Collecting Rare & Early Newspapers… on a budget…

October 24, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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People who collect stamps… like stamps, collect trains… like trains, collect coins… like coins, collect classic cars… like classic cars, etc.. However, those who collect rare & early newspapers may have the collecting bug for Colonial America, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Old West, sports, elections, inventions, early flight, tragedies, famous death reports, incredible achievements, illustrated ads of new products as they developed over time, beautiful wood-cut prints from famous artists and illustrators, the progress of civil rights and suffrage from the 1700’s through the present, … – oh, and articles, illustrations and/or ads related to stamps, trains, coins, classic cars and other popular collectibles. They may also simply value history and appreciate viewing events through the eyes of those who experienced them first had.

Of course it’s always best to enter a specific collectible before it becomes over-saturated, exploited, or over-priced, but most collectors arrive on the scene when the prices are either too high, or the value of the collectible is starting to decline.

In contrast, while there are several collectible newspapers priced in the $10,000 to $750,000+ range, many can still be obtained “on the cheap”. It is with this in mind one of our staff decided to create a brief video highlighting a few items priced under $50. In fact, there are well over 15,000 such items available on the website. Please enjoy:

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John Brown, 1859… What would you be willing to die for?

October 21, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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On November 2, 1859, John Brown was declared to be guilty of murder and treason. Before his sentencing was announced the court clerk asked him if he had any last words. Expecting the question (for it was required by law), he rose, and with full composure and clarity of voice he gave his last speech – the text of which appeared in many newspapers the following day. Upon searching our archives, we discovered one of these reports in a New York Tribune:

As I read the article, in addition to being reminded of the sacrifices made by so many in order to bring about the abolition of American slavery, I was challenged to consider if there was a cause for which I would (truly) be willing to die. It is one thing to sacrifice one’s life to save a loved one, but a “cause”? I pray my faith would rise to such a height (for it’s certainly worthy), but until the moment of truth is at hand…

So, I ask again: What is worthy of the ultimate sacrifice? Those who gave their lives in an effort to gain and/or preserve our freedom had their answer. John Brown had his. How about you and me?

PS  If anyone can recommend a good book which provides an honest assessment of whether John Brown was a hero or a villain, please email me at Please know I understand this may be a very complex analysis.


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A Fly on the Wall at the Constitutional Convention of 1787…

October 17, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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It is not uncommon these days to hear people discussing The Constitution.  How they discuss this crucial founding document may differ radically and the accuracy with which they discuss it may vary as well. As you can imagine, those of us at Rare Newspapers fall into the “Perhaps the best secular document ever written” camp. So, I am sure it will not surprise you to know that I have always longed to have been “a fly on the wall” during the Constitutional Convention. Given the writings of the Founders, I have to imagine we would all be blown away by their passionate discussions. Just the other day I heard someone discussing various states’ desire to hold a Constitutional Convention… to make some changes. His comment went something like this (paraphrased)…

– I have been in favor of a current day Constitutional Convention in the past however, as I look at where we are today as a nation, I do not think we can be trusted as a people to open this precious document and leave it vulnerable to changes made by this culture. –

He went on to say (again, paraphrased) … -I believe the day may come in the future when we could be trusted with such a sobering task, but today is not that day. –

For now, we will just need to content ourselves with protecting this amazing document as is until/if that day comes.

Note: The image shown above announcing a quorum had finally been reached at the Constitutional Convention was taken from THE INDEPENDENT GAZETTEER; OR THE CHRONICLE OF FREEDOM, Philadelphia, May 26, 1787.

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The Gentleman’s Magazine – Own history for pennies on the dollar…

October 14, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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Authentic issues of The Gentleman’s Magazine (London) from the 1730’s through the mid-1800’s are a great and inexpensive way to collect news of historical events from throughout the world, including America: View Issues
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To learn more about this wonderful publication, view our previous posts at:

The Gentleman’s Magazine


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Timothy Hughes – sharing his passion for collecting historical newspapers…

October 10, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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Tim Hughes has had multiple opportunities to speak about his love for Rare & Early Newspapers. Whether it has been in front of teenagers in Pennsylvania or adults in California, it is especially rewarding when he shares his hobby to those from his own town. He recently had the privilege to do so at the local historical society (Thomas T. Taber Museum) in Williamsport, PA, which was reported in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. Please enjoy:

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George Washington and the Hebrew Congregation in Savannah… 1790…

October 7, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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At times, when I sit down to write a blog post, I feel woefully inadequate to add anything to what has been said within the issue I’m seeking to highlight.  Such is the case with one of my favorite issues we have ever held here at Rare Newspapers.  On July 1, 1790, the MASSACHUSETTS SPY OR THE WORCESTER GAZETTE published a letter:  “Address from the Hebrew Congregation of the city of Savannah, in Georgia, to the President of the United States”, signed in type by: Levi Sheftall, President, on behalf of the Hebrew Congregation. This letter is so beautifully written and expresses a sentiment which must have been a balm to the anxious souls of Jews throughout the United States of America. Rather than quote a piece or paraphrase, please indulge me with a reading of the letter in its entirety. Hopefully, you will also breathe a calming sigh of relief as you visualize the readers from over 200 years ago.


I thank you with great sincerity for your congratulations on my appointment to the office, which I have the honor to hold by the unanimous choice of my fellow-citizens: and especially for the expressions which you are pleased to use in testifying the confidence that is reposed in me by your congregation.

