The Experiment (AL, 1870; NE, 1873)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Oakland Hall, Chunchula, Alabama, and Willow Creek Farm, Waverly, Nebraska

Volume and Issue Data:  Monthly; Vol. 1, No. 1, Sept. 30, 1870, Vol. 1, No. 2, Oct. 15, 1870, Oakland Hall, Chunchula, AL; Vol. 1, No. 3 has very similar content and is dated the same as Vol. 1, No. 4, March 1, 1873, Willow Creek Farm, Waverly, NB

Size and Format:  Vol. 1, No. 1:  ledger paper, 22 x 24 in.; Vol. 1, Nos. 2 and 4:  ledger paper, 14 x. 22;  Vol. 1, No. 3:  ledger paper, 7.5 x 12

Editor/Publisher:  Vol. 1, Nos. 1 and 2 (in Alabama):  Chas. A. Pierce, editor, C.A. Caldwell, publisher; Vol. 1, Nos. 3 and 4 (Nebraska):  Charles A. Pierce, editor and proprietor

Title Changes and Continuations:  WILLOW CREEK JOURNAL

General Description & Notes:

The Experiment’s four extant numbers contain a variety of news stories, poems and essays.  Numbers three and four have very similar content, such that the third issue may have been a “draft” or early version of the fourth issue.

Numbers three and four contain an “editorial” which gives some history of the publication:

Two years ago at Oakland Hall, Ala., a paper was published, called ‘The Experiment.’  A few numbers had been issued, when suddenly the Editor was taken sick with a fever, caused by his Editorial labors.

Then, the Publisher went into other business [deserted him].  When the Editor recovered, and inquired for another Publisher, none could be had [found][And so] The publication of the Experiment was therefore suspended for a time.  [And] Now our intent is to continue publishing this paper through the [winter] year of 1873, if not longer.  The motto [is] will be the same as before; “Progress and Perseverence [sic].”  See Prospectus for Winter of 1872-1873 in [on third Page] another column.  Will all of the inhabitants of Willow Creek Farm give us their assistance?  [Note:  Boldface text appears only in No. 3; italic text appears only in No. 4; all other text is common to both issues]

The prospectus referred to in the editorials in both numbers notes that because spring work is coming, “we cannot publish regular issues all along during the Spring and Summer, but will try and publish one by the end of February, and once in a while one, until Fall” (Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 3, col. 1).

A serialized story about “Johnny’s Wanderings” (also titled “Johnny’s Adventures, or the life of a boy among the Indians” in Nos. 3 and 4) appears in all the numbers.  A “Synopsis” of the story appears in No. 3 (but not No. 4, although the Prospectus promises one) “so as the old readers of the story (who may have forgotten the part of it published in the No’s. 1&2 in 1870) as well as the new, may understand what follows” (Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 3, col. 1).  A note in small script appears above the title for the “Johnny” story in No. 3:  “All the articles of this paper are entirely original except those of this department.”

The first number identifies the “Rules” for reading and writing for the paper:

1st–No one except the Editor, Proof Reader and Publisher shall look at ‘The Experiment’ without writing an article for the same for every number.

2d–All articles for ‘The Experiment’ must be written in a plain hand, whi8ch can be easily read by the Editor.

3d–Articles for publication must be handed in before noon of the day previous to that on which the paper is issued.

4th–No one allowed to peep in the Editor’s drawer, or endeavor to read articles before they are published.  –Ed.

The editor, Charles A. Pierce, was the son of Charles W. Pierce, a civil war veteran, who was transferred to Demopolis, Alabama in 1866 as a major with the Freedman’s Bureau and District commander of western Alabama.  The senior Pierce served one term in the 41st Congress from Alabama’s fourth district in 1867.  It was during this time that his son, Charles A., began his first handwritten newspaper, THE EXPERIMENT, at Oakland Hall, Chunchula, Alabama.  In 1872 the family moved to Waverly, Nebraska, where THE EXPERIMENT, and its successor, WILLOW CREEK JOURNAL were published by Charles A in 1873.  THE CASKET appeared in Nebraska in 1875 as a school effort, no doubt with the help of Charles A.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Nebraska State Historical Society, State Archives, Lincoln, NB, Charles W. Pierce papers, Ms. 554

Daily Marine Bulletin (HI, 1870-1882)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Honolulu, Hawai’i

Frequency:  Title says “daily” but actual frequency unknown; first printed editions were daily except Sundays

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.  1, No. 1,  1870-1882 (year of first printed edition)

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Henry M. Whitney, J. W. Robertson

Title Changes and Continuation: The Daily Bulletin (1882-1895), Evening Bulletin  (1895-1912)

General Description and Notes:

According the University of Hawai’i,  the Daily Marine Bulletin edited by Henry M. Whitney began in 1870.  He started the paper after he was forced to sell the Pacific Commercial Advertiser–the forerunner of the Honolulu Advertiser–amid criticism for his condemnation of the government’s role in importing labor from Asia. Soon after the sale, Whitney began posting this hand-written, single-sheet daily news sheet, the Daily Marine Bulletin, from his stationary and book business.

