Be sure you are buying what you think you are buying…

June 10, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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History can throw collectors a curve ball now and then. If something read in an early newspaper doesn’t seem quite right, take a few moments to research. With the plethora of information on the internet today, it need not be difficult nor time-consuming.
When writing up a 1792 newspaper reporting the installation of the cornerstone of the President’s house, at first blush it seems to agree with history. The cornerstone of what is now known as the White House was, indeed, laid in 1792. But it reports it happened in Philadelphia. Okay, the nation’s capital moved from New York to its temporary location in Phila. for ten years while the District of Columbia was being built out, so again the report seemed logical. However, more research uncovered what was being reported.
The newspaper is the Columbian Centinel from Boston, dated May 26, 1792. Page 3 has a somewhat inconspicuous report reading: “The following inscription is cut on the cornerstone lately laid as the foundation of the house designed for the future residence of the President of the United States, viz ‘This Corner Stone of the House to Accommodate the President of the United States, was laid May 10, 1792; when Pennsylvania was out of debt; Thomas Mifflin then Governour of the State’.”
Here is the background of the report:
As mentioned, the U.S. capital did move to Philadelphia. The President’s House was a mansion built from 1792 to 1797 by the state of Pennsylvania, located on Ninth St. between Market and Chestnut Streets, in Philadelphia. This was done to persuade the federal government to permanently stay in the city, yet this house intended for the president of the United States never housed any president.
On July 16, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act which designated Philadelphia the temporary capital for a 10-year period while the permanent capital at Washington, D.C., was constructed. The recently built Congress Hall was used from December 6, 1790, to May 14, 1800. The president of the United States, first George Washington and then John Adams, resided at the house leased from financier Robert Morris, also known as the President’s House, on Market Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets.
In September 1791, the Pennsylvania state government enacted the “Federal Building Bill” to pay for the renovations needed for the federal government office space and for the construction of a new executive mansion. Twelve lots were purchased on the west side of Ninth Street, between Market Street, then named High Street, and Chestnut Street.
This is the building with the cornerstone mentioned in the newspaper report, laid on May 10, 1792 (the cornerstone of the White House in Wash. D.C. was laid five months later). On March 3, 1797, Penna. Governor Mifflin offered the nearly completed mansion to John Adams on the eve of his inauguration. But Adams rejected the offer on constitutional grounds stating “as I entertain great doubts whether, by a candid construction of the Constitution of the United States, I am at liberty to accept it without the intention and authority of Congress”.
Thus neither Washington, no longer president when the mansion was ready, nor Adams, would reside in the President’s House in Philadelphia.
In 1800, the University of Pennsylvania purchased the property at public auction for use as a new, expanded campus. The university demolished the building in 1829 and replaced it with two new buildings.
So goes the interesting history of the “White House” that never was. Yet the report is an interesting piece of history nonetheless.

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Snapshot 1973 – Henry Kissinger – 1st ethnic Jew & 1st naturalized U.S. citizen to become Secretary of State…

June 7, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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When it comes to politics and ethnicity, gender, religion, etc., U.S. firsts are noteworthy. A few which stand out are John F. Kennedy (1st Roman Catholic President), Barack Obama (1st black President), Kamala Harris (1st female and 1st black Vice-President), Antonin Scalia (1st Italian-American Supreme Court Justice), Hiram Revels (1st former slave to serve as a U.S. Senator), etc. The list of such significant milestones is almost endless.

Although it took place during my lifetime, to my loss one failed to capture the attention of my (then) 14-year-old mind. However, thanks to a collector’s request to see if we had coverage of the tragic death of singer-songwriter Jim Croce, my digging within our archives turned up a September 22, 1973 News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) which not only had a report on his death, but also featured the front-page headline: “KISSINGER CONFIRMED IN 78-7 VOTE” – telling of his becoming both the first Jewish-American AND first naturalized citizen to be confirmed as Secretary of State. He was sworn in the following day. Quite historic. Such “finds” are nearly a daily occurrence in the lives of our Rare & Early Newspapers’ staff – just one more reason to love this collectible!

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This Month in History – June…

June 3, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Continuing with our series of “This Month in History”, we thought we’d jump right in and provide the link to the available issues which were published during the month of June. This time around we’ve arranged them in chronological order to provide a newspaper version of a walk forward through time – from 1666 to 2022. Enjoy.



