October 29, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Two special events related to the Rare & Early Newspapers collectible are scheduled for this week:

1) A long time collector of historic newspapers, Todd Andrlik, has written a book which is sure to quickly become a classic within the hobby, “Reporting The Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News”, which tells the story of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of the newspapers of the period. Todd used authentic newspapers from the period… putting into practice what has been stated many times at History’s Newsstand:  “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was 1st reported.”  The link below will take you to Amazon’s “Look Inside” and will give you the opportunity to pre-order a copy through Wednesday, and direct order starting Thursday.  Thanks Todd.

“Reporting The Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News”

2) Newspapers that shaped the world…, a special edition catalog from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers, is also scheduled to be released on Thursday, at 12:01 AM ET, on November 1, 2012. While the following link shows items from our previous catalog, as of 12:01, it will take you to the release of what may be our most notable catalog to-date.

Newspapers that shaped the world…

Why I Still Read Newspapers… part 1 (of 3)

October 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A staff member at Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers recently received a set of newspaper headlines which are worth pondering. We’ve decided to split them up over a few posts. If you know of others – appropriateness is a must 🙂 –  please send them on (e-mail to and we will consider adding them to a future post. If you would like to receive credit, please include your name. Please enjoy:

The first newspapers in Texas…

October 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Texas had a fascinating history, with flags of six nations having flown over some portion of the present state: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, United States of America, &  Confederates States of America.

It was during the time when the Mexico flag flew over its land that a periodical titled “El Mejicano” was reportedly printed in Nacogdoches in May , 1813, as noted in Oswald’s “History of Printing In The Americas”. One report, from the “Southwestern Historical Quarterly” notes that a newspaper was printed from the same press at about the same time, titled “Gaceta de Texas” with a date of May 25, 1813. Some years later Horatio Bigelow and Eli Harris put out the first issue of the “Texas Republican” on Aug. 14, 1819. When Nacogdoches was captured by the Mexicans two months later the printing office was destroyed.

Milton Slocum, a printer from Massachusetts, established the “Mexican Advocate“, a newspaper in both English and Spanish, in Nacogdoches in September, 1829. Unfortunately no copies have survived.  Outside of Nacogdoches a weekly paper titled the “Texas Gazette” was begun on Sept. 25, 1829 in San Felipe de Austin. This paper then moved to Brazoria in July 1832 and ultimately was sold to the publisher of an existing newspaper titled the “Texas Gazette & Brazoria Commercial” which had begun just two years earlier. The combined enterprise became the “Constitutional Advocate and Brazoria Advertiser“.

Beginning in the 1830’s a multitude of newspapers sprang up in present-day Texas, continuing in the 1840’s and beyond.

Countdown to “Newspapers that changed the world…”

October 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Each month Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers releases a catalog containing a new set of historic and collectible newspapers (1600′s through 20th century). However, on November 1, 2012, at 12:01 AM ET, the special edition, “Newspapers that changed the world…” will be released. Whether you already collect newspapers, or desire to simply view a sampling of what the hobby has to offer, check back for this special occasion:

Prior to November 1, 2012 and after November 30, 2012, the link below will take you to the most recent offerings of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers… History’s Newsstand! During the month of November it will take you to the special release catalog, “Newspapers that changed the world”.

View: “Newspapers that changed the world…

The Traveler… the battle of Queenston…

October 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I journeyed to Boston, Massachusetts by way of the Columbian Centinel dated October 24, 1812. I found several reports in regards to the battle of Queenston, Canada. The reporting begins with Col. Van Rensselaer’s troops having crossed the Niagara River into Upper-Canada and that the batteries in Queenston were attacked . It is stated that Fort George was to have been immediately attacked with troops in Buffalo joining them. Further reports continue with actual loss of the battle and the Col. Van Rensselaer being shot and Gen. Wadsworth being missing, assumed dead. It is interesting to read the different accounts within one issue.

~The Traveler

October newsletter from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers…

October 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Each mid-month Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers… History’s Newsstand sends an e-newsletter to their members and collector friends.  This month’s edition is shown below. Please enjoy.

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers… History’s Newsstand

October 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the October newsletter from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers.  In addition to links to recent listings (including our most recent catalog), October’s discounted issues, an issue containing the Emancipation Proclamation (it’s the 150th anniversary), and new posts on the History’s Newsstand blog, this month we would like to bring to your attention to our recent inventory expansion which extends our Birthday/Gift Newspapers availability through the mid-1980’s.  Please enjoy!

1)  Discounted Issues – Nearly 300 issues have been reduced in price by 20% (as shown) thru October 31, 2012, and may be viewed at: Discounted Issues

2)  Birthday/Gift Newspapers – As mentioned, we have expanded our major city newspapers through the mid-1980’s. These make wonderful birthday, anniversary, and holiday gifts.  Feel free to see what might be available for your key memorable dates:  Birthday/Anniversary Newspapers

3)  Catalog 203 is available. This latest release for October includes over 350 new items, all arranged in chronological order.

