Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

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Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the ship Norwood on its journey from England to Western Australia with convicts, April 27 (date of first issue) to July 6, 1867

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  “Introduction” issue, April 27, 1867

Size and Format:  See image of the front page of April 27, 1867

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Convict shipboard paper en route from England to Western Australia. Irwin’s published account includes it as “Norwoodiana, or, Sayings and doings on route to Western Australia : a manuscript journal made during the 1867 voyage of the convict ship Norwood, April 27 to July 6, 1867.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography: William Irvin, Journals on board the convict ships Palmerston, 1861, Belgravia, 28th Apr. 1866-23rd June, 1866 and Norwood, 27th Apr.-6th July, 1867 [microform], reproduction of typescript; transcribed by Bob & Tops Dent 1996 with permission of the Mitchell Library from the original manuscript held by the NSW State Library.

Locations:  State Library of Western Australia; thanks to Annette Delbianco of the SLWA.

The Libby Prison Chronicle (VA, 1863)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia, Confederate States of America

Frequency:  Weekly; irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, August 21, 1863; Nos. 8-12, Vol. 2 (1863)

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Editor-in-chief, Louis N. Beaudry, Chaplain, Fifth N.Y. Vol. Cavalry;  “J.L. Ransom” (A chaplain of a New York regiment)

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Several numbers of The Libby Prison Chronicle were written weekly in manuscript in 1863 at the Libby Prison and printed in 1889.  One Libby prisoner, Capt. Frank Moran, of the 73rd New York Volunteers, recalled the Chronicle in a personal letter:

“The spirit of Yankee enterprise was well illustrated by the publication of a newspaper by the energetic chaplain of aNew York regiment.  It was entitled The Libby Prison Chronicle.  True, there were no printing facilities at hand, but, undaunted by this difficulty, the editor obtained and distributed quantities of manuscript paper among the prisoners who were leaders in their several professions, so that there was soon organized an extensive corps of able correspondents, local reporters, poets, punsters, and witty paragraphers, that gave the chronicle a pronounced success.  Pursuant to previous announcement, the “editor” on a stated day each week, would take up his position in the center of the upper east room, and, surrounded by an audience limited only by the available space, would read the articles contributed during the week.”

According to Starr, some prisoners regretted leaving Libby camp because,

“Classes are organized in Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish, Mathematics, & Phonography, while there are plenty of surgeons and chaplains to encourage amateurs in Physiology and zealots in Dialectics.  The ‘Libby Lyceum’ meets twice a week, with spirited debates, & there is a MS newspaper styled The Libby Chronicle.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Louis N. Beaudry, The Libby Chronicle (Albany, N.Y., 1889), J.L. Ransom, Libby Prison Chronicle (Chicago:  J.L. Ransom, 1894); Frank E. Moran, “Libby’s Bright Side:  A Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud of Prison Life,” in W.C. King and W.P. Derby, eds., Camp-fire Sketches and Battle-field Echoes (Springfield, Ill: 1887), pp. 183-185; Louis M. Starr, Bohemian Brigade:  Civil War Newsmen in Action (Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1954, 1987), pp. 188-189; Frank S. Stone, The Treatment and Conditions of the War Prisoners Held in the South During the Civil War, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Idaho, 1954, pp. 31-33.

Links: Transcription of Vol. 1, No. 1, August 21,  1863:  http://www.mdgorman.com/Prisons/Libby/libby_chronicle_8211863.htm

Locations:  None, but text and illustrations printed in Ransom (1894)

Jong Transvaal [Afrikaans: Young Transvaal] (RSA, 1901)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: South Africa

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: November 1901 (during Anglo-Boer War)

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  J. Mariewe

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

What follows are selections, roughly translated, from Paul Zietsman’s May 2002 article in Die Berger, “Seldsame Boerekoerant in Amsterdamse argief gevind,” describing the Jong Transvaal or Young Transvaal:

When I was recently in the South African Nederlandsch Vereeniging, on the Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, doing research, I found files on the rare first edition of a youth paper from among the Western Transvaal commandos of the Anglo-Boer War on the Transvaal. This edition appeared in November 1901.

The newspaper, hand-written, copied and distributed an edition of twenty, but the editors, the readers asked for the widest possible circulation and officers called on it to be read among the Boer commandos.

The editor was the Dutchman J. Mariewe, but between the lines it appears that Young Transvaal was a team effort.

The newspaper reflects the public mind of the people fighting in the Western Transvaal border zone of  Gen. Koos de la Rey’s battle field at this time of war. It reveals what life was like for people in the remote region, who also had access to  British newspapers like The Times, including the larger events and repercussions at the height of the Anglo-Boer War.

The inspiration that fueled the bitter rivalry radiates from every page of Young Transvaal. “True to death” was the newspaper’s motto.

The headquarters “The level field” and “Abonnementprijis (subscription): nil!” Shows a fine sense of humor. An “advertisement” with the same tongue in cheek look sought “typesetters,” “printers” and administrative clerks at fabulous salaries!

