Rock Springs Exposer (WY, 1876)

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Rock Springs Exposer (WY, 1876)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory

Volume and Issue Data: “Vol. XIX, No. 318″ (unclear whether this is fictitious or genuine numbering) Nov. 10, 1876

Size and Format:  Two sided,  14″ x 9”

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuations:  None

General Description and Notes:

The editor boasts, “Our Circulation exceeds any other HAND printed Newspaper in Wyoming Ty.” Paper contains political and election news, advertisements, an editorial and news briefs.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Wyoming Department of Commerce, Division of Parks and Cultural Resources, Historical Research and Publications Unit, Cheyenne, WY (microfilmed)

The Redwing Carrier-Pigeon (KS, 1886)

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Redwing Carrier-Pigeon (KS, 1886)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Barton County, Kansas

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 2, Dec. 2, 1886

Size and Format:  Single column; masthead includes motto: “Justice and Impartiality”

Editor/Publisher:  H.C. Banke (1886); Dec. 2, 1886 paper identifies two women and one man as part of the “editorial staff,” and refers to the Redwing Literary Society, as if it were a primary sponsor and/or publisher

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

The second number of this paper, signed by H.C. Banke, complains about the lack of news around town and urges contributions.  The editor writes:

“Owing to the fact that but few contributions have arrived during the past week, and some of those that have arrived have been very dull, we have not such a large and interesting paper to present as we did last week.  But believing that, what little we have will be cheerfully accepted by the members of the lyceum, this, No. 2 of our Lines, will be dedicated.  Invitation is extended to all the members of the Redwing Literary Society to contribute something towards making the Red-wing (sic) Carrier-Pigeon interesting, which will also add to the well fare of our Society and to individual pleasure.  All contributions which are not disrespectful or too personal in their nature will be cheerfully excepted (sic), and if they arrive before Wednesday will be published in the current issue of the paper.  However, everything of a personal or disrespectful nature will be avoided from obvious reasons.

“The editorial staff is now composed of Mrs. H.E. Smith, Mr. B.C. Cofer and Mrs. L.J. Gifford.  Contributions sent to either of the before mentioned ladies will reach the editor-in-chief safely.  Contributors are requested to send their contributions and to them will be most convenient.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Robert F. Karolevitz, Newspapering in the Old West:  A Pictorial History of Journalism and Printing on the Frontier (New York:  Bonanza Books, 1969), p. 87; Bob Karolevitz, “Pen and Ink Newspapers of the Old West,” Frontier Times, 44:2 (Feb.-March 1970), 30, 62

Locations:  KSHi-Topeka; front page, Vol. 1, No. 1, Dec. 3, 1886, reproduced in Karolevitz (1969), p. 87, and Karolevitz (1970), p. 30.

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

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The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Columbia, SC

Frequency:  Unknown (monthly?)

Volume and Issue Data:  Two extant copies: Vol. 1, No. 1, January 28, 1863; Vol. 1, No. 4, April 23, 1863

Size and Format:  Four pages

Editor/Publisher:  “Liliput”

Title Changes and Continuation:  No. 1 is titled The Rebel; No. 4 is titled The Carolina Rebel (though the first column says, “The Rebel, published at Columbia, So Ca, Whenever the Editor is in the right mood by Liliput, Editor and Proprietor.”

The (Carolina) Rebel (SC, 1863)

General Description and Notes:

Although The Rebel was produced during the middle of the Civil War (No. 4 was written four months after the Emancipation Proclamation and just days before the Southern Army’s victory at Chancellorsville), the editor makes only minimal references to the conflict. Page four of the April issue has a brief report on the war gathered during the editor’s trip to Charleston. Most of the stories deal with domestic matters (teaching children, food prices, first year of marriage, etc.). This suggests that the paper was most likely the editorial work of a young woman.

According to the South Carolina Historical Society catalog, the Rebel is a “Handwritten newspaper (4 p.). ‘Vol. 1, No.1, published at Columbia, So. Ca., whenever the Editor is in the right mood.’ Includes humorous articles, letters to the editor, articles concerning Confederate officers and officials, and advertisements for ‘T.H. Egan, Portrait Painter’ and others.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Short article in The South Carolina Historical Magazine (1963), page unknown; “The Rebel: A Handwritten 1863 Columbia Newspaper,” Carologue: A Publication of the South Carolina Historical Society, 9:1 (Spring 1993 ), pp. 14-18.

Locations:  Both extant copies are held by the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC: Vol. 1, No. 1, is part of the manuscript collection donated by P.W. Gruenwald: The Rebel, 1863 Jan. 28. (43/435) ; No. 4 is in the Balzano Collection.

Rattlesnake Blizzard (OR, 1885)

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Rattlesnake Blizzard (OR, 1885)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Pleasant Hill, Oregon

Frequency:  One issue

Volume and Issue Data: Tuesday, Dec. 30, 1885

Size and Format:  Ledger sheets, 13 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  Anonymous (Pleasant Hill Literary Society?)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Succeeded by the Pleasant Hill Popgun (See Pleasant Hill Popgun)

General Description and Notes:

A handwritten newspaper on old ledger sheets, Dec. 30, 1885; succeeded by the Pleasant Hill Popgun, Dec. 13, 1901, in the same ledger.  Edited anonymously.  Contains brief news items, jokes and anecdotes.

