First newspapers in Michigan…

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The first settlement in present-day Michigan was in Sault Ste. Mari in 1668, yet it was about one hundred years later before the first printing press arrived in the territory. Detroit was founded in  1701 and it was here in 1809 when the Rev. Father Gabriel Richard brought with him a printing press upon which Jame M. Miller, a printer from Utica, New York, would published the first issue of “Michigan Essay; Or, The Impartial Observer” on August 31. A portion of the issue was printed in French. Only four issues of this newspaper have survived and they are all the first issue so it is possible it may have been also the last.

The second newspaper in Michigan was also in Detroit, the “Detroit Gazette” which began on July 25, 1817.  Three of the pages were in English while one was in French. It succeeded for about thirteen years, expiring on April 22, 1830. The third newspaper was again in Detroit, the “Michigan Herald“, which began in 1825 and lasted for four years. the first French newspaper in Michigan was the “Gazette Francaise, which also began in 1825, which was also the year the first newspaper outside of Detroit was begun, being the “Michigan Sentinel” in the town of Monroe.  By the 1830’s newspapers in the Michigan Territory became more commonplace.

Recommended reading…

June 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Wheeler, one of our “rare newspaper” friends, recently sent us an e-mail with the following recommendation for our summer reading list:

The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison, by Edward J. Larson & Michael P. Winship, ISBN 0-8129-7517

This book essentially condenses and annotates Madison’s notes taken throughout the Convention so that the language and the important concepts that were discussed can be understood today.  The book includes a list of those attending the convention and their respective states. When you keep a copy of this list handy while reading the notes, you can get a clear picture of the regional motives behind the discussion as the constitution was developed. This book, in conjunction with The Founding Brothers, John Ellis, were both extremely helpful in developing a working understanding of what I consider to be one of the most interesting 10 to 20 year time period in US history.

I thought that in addition to all of your other reading, these two items may be interesting and helpful.

Thanks for your suggestions Jim.  To the readers of this post:  “If you have a chance to read either of these (or have already done so), the community would love to hear your reactions as well.

Historic printing press returns home…

June 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The following appeared in the May/June issue of “The History Channel Magazine“. Given its focus I thought it worth sharing with our collectors:

“The ‘Cherokee Advocate‘ became the first newspaper published in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) on Sept. 26, 1844. Published weekly, in both Cherokee and English, it provided Cherokees with information about their people and the United States. When it first started publication it was the country’s only tribal-owned newspaper; it would later be joined by the “Choctaw Intelligencer” in 1850 and the “Chickasaw Intelligencer” in 1854.

The last issue of the Advocate was published in 1906 after the federal government dissolved the Cherokee Nation. The printing office, press, and other equipment were sold to a Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, publisher in 1911, and the Cherokee syllabary typeset was sent to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation.

After nearly 100 years, the Cherokee Advocate printing press returned to its original home at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in early 2010. The printing press will be one of the museum’s centerpieces. For more information, visit”

Minnesota’s first newspapers…

June 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The first “Minnesota” newspaper has the curious distinction of never being printed in Minnesota. Dr. Andrew Randall, a U.S. government employee from Ohio engaged in a geological survey of the Minnesota district, decided to become a printer. He returned to his home town of Cincinnati, purchased printing equipment, and produced in Cincinnati the volume 1, number 1 issue of the “Minnesota Register“. There was but one number, but existing copies bear different dates of April 7 and 27, 1849.

Another outsider, James Goodhue, a lawyer-turned printer from Lancaster, Wisconsin, worked for a newspaper in Wisconsin before carting his equipment and heading north for St. Paul’s Landing in the Minnesota Territory. There he planed on printing what was to be named the “Epistle of St. Paul”, but after advice of friends the first issue was actually titled the “Minnesota Pioneer“, appearing on April 28, 1849. Not only was this the first newspaper actually printed in Minnesota, it was the first piece of any printing done in the territory.

The next newspaper was done by another Ohioan, James Hughes, who on May 31, 1849 printed the “Minnesota Chronicle” on May 31, 1849. Third in line was the “Minnesota Register“, now moved from Cincinnati to Minnesota to become a legitimate Minnesota newspaper when it printed its July 14, 1849 issue in St. Paul. Just over a month later the “Chronicle” and “Register” combined to produce the “Chronicle & Register” on August 25.