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Announcing: Catalog #343 for June, 2024 – Rare & Early Newspapers…

May 31, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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The June catalog (#343) is now available. Shown below are links to various segments of the catalog, our currently discounted newspapers, and recent posts to the History’s Newsstand Blog. Please enjoy.

CATALOG #343 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: Ben Franklin’s famous “Join Or Die” engraving in the masthead, the Gettysburg Address (on the front page), the House version of the Bill Of Rights, a rare & desired pillar cartoon celebrating ratification, a Chicago newspaper on the Chicago Fire, a British newsbook from 1646, and more.



Helpful Links to the Catalog:
DISCOUNTED ISSUES – What remains of last month’s discounted issues may be viewed at: Discount (select items at 50% off) 
Thanks for collecting with us.




Guy Heilenman & The Rare & Early Newspapers Team


[The links above will redirect to the latest catalog in approx. 30 days

upon which time it will update to the most recent catalog.]

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Memorial Day (aka, Decoration Day) and the melting pot of grave markers…

May 27, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Soon after the Revolutionary War, during the formative years of The United States, the metaphor “Melting Together” was often used to describe the citizenry of this new experiment in self-government. In the early 1900’s this morphed into “Melting Pot” as a result of Israel Zangwill’s famous play of the same name. The breadth of ethnicities which make up our nation can almost be described in Biblical terms – “every ethnos” (people group) – and for much of the past two centuries, although not without hurdles to clear, it has been one of our greatest strengths. However, being in the same pot does not necessitate a “melting together”. It takes hard work. Yet, the effort has proven to be worth it. Of course, our enemies know the reality of both – the strength it brings…. and the effort it takes, and so they seek to foment division from within. Sadly, too many do not see this nefarious manipulation or the writing on the wall if they continue to allow themselves to be a pawn of the tactics used by those who seek to weaken us at the core.

So, what does this have to do with Memorial Day? A few days ago I came across a May 31, 1939 New York Times which contained multiple reports telling of the prior day’s Memorial Day celebrations held throughout the country. What struck me was the “melting together” of citizens from every walk of life as they honored those who had given their very lives to earn, preserve, and protect those from each and every ethnos who comprise the melting pot in which we live. As I pondered which article to feature in conjunction with this post, considering current events, I thought the one below to be apropos. It is interesting to note that this article was written in the midst of perhaps the greatest effort in human history to create a nation based on the antithesis of a melting pot – specifically targeting those hereafter honored:

Happy Memorial Day? Perhaps. Grateful Memorial Day? Absolutely!

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Pre-Memorial Day (Decoration Day) preparations…

May 26, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Today (Sunday, May 26, 2024) is the day before what was originally called Decoration Day. Whereas we will have another post tomorrow commemorating the day, today I was browsing through some of our previous posts and related website listings, and was struck by both the early emphasis on “preparations” for the day, and the ritual of decorating the grave sites of those who had paid the ultimate price in war. This led me to ponder how I could incorporate both into this years “holiday”. I’m not sure if it will happen, but we currently have 11 grandchildren and their parents with us this weekend, so I’m hoping they’ll all agree to walk down to the small Civil War cemetery (on what is now called Freedom Road) where several black soldiers from our area are buried, and place a few American Flags among the decades-faded markers. If it works out, I’m looking forward to the umpteen questions which will come my way.

in the meantime, feel free to take a gander at an item we have on our website which has several reports on the very first official Decoration Day celebrations which took place throughout the United  States in 1869:

Decoration Day

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Another Golden Nugget found within an Old Newspaper… Edmund Halley

May 24, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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A collector (L.G., from Vermont) recently contacted us to mention he had found a “Golden Nugget” within one of our listings. Finding hidden gems while perusing a newspaper is not too uncommon (it’s one of the pleasures of the collectible), however, doing so while viewing merely select images on our website is another thing altogether. Making this “find” even more impressive is that it was barely visible at the bottom of a photo showing something else. SO, what was “the find”? An advertisement for the notable “Planisphaerium Coeleste (double hemisphere celestial chart)” which had been “reviewed and corrected” by the 23-year-old astronomer, Edmund Halley.  He would later become famous for discovering that a series of comet sightings which reached as far back as 240 BC were actually of the same comet – now called Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley). From a collector’s standpoint, it’s nice to see his name in print long before his famous “find”.

For the record, the mention was found in The London Gazette for April 10, 1679 – a listing which has now been updated to reflect the new content. The original photo observed by L.G. can still be found through the provided link.