The opening story-editorial states:

 “From the ranks of this society your humble servants have been given the unpleasant and difficult task of editing this paper which we shall call the Rattlesnake Blizzard.

“As this office was forced upon the editors and items are hard to get, and when obtained it takes all the constructive power, and a little more than the writer has, to put them together, the members need not be astonished at the end of this term to see two shattered invalids, or raving maniacs roaming about the country in wild despair [sic], seeking lost health and long forgotten happiness.  Of course those whose sterling worth, honesty, mental and other qualities exceeds those of others are called upon to fill the honorable, now paying position of editors . . . .”

The paper contains sections labeled “Conundrums,” “Stuff & Nonsense,” and “Advertisements.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Martin SchmidtCatalogues and Manuscripts, University of Oregon Library,  Special Collections, Vol. I, 1971, item 888.

Locations:  Special Collections, Knight Library, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Quarterly Visitor (IA, 1844)

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Quarterly Visitor (IA, 1844); upper right corner of front page missing from extant copy

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Washington, Iowa

Frequency:  Quarterly

Volume and Issue Data:  Extant issue, June 1844

Size and Format:  13 x 20 inches; three columns; four pages; ink

Editor/Publisher:  Daniel C. Stover

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The extant copy of the Quarterly Visitor, June, 1844, contained three basic types of material:  news, features and editorials.  The front page contained mostly poems and short moralisms.  The second page carried three editorials (one which attacked the political neutrality of the Domestic Quarterly Review, another local handwritten paper), a report on an extra session of the Iowa legislature, three news items about rain, wheat and wind, a humor piece about someone’s misfortunes while seeking a claim, a biographical sketch of Henry Clay and two brief news stories.  The third page continued the biographical descriptions of “the most distinguished statesmen now living” (Clay, Martin Van Buren, John C. Calhoun, Richard M. Johnson, James Buchanan and John Tyler).  The rest of the page had an article about the organization of neighboring Keokuk County, a letter to the editor (dated Washington, June 25, 1844) and five short news items.  Included on the third page was a map of Keokuk County showing rivers, townships and sections.  The last page was one-third poetry and two-thirds news items.  Included in the news items were an accidental drowning story and an obituary.

Quarterly Visitor (IA, 1844)

Several references in the extant issue to previous issues provide evidence that at least one previous issue of the paper was written.

Daniel C. Stover, the editor, was a lawyer and had started a law practice in the county seat town of Washington with his brother sometime in 1840, a year after their arrival in Iowa City from Indiana.  In 1844 Stover served as the secretary of the Democratic Convention held in Washington, and was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the Washington County Commissioner’s Clerk.  During the period Stover edited the Visitor, his brother was the district court clerk in Washington.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Roy Alden Atwood, “Handwritten Newspapers on the Iowa Frontier, 1844-1854,” Journalism History, 7:2 (Summer 1980), 56-59, 66-67; Nathan Littler, History of Washington County, 1835-1875, ed. by Edna Jones (Washington, Iowa:  Jonathan C. Clark, 1977) pp. 29, 126, 221-222; Kathy Fisher, In the Beginning There Was Land:  A History of Washington County, Iowa (Washington, Iowa:  Washington Historical Society, 1978), pp. 107, 190-191.

Locations:  State Historical Society of Iowa, Archives, Iowa City, Iowa

The Prison Times (DE, 1865)


Prison Times, DE, 1865; Image Source: Library of Congress; images of four pages at the New York Historical Society website

Place of Publication:  Fort Delaware, a Union prison camp holding Confederate officer prisoners, located on Pea Patch Island where the Delaware River merges into Delaware Bay, just south of New Castle, DE

Frequency:  Four extant copies (according to the NY Historical Society [with thanks to Joseph Ditta; see comments below; updated 9-24-12)

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.  1, No. 1, April  8, 1865

Size and Format:  See image below

Editor/Publisher:  J.W. Hibbs, Capt. 13th Va. Inf.was the publisher.  Proprietors and editors were George S. Thomas, Capt. 6thGa., Div. 24; W.H. Bennett, Capt. & A.C.S., Div. 24; and A. Harris, Lt. 3rdFla., Div. 28.

Title Changes and Continuation:  See The Stonewall Register

General Description and Notes:

Evidently there are three extant copies of the same issue, one in Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and the other in Buffalo, NY.  The paper contains editorials, announcements, advertisements, poetry, barracks directory, Christian Association Directory, notices of clubs, and prison news notes.  The NY letter says, “As General Lee surrendered to General Grant on the 9th, this [April 8] issue may well have been the sole issue.”

In a letter from William H. Loos, Curator, Rare Book Room, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY, dated July 14, 1993, Loos states that he found an extant copy of The Prison Times in “an old portfolio of loose single issues of early American newspapers that we have had for many years and which I had not had occasion to consult in nearly twenty years.” Two representatives from the New York State Library, who were working on the state’s portion of the national newspaper project, came to the Buffalo library to research their collection. “When I reviewed this portfolio before one of the researchers recorded its contents,” Loos wrote, “I was surprised to find a handwritten newspaper.”

