Tanglewood Twigs (MA, 1872)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Massachusetts

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1872

Size and Format:  approximately 40 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  The Dunham Family

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

One issue by various family members.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  In the Dunham Family Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Tancopanican Chronicle (DE, 1823-1824)

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Publication History: 

Place of Publication: DuPont family home, Delaware

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Saturday, Sept. 20th, 1823.  Twelve issues, 1823-24.

Size and Format:  Approx. 4 pages each; approximately 7.5 x 10 inches

Editor/Publisher:  “Two members of the blue stocking club;” according to Marjorie G. McNinch, of the Hagley Museum and Library Manuscripts and Archives Department,  the paper is “written in the hand of Victorine (du Pont) Bauduy, but compiled with the help of her sisters Eleuthera and Sophie”

Title Changes and Continuation:  Tancopanican Chronicle, 1830-1834; publication for the DuPont Family celebration in 1950.

“Scenes on the Tancopanican” contains humorous watercolor sketches of life in the household of E.I. duPont, 1827 and undated.  It is handwritten, but not a newspaper (photocopy included).

General Description and Notes:

Presumably written in the hand of Victorine (du Pont) Bauduy, but compiled with the help of her sisters Eleuthera and Sophie.  These are the children of the founding member of the DuPont family, French emigrants who came to Delaware in 1800.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Riggs Guide to Manuscripts, The Winterthur Manuscripts, Group 6, Papers of Victorine (du Pont) Bauduy, page 282; Betty-Bright Low and Jacqueline Hinsley, Sophie du Pont; A Young Lady in America.  Sketches, Diaries, & Letters 1823-1833 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers)

Locations:  Accession 471, Papers of Louis Crowninshield, describes Tancopanican chronicle, 1830-1834, (Wilmington, 1949).  A typescript of the original volumes is in Accession 428.

The Winterthur Manuscripts, Group 9 Papers of Sophie M. duPont, page 530, referring only to “Scenes on the Tancopanican”

Hagley Museum and Library, du Pont papers, Wilmington, DE:  http://www.hagley.org/library/

The Tampa Gouger (FL, 1831)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:   “Our Shop,” “Tampa Bay” (presumably FL; elsewhere in the paper reference is made to [St.?] Petersburg  and Russia, but it may have been an attempt at humor under “Foreign Intelligence”)

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Monday, June 1831, Vol 1., No. 1.

Size and Format:  Large newssheet, 4 pages

Editor/Publisher:  “Three of Us!”  Washington Hood (1808-1840), a surveyor, architect and engineer, possibly in his hand

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes: 

Issue dated “Monday, June 1831”  (Vol. 1, No. 1) carries the motto, “I gouge, Thou gougest, He gouges!”  The paper’s lead column reads:

“In presenting to its patrons the first number of the Gouger, we wish it expressly, distinctly, emphatically, and unequivocally understood that we totally, entirely and absolutely disclaim all allegiances, dependence , fealty, obligation or subservience to any body or bodies civil, military, or political–and that we are not in any sence or meaning, either direct or by inference or by consternation [?] the public’s. [signed] Humble servants, The US Three.

Below the fold, the column continues with an explanation of the publications purpose and character.

“We beg it, moreover, to be expressly understood by all those who may enjoy the high and distinguished privileges of drawing instruction, edification, and happiness from the rich, rare, racy, and diversified columns of the Gouger, that we hold it to be the standard of morals and manners, and the undisputed and indisputable umpire and director of wit, humour, taste, literature and sciences.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  The Washington Hood Collection in the Downs Collection, Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE

Sun-Beam (OH, no date)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Savannah, Ohio

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: Unknown

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

None

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA

The Students Gazette (PA, 1777-1778)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Friends Latin School (later William Penn Charter School), Philadelphia, PA

Frequency:  Unknown; first issue: “The great Want of a Weekly Newspaper and the Encouragement they formerly met with from you has induced me to publish the Students Gazette.”

