 1814 First newspaper appearance of the Star Spangled Banner, and great to have in a Baltimore newspaper.

4) Gettysburg Address, November, 1863  This remains the most requested speech by our collectors–regardless of century–and is likely the most known by school children across the country. A front page account is best, such as the New York Times.

3) Louisiana Purchase, 1803  Who could argue with an event which doubled the size of the country.

2) Charleston Mercury–Extra, Dec. 20, 1860 It’s a broadside so perhaps some will argue not a bona fide newspaper, but we collect Extras as well so I include this notable issue. This newspaper’s “The Union is Dissolved” broadside was the first Confederate publication as South Carolina was the first state to secede. It went to press 15 minutes after the secession ordinance was passed.

1) The California Gold Rush in a California newspaper, 1849. Three California newspapers existed at the time so issues do exist yet extremely rare. Combining the great rarity with a event which did so much to spawn migration of the people across the country, and another very romanticized event in American history, and you get my top pick.

The “top ten”: 18th century…

December 14, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

Continuing with our “top ten events to be found in newspapers” for various periods of time, today we consider the 18th century.

What an event-filled one hundred years it was. As you can tell by the list my focal point is on the American Revolution, but there are other events or specific newspapers which made it into my top ten.

Again I offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list has  a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American.

Here we go, starting with number ten:

George-Washington-death10) Death of George Washington, 1799 (Front page, preferably in a Virginia Gazette)

9) Hanging of Captain Kidd, 1701 (Just can’t resist a great pirate hanging, he being perhaps the most famous of all time)

8.) Any newspaper with the first installment of Paine’s “The Crisis” (“These are the times that try men’s souls…” has to be one of the more famous beginnings of all time)

7) Full text of the Stamp Act (Certainly a trigger event that would lead to the Revolution)

6) Boston Tea Party (In a Boston newspaper. An event every school kid knows about)

5) The Pennsylvania Journal, Nov. 1, 1765 “skull & crossbones” engraving (Replaced its normal masthead on this date: seen in most history books)

Constitution_PA_Packet4) Battle of Lexington & Concord with mention of Paul Revere’s ride (The beginning of the Revolutionary War. I had one once with mention of Revere–exceedingly rare–great to have in a Boston area newspaper)

3) The Boston News-Letter, 1704 (Great to have issue #1 of America’s first successful newspaper, but any issue from 1704 would do)

2) The Pennsylvania Packet, Sept. 19, 1787 (First newspaper to print the Constitution, & done in broadside format. Need I say more?)

1) The Declaration of Independence, 1776 (Ideally the Pennsylvania Evening Post, July 6, 1776, but the Packet of July  8 would work too as it contains the Declaration entirely on the front page: better for display).

Top ten: 16th and 17th centuries…

December 7, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

As Guy introduced a few days ago, we will use the Mondays of December to consider the top ten events to be found in newspapers for various periods of time. In a few cases the desired “event” is actually a specific newspaper.

Great_Fire_of_LondonToday we consider the 16th & 17th centuries, which is a bit difficult as the mere existence of newspapers–or even their predecessors: newsbooks–is limited. And all would be European, as no American newspapers existed in this time period (only exception noted below). Nonetheless I’ve created what I consider to be the top ten historical events or newspapers collectors would love to add to their collections.

I do offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list, and those to follow, have a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American. But there are a few European events noted.

Here we go, beginning with number ten and ending with the most desired event or newspaper:

10) Coronation of William & Mary, 1689  (after all, they were the king & queen of colonial residents as well. Almost like a very early Presidential “inauguration”)

9) King Philip’s War, 1675-6  (America’s first war)

8.) William Penn’s charter for land in the New World, & his settlement there, 1682  (an issue of the London Gazette includes: “…Mr. Penn bound for Pennsylvania with a great many Quakers to settle there…”)

7) Capture of Capt. Kidd near Boston, 1699 (who wouldn’t want a period report of this very famous pirate)

6) Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588 (my one entry from the 16th century; available in period newsbooks)

5) Great Fire of London, 1666

4) The volume 1 number 1 issue of the Oxford Gazette, Nov. 16, 1665  (great to have the first issue of the world’s oldest continually published newspaper: become the London Gazette with issue #24)

3) Salem Witchcraft trials, 1692 (famous event, but try to find period reports of it!)