According to Loos,

“The newspaper is vol. 1, no. 1 of the Prison Times issued at Fort Delaware in 1865. On page two, the date April 8th appears. As General Lee surrendered to General Grant on the 9th, this may well have been the sole issue. Fort Delaware was a prison camp for Confederate officers. The fort was located on Pea Patch Island where the Delaware River merges into Delaware Bay, just south of New Castle, Delaware.”

According to the South Carolina Historical Society records, P.A. McMichael raised a Confederate volunteer company that became Company G of the Twentieth South Carolina Infantry. He served in the Charleston, South Carolina area (1861-1863) mainly around Sullivan’s Island, and in Virginia, where he participated in the battle of Cold Harbor and was promoted to Lt. Col of the 20th Regiment. He was captured at Cedar Creek and taken to Fort Delaware.  His collection includes the handwritten newspaper, Prison Times (vol. 1, no. 1) for prisoners at Fort Delaware, Del. The South Carolina Historical Society catalog says the paper contains “advertisements for tailoring, barbering, music, religious assistance, debate and chess clubs with poetry, barracks directory, and descriptions and comments on prison life.”

Information Sources:


Links: New York Historical SocetyGeorgia Historical Society catalog entry for The Prison Times;  South Carolina Historical Society, Paul A. McMichael holdings; see also

Locations:  Prison Times, Misc. Fort Delaware: NYUGB12021269-A, New York Historical Society, with images of four pages; Prison Times, MS 638, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia; and Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, NY; and Prison Times in Paul Agalus McMichael (1820-1869),  correspondence and diary, 1861-1865 (1073.00),  South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC.

The Prince Albert Critic (NWT, 1889)

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Prince Albert Critic (SK, 1889)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Prince Albert, North West Territories, Canada

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: 21 Feb.-21 March, 1889 (Vol. 1, No. 5)

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Alexander Stewart

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Paper contains numerous advertisements and “Telegraphic News” on page one; subscription terms, church service times, editorials on “Compulsory Education”  and “The Town Council and the Railway Question” on page two; correspondence and news briefs on page three; and more telegraphic news, a report on the “Supreme Court,” a “Parliamentary Note” report, a note about the Critic taken from the Regina Journal on page four.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  National Library of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Saskatchewan Archives Board, University of Regina, Regina, SK

Pleasant Hill Popgun (OR, 1901)

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Pleasant Hill Popgun (OR, 1901)

Place of Publication: Pleasant Hill, Oregon

Frequency:  One issue?

Volume and Issue Data:  No. 2, Dec. 13, 1901

Size and Format:  Ledger sheets, 14 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  Anonymous (Pleasant Hill Literary Society?)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Succeeded Rattlesnake Blizzard

General Description and Notes:

A handwritten newspaper on old ledger sheets, Dec. 13, 1901, in the same ledger as the earlier, Rattlesnake Blizzard, Dec. 30, 1885.  Edited anonymously.  Contained brief news items, jokes and anecdotes.

Page two contains the following:

“The Pop-gun is the paper of the people, by the people, and for the people; Now friends how can you stand back when you know what is best for U [sic].”

 The paper ends with this statement:

 “We desire to thank those who have so cheerfully contributed to these columns.  Without the aid of all the members it would be impossible for one to produce a piece of work such as the society will expect of their servants.  We have consigned nothing to the waste basket and have carefully looked over the almanacs and magazines in securing our material for this issue of the paper.  Now as we are about to step out we [sic] our successors a successful term and have a liberal patronage.  The present editors will hereafter be seen wandering about seeking lost health and long forgotten happiness.  Thanking you for the patronage we have enjoyed we now retire with the greatest of pleasure.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Martin Schmidt, Catalogues and Manuscripts, University of Oregon Library, Special Collections, Vol. I, 1971, item 888.

Locations:  Special Collections, Knight Library, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

The Plain Dealer (NC, 1857 or 1858)

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The Plain Dealer (NC, 1857 or 1858)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Wake Forest College, Winston-Salem, NC

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  No dates, but from dates found, it is from an issue of about 1857 or 1858.

Size and Format:  Only 2 pages remain–no cover page.

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  The Student?

General Description and Notes:

The Plain Dealer” was the forerunner of the “Student“.  Printing was done with a pen, very neatly, and very readable.

Information Sources:

The Plain Dealer (NC, 1857 or 1858)

Bibliography:  “A Leaf from the “Plain Dealer.”  The Wake Forest Student, April 1905, XXIV No. 7, pp.483-485.

Locations:  University Archives, Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

The Pickwickian (NY, 1856)

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The Pickwickian (NY, 1856)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  New York, NY

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: March 2, 1856

Size and Format:  4-6 pages, roughly 8″ x 14″

Editor/Publisher:  “Propretors (sic) Daughter Julius & Pickwick.”