4)  The Emancipation Proclamation – In celebration of the 150 year anniversary of the printing of the Emancipation Proclamation, we have an original printing available for viewing and/or purchase at:  Emancipation Proclamation (note: as an added bonus, this issue also contains a print and report of the Battle of Antietam)

Best wishes,

Guy Heilenman & Rare Newspapers Team

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers . . .
. . . History’s Newsstand

“…desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:18

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There must be a man in the moon…

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The “Bellows Falls Intelligencer” newspaper from Vermont, issue of May 10, 1824 has an interesting article reporting evidence of life on the moon (see). It’s interesting that astrological science was  so rudimentary in 1824 that this report was to be believed by those who read it, although providing some humor when read today.

The Traveler… “The Birdman”, Lincoln Beachey… the irony…

October 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, via the ALBUQURQUE MORNING JOURNAL, dated October 8, 1912, where I found that they were having their 32nd Annual State Fair with the top-billing being Lincoln Beachey, the world’s greatest “birdman”. Beachey would be racing between his Curtiss bi-plane and a man on a motorcycle as well as dare-devil flying stunts with his hands off levers and body swaying, dips and deadly spiral dive. “…’I will watch the motorcycle, though, and not Beachey,’ said this man, ‘for to watch Beachey gives me palpitation of the heart’…”

On the last page of the issue is the report that the train carrying the body of Charles Walsh to San Diego would be stopping at Albuquerque. Walsh was an aviation dare-devil who died just a few days earlier when his plane crumbled mid-air and crashed to the ground. Walsh had appeared at this fair the year prior performing aerial stunts … ironically Walsh was trained by Beachey.

~The Traveler

Identifying newspaper reprints… a collector’s story…

October 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

We recently received an e-mail from a collector who informed us that she had used information from the Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers website which enable her to identify (unfortunately) that an issue she had obtained (Baltimore Patriot & Weekly Advertiser, September 20, 1814) was a reprint.  While disappointed, she decided to post her experience on the web to help educate (and protect) others.  Rather than us tell her story, please allow her to share her experience in her own words:  OH MY GOSH…I FOUND A REAL TREASURE!

Newspaper Confederate bank note creates a crisis…

October 1, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Having recently come across the Feb. 24, 1862 issue of “The Philadelphia Inquirer” (see photo) it reminded me of what this innocent looking front page image of the Confederate five dollar note did in creating a crisis in the Confederate Treasury.

Several months ago the “Opinionator” blog of the New York Times did a very nice piece on the fascinating history of this note and its consequences, which we share with our collectors:

In March 1862, an unusual ad began appearing in Northern newspapers. Among the shops selling pianos and patent medicines, sheet music and sewing machines, this one stood out: it promised “perfect fac-similes” of Confederate currency. There were seven kinds of notes for sale, and testimonials from The New York Tribune and others praising the replicas for their high quality and low prices. Five cents bought you one. Two dollars bought a hundred. Fifteen dollars bought a thousand. The word “counterfeits” never appeared. These were “Mementos of the Rebellion,” sold by a Philadelphia shopkeeper named Samuel Curtis Upham.

Upham didn’t look like a counterfeiter. He didn’t hide out in the woods or perform daring jailbreaks. He didn’t run from the police. He was a respectable small-business owner and devoted Northern patriot. He ran a store that sold stationery, newspapers and cosmetics. But he was also an entrepreneur with an eye for easy profit, and the Civil War offered the business opportunity of a lifetime: the ability to forge money without breaking the law. Confederate currency, issued by a government that was emphatically not recognized by the Union, had no legal status in the North, which meant Upham could sell his “fac-similes” with impunity.

Over the next 18 months he built the most notorious counterfeiting enterprise of the Civil War — one that also happened to be perfectly legal. His forgeries flooded the South, undermining the value of the Confederate dollar and provoking enraged responses from Southern leaders. He waged war on the enemy’s currency, serving his pocketbook and his country at the same time.

Upham first got the idea the month before, on Feb. 24, 1862. That day, customers kept coming into his shop to buy The Philadelphia Inquirer. Puzzled, he asked one of them what made that particular edition so popular. The answer was on the front page: the Inquirer’s editors had printed a copy of a five-dollar Confederate note. Philadelphians had never seen Rebel money before and were fascinated by it.

Upham saw a chance to cash in. He raced to the Inquirer’s offices, bought the plate of the note, and printed 3,000 copies on French letter paper. They sold extremely well. Along the bottom of each bill, he included a thin strip that read, in small print, “Fac-simile Confederate Note,” with his name and address. The tags could easily be clipped off, transforming the “fac-simile” into an excellent counterfeit.