Volume and Issue Data:  23 issues, 1777-8; first issue: June 11, 1777

Size and Format:  Half sheet (roughly 4.25  x 6 inches)

Editor/Publisher:  S.M. Fox, Friends Latin School, Philadelphia, PA (the editor’s name is on page two at the conclusion of the introductory editorial and in a news brief about school elections on page four)

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Full title:  The Students Gazette Containing Advices both Foreign & Domestic; First issue, Wednesday, June 11, 1777.

Harwood claims that this was “America’s first student newspaper, published at Friends Latin School,  Philadelphia, Pa., in 1777” (p. 326).

Information Sources:

Bibliography: William N. Harwood, Writing and Editing School News (Caldwell, ID: Clark Publishing Co,  1977), pp 326-327.

Locations:  The Morley Collection, Manuscripts, The Quaker Collection, Haverford College, Haverford, PA

The Storyteller (MA, 1925)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Unknown

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1925

Size and Format:  Approx. 60 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Children’s paper.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  George Wesley Bellows Papers, Box IV, folder 18, Amherst College Library, Amherst, MA

The Stonewall Register (DE, 1865)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Fort Delaware, DE

Frequency:  Unknown, one extant issue

Volume and Issue Data:  April 1, 1865

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  See The Prison Times

General Description and Notes:

First issue of a manuscript newspaper by Confederate prisoners of war of what is likely the U.S. prison at Fort Delaware.  Drawing of “Stonewall” Jackson flanked by Confederate flags heads the papers.  The paper contains salutatory; editorial; letter to the editor; camp news; advertisements; poetry; financial and Savannah commercial column; roll and rules of the Stonewall Chess Club.

The following notes are from the Georgia Historical Society records of The Stonewall Register:

“This collection contains the first issue, April 1, 1865, of The Stonewall Register. This handwritten newspaper was produced by prisoners held at the Fort Delaware prison during the Civil War and sold for fifty cents. The decorative masthead includes an illustration of Stonewall Jackson, for whom the paper is named. It includes letters to the paper, poetry, a description of the “Rebel Yell” and advertisements for tobacco, jewelry, engravings, laundry services, and hair cuts. It also gives financial and commercial news and a list of members and rules of the Stonewall Chess Club.

“Fort Delaware is located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River. An earthwork fort was built on the island in 1813 and was replaced by a masonry fort in 1819. This fort was destroyed by fire in 1832 and construction of the present structure was completed in 1859. During the Civil War the fort was used as a prison with 250 of Stonewall Jackson’s soldiers being the first prisoners following the Battle of Kernstown in 1862. The fort was not intended for prisoners and modifications were made in order to house 10,000 captured Confederates. About 2,700 soldiers died at Fort Delaware with 2,400 of these being buried in a national cemetery at Finn’s Point, New Jersey. Fort Delaware was closed in 1944.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:

Link: Georgia Historical Society, Stonewall Register catalog entry

Locations:  The Stonewall Register, MS 766, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia

The Starr King Gazette (MA, no date)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Charlestown, MA

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Unknown

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

None

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA

Star of the West (IL, 1859)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Rockford, IL: Union High School

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1859, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

Size and Format:  (in numerical order) 14 pp., 19 pp., 16 pp., 15 pp., 32 pp. and 24 pp.

Editor/Publisher: Variable

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

All issues of this paper are bound in one volume.  Some pages are torn while others have ink so light that they are difficult to read.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Union High School, No. 2 (BV), Rockford, IL, in  Manuscripts, Illinois State Historical Library, Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL

The Souvenir (NY, no date)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Rivermouth and Sunboro, NY

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: Unknown

Size and Format: Unknown

Editor/Publisher: Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation: Unknown

General Description and Notes:

None

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA

The Soldier Weekly-News (ID, 1893)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Soldier, Idaho

Frequency:  Weekly (monthly?)

Volume and Issue Data:  Two issues extant:  Vol. 1, No. 1, Jan. 13, 1893, and No. 2? Feb 10, 1893

Size and Format:  8 x 13 inches; one column; two pages

Editor/Publisher:  Soldier Literary Society

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The paper’s motto, written just below the title, on both extant copies is “Hew to the line, let chips fall where they may.”  The first issue states that “in obedience to the gracious request of the Soldier Literary Society, we assume the publication of a paper in promoting the interests of that Society, and will present our first number this evening, under the title of the ‘Soldier Weekly News.'”

