Rare & Early newspaper collecting hobby is finding unforeseen historical nuggets buried deep within the pages of newspapers... just waiting to be unearthed. This was recently brought to the surface again by a collector/history teacher who purchases 19th century wholesale lots (undescribed as to content) for his students and for personal use . His note is as follows:
This paper (from a wholesale lot) had a reference to a house vote for the "relief" of Susan Decatur, wife of naval hero Stephen Decatur. She had inherited $75,000 from her husband, who was killed in a duel in 1820. This is the equivalent of $1.4 million today. The bill was defeated. One of the nays was cast by Congressman Crockett (David). Minor, but priceless info. Your company does more good than you know.Feel free to share your own discoveries with the collecting community. The image shows a portion of a full-page ad found buried in the back of the January 4, 1902 edition of Harper's Weekly Illustrated. One of the joys of collecting rare and early newspapers is the fun collectors have digging up hidden treasures. A student at Arizona State University recently noticed that one of the contributors listed in an ad for encyclopedias was Woodrow Wilson, more than 10 years before he would be elected as the 28th President of the United States. In case one did not already know, this ad also reveals that he was a Professor at Politics at Princeton. I wonder if any other noteworthy individuals are named within this ad??? Additional close-up images can be found at: Additional Images. Feel free to add your finds. Christian Science Monitor dated August 26, 1910, took me on the train ride with Colonel Roosevelt as he was traveling across the states on his campaign tour. I found a segment a bit amusing... "At Erie the Colonel spoke to fully 5000 people. At Dunkirk a crowd nearly as large surrounded the train, and some one shouted, 'Hello, Teddy!' 'I used to think it lowered my dignity to have them call me Teddy,' the colonel said to his party in an undertone, 'but do you know I am getting to like it now.'" A this point in time, one just somewhat "assumes" that he was always called Teddy. While looking further into the issue, I found a one paragraph article with a headline "Mr. Edison Works On A New Device" and I just had to read it. "Moving pictures that talk, reproducing not only the action, but the spoken words of actors shown on the canvas, promise to revolutionize the moving picture business and the announcement that a machine that will combine the perfected phonograph with the present motion picture camera is being constructed in the laboratory of Thomas A. Edison in West Orange, has created a stir among inventors." This made me wonder just when were "talkies" invented and who invented it? Was this ground-breaking news? I did some researching through google. In the late 1890's, there were some sound to movies but each person had to wear a listening device -- early headsets?? Mr. Edison is mentioned as to be working on creating a special machine to make the "talkies" but the first talk was not to be until 1927 with the release of The Jazz Singer. ~The Traveler This week I did not select an issue of today's date, instead I found the Connecticut Mirror dated August 13, 1810 instead. The front page of this issue begins with providing to the public the celebrated secret message of President Jefferson, on the 6th of December, 1805. This message was in respect of the relations of the United States with Spain and France concerning Louisiana. When I first saw this, I thought back to the 1970's when Watergate occurred with the "missing minutes" of tape. Here they had secret messages that finally were revealed to the public five years later. The story that was the eye-catcher was found on the back page, entitled "Ghost of a Dog". This comes from a Dublin paper reporting of a lady who was scratched by a neighborhood dog, but she viewed it as a "breach of hospitality" that she demanded an order of execution on the dog. This was done, in a strange manner, and the dog's body was retrieved by some friends. With some very unusual tactics over a course of about three weeks, the dog was able to run about as usual, make his rounds to visit his old friends, including meeting up with the lady he had scratched. She was so terrified that she fell into fits and at the time of the report was near death. Now... what's the old saying... what goes around, comes around??? ~The Traveler While reading through The Christian Science Monitor dated July 15, 1910, I came across a report from Jacob H. Schiff. The report states that he and a party of friends were inspecting part of Alaska and as a result, are convinced it will become as populous and as productive as parts of Norway, Siberia and Russia. He (Jacob) states the greatest need of the far north to be transportation (access) and goes on further to identify the regions he believes would best be served by access by rail (train). At the time, did they really think that this would become possible?? Note (Google exploration): Through a little fun internet searching I discovered that Mr. Schiff was a well known banker and philanthropist with a descendant married to Al Gore's daughter. Looking further through the issue, a name of a city quickly caught my eye - Williamsport, PA! It seems that our hometown, the Lumber Capital of the World, was honoring the lumbermen with the hosting of a convention. Very cool!! The final small article that just made me look twice had a heading of "Japanese Envoy Coming", followed with the dateline "Honolulu". Just knowing what occurred only three decades later... ~The Traveler Admittedly, volumes of this title have become more difficult to come by in recent years, prompting us to take a closer look at some issues which used to go out the door almost as quickly as they came in. The June, 1790 issue was seemingly just another innocuous magazine from the post-war era, and which I suspect we sold dozens of times for $15 to $25 or so. But a week ago I took a more careful look and found an excellent obituary of Benjamin Franklin, taking over 1 1/2 pages, even including is very famous self-written obituary which includes: "The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, like the cover of an old book, its content torn out & stript of its lettering & gilding, lies here food for worms...". You may have purchased this June, 1790 issue from us in years past. If you have, take a look at pages 571-3 and elevate the status of this issue from generic to significant. Even with this wonderful content, we still offer this issue for less than 1/3 the price of comparable reports in American newspapers. I wonder how many other significant issues we've sold over the past 34 years not fully knowing what was inside? Hopefully you have discovered some gems which escaped my eye....it's all part of the thrill of collecting! Revolutionary War era. There appears to be a new finding involving Bunker Hill in Boston, as reported by the Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/08/history_of_the_remains/. Although history may never be more facinationg than when it's read from the day it was 1st reported, current discoveries certainly add depth to our walk through the past. Note: If you've never taken a Walking Tour of Historic Boston, it is worthy of your time. The next time your in the Boston area, this tour is a must.