2) Settlement in the “New World” from 1607-1630 (from the very earliest period of European settlements in America, predating newspapers but newsbooks did exist)

1) Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, Boston, Sept. 25, 1690 (America’s first newspaper. To this date only one issue has surfaced. Could there be another?)

Niles’ Registers from 1820 – unearthing interesting content (part 1)

December 17, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this year Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers offered free issues of 200-year-old Niles’ Registers with a request for collectors to let us know if they found interesting, historical or unusual content within the issue they received. Below is the 1st installment of their “finds”. Enjoy.

Collector L.D.  from New Jersey –

“Niles’ Weekly Register” – April 1, 1820.

Located on the front page.

Well I can’t say that I’m an expert on 1820s vernacular, I read this article from the edition I received and it seems (more than) a bit odd. “Covering the country with smiles” sounds like something that would’ve been said in today’s way of speaking, but not something that would’ve been said 200 years ago. Thoughts?

Collector J.T. from Georgia –

“Niles’ Weekly Register” – November 11, 1820.

In the “Foreign Articles” section Page 15 of 16.

Interesting find – News of the suicide of the first and last King of Haiti.

“HAYTI”

“King Henry has committed suicide by blowing out his brains. One account says that he did the deed in July, and that the event was kept secret to secure the succession of his son; and another that it happened about the 1st of October. But it seems certain that he is dead. He had been struck with a paralytic, and no longer able to command his troops, they became mutinous, and revolted at St. Marks – he ordered five regiments to march and punish the insurgents — they refused, and then his kingship made his exit. A body of 6000 troops……. etc.”

Wikipedia History reports that, “His son and heir was assassinated 10 days later.”

For historical references see: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q7lfSjjMNU8
and
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-Christophe “… He built the famous Citadelle Laferrière, a fortress south of his capital at Cap-Haïtien. In August 1820 he suffered a paralytic stroke. When his condition was learned, revolts broke out. In despair over his failure to pacify the country, he shot himself at Sans-Souci palace (the citadel and palace were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1982), and his kingdom became part of the Haitian republic in 1821. …”
Also:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Christophe

 

Still Learning…Website Topical Searches

July 6, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

While working on a different topic, I came across a derogatory reference to California gold, which started me thinking of how little I know concerning that period in American history.  I was born into the Information Age so there is no reason for me to remain in ignorance; the world wide web is packed with timelines and maps and diary excerpts.  Since I work in a place that houses many original pieces concerning every era since the first colonists arrived, I decided to begin my research on the Rare Newspapers site.

By merely typing “Gold Rush” in the search bar, I accessed 122 titles.  As an experiment I only used the items and listing descriptions to obtain an overall working knowledge, and for entertainment purposes I thought it might be interesting to summarize my findings.

Modifying my results to an issue date sort, and beginning with the oldest first, I found the following attached to a paper dated September 28, 1848:

Page 3 has a lengthy article: “The Gold Region of California” which is from the very early period of the Gold Rush. It is mostly taken up with two letters from the gold fields, introduced with: “It would seem from late accounts that California is afflicted with some rich gold mines. The people there have been seized with madness on the subject & are abandoning the ordinary pursuits of life for the sake of hunting gold…”

Listings for publications from October, November and December of that year bear similar accounts and tell of the growing numbers of those involved.  By January of 1849 the tone becomes cautionary:

Page 2 has: “California” which warns those thinking of heading to the gold fields to be very careful: “…large number of persons making preparations to proceed to El Dorado…will be obliged to undergo much suffering before reaching their wished-for haven & many will perhaps die on the passage…” with more. Also a short bit: “Death at the Gold Regions”.