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

“Our Motto is FUN.”  A journal of a New York City fireman’s association, containing a hand-drawn masthead and is hand illustrated with satirical cartoons.  In good condition and very legible. Contained in the Hook and Ladder Company Record Books 0f the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland, which included the company’s own handwritten newspaper, the Pony Gazette, circa 1854.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  The Hook and Ladder Company Record Books Collection (MS 662), Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD

Philomathean Gazette (UT, 1873)

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Philomathean Gazette (UT, 1873)

Place of Publication: Payson City, Utah County, Utah Territory

Frequency:  “Published every Monday”

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 2, No. 18, Feb. 24, 1873

Size and Format:  8.5 x 14 inches; single column; pen and ink, 8+ pp.

Editor/Publisher:  John Redington, editor

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Gazette was “devoted to the interest of the Payson Philomathean Society,” an organization apparently supportive of the Mormon Church and its mission activities.  Vol. 2, No. 18, contains “original poetry” on “The Union of Souls” on pages one and two with an editor’s note: “To [sic] lengthy to publish in full, Ed.”

A story on “Travels on the Islands in the South Pacific Ocean” (pp. 2-5) recounts the efforts of the editor who “was called by the First Presidency of our Church to go on a mission to the South Pacific Islands, to preach the gospel to the inhabitants of that part of the world.”

Another story, “How Mr. Gray became a Farmer,” is continued from the previous issue of the paper, and continues to the issue to follow.

At least two pages are devoted to correspondence (dated Feb. 23) to the editor.  Both letters published refer to the Philomathean Society’s meetings, but provide no details as to its purpose or membership.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations: Utah State Historical Society, Mss A 2591, Salt Lake City, UT

The Petrel (MA-CA, 1849)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  “On board Ship Duxbury,” clipper out of Boston en route to the California gold fields)

Frequency:  Weekly; irregular; “published every Monday morning”

Volume and Issue Data:   Vol. 1, No. 1, March 26, 1849; Vol. 1, No. 2, April 2, 1849; Vol. 1, Nos. 3-7 and 9, no dates; Vol. 1, No. 8, lead article dated June 10, 1849; Vol. 1, No. 10, no date, but article on “Celebration of American Independence.”  The third number has no title or volume-number.  The term “petrel” apparently refers to various sea birds.

Size and Format:  8 x 10 in.; oil cloth-like paper; two columns; pen and ink; illustrated; 2-4 pp., variable

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown (“Smike, Jr.”?)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Continuation or contemporary of Shark (See Shark) published aboard the Duxbury on same voyage

General Description and Notes:

The Petrel was published onboard the Duxbury apparently during the same voyage as produced the Shark.  The issue numbering suggests that both papers may have been published contemporaneously.

The Duxbury left Boston for the California gold fields in February, 1849 carrying the Old Harvard Company, one of the hundreds of New England joint-stock companies organized to capitalize on the gold of California.  One writer states that during 1849, 102 joint stock companies sailed from Massachusetts alone, the number of their members ranging from five to 180, the average being around 50, and their total exceeding 4,200.  Each member paid an equal sum into the common treasury.  Each had an equal voice in tis management and stood to reap an equal share of the profits.  Often there was also a board of directors, chosen from among the town’s leaders, older men who helped finance the expeditions but themselves remained at home. (Lewis, p. 22).

The first issue, published March 26, 1849, contained the following introduction:

 “Ourselves.”  We appear before our readers to-day, for the first time, with our weekly budget of fun, fact, and fancy, for the particular edification our amusement of the passengers on board of the Ship Duxbury now on her voyage from Boston to San Francisco.  We shall continue its publication as often as circumstances will admit, and should be pleased to receive well written communications upon any subject that may be thought interesting to the “crowd.”  All communications must be handed in as early as Friday morning.–Smike, Jr.

One passenger observed that there was “too much praying on board.”  Each morning the Duxbury’s preacher, the Rev. Brierly, read a chapter from the Bible, offered a prayer, and delivered a brief sermon.  On Wednesdays he presided over a prayer meeting; on Sundays he preached “a full-length sermon” and followed this with a class discussion group; on Tuesdays and Fridays he conducted a lyceum.  This was during the early stages of the voyage; later this comprehensive program collapsed, as it did on so many other ships, and during the final weeks of the Duxbury’s company seems to have been without religious instruction of any kind.

Hard feelings developed between officers and passengers aboard the Duxbury on the first leg of its voyage.  The chief complaint was against the food and the manner of service.  The Duxbury, an ancient three-masted craft, so hard to maneuver that she was said to require all of Massachusetts Bay in which to turn, left Boston so loaded that the galley space was inadequate.  After a week of subsisting on two sparse meals a day, the passengers met and made known their grievances.  For a long time their protests were disregarded.  “Petition after petition was sent in to the captain without producing any other effect than the reply, ‘If it is not enough, go without.'”  The group continued on short rations–“we were allowed one-half pint of weak tea a day and three pounds of sugar a month’–until the Duxbury reached Rio.  There a committee of passengers related their troubles to the United States consul.  The result was that the capacity of the galley was ordered enlarged and the passengers thereafter fared rather better.

Lewis notes that this and other shipboard newspapers (see, e.g., Barometer, The Emigrant, and The Petrel) “lacked the formality of print but more nearly approached conventional journalism” than the various travel journals and diaries kept during the voyages.

