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

The allure of the Old West…

July 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While few of us will have the opportunity to visit some of the fascinating old mining towns of the Old West, holding a newspaper from a ghost town’s hey day can be the next best thing. And with a little knowledge about the town, a newspaper from the neighborhood press takes on added appeal and intrigue.

With this in mind I will, from time to time, offer some background information on the towns from which some of our Old West newspapers came. And I’ll start with an issue with an interesting title, the “Owyhee Avalanche” of Silver City, Idaho.

Silver City is one of the few old mining towns that did not burn down or become commercialized into a modern city. Visiting Silver City is like going back into history. The Idaho Hotel is as it was 100 years ago with a few modern amenities. Rugged and picturesque, the 8,000 feet-high Owyhee Mountains surround Silver City, elevation 6,200 ft. The history-filled town contains about seventy-five structures that date from the 1860’s to the early 1900’s.

During its “heydays”, Silver City had about a dozen streets, seventy-five businesses, three hundred homes, a population of around 2,500, twelve ore-processing mills, and was the Owyhee County seat from 1866 to 1934. Some of the largest stage lines in the West operated in the area, and Silver City had the first telegraph and the first daily newspaper in the territory in 1874.

More that two dozen camps provided shelter, supplies and amusement for the thousands of people who came to the mountains seeking their fortunes in one way or another. The ruins of some of these can still be found though nature is reclaiming most of them at an accelerated rate. Almost a dozen cemeteries and many more remote burial sites attest to the hard and sometimes dangerous and violent lives led by many. Hundreds of mines pock-mark and honeycomb the mountains; one had upwards of seventy miles of tunnels laboriously hand-dug through it. Between 1863 and 1865, more than two hundred and fifty mines were in operation and hundreds more were developed thereafter. At least sixty million dollars worth of precious metals were taken from the area. (credit:

Click HERE for some photos of present-day Silver City.

First newspaper in Idaho…

March 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Idaho’s name was adapted from the Shoshone Indian call, “Ee-dah-how!”. Its literal translation is “Look! The sun is coming down the mountain.” It was a part of the “Oregon Country” claimed by Spain until 1819 and by Russia until 1824. Great Britain and the United States held it jointly until Britain relinquished her claim to the United States by treaty in 1846.

In 1839 the American Board of Foreign Missions brought back from Hawaii the printing outfit that had been sent there in 1821 (see our post for Feb. 22: “Hawaii’s first newspapers…”) and transferred it to Idaho. In 1862 in Lewiston, named after explorer Meriwether Lewis, Idaho’s first newspaper, the “Golden Age”, was established  by A. S. Gould who hasd previous printing exerience in California and Oregon. The “Golden Age” was discontinued in 1865 when the printing press was moved to Leesburg. In 1867 the “Mining News” was established but the printer was able to keep it going for only eight months.

The first newspaper in southern Idaho (3nd in the territory), the “Boise News” was started on Sept. 29, 1863 at Idaho City, and the fourth newspaper, the “Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman” began printing on July 26, 1864 in Boise.

Punning in 1873.

October 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Just noticed a small entry in a Silver City, Idaho Territory newspaper from 1873 reading:

A piece of glass an inch long was taken from the head of a Rochester man recently, in whose skull it had been imbedded for twenty years. He had complained ocasionally of a pane in his head.”