Snapshot 1870… The 15th Amendment – Not So Fast!

November 19, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

The 15th Amendment states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” (www.History.com)

However…

Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s discriminatory practices were used to prevent blacks from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. (www.History.com)

We recently unearthed a pair of issues from The New York Times dated in 1870 which shed some early-morning light on the dawn of the 15th Amendment, and the struggle it faced on its path to realizing its intent – a struggle which made significant headway with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

The Constitution of the United States is second-to-none, and the wisdom of the Founders to frame it in such a way as to make it a work in progress was genius. However, making adjustments along the way, although appropriately difficult, was part of the original intent. The greater problem and most difficult hurdle is bringing the hearts of humanity in line with “red & yellow, black and white; they are precious in His sight” – and should be seen and treated as such.

They Put It In Print (1918)… “The 19th Amendment fails by 1 vote…”

October 26, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Does one vote matter? Does every vote count?

Since the passage of the 19th Amendment, the impact of women on the political climate, and therefore, on both the course and civil fabric of the United States cannot be understated. Since 1964, more women have voted in presidential elections than men – as measured by both actual quantity and as a percentage of their respective genders. While this “right” was not realized until 1920, few know that the (women’s suffrage) Amendment nearly passed two years earlier, but came up short by a single vote. Sadly, not all Senators were present to vote. How do we know? They put it in print in The Christian Science Monitor (Boston) dated  October 2, 1918.

 

They Put It In Print (1848)… “Lincoln that is, political gold, Illinois tea…”

September 25, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

A tremendous wag, hilarious, upright, a real gem… We recently uncovered the earliest “feature” article we’ve ever found regarding Abraham Lincoln – buried on the back page of the The Greensborough Patriot (NC) dated September 16, 1848. On the heels of gold having just been discovered in California, another golden-nugget was slowly becoming unearthed on the opposite side of the country – before the very eyes (and ears) of the nation. Although Lincoln was a relatively unknown senator from Illinois, a reporter heard him speak before The House and was impressed enough to take the time to record his observations. It appears this reporter, along with a host of others, would be drawn to the qualities which would set him apart from the pack, and would eventually propel him into the history books. How do we know? Back in 1848, they put it in print:

I can imagine, as articles such as this began to circulate, that the folks back in home in Illinois began to talk in Lincoln’s ear, and…

The first thing you know ol Abe’s politically extraordinaire,
Kinfolk said “Abe move away from there”.
Said “The Capitol” is the place you ought to be”
So they loaded him on a train and he moved to D.C.

The UNITED States would never be the same.

 

 

They Put It In Print (1862)… Slavery At The Capital…

July 10, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We all have a tendency to view things through a lens of our own creation – and the internet and social media – both which customize our “news” to our liking, only help refine our “news” into that which reinforces our worldview. In the end, honest, open dialogue – once the fabric of our public discourse, is reduced to mere noise falling upon deadened ears. Truth is, all Republicans… all Democrats… all Libertarians… all those who disagree with our point of view are not uneducated, haters, bigots and/or evil. Republicans do not “own” patriotism, and Democrats do not possess the mantle of black-American advocacy. How do we know? Back in 1862, The New York Tribune dated March 14, 1862 put it in print:

 

 

The Traveler… death comes to Teddy…

July 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Back in January I traveled to Norwich, New York via the Chenango Telegraph of January 7, 1919, where I found a three line headline “Col. Theodore Roosevelt Is Dead At His Home at Sagamore Hill.”  “The news that Col. Theodore Roosevelt is dead was received at this office at 5:30 o’clock Monday morning… The ex-president died at his home at Sagamore Hill at 4 o’clock this morning…”

Besides his presidency, Teddy is probably most known for his Rough-Riders in the Spanish-American War while serving in Cuba.