Greever reports that Easterners frequently chose to go to California via ship around Cape Horn.  “Between December 14, 1848, and January 18, 1849 [probably about the time the Duxbury embarked on its voyage], sixty-one ships with an average of fifty passengers each sailed for California from New York City, Boston, Salem, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk.  In the month of February, 1849, . . . seventy [ships sailed] from Boston  . . . .” (pp. 21-22)

“The trip around from the East Coast around the Horn and up to San Francisco often took more than six months; the average time was 168 days” (p. 23)

“If Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Fourth of July occurred during the trip, there would be quite a celebration” (p. 22).

The two highlights of the journey around South America were stops in Rio and at Juan Ferdnandez island. The Petrel recorded the pleasures of shore leave and even illustrated the events in later issues (see The Petrel figures).

Captain DeCosta also imitated newspapers of the day with an entry that read:  “By telegraph–We have, says a New York paper, just received intelligence from a California-bound vessel, stating that they have a very rare animal on board, which was caught crossing the line . . . .”  While the story was a hoax, the joke could only have worked if the passengers were familiar with the “telegraph news” system of the day, and took the practice of ship-borne intelligence for granted.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  See Oscar Lewis, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields:  The Migration by Water to Californiain 1849-1852 (New York:  A.A. Knopf, 1949), p. 89.  See also G.B. Worden letter to Ira Brown:  Rio de Janeiro, ALS 1849 April 23, University of  California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Manuscript Collection, Mss C-B 547:138; and William S. Greever, Bonanza West:  The Story of Western Mining Rushes,  1848-1900 (University of Idaho Press, 1963), pp. 21-23

Locations:  Eleven numbers:  Huntington Library, Manuscripts Division, San Marino, California; accompanying the journal of the Duxbury voyage, Boston-San Francisco, by William H. DeCosta, 1849, Feb.-June 23 (HM 234); 10 numbers:  University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Manuscript Collection, Mss C-F 147; three numbers: (no dates, circa Feb.-July, 1849) Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

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The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Camp Ford, Tyler, Smith County, Texas

Frequency:  Bi-weekly, irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, Feb. 17, 1864-No.3, March 13, 1864

Size and Format: 8 1/2 x 11; four pages per issue; three columns; pen and ink

Editor/Publisher:  Capt. William H. May (and J.P. Robens?); a 12-page facsimile edition was published by J.P. Robens and William H. May entitled, The Old Flag: First Publication by Union Prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas, V. 1, No. 1-3; Feb. 17-March 13, 1864: Preface includes history of the manuscript plus some items and advertisements from the Ford City Herald

Title Changes and Continuation:  Some references to advertisements from the Ford City Herald  in the Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project (thanks to Renee M. Savits, of the CW 150 Legacy Project). According to the Herald, “This branch of our imense (sic) establishment is now complete. The new Type and Materials of The Herald, in addition to the well stocked Office of the “OLD FLAG,” removed and refitted, enables us to give notice that we are fully prepared to execute all kinds of Plain and Fancy Job Printing with neatness and dispatch. Terms, CASH.”

General Description and Notes:

The Old Flag was published by a Union soldier during an imprisonment of 13 months in the Confederate prison at Tyler, Texas.  Each issue was read aloud in the various cabins by some member of the “Mess.”  When all had read or heard it read, the paper was returned by the “subscriber” to the “office publication.”

The paper’s primary goal was to relieve the almost unbearably eventless and monotonous life of Camp Ford.  Contributions commented on local news and camp issues, displayed poetry and art, and played with satire, jokes and chess problems.  Advertisements, which appeared in every issue, were genuine.  Most offered the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

The Old Flag was one of two and possibly three handwritten Civil War newspapers published at Camp Ford, a Confederate prison complex in Tyler and Hempstead, Texas.  Camp Ford was the largest Confederate military prison in Texas.  The prison held both officers and enlisted men from 1863 to the end of war.  The prison held as many as 4,900 prisoners by July 1864.  Living conditions in the tented enclosure were generally good.  Fresh water, adequate shelter and plentiful food supplies made the prison a relatively healthy place; during its 21-month existence, roughly 250 soldiers died in the camp.  Most soldiers were allowed to keep many of their possessions, to manufacture items for sale and to purchase food and supplies from local farmers and merchants.[1]  To facilitate these economic transactions, The Old Flag published a “REVIEW OF THE TEXAS MARKET-for the Month of February, 1864” in its March 1 edition.

Capt. William H. May, of the 23rd Connecticut Volunteers, with the assistance of other Union soldiers, published and edited at least three issues of The Old Flag between February 17 and March 13, 1864,[2] during their 13-month confinement in the Confederate prison camp.  According to J.P. Robens, one of the prisoners, the paper was published on sheets of “unruled letter paper, in imitation of print, a steel pen being employed in the absence of a Hoe Press.”[3]  The three-column, four-page paper made liberal use of large headlines and graphic elements.

