I began using the site for research, as seeing how an event had been reported at the time provides invaluable information and atmosphere. And what I've discovered is that exploring very old newspapers can be extraordinary entertainment. I will often come across odd or interesting items which never quite make it into content for this site, but which add to my understanding of the 19th century.
I thought it would be fun to publish an occasional blog feature devoted to articles from the 19th century. I'll begin with a few links:
- New York Tribune, May 22, 1851: The legendary editor Horace Greeley attended the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, and sent a dispatch to his newspaper, the New York Tribune.
- The Boon's Lick Times, April 24, 1841: You realize insulting presidents is nothing new when you read this brief item describing a man's behavior following the death of President William Henry Harrison.
- New York Tribune, May 7, 1851: Volunteer fire companies in New York City sometimes rumbled like gangs, and this report is headlined "Rioting Among the Firemen."
- The Hannibal Journal, July 15, 1852: The citizens of Hannibal, Missouri were planning a picnic for the town's children, and were also planning to assemble to publicly mourn "The Nation's Pride," Henry Clay.
In case you're wondering, the Hannibal Journal was owned and operated by Orion Clemens. And his younger brother Sam, who would later become known as Mark Twain, may have set the type for that article printed in 1852.
Note: After clicking the links to see the articles, you can click the "persistent link" to access the entire page of the newspaper. And I'd encourage you to really explore the newspapers, they are endlessly entertaining if you love history.
Illustration: Newspaper printer and typesetter, circa 1850/Getty Images
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