Writing styles have changed through the years…

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This nice piece concerning death, published in “The Semi-Weekly Argus” newspaper from Port Townsend, Washington Territory, Aug. 19, 1873, is a great example of how differently–and often beautifully–writing styles were over 100 years ago.

Much of the fun of collecting newspapers is enjoying a different style of writing, whether the piece is historical or just an ordinary comment of the day, as is the case with this item.

First newspapers in Hawaii…

February 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The American Board of Foreign Missions sent a printing press to Hawaii in 1820, but it wasn’t until fourteen years later that a periodical was printed in the islands. Hawaii’s first newspaper was done by students of a missionary seminary on the island of Maui on Feb. 14, 1834, titled: “Ka Lama Hawaii” (Hawaiian Luminary). A similar paper titled “Ke Kumu Hawaii” appeared in Honolulu in October of the same year. Both were printed in the Hawaiian language.

In 1836, two years after Hawaiian language newspapers took hold, the first English language paper was born, the “Sandwich Island Gazette and Journal of Commerce“. This newspaper was only printed sporadically and lasted for just three years. It wasn’t until 1856 that the first regular English language paper was established, the weekly “Pacific Commercial Advertiser“. The “Advertiser” has published continuously since then, switching names to today’s Honolulu Advertiser in 1921.

A quiet title…

February 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

World War II “camp” newspapers, produced by the various military units around the world, had some interesting titles (see our post of January 11). One of the more interesting is the “SSHHH” (see below).

I would suspect there was some secrecy with work of the unit which produced this newspaper, given the title and there being no city or town of publication noted. The only clue that it was produced overseas is the note at the bottom of the front page: “This edition musts not be sent home.”

An interesting newspaper title worth sharing.

Brevity can say much…

February 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Often times very brief, inconspicuously located reports (see below) can be just filled with historical significance. There were many newspaper reports announcing the Declaration of Independence with a simply one sentence statement.

Another report which is significant yet brief is found in “The London Gazette” from England, May 26, 1701. The back page, with no heading save for the “London, May 23” dateline, has the report shown in the photo. This newspaper remains one of the premier issues for those adding significant pirate reports to their collection.

First newspapers in Georgia…

February 15, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Georgia, founded in 1733, was named after King George II of Great Britain. James Johnston, a Scotsman, was the colony’s first printer. He established the “Georgia Gazette“at Savannah on April 7, 1763. The “Gazette” was issued with intermissions and changes of name for nearly forty years. During one of the intermissions Johnston published the “Royal Georgia Gazette“, which he purchased from John Hammerer who had started it on January 21, 1779.

John E. Smith started the “Georgia State Gazette or Independent Register” at Augusta on Sept. 30, 1786. In 1789 it became the “Augusta Chronicle and Gazette of the State” and later was shorted to just the “Augusta Chronicle“.

What a name…

February 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The “Illustrated London News” from England, August 16, 1862, contains a report headed “Sir E.P. Coffin”. The simply last name is interesting but not terribly unusual. It’s his full hyphenated last name which intrigues.

No shortage of editorial comment in reports of years…

February 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Connecticut Journal” of New Haven, Feb. 15, 1798 contains a report of two new born infants who were left at doorsteps.  In today’s world news reports are given objectively without editorial comment–“just the facts”–whether the news item is horrible, tragic, or jubilant.

But this was not the style years ago. Note the editorial comment within the report. I doubt we would find such comments in today’s newspapers unless they were direct quotes from a person involved. Such reporting style certainly adds much flavor to reports of years ago, and equally interesting reading.

First newspapers in Florida…

February 8, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Florida (“land of flowers”) was first settled at St. Augustine in 1565 but it would be over 200 years later before a newspaper would be printed within its boundaries.

In 1783 when Spain still ruled over Florida, William Charles Wells began the “East Florida Gazette”, the colony’s first newspaper, at St. Augustine. The first number was probably dated February 1. There are no known copies in America, but from a few numbers preserved in London it is evident that although published in English in a Spanish speaking community, the  “Gazette” was a credible newspaper.

Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1821. In July of that year Richard Edes, of Augusta, Maine, arrived in St. Augustine & began publication of the “Florida Gazette“. He died just three months after he began to print in Florida, after which the name of the newspaper was changed to the “East Florida Herald” and it continued for many years.

Later the same year two Virginians arrived in Pensacola and established the “Floridian” on August 18, 1821, with the title later changing to “Pensacola Gazette and West Florida Advertiser“.

How times have changed…

February 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In recent years, particularly near the Christmas holiday, there are many reports of organizations soliciting drives for various needs for soldiers overseas, often including toiletry items, nonperishable foods, bottled water, and other needed staples.

Such drives were common in World War II as well. Note the report in the “Beacon” newspaper from the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Oct. 1, 1943. I doubt today there would be a “Smokes for Buddies” rally to send two million cigarettes to our soldiers overseas.

Never say never…

February 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s always interesting to find comments or actions which are later refuted or contradicted in history. I recently came across one such pair of reports which make for interesting reading and thought it worth sharing.

The “Pennsylvania Evening Post” of Philadelphia, May 11, 1779 contains a letter from London which includes: “…And rest assured the independence of American WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED by Great Britain whilst she exists as a nation…”.  A few years later the “London Gazette” of Dec. 7, 1782 includes a report from the King noting: “…I did not hesitate to go the full length of the powers vested in me & offered to declare them Free and Independent States, by an Article to be inserted in the Treaty of Peace…”.

This would be a great pair of issues to display side by side.

Are you aware of similar situations in history where newspaper reports of both make for fascinating pairs? Feel free to share.

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