“To our fellow citizens” was the first introductory article which explained the paper’s editorial policies, including:  “In summary form wishes to all facts that come to our knowledge, on, taking aim at truth:”

And the name? “We gave this leaflet Young Transvaal this name because we were being prophetic.”

“It seems to us that this war is rejuvenating the Republic, so it appeared we are entering a new life, free from all diseases and germs that interfere with a healthy and vigorous life.”  The editors added that this “rejuvenating” of the Afrikaner life actually stretched beyond Transvaal .

In a later report, an article expanded on the Young Transvaal character. The young men were known before the war as progressives, whom the conservatives  (or Kruger Men) branded traitors, because they wound sites in the body is shown it is now their real leaders.

“Who are we men?” asked the Young Transvaal. “Probably are still a few of the old school among us, but for the rest we can show to a whole new staff officers, men who earlier in the background stood. And Louis Botha Koos de la Rey was the most prominent of the new officers and leaders of the anti-war Kruger men.”

“With them, a new time has come,” said Young Transvaal. “Let us all follow them united so that we can do great things.”

What’s the public outrage made above, but they also found laughable was Kitchener’s verbanningsdreigement. The editors wrote under the headline “Bannishment” (sic). “The rain of the English side almost as much as proclamations bombs.”

“Especially the last papierbom attract much attention.”

This deal on Kitchener’s proclamation of August 7, 1901 that the Boer officers who do not surrender 15 September, exiled and their property would be confiscated.

Young Transvaal refers to the excellent manner in which “our” leaders answered the proclamation and the unfavorable review of the European press. “In Amsterdam, a large meeting that took place in strong language against the proclamation is protested.”

Young Transvaal emphasized that the Transvaal proclamation contrary to the “General” Law and editors in any event in the history of people not familiar with “the defeated party punished with exile because his independence to the limit defense.”

Besides, the farmers have not yet been defeated. “Well, the enemy occupied the main towns, but the country is our lord and master. “The Republican government is still functioning and acting magistrates to maintain law and order in the Transvaal districts.”

“And because we each foot of the heritage of our fathers defended; because we remain faithful to the oath and duty, because we do not want to bend before the gods of gold, because we died on the battlefield over slawejuk we therefore prefer to ever the patriotic soil banned?”

In another reported Transvaal Young writes that it appears General (Lord) Methuen him on his journeys through the western Transvaal “primarily aims to vulnerable women and children to capture and destroy food supplies.”

“Why he started we offered him, refused?” Wonder the newspaper. “Was it for fear of possible heavy losses of material, dead and wounded, so that in the report to the Department of War would not only show that a small number of people in the field, but an organized citizens Strydmag the cause of the fatherland faithful?”

Young Transvaal was not completely spot on the Western Transvaal’s battle skills, as would soon be evident from Gen. Koos de la Rey’s spectacular victory over Methuen in Tweebosch between Sannieshof and De la Reyville on March 27, 1902, in which the wounded Methuen the dubious distinction bestowed that he was the only British general was during the war in Boer hands case it.

Young Transvaal underline the unreliable statistics as far as British casualties on the Boer side. According to a British newspaper that the British abandoned camp was found, the number of Boers in the Battle of Renosterfontein killed, more than doubled and the optimum is the allegation that General. Lemmer and sergeant under Joubert fell. Lemmer was wounded, but already back in the field and in the Marico Commando was nobody with the name sergeant Joubert not.

Under the headline “Domestic,” the newspaper reported that women from the concentration “refugee camp” at Mafeking escaped and reported very many deaths, especially among children. “We desire that a thorough investigation be undertaken.”

Thanks to Emily Hophouse’s publication in Britain of the cruel inhumanity of the concentration camps were already at that time such an investigation in progress by the Ladies Committee of which Britain sent out, although the superior high class British ladies were anything but objective. One of the most revered women wanted to know why the Boer women complained that their beds are not in the camps had not, because before the war, the Boers would not sleep on beds.

A story that quite upset the Young Transvaal  was that [British] Lord Kitchener complained to the [Boer] Commandant-General (Louis Botha) that people in the Battle of Vlakfontein southwest of Lichtenburg on 28 May 1901 and “wounded” hand suppers shot. Kitchener also claimed that “slightly wounded civilians were crawling around on the battlefield on all fours looking for wounded British to capture.”

Young Transvaal reported that the military authorities on the Boer side strictly investigated the accusation and  showed from various affidavits that Kitchener’s accusations were based on a misunderstanding.

The Commandant General, however, ordered that any citizen who committed criminal trespass immediately appear before a court martial.

Finally, Young Transvaal contains also a tongue-in-cheek ad that is actually an ironic commentary on the host’s diet is hunger. It reads: “The undersigned has the honor of the revered public in the ravines to notify its valley in Moepelkloof a restaurant opened. The following dishes were always on hand:

Boiled whole maize,  Heroic corn, Spy meal,  Potatoes imported from Mud River, Pudding a la Methuen, Dough boy-storm rider dumplings, Wheat Coffee currency, using black color and bitter taste.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: Paul Zietsman, “Seldsame Boerekoerant in Amsterdamse argief gevind,” Die Burger (May 4, 2002); South Africa’s Yesterdays (Reader’s Digest Association South Africa, 1981), p. 2o.