“We make our editorial bow on the sea of journalism, with some misgivings as to our untried ability to please all, but with the aid of the members of this Society and an earnest effort on our part, we hope to issue weekly, a journal which may interest and amuse each and every member of this Society.

“In politics the news will be strictly independent.

“Contributions, other than objectional or personally abusive articles, solicited from members of the Society.  Any article calculated to injure the feelings of any member of our Society or any citizen of our place will not be accepted.  As many of the ‘home staff’ possess decided talent in the journalistic line, we may expect newsy and interesting contributions.  Having secured a corps of able correspondents we promise our readers the cream of legislative news from Boise, as well as events of interest in all (remainder of line illegible)” (from page one, first issue, Jan. 13, 1893).

The extant copies contain “Local News” shorts, “Notes from neighboring places,” appeals for advertisements and an obituary.

The “Notes from neighboring places” section of the Feb. 10 issue begins, “Telegrams from up the Creek.”

The Feb. 10 issue notes, “We are pleased to record that the circulation of the ‘Soldier Weekly-News‘ is rapidly increasing and advertisements coming in liberally.  It affords us much pleasure to see our paper thus appreciated.  We entertain the ambition ere the close of 1893 of securing the largest circulation of any paper in Idaho.

“We are not giving to our readers a larger amount of news, local and foreign than any paper in Idaho (sic) the state.”

Information Sources:                                                                  

Bibliography:  None

Locations: Idaho State Historical Society, Boise, ID

Soldier’s Letter: Second Colorado Cavalry (KS, 1864-1865)

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SOLDIER’S LETTER:  SECOND COLORADO CAVALRY

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Kansas City and Fort Riley, Kansas

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, Nos. 1-50, 1864-1865

Size and Format:  7 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.; four pages, four columns; pages 1, 2, and 4 were printed, but page 3 was blank for individual soldiers to make personal comments or statements

Editor/Publisher:  Printed content’s editor and proprietor, Oliver V. Wallace

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Soldier’s Letter was a regimental paper published between 1864 and 1865 for the Second Colorado Cavalry:  “A Regimental Paper–To Accompany the Regiment.”  The paper was priced at 10 cents per single copy.  The paper’s motto, “The Flag We Fight Under,” was accompanied by a Union flag graphic.

Published at Kansas City and Fort Riley, Kansas, the printed pages included poetry, history and specific military news items.  Letters were also included, as were extracts from the Journal of Commerce, Illustrated News, and Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  Several items discussed aspects of the Civil War.  Letters from Fort Larned, Kansas, described problems with Indian attacks and illnesses.

The blank pages contained the comments and statements of soldiers in the regiment.  The handwritten pages included news items, poetry and proverbs.  Vol. 1, No. 20, dated March 18, 1865, addresses “Young Men.”  They are encouraged to maintain high morals and to take as their “motto:  self-reliance, honesty and industry.”

Information Sources:                                                                      

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Western History Department, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO

The Society Cat (MA, 1919-1920)

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THE SOCIETY CAT

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Unknown

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1919-20

Size and Format:  approximately 20 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  Hale Family

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Children’s project.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Library, Northampton, MA

The Snowbound (NV, 1890)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  On Southern Pacific Railroad near Reno

Frequency:  Irregular daily, “every week-day afternoon”

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.1, No. 1, Jan. 31, 1890-Feb.1890?

Size and Format:  Four pages; outside pages were printed in blue ink, inside pages were written in pencil; manila paper.

Editor/Publisher:  “S.P. Prisoner in Car No. 36, blockaded at Reno, Nevada,” aka George T. McCully

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Snowbound, as its names suggests, appeared after a blizzard blocked the pass routes through the Sierra Nevadas for 600 passengers aboard a Southern Pacific train.  According to Lingenfelter, passenger George T. McCully “sought to relieve the anxious weeks of waiting by printing a newspaper for his fellow passengers.”  Highton claims, however, that the printer of The Snowbound was unknown and that the paper printed before the train left Reno Jan. 30, although it was dated Jan. 31.