As the delay which has naturally intervened between my election and your address has afforded an opportunity for appreciating the merits of the federal-government, and for communicating your sentiments of its administration—I have rather to express my satisfaction than regret at a circumstance, which demonstrates (upon experiment) your attachment to the former as well as approbation of the latter.

I rejoice that a spirit of liberality and philanthropy is much more prevalent than it formerly was among the enlightened nations of the earth; and that your brethren will benefit thereby in proportion as it shall become still more extensive. Happily, the people of the United States of America have, in many instances, exhibited examples worthy of imitation—The salutary influence of which will doubtless extend much farther, if gratefully enjoying those blessings of peace which (under favor of Heaven) have been obtained by fortitude in war, they shall conduct themselves with reverence to the Deity, and charity towards their fellow-creatures.

May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian Oppressors planted them in the promised land—whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation—still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

G. Washington

All I can say is, “Wow!”

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The End of an Era at Rare & Early Newspapers… Thanks Mike!

September 29, 2022 by · 3 Comments 
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For nearly 20 years we were blessed to have Mike Hiller as an “active member” of our Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers family. His sense of humor delighted us daily, his attention to detail was second-to-none, and his work ethic and commitment to excellence were an inspiration to all who had the privilege of working with him. If you purchased a newspaper from us during his reign as “Warehouse Supervisor and Shipping Extraordinaire” you likely had a chance to see his handiwork. While he certainly made all of our lives easier, his greatest contribution was in his unofficial capacity as “Exemplary Role Model of Guy and Laura’s Children” – a task he took quite seriously. The top photo is of Mike taken on his last day of work, and the one shown below is of him with each of our kiddos – all who benefited from his example (he’s the one in the middle).


We pray you and your wife will thoroughly enjoy this next chapter of your lives – the so-called “retired phase”. Thank you for being you.

With love and respect,

Guy & Laura Heilenman

Although we are saddened to see this era come to an end, we are grateful Mike has agreed to accept a new position: “Occasional ‘Special Projects’ Guru”. The Rare & Early Newspaper’s world is not ready to cut the ties that bind.

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Today’s month and day through the eyes of Rare & Early Newspapers… 9/26 edition…

September 26, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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Today I came across a previous post in which we showed the readers of the History’s Newsstand Blog how to use the Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers advanced search interface to explore available newspapers for any given day and month, which made me wonder which day on a calendar has had the most interesting news reports over time. Of course the answer would be quite subjective, but it did motivate me to run a search for today’s date:

September 26th

The results were more varied (and interesting) than I was expecting. Feel free to try a date which has special meaning to you to see what you might find. If you are not sure how to do this, go to: Exploring “This Day in History” through Rare & Early Newspapers

If you discover a date which you find to be pregnant with interesting news, feel free to let me know at Thanks.

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Snapshot 1929… Homebuilding 101…

September 23, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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As of today, over 25% of my wife’s and my retirement savings have turned to dust. Ouch. Will our investments bounce back? Our 6 children and their families certainly hope so. Yes, times are tough, but are they any worse than during the height of the most recent pandemic… or the one from the early 1900’s? How about living during any of the multiple wars we’ve engaged in over the past 200+ years, during the Great Depression, or in and around some of the devastating hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or wildfires which have taken countess lives or stripped the survivors of their worldly possessions? Do our current financial, social, and political difficulties hold a candle to any of these?

These ponderings are not meant to diminish the sorrow, sickness, and loss of life which has befallen us over the past few years, but we’ve also learned a ton: “Don’t sweat the small stuff?”, “What are truly the most important things to hold on to?”, “Life is precious.”, to name but a few. All of these fall under the umbrella of “Homebuilding 101”.  The Author of wisdom once said, “Don’t build your house upon the sand!” This is not merely good advice, its words to live by.

Case in point…

In late October of 1929 the Stock Market crashed, and in an instant the foundation of many washed away in a torrent of bad news. For those who had built their house upon such fleeting sand as an investment portfolio, everything crumbled. Such was the case for James J. Riordan, a noteworthy investor and president of the County Trust Company of New York. His response to the crash was emblazoned on the front page of the Chicago Sunday Tribune (along with most other newspapers of the day) for all to see. Of course his reaction to the sudden loss of worldly possessions has been played out in similar fashion time-and-time again – a lesson for all of us to consider when we are seeking a foundation upon which to build our lives.

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The Village Voice… The Heart of the 60’s-70’s Anti-Establishment Youth Culture…

September 19, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 
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Most newspaper collectors know that when reporting historical events, a title’s location can dramatically impact the value of an issue. As an example:

HERALD EXAMINER–EXTRA, Los Angeles, Nov. 22, 1963 … nice issue.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Nov. 23, 1963… a whole different story!

However, at times the content a collector would like is more defined by the heart of the culture than the location of a specific event.  So, it is with much of American music from the 50’s through the 80’s. Greenwich Village was often seen as one of the ground-zero centers of the creative (but edgy) youth culture during this era, so finding content on The Beatles, Bob Dylan or even The Rolling Stones in The Village Voice is especially noteworthy – often giving the reader a whole new perspective on the “culture shapers”, or dare I say “influencers” of their day. I wonder where the epicenters of todays’ music are located?

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