The Founding Documents – the Bill of Rights edition…

July 12, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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I recently read about a “man on the street survey” where people were asked to choose one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights from a list of 4 options. The options were: The right to vote, the right to healthcare, the right to a public education and the right to trial by a jury of your peers. Sadly, most of those interviewed did not pick the correct one. Even worse, most picked either the right to healthcare or the right to a public education. I quickly sent a group text to my adult children and asked them the same question and then awaited their responses with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully, my concern was unfounded.

One of the reasons we at RareNewspapers.com love what we do is that we feel as if we are helping to keep the heart of our country alive by protecting authentic papers containing real-time (contemporary) reports regarding our founding documents such as the Bill of Rights.  The portion shown below was printed in THE PENNSYLVANIA PACKET & DAILY ADVERTISER, Philadelphia (PA), October 6, 1789. Newspapers like these need to be cherished and their message intentionally disseminated to all generations so future surveys are a bit more encouraging. Thanks in advance.

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This Month in History – July…

July 8, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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July was a busy month from a (an) historic perspective. While it has always been a “time for war”, some of the most amazing discoveries, accomplishments, and human advancements have also made their way onto the historic July Calander. While the list is almost endless, three-handfuls include:

  • A French soldier discovers the Rosetta Stone (July 19, 1799)
  • First photographs were used in a newspaper (July 1, 1848)
  • U.S. Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor (July 12, 1862)
  • P.T. Barnum’s Museum burns down (July 13, 1865)
  • Philadelphia Zoo opens, the first zoo in the U.S. (July 1, 1874)
  • President Garfield is shot (July 2, 1881)
  • Louis Pasteur successfully gives first anti-rabies vaccination to nine-year-old (July 6, 1885)
  • The 16th Amendment, the power to tax income, is passed by Congress (July 12, 1909)
  • Albert Einstein introduces his Theory of Relativity (July 1, 1905)
  • “Lady Astor’s Bill” passes lowering UK drinking age to 18 (July 13, 1923)
  • The bikini is showcased for the first time (July 5, 1946)
  • Walt Disney’s Disneyland opens in Anaheim, CA (July 17, 1955)
  • The first moon walk takes place (July 20, 1969)
  • Hank Aaron hits his 755th and last home run (July 20, 1976)
  • First ‘Test Tube Baby’ is born (July 25, 1978)

For those who have interest in exploring the available newspapers at RareNewspapers.com which may contain reports on some of the above, along with a host of other newsworthy articles, a link to the chronological list is shown below. We hope you enjoy your trek.

NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHED IN JULY

 

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Sometimes you just know what it means – The Spirit of ’76…

July 4, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Sometimes you hear a word or a phrase and even though you can’t clearly give a written definition, you just have a gut feeling of what it means. Earlier today, when I was looking at a Picture and Magazine section from a Chicago Sunday Tribune, July 4, 1926, I breezed by the caption of the front-page image… The Spirit of ’76. After a moment, I found my mind wasn’t so much thinking of what that phrase meant, but instead, I was struck by the emotions which had been stirred… pride (in a good way as my mother would say), determination & a deep sense of purpose. Wanting to see if the phrase, “The Spirit of ’76” had a clear definition, I went to Wikipedia and found the following…

“The Spirit of ’76 is a sentiment explored by Thomas Jefferson. According to the text published at Monticello, “The principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence promised to lead America—and other nations on the globe—into a new era of freedom. The revolution begun by Americans on July 4, 1776, would never end. It would inspire all peoples living under the burden of oppression and ignorance to open their eyes to the rights of mankind, to overturn the power of tyrants, and to declare the triumph of equality over inequality.”

Thomas Jewett wrote that at the time of the American Revolution, there was “an intangible something that is known as the ‘Spirit of ’76.’ This spirit was personified by the beliefs and actions of that almost mythical group known as the Founding Fathers and is perhaps best exemplified by Thomas Jefferson.”

Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress believed the Spirit of ’76 “included the ‘self-evident’ truths of being ‘created equal’ and being ‘endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights’ including ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'” ~ Wiki

Hmmmm… “an intangible something”. I would agree this spirit is hard to completely capture with words, but it can certainly be understood with a feeling, a picture, or a flag, and it is certainly a “spirit” we need in abundance today.

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The revered September 15, 1790 issue of the Gazette of the United States. The back story…

July 1, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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We are very proud to offer the most significant American newspaper with Jewish content, in which Washington assured the congregation of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, that the United States “…gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance…”, perhaps the more famous utterance by a President in the establishment of religious freedom.

The newspaper is the “Gazette Of The United States” dated September 15, 1790, published in New York at the time. To fully appreciate its significance, we offer the following “back story” to this issue containing both Seixas’ letter of welcome to Washington, 

and Washington’s response to the congregation of the Touro Synagogue.

Upon his election as President, many churches, congregations, and religious societies wrote to George Washington to congratulate him on his new office, and he replied to each of them with personalized messages of thanks for their well-wishes. In his reply to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Washington applauded the people of the United States for rejecting the European practice of religious “toleration,” embracing instead the “large and liberal policy” that religious liberty is a natural right — and not a gift of government — which all citizens are equally free to exercise.

