|Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Post Office Box 8694, Boston, Mass. 02114-0036 Telephone (617) 492-4653|
About This Era and its Newspapers
A newspaper is a combination of good things, an excellent feast; and what, I ask, can appear more interesting than to see the members of a family sitting on a cold winter evening, around a good blazing fire, listening to the voice of one who reads to them the news of the day? A family without a newspaper? Why, the very idea of it seems to involve an absurdity. What, a man living in a free land, among a free people that elect their own rulers, and govern themselves, and take no paper? Truly of such persons it may be said "eyes they have, and see not" the things which they ought to know and understand... -Editorial in an 1844 Boston newspaper.
The industrial revolution, as it transformed all aspects of American life and society, dramatically affected newspapers. Both the numbers of papers and their paid circulations rose dramatically in this period. The differences in the earliest issues and the latest in this period are quite startling. The true modern newspaper slowly takes shape, decade by decade, in response to improvements in reporting techniques, printing and paper making technology, and to changing social values and interests.
These three decades embrace a period of rapid change that is quite breathtaking. As the first generation born in liberty matured and took its place in the nation's leadership, a great gulf in political opinion came about. Just as the Federalists and the Republicans could not agree on the meaning of "liberty" a generation earlier, American public life was torn between men (for women could not yet vote) of vastly different political, social, and economic ideologies. That drama still plays out daily in the 21st century.
The Panic of 1837 would fundamentally shift relations among the classes, particularly in the South. The price of cotton collapsed and many small farmers could not keep up payments on their mortgages, which were then sold to the rising slaveholder class. Tens of thousands of southerners found themselves sharecroppers on what were once their family farms. The Specie Circular Act of 1836 denied access to lands taken from the Indians to all but the wealthiest Americans. Reform movements of every sort sprang up across the nation. Causes of the era included temperance, women's rights, experiments in "free love" communities, a more equitable distibution of the nation's burgeoning wealth, labor organizing for the first time for economic justice, a powerful "anti-rent" movement, agitation to end the death penalty, and more. Hundreds of thousands of non-English immigrants distrupted forever the homogeneity of American society. In the Northern states, the "dark Satanic mills" of the Industrial Revolution, as William Blake called them, fed by cheap slave-produced cotton from the South, made vast fortunes for their owners, while condemning thousands of Americans - some as young as five years old - to ninety-six hour works weeks under abysmally unsafe conditions, for pennies.
Towering above all others was the slavery issue. Southerners had become isolated in their "peculiar institution" as more Americans came to understand the fundamental wrongness of earning one's living "by the sweat of other men's faces", as Lincoln put it. 107 of the nations's first 130 Abolition socities began in this era - in the southern states, where the terror of slave rebellion, such as had killed thousands of whites in Haiti a few years earlier, was never far from mind. Dominated by slaveholder interests, the federal government passed law after law abridging dissent and the right to petition for redress of grievance. Congressional "slavocrats" and their northern Democractic "doughface" allies enacted The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which would set the stage for future abuses by granting the federal government unprecedented policing power to force the return of escaped human "property" everywhere. A number of northern states enacted "personal liberty laws", nullifying this hated federal statute. This inflamed the slaveholders, who reserved the theory of "states' rights" for themselves and condemned its practice by others. It was widely rumored in the free states that a slaveholder conspiracy existed that would not only re-establish slavery there, but ultimately enslave all working people, as Virginia's Fitzhugh and the other "fire-eaters" suggested. Two of the weakest Presidents in our history preceded the final dissolution of the Union in 1860. Their Secretaries of War, southerners John Floyd and Jeff Davis, made sure that tons of munitions were shipped to federal arsenals in the south, to be seized by the insurgency when it was ready to strike.
In our time, radio and television have so completely replaced newspapers as the nation's primary information sources that it may be difficult for the modern journalism hobbyist initially to fully appreciate the pivotal role that newspapers have played in our history.To read them now can furnish the modern collector with most interesting insights of how dramatic our history has been, and how rapid, almost overwhelming change has been the norm, rather than the exception, of the American experience.
About The Catalog Listings
These are the finest quality original antique newspapers and magazines, that you might find elsewhere priced at much greater cost. It has always been my policy to present my catalog items at "wholesale to the public" prices. Therefore all catalog items and quoted prices are net, and are not subject to further discount, either for dealers or in consideration of quantity orders. It is our policy to price our items based on what we believe to be their fair market value. I do not set prices at absurdly inflated levels to take advantage of novices or "investors"; nor do employ the common ploy of starting with an unrealistically high price in order to "negotiate" a phony discount later. As over a third of our catalog orders are from dealers buying for resale, at our stated prices, we have every confidence that this policy maintains an ethical standard of integrity and fairness to all.
About These Newspapers and Magazines
Each catalog entry is very briefly described for the general appearance, historical significance, and content of the title. Every issue contains hours of additional historic reading and insights into the world preserved on its pages, much more than I could find the space to describe here. The peridocials offered here are what are called "atmosphere" or "type" issues. They were printed on those ninety-nine days in a hundred that nothing of great historic note occurred. They are still of great value (and quite modest price) for the intimate glimpse they provide into a long-vanished world. Their articles detail what was important to Americans of those days, be it politics, wars, social values, or any ol the other enduring human concerns. Even the ads, so modest by our standards, speak to us of the never-changing human wish for novelty, status, comfort, and security.
The exact dates that you will receive will be of my choice as stock allows, all from within the years listed. There is a good supply of different dates in stock of each title, so you may order multiples of each listing with confidence; all different dates will be provided. Catalog prices are per single issue. I cannot accept requests for specific dates or special historic content at these low "type issue" prices but we will be pleased to receive your want lists for such items.
I pride myself on the quality and accuracy of my catalog descriptions, and strive to provide all the information needed to enable you to make an informed selection. Please consult my collector information pages and glossary of terms page linked below, if you are not sure of what any of the descriptive terms mean.
Pictures of Cataloged Items
Please note that the camera flash tends to exaggerate foxing and spotting, some degree of which is normal in old paper and which is not so dramatic in person!
Your comments are always welcome, as are your inquiries, if you have questions about these historic collectibles. We value our customers, and appreciate the confidence you place in us when ordering from our online catalogs. We strive to merit your patronage and to enrich your collecting experience through accurate, knowledgeable descriptions, honest pricing, courteous service, and timely order filling. Enjoy your browsing!
. [Complete issue of 4 - 8 pages, large quarto size, published at New York]. A huge Masthead woodcut of an American eagle with spread wings highlights this French-language newspaper, the chief spokesman of the Franco-American community. The tradition of foreign-language press in America began with a FRench language paper in Phildalphia in the 1790's and remains a robust part of the journalism scene, as immigrants arrive and are assimilated. Some water stains, o/w fine. 4pp large 4to . . . 4.95
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except Negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy." - Abraham Lincoln
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Contents ©:2013 Phil Barber.