Sometimes you just know what it means – The Spirit of ’76…

July 4, 2024 by · 1 Comment 

Sometimes you hear a word or a phrase and even though you can’t clearly give a written definition, you just have a gut feeling of what it means. Earlier today, when I was looking at a Picture and Magazine section from a Chicago Sunday Tribune, July 4, 1926, I breezed by the caption of the front-page image… The Spirit of ’76. After a moment, I found my mind wasn’t so much thinking of what that phrase meant, but instead, I was struck by the emotions which had been stirred… pride (in a good way as my mother would say), determination & a deep sense of purpose. Wanting to see if the phrase, “The Spirit of ’76” had a clear definition, I went to Wikipedia and found the following…

“The Spirit of ’76 is a sentiment explored by Thomas Jefferson. According to the text published at Monticello, “The principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence promised to lead America—and other nations on the globe—into a new era of freedom. The revolution begun by Americans on July 4, 1776, would never end. It would inspire all peoples living under the burden of oppression and ignorance to open their eyes to the rights of mankind, to overturn the power of tyrants, and to declare the triumph of equality over inequality.”

Thomas Jewett wrote that at the time of the American Revolution, there was “an intangible something that is known as the ‘Spirit of ’76.’ This spirit was personified by the beliefs and actions of that almost mythical group known as the Founding Fathers and is perhaps best exemplified by Thomas Jefferson.”

Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress believed the Spirit of ’76 “included the ‘self-evident’ truths of being ‘created equal’ and being ‘endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights’ including ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'” ~ Wiki

Hmmmm… “an intangible something”. I would agree this spirit is hard to completely capture with words, but it can certainly be understood with a feeling, a picture, or a flag, and it is certainly a “spirit” we need in abundance today.

Who’s Who in Newspapers? Pamela Sparhawk edition…

March 22, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

The 7th installment of Who’s Who in Newspapers:

Thanks to Swann Auction Galleries, we discovered another fascinating but unheralded name which appeared in three 1817 issues of the Columbian Centinel (see a photo of the notice below). Swann staff provided the following background:

Pamela Sparhawk was born circa 1761 in Africa, was captured as a young girl and brought to Boston in slavery and was granted her freedom during the American Revolution. She had been separated from her brother by her original owner, but miraculously reconnected with him in Boston, where he owned property and was living under the name Samuel Bean. When Samuel died in 1816, Pamela petitioned the court to be recognized as his heir. Her petition ran three times in the Columbian Centinel newspaper, telling the story of her life: “Pamela Sparhawk of Boston . . . is a native of Africa, and was brought from thence to the West-Indies by a slave trader . . . and was a slave in the family of Rev. Mr. Merriam, of Newton, until the American Revolution. . . Samuel Bean acknowledged her to be his sister and was satisfied of the fact, but it would be difficult if not impossible for her in a court of law to establish her claim . . . in consequence of the unhappy circumstance, which will be easily perceived.” The notices were signed in type with her mark, a sideways capital “X.” The statement was witnessed by Congressman Timothy Fuller (father of the important feminist author Margaret Fuller), but it apparently went unheeded by the General Court.

Pamela Sparhawk’s life has recently been reconstructed and celebrated by the Historic Newton organization in an online exhibition, “Finding Pamela: Writing a New History,” and was described in the Boston Globe on 30 June 2021.

The link to the auction (which at the time of this post was still in the future) is:

SWANN Auction #2663 – The petition of formerly enslaved woman Pamela Sparhawk

Thankfully we had an issue with this coverage as well, but the greatest gain was the research which Swann’s offering inspired. In less than 15 minutes we were able to locate *background information on Pamela which we found qui te interesting.

If you’re curiosity has been piqued to the point where you decide to discover more about her through the following link, please note the additional related information shown below the heading: “Who was Pamela Sparhawk?” Enjoy.

FINDING PAMELA

RareNewspapers.com has over 18,000 collectible newspapers available for under $50…

March 4, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to authentic, collectibles from the past, it is hard to imagine that items 100-300 years old can be had for under $50, but it’s true. RareNewspapers.com has greater than 18,000 original newspapers priced under $50, of which well over 10,000 are 100-300+ years old. A chronological list can be found here:

Authentic/Collectible Newspapers Priced Under $50 

The images below show a few snippets of what you may find.


The New York Draft riots from during the Civil War (1863)…

A newspaper from 1682 by a woman publisher…

Peace between Israel and Palestine?

Beloved actor Henry Fonda’s death report in a regional Hollywood srea newspaper (Los Angeles Times)…

This Day in “News” History… January 26th…

January 26, 2024 by · Leave a Comment 

Another day of news as reported in original newspapers… January 26th…

There are many internet sources available to explore what happened on a particular day in history. However, as collectors and resellers of “Rare & Early Newspapers”, our curiosity lies in what people were reading in their morning newspaper on specific days in history. In nearly every instance they were discovering what happened the day prior – and if one reaches back into the 1600s, 1700’s, and early 1800s, when news travelled a bit more slowly, they very well could have been (finally) reading about “rumored” and/or anticipated events from days, weeks, or even months prior.