In any case, the first number of The Snowbound aspired to be “issued every week-day afternoon by S.P. Prisoner in Car No. 36, blockaded at Reno, Nevada” as “A Souvenir of the Sierra Nevada Blockade 1890.”  It was both printed and handwritten:  the outside pages were printed in blue ink; the inside pages were written in pencil.  It is not known if the paper continued after its first number.

“The Two Inside Pages”–contain the matter which appeared in original issue of “THE SNOWBOUND” published on manilla paper and written with lead pencil.  The outside pages were made up to complete a four page paper, which we take pleasure to issue, at the request of the passengers as a souvenir of the blockade.  in addition to regular copies, we present them with one “proof” copy on plate paper…. (p.4)

“The editor [thanks] the Reverend William Appel, messrs. L.W. Harmons, P.S. Heffleman, Ernest Block, H.K. Pratt and others who kindly assisted to make entertaining to those especially who were in the blockade, the columns of our little souvenir, “THE SNOWBOUND.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Phillip I. Earl, “Unique newspaper born of 1890 snow blockade in Reno,” Sparks Tribune, Nov. 30, 1983, p. 4; Jake Highton, Nevada Newspaper Days:  A History of Journalism in the Silver State (Stockton, Calif.:  Heritage West Books, 1990), pp. 97;  Richard E. Lingenfelter, The Newspapers of Nevada (San Francisco:  John Howell-Books, 1964), 72-73; Richard E. Lingenfelter and Karen R. Gash, The Newspapers of Nevada (Reno:  University of Nevada Press, 1984).  (p.4, col.2) in article “SP No.38”–“…N.J. Weaver correspondent of the New York Herald, has done his part towards enlightening the world, giving the Herald  three solid columns of our misery.”

Locations: Jan. 31, 1890:  CHi; CSmH; CU-B; NvHi

Smithfield Sunday School Gazette (UT, 1869)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Smithfield, UT

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 2, Nos. 1-6, Oct. 24-Nov. 28, 1869

Size and Format:  2.5 columns on 8.5”x14” lined paper, one issue with an extra 8”x10” and another with a 5”x7” poem

Editor/Publisher:  Louisa L. Greene

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Motto:  “Remember Thy Creator in the Days of thy Youth.”

The manuscript paper, Smithfield Sunday School Gazette, was a weekly paper edited from Oct. 24 to Nov. 28, 1869, by Louisa L. Greene, who later became founding editor of the Woman’s Exponent, a Mormon publication for women.  The Exponent was never an organ of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, as the authors of The Story of the Latter-day Saints state on p. 336.

Copies of the Smithfield paper for the above dates are in the archives of the Mormon Church Historical Library in Salt Lake City.  Content of the papers included news of Sunday School members and of the community, with some literary efforts by the editor and her helpers.  The paper was distributed at Sunday School meetings.  Greene would have been about 20 years old in 1869.

(The above information was provided by Prof. Sherilyn Cox Bennion, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California)

According to the Olsons, the Sunday School was organized in Smithfield on Sunday, April 15, 1866, with Francis Sharp as superintendent.  There were 69 pupils in eight classes, with a teacher for each group….(40)

The Sunday School took charge of the May Day celebrations, the July celebrations, edited the Smithfield Sunday School Gazette, opened the first library there, and in general played an active part in the life of the Mormon community.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  James Allen and Glen Leonard, The Story of the Latter-Day Saints (Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Deseret Book Co., 1976), p. 336; Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Olson, eds., The History of Smithfield [Utah] (Smithfield:  City of Smithfield, 1927), pp.40-43

Locations:  Mormon Church Historical Library Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah (Ms D 2918, Box 17, fd 17)

The Sitka Times (AK, 1868)

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Publication History

Place of Publication:  Sitka, Alaska Territory

Frequency:  Weekly (irregular)

Volume and Issue Data: Sept. 19, 1868, 1:1; Oct. 19, 1868, 1:6; Oct. 31, 1868, 1:7; Nov. 7, 1868, 1:8

Size and Format:  8 x 12 in.; two cols.; four pages; cursive pen and ink.