The paper’s primary goal was “to contribute as far as possible towards enlivening the monotonous, and at times almost unbearably eventless life of Camp Ford–and to cultivate a mutual good feeling between all.”  Contributions were solicited on matters of local news and camp issues.  The Old Flag published poetry and art, and included satire, jokes and chess problems.  Display advertisements appeared in every issue, and “most of them bona fide, genuine.”  Most of the ads promoted the services of skilled prisoners for the benefit of the others.  For example, pipe makers, barbers, cigar makers, shoe shines and “job printing” (by the editor) were all available in the prison city.[4]


Summary of Contents of The Old Flag, 1:1, February 17, 1864

(Measured in column inches; 33 column inches per page)



The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

The first number announced that the next issue would be in “an entire new dress, we having received new Types from the Foundry of J. Connor & Son, of N.Y.!  This number is printed with ‘secesh’ ink, which does not appear to ‘take’ well upon Yankee paper.”[5]  Only one copy was published of each number, which was then read aloud in the various cabins by some member of the “Mess.”  When all the prisoners had read or heard it read, the paper was returned by the “Subscriber” to the “Office of Publication.”[6]

In the third number, March 15, 1864, the editor published his intentions to preserve The Old Flag after his release from Camp Ford.


We shall make it our first object on our arrival at New York City–which will probably be within a few week after our Exchange–to learn the practicability of getting the three numbers of the “Old Flag” Lithographed.  Should the expense be too great to warrant our adopting this means of securing fac simile [sic] copies, we shall print with types as nearly as similar to the letter penned by us as can be procured, with heading and illustrations engraved.  We shall endeavor to make the copies close imitations of the original papers.  In addition we propose to publish a few accurate pictures, delineating life at Camp Ford, Camp Groce, &c, printed on sheets inserted in each number of the “Old Flag” with a Title Page, and complete List of the Officers Prisoners [sic] at this place, neatly bound.

The editor kept his promise.  The lithographed reproduction of The Old Flag was published in New York in 1864 and included a “List of officers, prisoners of war at Camp Ford . . . giving rank, regiment, where and when captured.”

After prisoners were released from Camp Ford, the editor published a lithographed reproduction of the handwritten.

According to Mary Witkowski, of the Bridgeport Public Library, Bridgeport, CT, Captain May was a newspaper man in civilian life.

Information Sources:                                                         

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

Bibliography:  Roy Alden Atwood, “Captive Audiences: Handwritten Prisoner-of-War Newspapers of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition and the War Between the States,” Annual Convention of the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), Salt Lake City, UT, Oct. 1993;  F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.:  The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas(Austin:  Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964), 36-37;  The Old Flag (privately published, 1914).

Locations:  Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT; The Old Flag, lithographed reproduction:  DLC

[1].  Patricia L. Faust, editor, Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War, p. 110.

[2].  The date on The Old Flag, 1:3, isMarch 13, 1864, but a poem on p. 3, “To Mrs. Col R.T.P. Allen,” is dated March 14.  The poem was likely a day-late insertion.

[3].  J.P. Robens, “Preface,” The Old Flag, lithograph reproduction (New York:  W.H. May, [1864]), n.p.

[4].  The Old Flag, 1:3 (March 13, 1864), p. 2:  “Statistic–There have been manufactured by knife in this camp, since last September, over forty setts [sic]of Chessmen, of which Lt. John Woodward has himself completed eight of the best!

“The number of Pipes turned out, as near as can be arrived at, is not less than Five Hundred–both of wood and clay.”

[5].  The Old Flag, 1:1 (Feb. 17, 1864), p. 2.

[6].  J.P. Robens, “Preface,” n.p.

The New Moon (MO, 1842)

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The New Moon, MO, 1842

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Jefferson City or Arrow Rock, MO

Frequency: Unknown (one issue?)

Volume and Issue Data: February 23, 1842

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

According to the Missouri Historical Society, “The New Moon was a mock newspaper sent to Miss Missouri I. Ewing of Jefferson City, MO, from an unknown ‘publisher.’  A unique issue, it provides an entertaining news account of an excursion from Jefferson City to a point new [sic] Arrow Rock, MO, for a country wedding.

According to Jolliffe and Whitehouse, The New Moon “was probably not a continuing, circulated publication”  and “it appears that the entire issue satirizes a single event–a wedding.” They conclude that the paper was “a single copy of an amusing feminist newsletter.”

Information Sources:                           

Bibliography: Lee Jolliffe and Virginia Whitehouse, “Handwritten Newspapers on the Frontier? The Prevalence Problem, ” paper presented at the AEJMC History Division Mid-Year Meeting, Columbia, MO, 1994.

Locations:  Edwards Family Papers, Missouri Historical Society Archives, St. Louis, MO

The Musalman (IND, 1927-present)

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The Musalman (IND, 1927-present)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Chennai, India

Frequency:  Daily

Volume and Issue Data:  Published since 1927, circulation approx. 21,000

Size and Format:  Broadsheet folded to make four pages; Urdu language publication; handwritten, then printed

Editor/Publisher:  Editor-in-Chief Syed Arifullah (youngest son of former editor Syed Fazlulla)

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

According to Wired Magazine, “the fax machine on 76-year-old Editor-in-Chief Syed Fazlulla’s [died April 26, 2008] crowded desk is by far the most sophisticated technology in the room.”

