The Traveler… marching in Birmingham… Hitler’s end… your next party…

May 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Detroit, Michigan by the way of The Detroit News for May 6, 1963. There I found that for the past several days Birmingham, Alabama, has been witnessing the “Children’s Crusade”, in which several hundred students had skipped school to march for desegregation and civil rights. Today’s report states it was peaceful with singing, chanting and praying as it was Sunday. Oddly enough the only arrest made (as of this article) was of a white couple inside the church as they were not permitted inside the church.

Also in the paper was a headline “Found Hitler’s Body in ’45, Reds Say in War ‘Secrets'” which also included a large photo Adolf Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun. This was information being released about the disposition of Hitler’s body from the release of a book by Cornlius Ryan entitled “The Longest Day”.

Did you ever want to be the life of the party? There is a story of a 15-year-old boy that, with a novelty ring, “touted to possess ‘hypnotic’ powers”.  Well, within a few minutes, he truly ended up placing a young lady into a trance but was unable to get her totally out of it. A call to her parents, a trip to the hospital, and a psychiatrist later, the trance was broken. Just be careful at your next party with your jewelry and what you say!

~The Traveler

Black History Month… looking back…

February 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Slavery. The word itself stirs intense emotions for nearly all who hear it… even for those who have not been directly confronted with the institution. For some it brings feelings of guilt… “How could my forefathers have engaged in such activity?” For others it brings feelings of oppression… anger… and more.  While many people groups have been subjected to this burdensome yoke of man through time, for Americans, none is quite as impacting as the enslavement of African Americans. In honor of Black History Month, Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers has created a Pinterest Board which takes a look back at a time in U.S. history when slavery was alive and (not so) well:

Pinterest… Slave Ads & Related Woodcuts Prints

Additionally, we’ve arranged our available authentic newspapers related to Black Americana in chronological order (recent first) to provide a snapshot into the past for those interest in reviewing how slavery in general, and Black History more specifically, has been depicted in newspapers over the past few centuries. They may be viewed at:

African-American / Black Americana / Slavery…

News worthy of the headline… Which would you choose?

February 8, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Selecting the news for a newspaper’s headline must be quite challenging at times, especially when there are multiple significant events clamoring for top billing. We recently came across a Leominster Daily Enterprise, MA, April 16, 1947, which had 5 noteworthy events to choose from:

*  Execution of Rudolf Hoess, Nazi commandant of Auschwitz… oversaw massacre of 2,000,000 Jews

*  Milton Reynolds breaks Howard Hughes around-the-world aviation record in his “Bombshell”

* Jackie Robinson breaks racial barrier… 1st regular season MLB game played by an African American

* Texas City disaster (350 killed)

* Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (from Greece) become engaged, with photo

Which do you think grabbed the headline back in 1947?To find out if you made the right choice, go to:

1947 Headline

(see the 4th image)

What if the same events occurred today?  Would the editors make the same choice for tomorrow’s headline? We’d love to know your thoughts… and reasons.

Details of a slave auction…

November 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mentions in pre-Civil War newspapers of slave auctions are not uncommon, and those which mention prices fetched for various slaves are somewhat more rare. But it is very difficult to find period articles which offers detail as to how an auction is conducted, how the slaves are examined, and comments on the slaves’ reaction to their sale.

The New York Tribune” issue of April 28, 1860 includes an article titled: “The Negro Market In Savannah” which has such detail. It offers an interesting perspective on this  institution which seems so barbaric today, but which was an accepted part of business in the pre-war South. A snippet of the text is found below, with the text in it’s entirety, along with a report of a fugitive slave case, is found at: The Negro Market In Savannah“.

Robert E. Lee… a touching tribute…

April 27, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Buried deep within a September 3, 1868 issue of The New-York Times is a touching tribute to Robert E. Lee.  This, along with several other articles from throughout the newspaper, provide a glimpse of this difficult post-Civil War period – with Nathan Bedford Forrest’s interview, the tension over support for Ulsysses S. Grant’s run for the Presidency, and reports from both the Republic and Democratic Party’s conventions providing the backdrop for this almost overlooked intimate letter from the editor of the Fredericksburg News.

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:

A well dressed runaway…

July 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is not uncommon that runaway reward ads include a small engraving of a person, but never have I seen an engraving of so well-heeled a runaway as this guy. And his reward of “1 mill” is a bit of an insult as to his value. This ad appeared in the “Middlesex Gazette” from Middletown, Connecticut, July 29, 1829

Mark Twain… on the Jews…

January 3, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

We recently discovered an issue of Harper’s Monthly from September, 1899 which has a lengthy article by Mark Twain regarding Jews.  While he is often viewed as America’s greatest writer, few are aware of his ongoing defense of minorities within the U.S., including Jews, Blacks, Native Americans, along with other minority groups. To kick off the new year on an upbeat, but challenging note, we invite you to view the text of “Concerning the Jews“, by Mark Twain.  As we reflect on the 100+ years since this was written, it appears that many have heeded his words – a tribute to the melting pot potential of the citizens of the United States.

The Traveler… Celebrating the 4th…

July 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Happy 4th of July to all!! In reading through newspapers for this week, I decided not to select today’s date, but yesterday’s instead. The Boston Patriot, dated June 30, 1810, contains a large announcement of the “Republican Celebration!” for the Celebration of the 4th of July, 1810 — it being the 34th Anniversary of American Independence.  This issue shows the the progression of the Bunker-Hill festivities which would proceed from the State House to Bunker-Hill. There are also other articles within the issue in reference to the Fourth of July.

On a side note, while scanning through the issue I noticed within the “Died” notifications an amazing announcement.  One brief reports that “Ann Sylvester, a free black woman, died on Tuesday the 14th at Falmouth, Jamaica, at the very advanced age of 133 years“. A very advanced age indeed!! It also provided information on her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all 82 of them!… with additional amazing information about her as well. Quite a lady!                    ~The Traveler

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