According to the university, the Daily Marine Bulletin included news and information on ship arrivals and mail dispatches but was reviled by the Advertiser’s  editors as a gossip sheet“The title of ‘Marine’ Bulletin appears to us a misnomer, seeing that gossip and criticism is [sic] freely and rather recklessly indulged in, as to matters that are not the least marine in their nature.” The two papers apparently maintained a long rivalry.

The university also notes that “in 1878, James W. Robertson bought Whitney’s firm and continued publishing Whitney’s daily under various titles including the Daily Commercial Bulletin and J.W. Robertson’s Daily Bulletin. Although the lack of any holdings for this period make it difficult to find accurate information about the paper’s form and content, the first printed edition of the Daily Bulletin, launched on February 1, 1882, suggests that the new paper was a continuation of the hand-written sheet Robertson had taken over from Whitney five years earlier: ‘With this issue commences a new edition of our mornings [sic] Bulletin. After this it will appear in printed form, and will be delivered every morning free […] and if it is received as well as our written ones were, we will be satisfied.’”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  University of Hawai’i at Manoa Library, Honolulu, HI (printed editions only)

The Creek Boys’ and Girls’ Monthly (OK, 1870-1875)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Tullahassee Manual Labor School, Creek Nation, Wagoner County, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) (1870-1875)

Frequency:  Monthly

Volume and Issue Data:  The Creek Boys’ and Girls’ Monthly (Vol. 1, No. 1, Dec. 1870-Vol. 1, No. 5, April 27, 1871); Our Monthly (Vol. 2, No. 1, Jan. 1873-Vol. 4, No. 10, Oct. 1875); may have run as late as 1876

Size and Format:  Two columns, published in both Creek and English languages

Editor/Publisher:  William S. Robertson and Ann Augusta Robertson (1870-1875)

Title Changes and Continuation:  The Creek Boys’ and Girls’ Monthly (1870-1871); Our Monthly (1873-1875?)

General Description and Notes:

The first volume (1870-1872) of the small, two-column monthly appeared only in manuscript.  Later issues were printed on a hand press donated by Creek National Council.

The Rev. William S. Roberston, a Presbyterian missionary associated with the Tullahassee school since 1850, assisted by his daughter Ann Augusta, edited contributions mostly from Creek student exercises.  The purpose of the paper was “the moral and intellectual improvement” of the students, and to “give the Creeks parts of the Bible and religious songs in their own language.”  In addition to student work, the Robertsons solicited writings from any Creeks who were interested in the school or its publications.  The monthly’s manuscript editions were received so well by the community that the Creek National Council provided funds to purchase a printing press and appropriated $100 annually to cover printing 1,000 copies per issue a year.  Copies were distributed free in the Creek Nation.  Our Monthly first appeared in print in Jan. 1873.

The paper was published in both Creek and English, with many issues almost entirely in Creek.  Ann Eliza Robertson translated some articles, scripture passages and hymns into Creek while others were written by Creeks.

In addition to general news about the Creek nation and education matters, the paper also published political commentary.  For example, an 1875 Creek letter called for the repeal of the Treaty of 1866, which gave railroads a claim to Indian land.  Local advertising and local news also appeared.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Althea Bass, The Story of Tullahassee (Oklahoma City:  Semco Color Press, 1960); Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Oklahoma Imprints, 1835-1907 (Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1936);  James Constantine Pilling, Bibliography of the Muskhogean Languages (Washington, D.C.:  Government Printing Office, 1889); James E. Murphy and Sharon M. Murphy, Let My People Know:  American Indian Journalism, 1828-1978 (Norman:  University, 1981), 59; David F. Littlefield, Jr. and James W. Parins,  American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826-1924 (Westport, Conn.:  Greenwood Press, 1984), 293-296.

Locations:  Danky and Hady; OkMu; OkTu; ULS

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