After his first print run, Upham rapidly expanded his inventory. He took out ads in newspapers, promising to pay in gold for more specimens of Southern money. At first, it seemed possible that he sincerely thought of his reproductions as souvenirs. In early 1862, most Northerners still expected the war to be brief and glorious. They wanted “mementos of the Rebellion” before the Union crushed it. By the time Upham launched his publicity campaign in March, however, his business had clearly evolved from a modest retail operation into a high-volume wholesaling enterprise. No one needed 1,000 souvenirs: people were clearly using his products for a less innocent purpose.

By April, Upham’s fakes began appearing in Richmond, the Confederate capital. They caused a sensation at the Confederate Treasury Department, and a Treasury officer persuaded the editors of the Richmond Daily Dispatch to inform the public about the new threat. “This note is well calculated to deceive, and in nearly every particular is a fac-simile of the original,” they wrote, condemning the forgeries as “Yankee scoundrelism.” In May, the Dispatch discovered one of Upham’s notes with the margin bearing his name and address still attached. “Who is this man Upham?” they asked. “A knave swindler, and forger of the most depraved and despicable sort.”

By then, Upham had grown his business considerably. In an advertisement published in late May, he claimed to have sold half a million notes in the past three months. He now offered 14 varieties of Confederate notes, postage stamps, and “shinplasters” — fractional bills worth anywhere from 5 to 15 cents — and printed his fakes on real banknote paper. Ingeniously, he even fulfilled orders through the mail. For 50 cents, plus 18 cents for postage, customers throughout the Union could have a hundred of Upham’s notes delivered.

Southerners responded with outrage. They became convinced that Upham belonged to a covert Union plot to devalue the Confederate dollar. For the Philadelphia shopkeeper to be able to advertise his counterfeits openly and send them through the mail meant the authorities must have given him permission or, possibly, material support. Moreover, Union troops spent counterfeit Confederate cash in large quantities — evidence of “a deep laid scheme on the part of the thieving, counterfeiting North … to undermine the Confederate currency,” in the eyes of the Daily Richmond Examiner.

In the summer of 1862, Upham’s notes inundated northern Virginia, brought by Union forces marching south from Washington. A Southern journalist observed men “fortified with exhaustless quantities of Philadelphia Confederate notes,” which they used to buy everything from horses to sugar to tobacco. When one of the soldiers ended up a prisoner in Richmond, the Confederates found one of Upham’s advertisements on him. The shopkeeper’s counterfeits appeared “wherever an execrable Yankee soldier polluted the soil with his cloven foot,” fumed the Richmond Daily Dispatch.

By the summer of 1862, as fake cash flowed across the border in ever greater quantities, the Confederate leadership took notice. On Aug. 18, President Jefferson Davis discussed the threat in a message to the Confederate Congress. Counterfeit Confederate notes were “publicly advertised for sale” and furnished to “the soldiers of the invading army” with the full “complicity” of the Union government, Davis declared. Later that day, Confederate Treasury Secretary Christopher Memminger submitted a report to the House of Representatives that reiterated Davis’s concerns and singled out Upham’s role in the crisis: “[P]rinted advertisements have been found stating that the counterfeit notes, in any quantity, will be forwarded by mail from Chestnut street, in Philadelphia.” By then, forged bills had been found far from the Union border, in Atlanta, Savannah, Montgomery and other cities of the Deep South. There was “no means of knowing to what extent they have been circulated,” the Richmond Daily Dispatch warned.

Hamstrung by a disorganized government and mounting logistical challenges, the Confederacy couldn’t stanch the surge of counterfeit currency. Despite Southern claims, however, it’s unlikely that the Union government ever actively promoted the forging of Confederate money. Federal authorities most likely found it easier to ignore the forging of Southern bills than to take a position either for or against it. They certainly never interfered with Upham, who freely continued forging Confederate cash until August 1863. By that time, the value of the Southern dollar had fallen so low that it was hardly worth counterfeiting. During the 18 months that Upham operated his venture, the purchasing power of the Confederate dollar disintegrated. Between February 1862 and August 1863, the value of Confederate paper money fell by ninety percent.

Upham wasn’t the only reason behind this collapse. Fake cash plagued the Confederacy from the beginning, supplied by Northern and Southern counterfeiting gangs. Gross mismanagement of Southern finances led to runaway inflation, which posed an even greater danger to the Confederate dollar. But Upham’s impact was significant. He later estimated that he had produced $15 million worth of Confederate bills. If all of that ended up in the South, it would have made up almost 3 percent of the total money supply — a large amount for a single counterfeiter. In March 1862, his business had only just begun. Over the next year and a half, he would become one of the strangest success stories of the Civil War: a legal counterfeiter, driven by patriotism and personal gain, who struck at the financial heart of the Confederacy from the safety of downtown Philadelphia.