Announcing: Catalog #314 (for January, 2022) is now available…

December 31, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 314 (for January) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 325 new items, a selection which includes: a dramatic broadside on Lincoln’s assassination, the first of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Gettysburg Address (in a military newspaper), a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, the capture of Ethan Allen, a front-page portrait of John Wilkes Booth, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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

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

Thankful for today, but dreaming of a better tomorrow…

December 28, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas in the rearview mirror… New Year’s Eve just a stone’s throw away…

The week between these two holidays is prime for a healthy blend of contemplation, nostalgia, and anticipation. Was 2021 a banner year? Will it go down in the annals of history as one of the best years ever? Probably not, however, I am thankful for each and every day. Why? I was blessed with the breath of life, the love of God and family, a mix of both warm sunshine and nourishing rain, and the God-given ability to appreciate the (albeit) flawed present while looking forward to an even better tomorrow. The capacity to dream of a day when COVID, masks, and the inability to see the smiles of my “red and yellow, black and white” brothers and sisters are a thing of the past… when these very same “created in the image of God” siblings can engage in respectful dialogue even while holding opposing deep-rooted views tightly… when people trump politics, is no small gift.

Sometimes dreamers get criticized and dismissed as being naïve for having their heads in the clouds – for being unrealistic and perhaps a bit insane. These accusations may be true for some, but please don’t tell those who thought a band of ill-equipped, untrained, and often uncouth colonists could defeat the world’s greatest superpower of the day, that slaves could one day be free, that humans could fly and perhaps (as ridiculous as it sounds) travel to the moon… and back, that women could be given the right to vote, that a group of people who were treated by many as inferior simply due to the color of their skin would one day be viewed as equals, etc., were crazy. After all, they had a dream, and their dreams are now our reality.

So, today I choose to appreciate the fruit of yesterday’s dreamers while I dream of an even better tomorrow. Are you a dreamer? I hope so.

Please enjoy the last few says of 2021, AND although a bit early, Happy 2022! I can’t wait for what comes next.

Snapshot 1864… Confederacy’s fight – for independence or slavery?

December 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In grade school back in the 1960’s/1970’s I was taught that the Civil War was fought between the Northern (Yankee) States who wanted to free the slaves and the Southern States (Confederates) who wanted to keep the slaves in bondage. Bad Southerners! Perhaps if I had been born in The South my education would have been bent in a different direction, but through my teenage years I assumed this was the accepted “truth”. When I moved on to college… and then graduate school, my assumption of such a simplistic view was challenged by my enlightened (now I think they would be called “woke”) professors who informed me of the true reason: The Southern States merely wanted to exercise their right to self-government (i.e., “State’s Rights”)… to not be controlled by a federal government whose reigns were largely in the hands of the Northern States and their own interests… the right to separate (succeed)., while the Northern States wanted nothing more than to preserve The Union (largely for selfish reasons). Bad Northerners!

Of course I now know the reasons were varied and complex, but by far the most important result was in fact the Emancipation of enslaved blacks. After all, how could “We The People” possibly stand the test of time without embracing (to the core) the self-evident truth that “all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”?

However, I digress. Circling back to the divergent views I was taught…

As I was perusing a Sacramento Daily Union (Nov. 3, 1864), the heading of a front-page article caught my attention: “The New Agitation in the South – Slavery as Well as Separation the Ultimate Object of the Rebellion”. It turns out that while revising history to meet a specific narrative may be the order of the day, the historical perspective regarding this particle issue may not be a victim of these Orwellian efforts.  The article (in full) is as follows:

 

 

 

 

Where History Comes Alive (Part 2)… Gettysburg…

December 13, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

The Battle of Gettysburg, occurring roughly at the midpoint of America’s Civil War, was both the deadliest battle and the turning point of the war.  An interested historian can traverse this soil where American struggled against American to uphold their way of life and protect their convictions and experience the humbling and somber journey which befalls those who explore first-hand the sacred ground which helped define the America we experience today.  In the past, when I have personally been blessed to walk upon the sacred soil where so many gave their lives, I could almost hear Abraham Lincoln’s clear and determined voice echo over the valleys: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...“.

As moving as this trek is, coupling the venture with actual accounts of the day gives a deeper insight of this nation-shaping event.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Gettysburg, it will be more than worth your while. However, before you set out on this adventure, you may want to peruse some of the contemporaneous reporting found within the authentic newspapers of the day. After all, it has been said: “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.