Reading through all the write-ups I felt a bit more sure of my historical bearings when I encountered a familiar name that was not in this instance attached to a favorite brand of coffee (Pike’s Peak).

THE WASHINGTON UNION, Washington, D.C., August 29, 1858
* Pike’s Peak gold discovered
* Cherry Creek
* Start of Colorado gold rush

A page 2 report headed “Newly Discovered Gold Mines” says: “Monsieur Borden and company have arrived in Kansas City, from Pike’s Peak, Nebraska Territory. He reports newly discovered mines. He brought with him several ounces of gold, and confirms the existence of gold mines on Cherry Creek, branch south Platte; latitude 39”

It seems I have barely scratched the surface…

The Traveler… Election tension – should Indiana’s votes be counted?

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-2-20-2017-indianaToday’s journey took me to New York City by the means of the New-York Spectator, February 22, 1817. Under the heading of “Congress”, I found the “Votes for President & Vice President” report: “The votes of all of the states having been aloud, with the exception of those of the state of Indiana… One motion of Mr. Jackson, a message was sent to the Senate, informing them that the House of Representatives were ready to proceed, agreeably to the mutual resolution of yesterday, to open and count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States…The reading of the votes was then concluded and the tellers handed a statement thereof to the Present of the Senate… The president of the Senate then declared JAMES MONROE, of Virginia, to be duly elected President of the United States , and DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, of New York, duly elected Vice-President…”. A fair question to ask would certainly be: “Why were Indiana’s votes not included in the oral record?” An appropriate follow-up might be: “Were they eventually included?” If you know the answers off the top of your head, please respond. It sure is a good thing the election wasn’t close enough for Indiana’s votes to make a difference in the final result. However, the decision as to whether or not to include the votes was still an important one in regards to establishing precedent.

~The Traveler

The tension revealed between Halloween and All Saint’s Eve…

October 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Who decides what is right and what is wrong – what is evil and what is good? Is it man – and therefore a moving target based upon a majority view, or is it static – absolute, established by a Supreme Being who calls the shots? Is truth relative, or fixed? This philosophical question has been debated since the dawn of time. If the answer is “man”, then we had better get “it” right, or the consequences to the human race could be catastrophic. If the answer is a Supreme Being, then blog-10-31-2016-lucifer-the-light-bearerthe debate is meaningless – regardless of who comes out on top.

Whereas most historic newspapers printed in Europe and the United States have shown to be rooted in a Judaeo-Christian ethic which promotes the latter view, one 19th-century Chicago title stands out as having embraced the former – elevating itself to a position of being a bearer of self-determined truth. There is no doubt the identification with another bearing this name is no accident. Read for yourself what it says about itself, and make your own decision as to the truthfulness of its claims:

Lucifer, The Light Bearer

Of course if the latter answer (Supreme Being) is correct, your (and my) opinion as to whether its claims are true will have no bearing on the truth. 🙂

Topsy the elephant… Thomas Edision vs. Nikola Tesla…

April 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Each day at Rare Newspapers brings new discoveries.  Today we found an item which is quite historic.  In 1903, the battle between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla (and Westinghouse) as to which form of electrical current (DC or AC) was to become the standard, was largely decided – with Edison’s DC current being the loser.  Not willing to give up without a fight, Edison attempted to win public and political support by stressing the greater danger of death by electrocution from contact with AC current.  In a highly publicized dramatic event, Edison organized and helped supervise the  filming and electrocution by AC current of Topsy, a Coney Island circus elephant which had recently killed three men.  While the execution was successful, and was overseen by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Edison was highly criticized for the event which did not accomplish his desired goal.  The report was found on the front page of the ALLEGHENY COUNTY REPORTER, Wellsville, New York, January 6, 1903.  I wonder if the S.P.C.A. would support such an action today?

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