“Fazlulla, who is deep into creating the next issue of the handcrafted The Musalman daily newspaper, frowns as he deciphers the handwriting and searches for a cover story. After some consideration, he passes the page to his brother who translates it into Urdu. He in turn sends the text to the back room where writers take calligraphy quills in hand and begin.

“Here in the shadow of the Wallajah Mosque, a team of six puts out this hand-penned paper. Four of them are katibs — writers dedicated to the ancient art of Urdu calligraphy. It takes three hours using a pen, ink and ruler to transform a sheet of paper into news and art.”

According to Iran Radio Islam, the paper, whose name means “The Muslim,”

is a broadsheet folded to make four pages. The front page has local and national news. Page two has international news and editorials. Page three contains Hadith, quotes from the Qur’an and (incongruously) sports. The last page has “everything”, says Arifullah, with a focus on local news. There are ads from local businesses, “exhibitions, circus, new products”, and even Aligarh Muslim University.

News comes in from part-time reporters in different cities, once by fax, now also email. “We are not able to afford” full-time Urdu reporters, the editor says, so the material often comes in English. Three translators turn it into Urdu. The katibs then write the copy out on paper with quills and ink, three hours per page, and paste all the items on a form. If a mistake is made or a news update arrives, the page is rewritten. The form is turned into a negative, which is used to make the plate for printing.

The Wired magazine reporter observed that the paper’s

“. . . office is a center for the South Indian Muslim community and hosts a stream of renowned poets, religious leaders and royalty who contribute to the pages, or just hang out, drink chai and recite their most recent works to the staff. The Musalman publishes Urdu poetry and messages on devotion to God and communal harmony daily.

The newspaper’s content is not exactly hard-hitting. It covers the basics of local politics and the writers translate stories from English papers into Urdu. Still, the paper is widely read and appreciated by Muslims in Tripplicane and Chennai where the paper has a circulation of 20,000.

While the Musalman is a Muslim newspaper, it is a hub of South Asian liberalism, employing both women and non-Muslims. Half the katibs are women and the chief reporter is Hindu. Staff members say that Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India, once called the business the epitome of what modern India should be.

The Urdu language is, according to Wired, “similar to spoken Hindi, Urdu is a mixture of Arabic, Persian and local Indian languages. It originated in the army camps of Muslim rulers in Delhi and has been the language of poets and artists because its rich roots draw on so many traditions across various cultures.”

But when British colonizers swept across India importing printing presses and English, Urdu ceased to be the official court language. It was spoken primarily by the Muslim community, but katibs could still make a living because no Urdu typeface existed.

That changed in 1997 with the first widely circulated Urdu computer font. Nowadays, people learn to read and write Urdu mostly as a hobby.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Scott Carney, “A Handwritten Daily Paper in India Faces the Digital Future,” Wired (magazine), July 6, 2007; Iran Radio Islam, “The Musalman: The Last Hand Printed Newspaper in India,” IRIB World Service-English, May 26, 2011.

Locations:  Unknown (Chennai, India)

The Mill Valley News (CA, 1893)

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Mill Valley News (CA, 1893)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Mill Valley, California

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, April 6, 1893

Size and Format:  Four pages; 6 1/2 x 8 1/4; three columns

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

Front page contents include a “Poet’s Corner” (with poems by Kezia B. Simmes, and Elizabeth Stone), a short story on “True Love” by Madge Wilson; page two has news “Notes” which mention a new hotel being “nearly finished” and the Catholic Church, “it is hoped be dedicated on the first of May” and will “accommodate about 200 people,” an essay on “Rob White” by Chas. Fromley; page three is mostly “The Little Ones, A Fairy Tale” by Jessy Greot and short joke about Jonah and the Whale; and page four contains jokes, births, lists marriages and deaths, but leaves those blank, puzzles, and a “Letter Box” with two short letters and mention of thanks yous to seven individuals.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Anne Kent California History Room, Marin County Free Library, CA (photocopy)

A Manuscript Paper (UT, 1893)

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A Manuscript Paper (UT, 1893)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Hyrum, Utah

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 2, June 11, 1893

Size and Format:  Ledger (7 3/4 x 12+)

Editor/Publisher:  Clara Williams (Vol. 1, No. 2); “Written by the Y.M. & Y.L.M.I. Associations of Hyrum

Title Changes and Continuation:  See THE EDUCATOR, THE EVENINGSTAR, THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER and YOUNG LADIES THOUGHTS; one of many papers published by the Young Men and Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Societies in Utah

General Description and Notes:

According to Alter, the Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Hyrum published weekly literary journals largely in the interests and for the entertainment of their members during the late 1880s.  The publications carried news, religious items and weather reports.