Rules for mourning…

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The “Sentimental & Masonic Magazine” from Dublin, Ireland, July, 1792, has an interesting article headed: “General rules for Behaving in Mourning”. It may have been written partially tongue-in-cheek, but you can decide.

The Traveler… “The Apprentice (s)”…

June 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

While reading through The Post Boy (London) dated June 17, 1710,  I came across a few articles pertaining to the news of the day that were interesting. One was related to a current topic of interest, “job security”, being a petition from Master Gun-Smiths for and on-behalf of themselves (Dublin and Ireland) stating they were to be  the ones to making the Arms for themselves – perhaps a conflict of interest???  Another was the report of the returning of the Majesty’s ships, “as prize, a French Privateer.”

However, it was an advertisement which really caught my eye. It begins with “Went away from their Master…”  and continues on to describe two young lads, their clothing, provides their names and states that they “suppos’d to be straggled on Ship Board”, and that anyone who helps to find them  “shall be kindly rewarded”.  Interesting contrast between those who were trying feverishly to preserve their livelihood with those who were running from it.          ~The Traveler

Your help would be appreciated…

June 14, 2010 by · 10 Comments 

Rick Brown, not unknown in our little world of newspaper collecting, is embarking upon a project and seeks your help.

Rick published “Collectible Newspapers” for many years and created the Newspaper Collectors’ Society of America along with producing several projects which remain valuable to our hobby today, including the “List of Common Reprints” found on our website. His current project is producing a list of all known reprint editions of the New York Herald of April 15, 1865, perhaps the most commonly reprinted newspaper on the market. He has identified 35 different versions and is lacking a few including:

* Kitchel’s Liniment for 1890, 1892 through 1899, 1903 and 1904, 1906
through 1908. (The date for each can be found at the
top margin of page 2.)

* Smith’s Buchu Lythia Pills

He also wishes to produce a reprint of the front pages of each of the four
genuine editions of the newspaper for free online use. Should you have a genuine New York Herald, April 15, 1865 in your collection, or one of the reprint edition editions noted above, please be in touch with Rick directly for details on how to assist in his project:

Poetic analogy from the battlefield…

June 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The “Bradford Reporter” newspaper from the small town of Towanda, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1863, contains: “The Story of Two Bullets” which provides a somewhat poetic analogy to a hopeful conclusion to the Civil War.

One never knows what will be found…

June 7, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

I suspect I have reflected several times upon the great wealth of interesting information which can be found in a seemingly “generic” issue. Recently I came across an item which was unfound for over 30 years until time permitted a closer look.

I have always touted the value of London’s “Gentleman’s Magazine” as a great periodical, as few world events of the 18th century escaped its pages, including American events from after the Revolutionary War. As a title which has always be somewhat common in a relative sense, when American titles of the 18th century have become almost impossible to find, key issues in “Gentleman’s Magazine” offer an excellent opportunity to add period, historic reports to a collection at a relatively modest cost.

Admittedly, volumes of this title have become more difficult to come by in recent years, prompting us to take a closer look at some issues which used to go out the door almost as quickly as they came in. The June, 1790 issue was seemingly just another innocuous magazine from the post-war era, and which I suspect we sold dozens of times for $15 to $25 or so. But a week ago I took a more careful look and found an excellent obituary of Benjamin Franklin, taking over 1 1/2 pages, even including is very famous self-written obituary which includes: “The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, like the cover of an old book, its content torn out & stript of its lettering & gilding, lies here food for worms…”.

You may have purchased this June, 1790 issue from us in years past. If you have, take a look at pages 571-3 and elevate the status of this issue from generic to significant.  Even with this wonderful content, we still offer this issue for less than 1/3 the price of comparable reports in American newspapers.

I wonder how many other significant issues we’ve sold over the past 34 years not fully knowing what was inside? Hopefully you have discovered some gems which escaped my eye….it’s all part of the thrill of collecting!

Letter from the “dead”…

June 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The San Francisco “Daily Herald” newspaper dated March 30, 1854 has a brief report headed “Not Dead” (see below). It is reminiscent of the more famous–although much later–quote by Mark Twain in 1897 in which an illness of his cousin was confused with him, prompting him to write: “…The report of my illness grew out of his illness, the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

Next Page »