Please know we are always pleased when collectors let us know of such discoveries – even if the find means we missed something which would have made the newspaper significantly more valuable.

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Davy Crockett & Rand Paul – “I Love This Collectible!”

May 20, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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I recently overheard someone on the radio mention a speech Rand Paul gave on the Senate Floor on May 18, 2022 regarding “spending” in which he quoted portions of an earlier speech by beloved Senator Davy Crockett given in the same chamber back in 1867. What caught my attention was Senator Paul’s source: a Harper’s Magazine from 1867 – a title which we have in relative abundance within our archives. Rand Paul’s oration, now referred to as his “Makes No Sense” speech, is found here:

Of course, being collectors and resellers of Rare & Early Newspapers (and some 18th and 19th century magazines), the fun was about to begin. Might we have a copy of this speech? Might we have the very Harper’s Monthly issue Rand Paul referenced?

Problem 1: He said it was from Harper’s Magazine, 1867; however, Harper’s was a monthly magazine. Thanks to the internet, we soon discovered several websites (some highly respectable) which stated it was from the January issue. Off we went to our archives to check to see if we had the January, 1867 issue. Bingo! We had it.

Problem 2: After searching through the issue multiple times, it was obvious that all of the websites must have relied on a single, wrong source. Bummer. So, where could it be? Might the year be wrong? Perhaps a different month within 1867? A different title? After a bit more digging we found a reference which stated that an article related to Davy Crockett was present within the April issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (April, 1867). Might we have this one? If so, might it contain Senator Crockett’s speech? Back to the archives we went, and before long we dug out the desired issue and were elated to find the referenced speech!!!

Whether you agree with Rand Paul’s or Davy Crockett’s position on the spending of taxpayer’s money, the trek was rewarding. AND, after all this effort, the speech is shown below. Enjoy.

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The (2024) May Newsletter from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers…

May 17, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Welcome to the May Newsletter from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers. Over the past year many newcomers have joined the ranks of those who have been inspired to collect old, rare, and/or newspapers tethered to their specific areas of interest. In fact, you may be one of them. If so, it is hoped that as time goes on your appreciation for the collectible will only grow. To this end, in addition to the links to the monthly discounts, new listings, and May catalog shown below, we thought we would draw attention to the History’s Newsstand Blog which we believe has much to offer in regard to learning about the hobby. Although it’s still a work in progress, so far we’ve amassed 5 posts designed to act as the start of a Rare Newspapers Primer. These can be accessed at:


Whether you are a seasoned or novice collector of newspapers, if you would like to suggest a topic to be included in such a “Primer”, please let us know at Thanks.

Since we’re already exploring the History’s Newsstand Blog, we kickoff our regular monthly features with links to our recent posts:

The reason I collected it: Newe Gazette van Brugge…

The month of May thru time – as reported in newspapers of the day…

You can’t always believe what you read… even when penned with good intentions…

The Whole World’s Watching: George Washington’s 1st State of the Union Address…

They Put It In Print – Immigration in 1903…

Larger Than Life – The Death of Jessie James…

Snapshot 1903 – “Jack the Ripper” in America?

The remaining monthly features are as follows:

Catalog 342 – Newly Added (Quick Scan or Full View)

Catalog 342 – Entire List (Quick Scan or Full View)

May’s Discounted Issues -50% off (Quick Scan or Full View)

Although the following appeared in last month’s newsletter, we thought it was worthy of another mention:

(Currently) Available Items From Our Personal Collection

Over the past several months we have begun to make a selection of items from our personal collection available to others. Tim Hughes is also authoring a series on the History’s Newsstand blog titled: “The Reason I Collected It”. As additional items are released over the next several years, Tim will continue to expand this series of posts. More details regarding his collection will be forthcoming.

As always, thanks for collecting with us!
Guy & Laura Heilenman & the entire Rare Newspapers Team
(including our “founder”, Tim Hughes)

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The reason I collected it: Newe Gazette van Brugge…

May 13, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Sometimes it’s nice just to be handsome to be collectible. The New Gazette van Brugge from 1815 Belgium is not particularly early for a European title, nor am I aware of any historic content. But the masthead is deep, it includes a coat-of-arms engraving, and has beautifully ornate lettering in the title, not to mention two tax stamps in the masthead. Additionally, it was never bound nor trimmed and is small enough to frame economically–hence a logical addition to our private collection.

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