~The Traveler

I’m New Here: Week Seventeen…

June 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite the obvious gender bias inherent in the title, I like “The Gentleman’s Magazine“, as I suspect many non-gentlemen of the time did as well. This week I pulled an issue from April of 1775 – mainly because I enjoy the tone of superiority that saturates those months before what we now know of as the Revolutionary War (or whichever various title you prefer). “Colonial upstarts” were causing commotion and consternation to the rest of the world, but mainly to the ruling class in London. The heading of the very front page of the one perched on my desk amidst the new catalog excitement is entitled, “Continuation in the House of Lords on the Address to his Majesty respecting the Situation of Affairs in America”. What follows is a labyrinthine balance between appeasing the vanity of the monarch, and an attempt to elucidate the different aspects of potential vulnerability to defeat. In particular, the French and Spanish ships continuing to trade with the colonists brought great consternation. “Does the noble Earl pretend to interpret this explanation [England would be “…at liberty to seize any of their ships trading with American subjects”] generally, so as to authorize our taking their vessels at sea? If he does not, what can such a vague deluding promise avail? If he does, then I will venture to assure his Lordship, that he is miserably deceived; and that the first attempt to prevent French or Spanish ships from navigating the American seas will furnish them with an opportunity of asserting their maritime freedom, of making reprisals, and of justifying their conduct to the other great states of Europe, who are known to be long jealous of what they are pleased to call our despotic claim to the sovereignty of the ocean.”
When I read this, I start to understand a little bit this American spirit, this classification under which our country has been perceived by the world, from the very earliest days. This mindset changed the world. And that is an immense, and not embarrassing, thought.
But, lest you think the GM’s are all politics, I would like to recommend any meteorology enthusiasts plug in the data compiled monthly and displayed on the inside cover page. The average prices of corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats and beans are delineated by county. Genealogists will enjoy the Births, Marriages, and Deaths alongside the list of Promotions and Bankrupts. There are book reviews and parish reports and a comprehensive section entitled “Historical Chronicle“, which gives an overview of multiple aspects of the state of the world.
Anyway, to delve into these accounts of the earliest days of this country is to see the tenacity that fueled an eventual nation – and perhaps nurture an admiration for what was once made, an inspiration for all that could be made again.

You can read more about Gentleman’s Magazines via previous posts at: Gentleman’s Magazines

They Put It In Print (1938)… Martin Niemöller…

May 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Martin Niemöller)

The Christian Science Monitor for March 4, 1938 reports Reverend Martin Niemöller has been sent off to a Nazi concentration camp.

 

 

They Put It In Print… The Communist’s Oath from 1848…

May 14, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

As we were searching through our issues from 1848 looking for early Gold Rush content, we discovered an interesting item in a August 8, 1848 Boston Evening Transcript with content related to Communism. With contemporary material related to early Communism hard to come by, it is nice the B.E.T. decided to put this in print:

 

Equal rights – a long and arduous path…

May 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

“Equal Rights” – Within the United States, it is easy to think the struggle for equality based on race, gender and/or socioeconomic status was, and in certain areas continues to be, one placed on the shoulders of only Blacks and Women. However, it doesn’t take too much digging to see this was not the case. I was reminded of this reality when I recently came across a December 19, 1818 issue of the Niles’  Weekly Register. Therein I found a heading titled “Maryland legislature,” which included in part, “…A committee was appointed to bring in a bill to extend the same civil privileges to persons professing the Jewish religion as are enjoyed by those of any other religious sect…”.

As a bit of history, In 1776 Maryland’s constitution safely protected “…all persons professing the Christian religion…” yet said nothing at all for those of other beliefs. It was a fact not widely known among other Americans that in the State of Maryland, and in Maryland alone, a citizen professing the Jewish religion could not hold any office, civil or military. In 1797 Solomon Etting, Baltimore leader and representative Jewish figure, along with other prominent Jews petitioned the Maryland Assembly to address this prejudicial issue and secure equal rights for Jews. The petition was well received but ultimately rejected. Year after year as it was presented and turned down new advocates were enlisted including influential Gentiles. In 1818 Judge H. M. Brackenridge and others began a vigorous battle to right this wrong. The legislation ultimately to be known as “The Jew Bill” was enfranchised in 1825 and confirmed the following year. This change, along with a series of others, helped motivate many Jewish citizens to participate, from a position of privilege, in the early suffrage movement.

Regarding State and National Constitutions… Our fore(parents) may not have gotten everything right, but thankfully, in most cases, they had the foresight to created peaceful paths for change. Peaceful progress, using the proper channels the framers built within these founding documents, may take entirely too long, but staying within the given bounds has served us well over time. There is, and will likely always be much to be done, but we live in a marvelous land of progress. Let’s never let the need for pruning and continued growth ever cause us to hack away at the roots.

They Put It In Print… FDR “packs” Supreme Court… In his own words…

April 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The Springfield Union (MA), dated March 10, 1937, has the complete text of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat in which he defends his rationale for “packing” the Supreme Court. As we stand at the brink of perhaps yet another similar moment in American political history, it is timely to consider his thinking – in his own words, and thanks to the editors of The Springfield Union, they put it in print. Enjoy.

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