Editor/Publisher:  Thomas G. Murphy, aka “Barney O. Ragan” or “Regan”

Title Changes and Continuations:  The Sitka Times (Sept. 19, 1868-Nov. 7, 1868) continued as Alaska Times (printed), 1869-1870.

General Description and Notes:

Editor Murphy (“Regan”) claimed The Sitka Times was “the first paper published in Alaska.”  The “introductory” column on page two outlines the editor’s intention to publish local news and to promote the general economic development of the region:

“To day we present the Sitka Times to the citizens of  Sitka and the world at large.  It is the first attempt ever made to publish a paper in this vast land of Alaska.  The Times will be devoted to local and general news.  We shall, when we deem it practicable, discuss all question of public interest, touching the affairs about Alaska.  In Politics and Religion the Times will be neutral.  The Pacific Rail Road we are in favor of and would love to hear the scream of its whistle echoed from the peaks of Alaska, and the musical strain of humanity shouting a chorus of  ‘Let the iron horse speed along with its precious burden of emigration.’  We are strongly in favor of a civil government and strictly opposed to military rule.  Give Alaska a civil government, you may soon expect to hear of rich minerals having been fully developed by our latent industry, but not before.

“Having no ‘devil’ in our office the ‘Times‘ should be virtuous.

“As our local items will be few we shall spare no pains in giving a well defined description of all fights; recording in language of flowers the matrimonial pursuits of mankind; with the respectful details of those, whose souls have fled to the ‘spirit land'” (1:1, p. 2, cols. 1  and 2a).

The editor explained and defended the handwritten format of his paper in the first “Editorial:”

“The appearance of the ‘Times‘ being written instead of printed will perhaps cause many a laugh.  In olden times a laugh would be out of place, as written pamphlets and the town crier were the means alone employed of conveying news, as no [?] parties at that time had been established by the fair.

“To invest in the purchase of a press would incur great expense and until we see better inducements than are now offered, a press can be dispensed with, although the copying of even so small a sheet, as this is, requires much labor and some means.

“Our budget in producing such a paper is not with the view of making a fortune, but chiefly if possible to gratify the citizens of our Town and for this we shall do our best” (1:1, p. 2, col. 2)

The paper’s script is relatively large and the cursive hand is quite legible.  The front page of the first number includes a large, bold name and masthead and the rest is advertisements for Sitka businesses.  Page two is the editor’s introductory comments and the editorial.  Page three covers seven local news stories including ship arrivals and departures.  The fourth and last page is even divided between local news and advertisements.

According to Hinckley, Murphy was known by contemporaries as a “politician, lawyer, priest, editor, printer, author and poet.”  He organized early efforts to establish a civil government for the territory and was elected by a small but apparently unrepresentative group to head the new government.  Within three days a second vote removed Murphy from office.  He later became the city attorney.

Murphy eventually imported a printing press, but had insufficient money to print his newspaper.  The Sitka mayor invested the necessary funds and, on April 23, 1869, Murphy edited the first printed issue of the (retitled) Alaska Times.

Information Sources

Bibliography:  Ted C. Hinckley, The Americanization of Alaska, 1867-1897 (Palo Alto, Calif.:  Pacific Books, Publishers, 1972), 39-46; Nichols, “History of Alaska Under Rule of  the United States,” (1924), 426; James Wickersham, A Bibliography of Alaska Literature, 1724-1924 (Cordova, Ak.:  Cordova Daily Times Print, 1927), 253-254.

Locations:  Cu-B; DLC (photocopy, 1:1 only); Territorial Library-Juneau.

The Sign of the Four Monthly (PA, circa 1902-1906)

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THE SIGN OF THE FOUR MONTHLY

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Haverford, PA?

Frequency: Unknown

Volume and Issue Data: Unknown

Size and Format:  32 pages

Editor/Publisher:  Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

Title Changes and Continuation: Possible continuations include The Weekly News (85 pp.), The Weekly Herald  and The Herald (82 pp.) and The Family News (352 pp.) between 1902 and 1906.