Announcing: Catalog #313 (for December, 2021) is now available…

December 3, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 313 (for December) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 325 new items, a selection which includes: the Battle of the Alamo, the very historic Duche letter to General Washington, Coca-Cola is sold (in an Atlanta newspaper), Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, New Jersey’s first newspaper (1781), The Oxford Gazette from 1665, the desirable beardless Lincoln issue (1860), a front page print shows Lincoln being assassinated, one of the best issues on the death of Marilyn Monroe, the funeral of Alexander Hamilton (a single sheet “extra”), the formal end of slavery: “Slavery is Abolished!”, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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

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

The 1st Amendment – from 1789 to 1961 to…?

November 29, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

On January 8, 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Richard Price, a Welsh moral philosopher, Nonconformist minister and mathematician. In his letter he expressed the following, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” This belief that the American people, when well informed, were capable of identifying right and choosing it, sits as the core of the 1st Amendment foundation of free speech and freedom of the press.

Flash forward  to a spring day in April 1961 when the current American president, John F Kennedy, spoke to The American Newspaper Publishers Association. Hear, in his closing words as printed in The New York Times for April 28, 1961, the same reverence for the right of the American people to know the facts as was voiced by his predecessor over a century and a half before:

“It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.”

As a lover of history, especially as it is chronicled within the pages of newspapers, I am always thankful our founders understood how necessary freedom of speech and a free press are to maintaining a free republic. It is encouraging to see our government voice a passion in support of this pillar of Democracy for nearly 200 years.  Hopefully We The People will not be silenced and will not permit this inalienable right to be gutted.

Last Words Can Say it All… John Hancock’s thankful heart…

November 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

What do the following sayings have in common: “A man’s last words reflect what he held most dear”… “He finished well”… “He ran with perseverance the race set before him”?

I would argue, based on a fascinating issue of the Columbian Centinel (Oct. 9, 1793) I found today, they are all applicable to John Hancock. What began as intrigue with a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving by this notable Founding Father, turned to a swell of warmth as I noticed his death announcement within the same issue. At the end of his life, he was clearly focused on giving thanks: “Where as it is the Duty of Men, as well in their social, as individual state, religiously to consider the dispensation of God’s Holy Providence – To acknowledge with gratitude, their obligations to Him and their entire dependence upon Him: I have therefore thought fit, by and with Advice and Confident of the the council, to appoint, and I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Seventh Day of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving throughout this Commonwealth…”

His well-run race, punctuated by an abundance of highlights along the way, stands as an emphatic reminder to never take thankfulness for granted. While it is easy to assume gratitude has always been in the hearts of men, truth is, its more rare than one would hope and needs to be proclaimed more often. In John Hancock’s case, his words and deeds proclaimed the overflow of his heart long before he signed off on this life and entered the next.

Snapshot 1801… The importance of newspapers…

November 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1803 the well-respected Columbian Centinel and Massachusetts Federalist dated August 19, 1801 printed an article affirming a new publication, the Country Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia), and made a powerful statement regarding the importance of newspapers which we have shown below. This declaration is reflective of new president Thomas Jefferson’s comments regarding newspapers from back in the late 1780’s:

“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.”

If either the publisher of the Columbian Centinel or Thomas Jefferson were alive today, do you think they’d feel the same? Please share your thoughts.

They put it in print, 1917 – “The more things change…”

October 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent post focused on a headline which borrowed Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s famous words from 1849: “the more things change, the more they stay the same” (translated from “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”). This tendency, as applied to human behavior, has certainly been substantiated time and time again in the world of politics.

During former President Trump’s term in office “leaks” were springing up everywhere. For a novice to the political realm this may have appeared to have been a new phenomenon; however, the banner headline from a San Diego Evening Tribune dated January 8, 1917 makes it clear that once again, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr was spot-on. How do we know? They put it in print:

Announcing: Catalog #311 (for October, 2021) is now available…

October 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 311 (for October) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items, a selection which includes: the Articles of Confederation, a nice account of Lincoln’s assassination, a graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, George Washington is elected President, Winslow Homer’s famous ‘Snap The Whip’, Washington crosses the Delaware, an issue almost entirely devoted to the Lincoln assassination (with a print of Booth), the first newspaper published in Alaska (with Seward’s speech to the citizens of Sitka), an issue with the iconic Uncle Sam print, a Civil War broadside, the famous Hamilton and Burr duel, the creation of the United States Marine Corps, nice content on Lewis & Clark, and more.

 

The following links are designed to help you explore this latest edition of our catalog:

 

Don’t forget about this month’s DISCOUNTED ISSUES.

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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