Swashbuckling Adventures…

June 28, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Hollywood has painted an image of life on the high seas during the 18th Century… sometimes covering noble captains like Master and Commander’s Jack Aubrey or scheming bandits like Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Real life offers us more enthralling examples of both heroes and villains to study and newspapers of the era provide fabulous reading material to mine for these adventures.
In the late 1800’s

Captain James Cook “was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and to Australia in particular. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand… In these voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously charted by Western explorers. He surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. ” (Wikipedia).
On the darker side are stories of the notorious pirate, Captain Kidd, whom Wikipedia has the following to say … “ Acts of savagery on Kidd’s part were reported by escaped prisoners, who told stories of being hoisted up by the arms and “drubbed” (thrashed) with a drawn cutlass.” Whether you are looking for those in white hats or black, the news of the past offers intriguing characters to consider.

Contemplating Memorial Day in light of the last 15 months…

May 31, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m embarrassed. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, I was so consumed by “in the moment” issues I neglected to take the time on Memorial Day to be thankful for “those who have gone before us” – specifically, the men and women who gave their lives so those of us who reside in the United States could live in safety… freedom… hope – in a land where the ideals of the pursuit of happiness, equality, freedom of speech, etc., while not yet fully realized, were and continue to be part an parcel of the dream we call America. Starting with a revisit of a post from a few years ago, this year I’m committed to being more thankful for others and less self-consumed. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the following as much as I have while preparing this post:

Memorial Day… The Blue and the Gray…

We recently discovered an original issue of The Atlantic Monthly for September, 1867, which contained the earliest nationally distributed printing (and maybe the first ever) of ‘The Blue and the Gray,” by Francis Miles Finch. Although Memorial Day had not been officially proclaimed (via General Order #11, May 5, 1868), the practice of placing flowers and wreaths on the tombstones if the fallen was somewhat common. What was uncommon was the act of a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi, which is best described in the preface to Finch’s poem (quoted from the New York Tribune):

“The women of Columbus, Mississippi, animated by nobler sentiments than are many of their sisters, have shown themselves impartial in their offerings made to the memory of the dead. They strewed flowers alike on the graves of the Confederate and of the National soldiers.”

In recognition of Memorial Day, please enjoy the full text of this grand expression of appreciation for those who have fallen in battle – be they blue or gray:

 

Two additional Memorial Day themed posts from the past are:

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

A simple reflection on Memorial Day…

Announcing: Catalog #306 (for May, 2021) is now available…

April 30, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 306 (for May) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: the Declaration of Independence (in a newspaper), the Lincoln/Douglas debate (in an Illinois newspaper), the ‘closest’ to the famous Nathan Hale quote to be found, one of the best Lusitania issues we have offered, Washington’s third state-of-the-union address, the first depiction of a baseball game in progress in any periodical, 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.

“A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words” rings true in the world of newspaper collecting…

March 22, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

When discussing advertising in 1921, Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase: “A picture is worth a 1000 words”. Perhaps he copied a bit from the Chinese Proverb: “Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once” however, it is no less true concerning the written word as it is true of the spoken word. The images our brains receive immediately elicit an emotional response which can range from horror, to delight, from sadness to warmth and security.

This truth is no more prevalent than in the world of newspapers. Daily, here at the RareNewspapers office, our work is arrested for moments as we pause to appreciate those pictures that speak the loudest. Here is a link to our website that will take you to issues we define as “displayable”. Some of these are beautiful color images that bring a deep sense of nostalgia, some are a simple masthead that will amaze you with it’s intricacies. Some images are snapshots of a tragic time when people were called upon to rise up and show the best side of humanity. If you choose to spend a few moments walking this path of images, I think you will appreciate their power in our lives to shape both a nation and each individual.

Announcing: Catalog #304 (for March, 2021) is now available…

March 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 304 (for March) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a Masthead engraving by Paul Revere, ‘The Maryland Gazette’ from the French & Indian War, a 1775 ‘Virginia Gazette’ from Williamsburg, the most famous of all Lincoln assassination newspapers, the Articles of Confederation are now in force (1781), the Boston Red Sox purchase Babe Ruth, 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.

They put it in print… the R.M.S. Carpathia…

February 22, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

On April 15, 1912, the R.M.S. Carpathia became the hero of the day by coming to the rescue of many of the survivors of the Titanic. For the next several stops it went is was met with cheering crowds of adoration. However, a mere half-dozen years later it met a German U-55 submarine, and it was not well-received. Three torpedoes later it joined the Titanic at the bottom of the sea. Sadly, unlike the Titanic, there were no survivors. How do we know? The July 20, 1918 Springfield Republican put it in print.

Announcing: Catalog #303 (for February, 2021) is now available…

February 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 303 (for February) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Savannah, a trio of Honolulu issues on the key events of World War II, a rare pillar cartoon issue (putting the Constitution into effect), the desired ‘Who’s A Bum!’ newspaper, an issue incorrectly announcing all Titanic passengers are safe, an extremely dramatic issue on the ‘Battle of Los Angeles’, 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.

Is this the earliest Presidential portrait in a newspaper?

February 4, 2021 by · 5 Comments 

We recently discovered the November 23, 1844 issue of the iconic “Illustrated London News” from England, featuring on the front page portraits of James K. Polk and Henry Clay, both candidates for the Presidency.

Knowing this was a very early of a portrait of a President in a newspaper, I did a little digging to see if it might be, in fact, the earliest.

I could not confirm an earlier one. Research did note that the issue of April 19, 1845 of the same newspaper has a print showing the inaugural ceremonies and the procession to the Capitol, but that was 5 months later.

Given that most of the illustrated newspapers would not begin until the mid-19th century (Gleason’s Pictorial began in 1851), none of the more well-known American illustrated periodicals existed in 1844. Even Harper’s New Monthly, which had a wealth of small prints in each issue, did not begin until 1850.

Any collectors out there aware of an earlier print of a U.S. President in a periodical? It would be great to document the earliest, whether it’s this Nov. 23, 1844 issue or another.

Snapshot 1886… Mark Twain – yet another hidden gem…

January 7, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

This forum has often been used to highlight one of the unique benefits of the hobby of collecting Rare & Early newspapers – that is, collecting a newspaper for one purpose, only to later find a more precious item hidden within its pages. Such is the case with the Harper’s Weekly for September 29, 1866. For 40+ years we offered this issue with a spotlight on a variety of the interesting illustrations found within its 16 pages. However, we recently discovered yet another hidden gem: an article accompanying the popular print: “Burning of the California Clipper ‘Hornet'”. What’s so special about this uncredited article? It was written by Mark Twain – making it the first time an article written by him received national attention. What a find!

If you happen to be one of the lucky one’s to have purchased this issue without knowledge of the Mark Twain contribution, you now possess an issue of significantly greater notoriety (and therefore value) than what you previously had thought. Good for you.

Announcing: Catalog #302 (for January, 2021) is now available…

January 4, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

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Catalog 302 (for January) is now available. This latest offering of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 300 new items, a selection which includes: a very graphic issue on the sinking of the Titanic, a ‘Tombstone Epitaph’ (the most famous newspaper in the West), a Honolulu newspaper on Pearl Harbor: the more rare “2nd Extra”, the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomattox, an American map: creating the Mason Dixon Line, Washington’s state-of-the-union address, 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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