The Traveler… Conferedate president issues a proclamation… new establishments……

March 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I decided to travel back to the era of the Civil War through The New York Times of March 4, 1863. In this issue I found the Southern President Jeff Davis had appointed March 27th to be a Day of Fasting and Prayer. “…Under these circumstances it is my privilege to invite you once more to meet together and prostrate yourselves in humble supplication to Him who has been our constant and never-failing support in the past, and to whose protection and guidance we trust for the future. To this end I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, setting apart Friday, the 27th day of March, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer…” This is also signed in type: JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Also under the “Important from Washington” are the new establishments of “The New Banking Law”; “Designs for Currency Notes” due to the recent passing of the National Currency Act; “A Branch Mint in Nevada”; as well as the establishing of “The Territory of Idahoe (Idaho)” from within the territory of Montano (Montana). “Slavery is forever prohibited within the limits of the new Territory”.

What an incredible time in history!

~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…

The Traveler… The Emancipation… the last look… and today…

January 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I traveled 150 years back in time and through the activities of the Civil War via the Harper’s Weekly dated January 24, 1863. This issue contains a double-page illustration by Thomas Nast entitled “The Emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863 – The Past and The Future.” Mr. Nast shows their present life in the center circle, of a happy home including a picture of President Lincoln hanging on the wall. The illustrations to the left show obstacles they had to endure — being sold at auctions and separated from loved ones, beatings, and being chased (if running away). The illustrations to the right show what they are looking to in the future with the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation — owning a home, children going to public school, being treated fairly by the employer and being paid for working.

This illustration has an accompanying article that describes the illustration and also includes text from the Tribune of March 11, 1859, which dealt with the largest single sale of humans (slaves) in the United States. Mr. Pierce M. Butler of a city near Savannah, Georgia, sold 486 slaves — men, women and children — to pay his debts. This gives a prospective of what the slaves had to endure as they were being separated from each other as family members and long term friends.

As a contrast , this issue also presents a look into the past with an illustration and small article, “A Slave-Pen at New Orleans – Before the Auction. A Sketch of the Past.”

Today we also celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Let us all remember his famous words… “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last.

~The Traveler

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“.

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

The Civil War… 150 years ago today… July 13, 1861

July 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We continue our weekly feature of reflecting upon the appropriate 150 year old issue of “Harper’s Weekly” from the perspective of a subscriber in 1861:

The front page (of the July 13, 1861 issue of my Harper’s Weekly) has a scene from: “The Battle of Boonville, Missouri”. So much gunfire & smoke! Inside has a nice print of “Fort McHenry, Baltimore”, a famous fortress from the War of 1812. There is also a nice full page print showing: “The Cabinet at Washington. It is great to put a face to so many names read in the newspapers, including Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Simon Cameron, Gideon Welles, Salmon Chase among others.

Showing a “softer” side of the war is a full page print with 4 scenes of: “Hot Coffee Free For Volunteers Passing Through Philadelphia. Another page has a dramatic full page print of “Winfield Scott, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army” at 75 years old! (and he looks it). Also a full page print of “Major-General Scott at 41”.

Certainly the most dramatic print is the full page showing: “A Slave Auction at the South”. The whole process is incredibly inhuman and is part of what this war is all about.

There is another full page print of: “Major General John C. Fremont in His Prairie Costume”, just one of many different uniforms worn by soldiers in this war. He looks as though he stepped round of the wilds of the West.

Featured websites – The Liberator Files…

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Within the past few months, three members of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers each recommended the same website, The Liberator Files, as a great resource for exploring this well-known abolitionist title from the early/mid 1800’s.  This Boston paper was published by William Lloyd Garrison, and provides wonderful context for this formative period in U.S. history – from the early 1830’s through the end of the Civil War.  The Liberator Files, developed and maintained by Horace Seldon, includes a wealth of abolitionist related commentary in conjunction with a host of scanned Liberator images from William Lloyd Garrison’s own collection, which are currently held at the Boston Public Library.  Thanks Horace, for your significant contribution to the world of rare & historic newspapers.   Please enjoy!

Feel free to share with the rare newspapers community other historical and/or rare newspaper oriented websites you’ve found to  be of use.

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