Locations:  South African Nederlandsch Vereeniging, Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864)

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Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), front page

Publication History:

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

Frequency:  Unknown; only one extant issue known, but in the extant edition the editors promise “Our Next Herald” (page four, bottom of column two)

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, July 4, 1864

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

Editor/Publisher:  Probably Capt. William H. May (and J.P. Robens?), also editor(s) of The Old Flag; a 12-page facsimile edition of The Old Flag, published by J.P. Robens and William H. May entitled, The Old Flag: First Publication by Union Prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas includes some items and advertisements from the Ford City Herald

Title Changes and Continuation:  Related to the Old Flag, but continuation unknown

General Description and Notes:

While reference to The Herald was made in the facsimile edition of The Old Flag , the Handwritten Newspapers Project was unaware of any extant copies of The Herald until October 2012 when Renee M. Savits, of the Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project notified us that a donor, the great-great-granddaughter of Capt. William H. May, editor of the Old Flag, had supplied the project with a framed copy of The Herald and a collection of letters from Capt. May before his capture near New Orleans in the summer of 1863.

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.1)

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.1)

Capt. May served with Co. I, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Connecticut, in Brashear City, LA, and New Orleans in 1863. A two-page letter dated July 5, 1863 (right, courtesy of the CW 150 Legacy Project) indicates his capture and transport to Houston, TX.

The Herald is closely related to the The Old Flag, which was published at Camp Ford, the Confederate prison at Tyler, Texas, during an imprisonment of 13 months.  On page two, under “Herald Job Printing Office,” the editor indicates the relationship between the two papers when he writes,

“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

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.2)

Letter re. Capt. Wm. May, July 5,1863, explaining he has been taken prisoner (p.2)

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.”

Under “Terms” (first page, top left column), the editor of The Herald also wrote, “The Herald is published Semi-Occasionally; subscription, Two Bits, payable in Lincoln Green at time of Publication.”

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), Camp Ford, Tyler, TX

According to the editor of The Old Flag, 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 Old Flag’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.

Ford City Herald (TX, 1864), pages 2-3

Camp Ford was the largest Confederate military prison in Texas during the Civil War.  The prison held both officers and enlisted men from 1863 until the end of war.  The prison held as many as 4,900 prisoners by July 1864.  Living conditions in the tented enclosures were generally good compared to some other Civil War prison camps.  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 the Ford City Herald in July 1864 and 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 Old Flag 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 Old Flag’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]

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 version.

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

Information Sources:                                                        

Bibliography:  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); see also 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.

Locations:  

Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project (thanks to Renee M. Savits, of the CW 150 Legacy Project), William H. May papers (Leonora Schmidt, great-great-granddaughter, collection); for Old Flag, see 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, is March 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, 1:1 (Feb. 17, 1864), p. 2.

The Camp Ford News (TX, 1865)

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Camp Ford News (TX, 1865)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Camp Ford (Confederate Prison Fort), Tyler, Texas

Frequency:  “Only one copy is known to have been printed, this being the issue of May 1, 1865”

Volume and Issue Data:  May 1, 1865 (one issue: Civil War ended the next week)

Size and Format:  One sheet broadside

Editor/Publisher:  Capt. Lewis Burger

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description & Notes:

Like the OLD FLAG and RIGHT FLANKER, this was a paper created to relieve the monotony and trials of prison life during the Civil War.  Only one issue appeared apparently because May 13-17, 1865 marked the end of the Civil War and the abandonment of Camp Ford.

Camp Ford was part of a Confederate prison complex in Tyler and Hempstead, Texas.  The prison held officers and enlisted men from 1863 to the end of war and the prisoners had built their own shelters.  After 1864 and the Red River Campaign, prison crowding and sickness increased, and the general conditions of prison life declined.  It was during these latter days of the War that the paper was produced.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  F. Lee Lawrence and Robert W. Glover, Camp Ford, C.S.A.:  The Story of Union Prisoners in Texas (Austin, Texas:  Texas Civil War Centennial Advisory Committee, 1964); Mark Boatner, III, The Civil War Dictionary (New York: Random House, 1991).

Locations:  Smith County Historical Society, Texas

Belgravian Weekly Journal (ENG-AUS, 1866)

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The Belgravian Weekly Journal (Eng-Aus, 1866)

The Belgravian Weekly Journal (Eng-Aus, 1866)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the ship Belgravia on its journey from England to Fremantle, Western Australia, with convicts, 28 April 1866-23 June, 1866

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1866

Size and Format:  See image of the front page of No. 2, May 5, 1866

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Convict shipboard paper en route from England to Western Australia.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography: William Irvin, Journals on board the convict ships Palmerston, 1861, Belgravia, 28th Apr. 1866-23rd June, 1866 and Norwood, 27th Apr.-6th July, 1867 [microform], reproduction of typescript.

Locations:  State Library of Western Australia; thanks to Annette Delbianco of the SLWA.

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