Will the real Abraham Lincoln please stand up?

July 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There is no doubt Abraham Lincoln is one of the most beloved historical figures of all time. Similar to how Robert E. Lee is respected by “Yankees”, as time goes by Abe Lincoln also seems to garner mutual appreciation. Once seen as polarizing, he is now credited with opposite – preserving unity. To what can we credit the change in how he was/is viewed?  Perhaps it was his address at Gettysburg or our post-Civil War hindsight which appreciates (or at least acknowledges) the end result – that we remain a united nation.  However, one danger in turning a flesh-and-blood human being into an icon is that we lose perspective on the conflicted realities the people of this era were facing.  We also tend to eliminate anything about such individuals which may present them in a light which bristles against how we perceive them. Doing so marginalizes the issues they were grappling with and minimizes the complexities surrounding change. It is with this in mind we invite you to explore another side of Abraham Lincoln – as he discusses his views on what to do about the slave issue. The best way to take this journey is to read his thoughts via the images provided through the link to the Liberator of August 22, 1862: Abraham Lincoln on African Colonization

The editor shows his bias…

July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Editorials from the 19th century were often quite frank and not afraid to mince words, and perhaps the most scathing comments were found in newspapers during the Civil War years. The “Daily Examiner” newspaper from Richmond, Virginia, January 20, 1865, has an editorial which begins with some very biased words about Andrew Johnson:

Documenting an early reprint of the Ulster County Gazette…

July 22, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

If the “infamous” “New York Herald” issue of April 15, 1865 is the most common reprint edition about which we receive phone calls and messages, then the “Ulster County Gazette” of January 4, 1800 has to be next in line.

The front page of a curious little periodical titled “Type of the Times” from Cincinnati, March 15, 1858, provides solid evidence of just how early the “Ulster County Gazette” was reprinted. I had known there were many editions as I’ve seen a multitude of variant issues on different qualities of newsprint–some on rag paper–but this is the first hard evidence of just how early at least one of the reprints was created:

The future for air balloons…

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The mid to late-1780’s had much excitement about the new-found success of the hot air balloon, with various experiments and adventurous voyages commonly found in newspapers of the period. The July 14, 1784 issue of the “Massachusetts Centinel” newspaper from Boston jumped on the band-wagon and made this fanciful prediction in its newspaper:

The Traveler… Texas declares independence… Fort Miegs…

July 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today my journeys took me to Baltimore, Maryland, by the means of The Weekly Register dated July 17, 1813. The front page features the headline “Republic of Mexico” which was announcing the Declaration of Independence of Texas. “We, the people of the province of Texas,…declare, that the ties which held us under the domination of Spain and Europe, are forever dissolved; that we possess the right to establish a government for ourselves; that in future all legitimate authority shall emanate from the people to whom alone it rightfully belongs and that henceforth all allegiance or subjection to any foreign power whatsoever, is entirely renounced… We feel, with indignation, the unheard of tyranny of being excluded from all communication with other nations, which might tend to improve our situation, physical and moral, We were prohibited the use of books, of speech, and even of thought — our country was our prison… We conceive it a duty we owe as well to ourselves as to our posterity, to seize the moment which now offers itself, of shaking off the yoke of European domination, and of laboring in the cause of the independence of Mexico; taking the authority into our own hands, forming laws, and of placing the government of our country upon a sure and firm basis, and by the means assume a rank among the nations of the world.”

Also within the issue is a full page map (which are rarely found in this title): “Map of the Rapids of Miami, Shewing the situation of Fort Meigs, etc”, accompanied by supporting text: “Interesting Topography of Ohio”.

~The Traveler

Life expectancy over 200 years ago makes for an interesting offer…

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Considering that the life expectancy of the average male in the 1780’s was dramatically less than it is today, perhaps it is not surprising that this offer from General Washington was considered “…so equitable a proposal…”. Ultimately Congress settled on the full pay for five years option. This report is found in The London Chronicle” issue of June 3, 1783:

Little Eddie the drummer boy…

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Civil War is full of both tragic and heartwarming stories, most of which never made the pages of newspapers of the day. Personal experiences were typically eclipsed by battle reports of the day.

But the story of little Edward Lee, the drummer boy, found the pages of “The Crisis” (January 29, 1862) newspaper from Columbus, Ohio, and can also be found on many websites. Read the full story to get but a glimpse of the tragedy which happened on a daily basis during this troubling period in American history.

A link to images showing the entire article is: Little Eddie the CW Drummer Boy

A new experience proves frighteningly realistic…

July 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In today’s world, being so accustomed to action events on television, movie theaters, and even our computers, it can be difficult to realize that those who first experienced wide screen action in the early years of movie-making might react as these children did in London. This report is found in the “New York Tribune” issue of May 24, 1923. Is there a comparable experience awaiting us?

The Traveler… the bloodiest battle in the Civil War…

July 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back 150 years to the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, through the means of the reports of the Confederate broadside newspaper, the Daily Dispatch — Extra dated July 5, 1863. The headlines read “LATEST FROM THE NORTH” and “GREAT BATTLE AT GETTYSBURG”. “The Yankees claim not to be defeated and to have captured 6,0oo prisoners — The Confederates hold the field — Yankee Generals Reynolds and Paul killed — Heavy Loss of the Federals — The grand battle expected Friday, &c., &c.”. This broadside carries in great detail the battles of Wednesday, July 1st, and Thursday, July 2nd.

As we know, this was the bloodiest battle (non-single day) in the Civil War with the loss of over 51,000 lives and is known as the war’s turning point.

~The Traveler

60 years ago today… the Corvette…

July 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Chevy rolls out the 2014 Corvette Stingray today, just in time for the 60th anniversary. How much has changed in 60 years? The following link will take you back to a newspaper report of the first release. Please enjoy this walk down memory lane. It’s hard to imagine the initial cost was only $3,250!

1953 Chevy Corvette