The best of the best from the mouth and/or hand of Abraham Lincoln…

September 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

What is Abraham Lincoln’s most noteworthy speech, proclamation, letter, etc.? The Emancipation Proclamation? His Thanksgiving Proclamation or proclamation for a National Fast Day? Perhaps it was his 1862 Annual Message to Congress, his 2nd Inaugural Address, or his last public address in 1865? Of course the “go to” answer is often what we now refer to as The Gettysburg Address. The choices are almost endless. However, below is a candidate which appeared in an issue of The Crisis (Columbus, Ohio, May 4, 1864) I’d like to throw into the mix. Why it flies under the radar of notoriety and has never received more recognition is rather perplexing. What are your thoughts? Note: I’d like to thank a friend of Rare & Early Newspapers for suggesting I take a 2nd look.

Victor Hugo – poetry in early 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines…

June 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

In our opinion, one of the early titles we come across, The Gentleman’s Magazine, is grossly underappreciated. This London “Reader’s Digest-sized” publication which spanned the early 18th through mid-19th centuries and was known for great reporting from throughout the world, was also pregnant with book reviews, poetry, mathematical challenges, birth and death notices, and an abundance of plates depicting everything from maps to sketches of rare animals, historical cathedrals, and notable men and women of the era. While we’ve written about this title in previous posts (view posts), our attention this time around is in regards to poetry – with a question.

Whereas nearly every issue contains poetry of the period, the poets are often unknown to me, and therefore, rarely catch my eye. However, during the process of scanning The Gentleman’s magazine for July, 1833 looking for content related to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, one name in the heading of a poem caught my eye: Victor Hugo. After reading the poem – and being moved, I became curious as to whether this was an early (1st???) printing – and therefore more valuable as a collectible, or if he had penned it many years prior. Unfortunately a cursory on-line investigation came up empty in regards to a validation that the poem was even written by him, let alone its original date of publication. Of course this begs the question: Can anyone attribute this to him and/or confirm its first printing? If anyone is in the know, please share your knowledge with the collectible community. Thanks in advance. AND as for the poem itself:

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

May 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the United States perfect? Certainly not. Our forefathers did not sacrifice time, security, and in many cases, life or limb for the sake of a perfect system of government. Their hope was to establish a government for the people – which would provide the opportunity for all to pursue happiness in an environment free of governmental oppression and steeped with a host of inalienable rights. For some, “all” meant everyone. To others, “all” was defined quite narrowly. Still, even those who had a broader view understood the benefit of compromise – for the purpose of establishing a system which would have enough flexibility to adjust to their broader view of “all” over time. We know now the great advancement in this regards only came through a Civil War; however, it came. A perfect system? No. The best system ever constructed by man? Absolutely.

As we contemplate the great sacrifice paid by many to create and preserve this “best system” under God, the New York Tribune dated July 7, 1854 help us to capture the tension and need for growth that was evident to many in the 1850’s. Allow a negro to become a member of Congress? Could this be possible? Those who knew Frederick Douglass certainly thought so. Please enjoy:Blog-5-30-2016-Frederick-Douglass

What a pile of hooey… No seriously, what a pile of hooey…

April 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-14-2016-Galapagos-IslandsEvery now and then, while browsing through rare and early newspapers, an article is discovered which causes one to take a second look – or 2nd read. Such is the case with a report in the New York Semi-Weekly Tribune of January 30, 1855. As I was scanning through slavery and Mormon related coverage, I discovered an inside report which described how Ecuador tricked the United States into signing a treaty in which the U.S. would provide protection for Ecuador’s ports and the Galapagos Islands (owned by them) in exchange for access to the supposed endless supply (by the ton) of guano on the Galapagos Islands. Apparently, Ecuador had produced samples of highly potent bird and bat dung which motivated the U.S. to sign the treaty. Later, upon investigation, it was found out that the tons upon tons of guano was simply a pile of hooey – that is, nowhere to be found – but the treaty had already been signed. Who signs such an agreement sight unseen? I must admit, the nature of the agreement stirs all of the middle-school boy sarcasm which I thought I had long-since put to rest. However, such is not the case. He’s in there.

The Traveler… 13th Amendment ratified…

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-12-7-2015-13th-AmendmentToday I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune (December 7, 1865). The headlines: “The Constitutional Amendment”, “It Is Adopted”, “The Twenty-Seventh State”, “Freemen To Be Protected” were all reporting: “The Constitutional Amendment has passed each branch of the Legislature. The House passed a resolution instructing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill to protect persons of African descent in their persons and property, and also to allow them to testify in cases in which they may be interested.”