“A Manuscript Paper” a jointly published by the young men and young ladies groups.  “The Knowledge Seeker” was published by the Young Men; “The Young Ladies Thoughts” and “The Evening Star” were published by the Young Ladies.  These papers appeared under various editors, since officers in these organizations changed hands regularly.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism (Salt Lake City:  Utah State Historical Society, 1938), 90; Lorraine T. Washburn, “Culture in Dixie,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 29 (July 1961), 259-260; Mark A. Pendleton, “The Orderville United Order of Zion,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 7 (October 1939), 151

Locations:  John A. Israelson’s papers, Special Collections and Archives, Utah State University, Logan, UT

The Manti Herald and Sanpete Advertiser (UT, 1867)

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Manti Herald (UT, 1867 )

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Manti, Sanpete County, Utah

Frequency:  Weekly; bi-weekly; irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No.1,Jan. 31, 1867-Vol.1, No. 15,May 18, 1867

Size and Format:  One page, legal size; three columns; large art masthead; pen and ink

Editor/Publisher:  F.C. Robinson, editor and publisher

Title Changes and Continuation:  Manti Herald (Jan. 31-Vol. 1, No. 5); Manti Herald and Sanpete Advertiser (Mar. 20-May 18, 1867)

Manti Herald (UT, 1867)

According to Alter, the Manti Herald and Sanpete Advertiser was all handwritten.  It carried display advertisements, local news and some telegraphic new briefs with a Salt Lake City date line.  Alter describes it as “a real newspaper in spirit and in fact, being the organ or propaganda of no one.”

The paper was issued to subscribers only.  Vol. 1, No. 2,Feb. 10, 1867 identifies editor Robinson as the Sanpete County Clerk.

In Number 6, March 20, 1867, the editor explained a publishing delay:

“To our subscribers:  We feel that an apology is due to our subscribers for the non-appearance of the Herald last week; and by way of explanation, may say that the ‘type’ we had previously used, proved defective, and we concluded to wait until we could get a fresh supply!”

Manti Herald (UT, 1867)

Number 7, March 30, 1867 carried the following story:

“Great Salt Lake City, March 22–I advise the brethren of Sanpete to keep their cattle where they will be safe, and not be out alone.–B. Young.”

Some issues with red lines and/or column rules

Information Sources:

Manti Herald (UT, `1867)

Bibliography:  J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism (Salt Lake City:  Utah State Historical Society, 1938), 108-110; Robert F. Karolevitz, Newspapering in the Old West:  A Pictorial History of Journalism and Printing on the Frontier (New York:  Bonanza Books, 1969); Bob Karolevitz, “Pen and Ink Newspapers of the Old West,” Frontier Times, 44:2 (Feb.-March 1970), 30, 63-64;  Kate B. Carter (compiler), “Journalism in Pioneer Days Daughters of Utah Pioneers,” Historical Pamphlet, April 1943, p.143; Don A. Carpenter, “A Century of Journalism in Manti, Utah, 1867-1967,” unpublished M.A. Thesis, 1968, July.

Manti Herald (UT, 1867)

Locations:  Salt Lake City Public Library; front page, Vol. 1, No. 13, May 4, 1886, reproduced in Karolevitz (1970), 30.,  Mormon Archives (film) Ms d 7103 #1 and originals. [Note:  A bound set of the Manti Herald and Sanpete Advertisers are held in the safe, off periodicals, sub-basement, listed on old card catalog, not computer]

The Little Printing Press (AK, 1953-1957)


The Little Printing Press (AK, 1953-1957)

Place of Publication: Nome, Alaska

Frequency:  Unknown, 64 issues

Volume and Issue Data: July 15, 1953-July1957

Size and Format:  Handwritten and typed

Editor/Publisher:  Pamela Mandeville Mulvihill (eight years old)

Title Changes and Continuation:  The Little Newsprint

General Description and Notes:

According to the editor in notes written in 1975, The Little Newsprint was begun by Pamela Mandeville Mulvihill in Nome when she was eight years old.  Her mother, Ellen Mulvihill, did the typing and the ran the ditto machine.  Her mother committed the error in the title by changing the name to The Little Printing Press after the first issue.  Pamela did all the writing and dictated to her mother what she should type, including spelling.

The paper appeared irregularly for 64 issues untill about July, 1957.  The reason for starting the paper “has been forgotten,” but the author claims it was an “instant success.”

The Little Printing Press (AK, 1953-1957)

According to Mulvihill, she sold 100 copies for 1 cent each.  I never took tips.  After the paper had been typed and run off the night before (usually very late after many discussions over the news), she would attach her coin changer to her belt and go to main street early Saturday morning.  There was a regular route through various stores and offices which were her regular customers.  The drug store took several which they resold.

She had several regular subscribers throughout Alaska and a few “outside.”  Delegate Bob Bartlett was an occasional reader.  Out of towners were charged only the cost of the paper plus postage–5 cents at the time.  Ads were five cents.  News was collected by simply being a girl growing up in Nome; “I just kept my ears open!” (PMM, Dec. 16, 1975)

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations: Alaska State Library

Little Joker (SK, 1888)

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Litte Joker (SK, 1888 )

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada


Volume and Issue Data:  Twelve issues; June-Dec. 1888

Size and Format:  11 x 17 inches

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Saskatchewan Archives Board has 70 pp. of this manuscript newspaper.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations: Saskatchewan Archives Board, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Little Joker (SK, 1888)

Litte Joker (SK, 1888)

Little Joker (SK, )

Little Joker (SK, 1888)

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