In 1790, George Washington visited Rhode Island to acknowledge the state’s recent ratification of the Constitution and to promote passage of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. As was the custom, when Washington visited Newport, he was met by a delegation of citizens, who read messages of welcome. One of those who welcomed Washington was Moses Seixas, the warden of the Touro Synagogue in Newport. Touro is the oldest synagogue building in America and the only one existing from the colonial era. In his welcome, Seixas gave thanks to “the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of men” that the Jews, previously “deprived … of the invaluable rights of free Citizens” on account of their religion, now lived under a government “which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Washington was moved by Seixas’ letter. The president’s response differentiated between religious toleration and religious liberty, as it specifically applied to American Jews. Washington wrote that Americans “have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy – a policy worthy of imitation . . . It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.”

Washington’s reply set a significant precedent that separated a more passive practice of tolerance, from the more potent one of liberty. Even the most liberal European states such as the Netherlands had policies that merely tolerated non-Protestants. In alluding to the Bible’s Old Testament, Washington unequivocally called for religious equality for Jews stating that “the Children of the Stock of Abraham . . . shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree.”

Notably, Washington imitated Seixas’s phrasing in his reply in writing that the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance” requiring only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” The president’s reply made loyalty to country, as opposed to Protestant allegiance, the prerequisite for religious equality.

This letter was written during Washington’s first term as President and is Washington’s clearest statement of religious tolerance. It is considered a steppingstone for the First Amendment that would come the following year in 1791 and is considered a foundational document establishing Washington’s belief in the separation of church and state.

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Announcing: Catalog #344 for July, 2024 – Rare & Early Newspapers…

June 28, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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The July catalog (#344) 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 #344 – This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes the following noteworthy issues: President George Washington’s letter to the Newport synagogue (a landmark issue), the Bill of Rights in a Philadelphia newspaper, the Articles of Confederation, a rare newsbook from 1647, the best San Francisco earthquake issue to be had, a graphic presentation of Lincoln’s assassination, 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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Guy Heilenman & The Rare & Early Newspapers Team

570-326-1045

[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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The Power of Music… Classics Never go out of Style!

June 24, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Has anyone else noticed how music from the 60’s-90’s has made a huge cultural comeback? From movies to commercials… from concerts to radio, the oldies but goodies are being sung (or at least hummed) by everyone from Boomers to Gen Zers. Music not only soothes the savage beast, it also brings whimsy to a warm summer day and sets the mood for a cozy winter evening. So, it is not surprising that collectors LOVE the concert ads in THE VILLAGE VOICE out of Greenwich Village, NY. Interests range from Bob Dylan, Kiss and The Grateful Dead to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tiny Tim (with his famous ukulele). This retro music can whisk us away to a memory tucked in the back of our minds and flood us with all the emotions we felt as our younger selves. Almost daily, as I prep these concert ads for our collectors, I am transported to a music memory from long ago and reminded again that newspaper collecting has a sweet spot for everyone.

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Inspiration Comes in All Shapes, Sizes & Stories…

June 21, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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Years ago (36 to be exact), my husband shared with me one of his favorite books of all time: Through Gates of Splendor, by Elizabeth Elliot. For those not familiar with this true story, Elizabeth’s husband and 4 other missionaries were taken and killed by the Auca tribe in Ecuador. Jump forward several decades to yesterday when our newest employee, who is currently enrolled in a missionary aviation, excitedly searched through the archives to find issues regarding this horrible event. To his elation he found several newspapers with real-time (contemporary) coverage. I was delighted to see the love of something which had captured my husband’s fascination as a young man still have the power to inspire a younger generation. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of newspaper collecting; no matter where your passions lie, there’s likely a newspaper with a report, ad, or headline which will relate to it.

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One of the more unusual, graphic issues on Lincoln’s death…

June 17, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 
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The Philadelphia Inquirer had several issues on Lincoln’s death and funeral that were very graphic, more such issues than any other title we’ve encountered from the era. But perhaps the most unusual–I might use the word stunning–would have to be the Cleveland Morning Leader issue of April 28, 1865.

As would be expected of this date, the front page has nice column heads concerning the capture & death of John Wilkes Booth, including: “Stanton’s Bulletin!” “J. W.  BOOTH! SHOT” “Harrold Captured!” “The Murderer’s Remains in Washington” “The Funeral Train” and more.

But the ink bleed-through on the front-page hints that page 2 has something unusual. And indeed it does, as does page 3 as well. When this four-page issue is opened the entirety of page 2 is taken up with a “monument” to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, set in type, done in a graphic style that appears like a monument. There is text within the “monument” but no other text on the page.

And page 3 contains a black-bordered box with five phrases relating to Lincoln, one a quote from his Emancipation Proclamation, and another a bit from one of his speeches.

It’s curious that we purchased this issue at auction with the description limited to just the front-page content on John Wilkes Booth. No mention was made of the inside content, but having had this issue before we knew what was inside – so much more notable than the front page.

 

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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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