General Description and Notes:

One of five newspapers produced by Christopher Morley and contained in the Morley Family Papers Collection at Haverford College, PA.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  The Morley Collection, Manuscripts, The Quaker Collection, Haverford College, Haverford, PA

The Shushana News (AK, no date)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Chisana, Alaska

Frequency:  Daily, but irregular

Volume and Issue Data:  Unknown

Size and Format:  Ledger sheets

Editor/Publisher:  “A placer miner named McGillicuddy” (Davis, 1976)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

According to Davis, a placer miner named McGillicuddy issued the Shushana News from a cabin eight miles from his nearest neighbor.  He owned the only radio in the area and would take notes of broadcasts, then rewrite his notes on ledger sheets.  A dog at a camp eight miles away had been trained to fetch McGillicuddy’s daily and return it to the camp.  McGillicuddy handed the paper to the dog, neatly rolled in a strong wrapper, and the newsdog would return to its master at the camp with the latest radio news reports.  The dog’s master would then post the paper where everyone else in the camp could read it.  On at least one occasion, the dog returned without the paper, but was punished and produced the missing paper.

Information Sources:                 

Bibliography:  Phyllis Davis, A Guide to Alaska’s Newspapers (Juneau, Alaska:  Gastineau Channel Centennial Association and Alaska Division of  State Libraries and Museums, 1976), p 14.

Locations:  No copies located

Sharp Citizen (AR, 1972-1978)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  NE Arkansas, Sharp County, AR

Frequency: Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  January 18, 1972 through August 9, 1974 (holdings).  Paper ceased in 1978.

Size and Format: 8 1/2 x 11, typed text with handwritten headlines and hand-drawn graphics, mimeographed, issues run up to 8 pages.

Editor/Publisher:  “a character” :  Joseph H. Weston, editor and publisher

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

This was a community paper with a partisan political edge. Text of the paper is typed, and all headlines, sub-heads, graphics, and ads are handwritten and or/hand drawn.  The first issue claims the paper is “Sharp County’s only metropolitan newspaper–professional journalism with conscience and vision” (Vol. 1, No. 3, Feb. 1, 1972, adds “with conscience, courage, vision!”). With headlines such as “Is Judge Ransom C. Jones Operating His city Court In Cave City as a Racket Under Order from Elvis” and “Rat Poison Deliberately Fed into Public Drinking Water for More Than a Quarter of a Century,” it is not hard to imagine that the editor invited libel lawsuits.  The March 28, 1973 edition (Vol. 2, No. 13) includes “An Appeal for Help” (p. 3) because, as the editor writes, members of the Sharp County political establishment “induced my next door neighbor, to swear out a warrant for my arrest on the antique charge of ‘criminal libel’ for publishing an article in which I attacked our corrupt County Judge Lester Anderson and his crony and gravel contractor, Dickey, with equal vigor. The charge is preposterous, and the law is ridiculous.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations:  Arkansas Historical Commission, Little Rock, AR (collection only has the 1972-74 issues)

The Shark (MA-CA, 1849)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Shipboard Duxbury en route to California gold fields from Boston

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  “Issued on The Duxbury throughout the spring of 1849” (Lewis)

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  Possibly continued by The Petrel, after departure from Rio De Janeiro

General Description and Notes:

The Shark seems to be the first handwritten newspaper aboard the Duxbury.  Extant copies of The Petrel, published on the Duxbury apparently during the same voyage, were possibly published after the ship’s layover at Rio, although the issue numbering suggests that both papers may have been published contemporaneously.

According to Lewis, 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 its 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 who remained at home. (Lewis, p. 22).

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.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Oscar Lewis, Sea Routes to the Gold Fields:  The Migration by Water to California in 1849-1852 (New York:  A.A. Knopf, 1949), pp. 22-29, 89-92

Locations:  Four numbers at the Huntington Library, Manuscripts Division, San Marino, CA; accompanies the published Journal of the Duxbury Voyage, Boston-San Francisco, by William H. DeCosta, 1849, Feb.-June 23 (HM 234)

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