This abolished slavery in the United States.

~The Traveler

The aftermath of the Civil War… July, 1865

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-7-3-2015-ConspiratorsWhat news was reported in July, 1865 – 150 years ago? The horrors of the Civil War were now in the past, but the emotions and sorrow of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln were still fresh. Where would the nation go from here? How would we move forward? Was unity possible?
Such a walk back in time through the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following link will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the walk back in time:

July, 1865

A sampling of what you will find may include articles and info regarding: The end of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the hanging of the Lincoln assassination “conspirators”, the capture of Kirby Smith, P.T. Barnum’s tragic fire, the emancipation of slaves, the return to a degree of normalcy as shown through interest in post-war sports (baseball and others), and more. Please enjoy your travel into the past as you browse through the currently available original newspapers!

You’re Now Free – so get to work and don’t expect help!

November 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Major General Granger’s General Order #3, which appeared in the July 25, 1865 issue of Flake’s Daily Bulletin, provides contrasting news for the newly freed slaves. Good News: You are now free!  Bad News: Get to work and don’t come crying for help! I wonder how we would handle this same situation if it were to happen today???Blog-10-27-2014-General-Order-No-3-Granger

The Frederick Douglass’ Paper… Solomon Northup…

February 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

I absolutely love this collectible!

We had in our possession for a number of years an original issue of the Frederick Douglass’ Paper, dated March 17, 1854. It certainly was a grand paper – it being a continuation of Douglass’ North Star. However, while the notoriety of the title was well-established and the angst of slavery oozed throughout, it was a 21st century movie which infused new life into it’s weary 150+ year-old raglinen pages.

A collector recently went to see the theatrical adaptation of “Twelve Years a Slave – The Memoir of Solomon Northup“, and was moved to visit the Rare & Early Newspaperswebsite to see if we had newspapers with his mention. Searches for his name were unsuccessful – but this collector was not to be deterred. Having previously viewed the Frederick Douglass’ Paper in question, he took the next step and began to go over the corresponding images with a fine-tooth comb. Success. The newspaper was not only noteworthy for its editor and rarity, but it also had an article on the front page with mention of Solomon Northrup (see below). Fantastic.

Like I said, I love this collectible!

Will the real Abraham Lincoln please stand up?

July 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There is no doubt Abraham Lincoln is one of the most beloved historical figures of all time. Similar to how Robert E. Lee is respected by “Yankees”, as time goes by Abe Lincoln also seems to garner mutual appreciation. Once seen as polarizing, he is now credited with opposite – preserving unity. To what can we credit the change in how he was/is viewed?  Perhaps it was his address at Gettysburg or our post-Civil War hindsight which appreciates (or at least acknowledges) the end result – that we remain a united nation.  However, one danger in turning a flesh-and-blood human being into an icon is that we lose perspective on the conflicted realities the people of this era were facing.  We also tend to eliminate anything about such individuals which may present them in a light which bristles against how we perceive them. Doing so marginalizes the issues they were grappling with and minimizes the complexities surrounding change. It is with this in mind we invite you to explore another side of Abraham Lincoln – as he discusses his views on what to do about the slave issue. The best way to take this journey is to read his thoughts via the images provided through the link to the Liberator of August 22, 1862: Abraham Lincoln on African Colonization

Who is Toussaint L’Ouverture?

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and then we’ll come across an article which either illustrates a different side of a well-known historic figure, or provides a glimpse of someone whom we wonder why they have not received more recognition over time. Every now and then we’ll try to bring some of these to light. In this instance, our attention is drawn to Toussaint L’Ouverture. While he may be known to historians, the average person has most likely never heard of him. However, there was a time when this was not the case. In the mid-1800’s, his influence was known world-wide, and the ripple effects of his actions continue to be felt today. If you desire to know more, a lengthy biographical sketch by the often-verbose Wendell Phillips printed in the April 3, 1863 issue of The Liberator might be an excellent launching point. The entire article may be viewable at: The Liberator, April 3, 1863.

Wikipedia also does a pretty good job of providing additional details regarding his fascinating life. While most are no longer available, a few additional tidbits may be gleaned from other newspapers of the period:  Toussaint L’Ouverture

Enjoy!

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