Today’s adventure?

What about January 26th? The following link will take you to all of our available newspapers dated January 26th:

NEWS REPORTED in NEWSPAPERS on January 26th (through time)

Enjoy the trek. Oh, and if you want to try other dates, go here and plug in any month/day of interest.

 

Capturing the Vibe… Christmas 1903…

December 8, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to the 2nd post in our ongoing series “Capturing the Vibe” where we try to imagine what the world felt like to a newspaper reader from the past by immersing ourselves in their … “vibe of the day”. This month I was drawn to Illustrated Magazines as Christmas is right around the corner, and they usually offer a plethora of wintery images. 1903 was on a low shelf and so it called my name.

So, on we go with this month’s issue…

 

Sometimes the December 1900’s colored covers are Christmas related and sometimes they are just beautiful!

 

Even though the color cover wasn’t Christmassy, the inside cover was full of Winter spirit.

 

On a somber note, I found a fascinating article comparing Feast-days with Fast-days …  not something you hear in conversations of our days.

 

 

On a somewhat lighter note, I saw a multiple cell comic strip on “Pledges of Purity for the New Year”.

 

 

 

There was an article and intricate image of the New Williamsburg Bridge Christening in New York City…

 

 

 

A story by Robert Chambers…

 

and finally, a political Santa cartoon by W.A. Rogers who took over for Thomas Nast when he left Harper’s Weekly.

 

 

I count this find as an issue full of Christmas gifts!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, 2023…

November 17, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Each year as Thanksgiving approaches my thoughts (rightfully) bend a knee in the direction of gratitude which I try to express, for better or worse, in a simple post. In so-doing, while the feedback has been generally positive, on occasion I have been accused of being rather verbose, loquacious, over-talkative, etc., when what I tried to communicate could have been delivered with a higher degree of eloquence with considerably less long-windedness (i.e., I can be a bit wordy). In an effort to reign in this default behavior, in expressing this year’s thoughts I’ve elected to let a series of photos taken from a single issue of Harper’s Weekly from 1900 do the talking. I hope you find them thought-provoking.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By the way, if pictures really do say a thousand words, success! My verbose, loquacious, over-talkative streak lives on!!!

Christmas in July…

July 28, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

We all have those moments when a memory comes flooding back with all the delight or despair the original moment generated. Such was the case earlier this week as I was organizing a new our new acquisition of Harper’s Weekly Illustrated issues. After working my way through several years, I paused to sort through a stack of Christmas issues.  Although it’s the middle of summer and the temperature outside regularly toys with 3-digits, my mind darted back to a midsummer day 20+ years ago when Guy and I were hiking part of the Loyalsock Trail in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. As we were walking along the trail near where we had set up our tents, we thought it odd to hear Christmas music in the distance, however, as we turned off the path and prepared to cross a stream we were amused and entertained by dozens of families and friends celebrating “Christmas in July” right in the middle of the woodland path. Their generator running to power countless strings of Christmas lights, music pumping, and tables crowded with homemade goodies – this family event was in full festive swing.

Jumping back to the present…

With a smile on my face at the thought of this communal celebration, I grabbed my stack of Christmas issues and headed back up to the front office to share them with all of you through this post. Below you will find a few I’ve listed. We may only have only one 1st-rate issue of each of these, there are plenty of similar to choose from on this hot day in July: Christmas-Themed Harper’s Weekly.

Sample Harper’s Weekly w/ a Christmas Theme

January 1, 1881

December 24, 1881

January 3, 1880

 

 

 

Happy “Victoria Day” (Canada)…

May 22, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Shown below is a Canadian-themed, woodcut illustration from a sketch by Frederic Remington as printed in the Harper’s Weekly dated March 22, 1890.

To our friends up north…

Happy Victoria Day!

(original available at RareNewspapers.com – digital available at History’s Newsstand @ Etsy)

This Day in “News” History… January 23…

January 23, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

There are many internet sources available to explore what happened on a particular day in history. However, as collectors and resellers of “Rare & Early Newspapers”, our curiosity lies in what people were reading in their morning newspaper on specific days in history. In nearly every instance they were discovering what happened the day prior – and if one reaches back into the 1600s, 1700’s, and early 1800s, when news travelled a bit more slowly, they very well could have been (finally) reading about “rumored” and/or anticipated events from days, weeks, or even months prior.

As an example…

What about January 23rd? The following link will take you to all of our available newspapers dated January 23rd:

NEWS REPORTED in NEWSPAPERS on January 23rd (through time)

Enjoy the trek. Oh, and if you want to try other dates, go here and plug in any month/day of interest.

 

Scientific American’s “Not So Bright” (?) Ideas…

January 9, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the years our staff has written quite a few posts focused on historic and transformative inventions which were featured within early issues of the Scientific American. The phonograph, lightbulb, telephone, modern sewing machine, and thousands of other devices have all had their moment in the sun thanks to this publication. However, as is the case for many of the good ideas from the past which came to fruition and now make our lives easier, a host had rather humble beginnings. With this in mind, our resident videographer decided to gather together three examples which fall into the “humble beginnings” bucket. Please enjoy.

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