Illuminated Manuscript and Incunabula Leaf Catalog

Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653
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 Newspapers Introductory Catalog

About This Era and its Newspapers

A . . . most eminent scholar told us in all simplicity that he had fallen into such a state that he would read the same telegraphic dispatches over and over in different papers, as if they were new, until he felt like an idiot. Who did not do just the same thing, and who does not do it still . . . ? Only bread, and newspapers, we must have. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, on the impact of the war news on the home front, essay in the Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 1861
The war between the states is the climactic moment of American history. Everything that preceded the war led up to it; everything that has happened since is a result of it. The titanic struggle completed the work left unfinished by the Founding Fathers three-quarters of a century earlier, giving a living and enduring substance to the bare framework of government outlined in the Federal Constitution. The war made a loose coalition of competing interest groups into a nation. As the historian Shelby Foote explains it, "before that war people said "the United States are..." but after it they said "the United States is..."
Millions of men and women, fathers, mothers, children, wives, sweethearts, who have sent those dearer than life to these wars, look every day at this journal . . . and turn pages with hands made unsteady by emotion. -New York Daily Tribune editorial protesting military censorship, July, 1861

The Civil War is still a living presence in the American consciousness due in no small part to the availability of original memorabilia from that time. Photography and printing were well-developed inventions that have left to us a number of original images, books, and papers of the war years; the general literacy of the combatants has left the legacy of many striking eyewitness reports of the war's events. Contemporary newspapers are a unique treasury of all these elements, offering first-person narratives of life in military service, and commentary on the social, political, and economic scenes. They are also rich in detailed reports of the great battles upon which the destiny of two nations would hinge, and, in the pictorial press, fine woodcut images of the war's events and participants.

[A] great amount of valuable information [is] obtained by us from the enterprising journals of the North. -LeRoy Pope Walker, Confederate Secretary of War, July, 1861

The newspapers reflect the style and sensibility of their time with unique and often dramatic immediacy, and capture the very best of their era. In the newspapers too, a careful reader can trace the genesis of the myths that have replaced the realities of the war.

To muzzle the press is to suppress the facts and opinions which may be necessary to the correct judgment of the people. Whatever mitigates against freedom of the press wars upon the people's means of obtaining light for the control of their government. Its practical effect is to put the people, their government, and their measures in the hands of people who, having gained their confidence, would keep them in the dark, and direct affairs without responsibility. -Editorial in an 1863 Charleston (S.C.) Mercury, criticizing Confederate government press censorship.

About The Catalog Listings

All items in this catalog are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and accurately described. Any item may be returned within seven days of receipt for a full refund. No reason for return is ever required.They are in fine used condition and are complete with all pages as issued. All papers are free of damage or objectionable defects. We are sure you will be delighted with their exceptional state of preservation. We purchase only the finest condition newspapers that can be found to offer to our valued friends and customers.

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.

Newspapers are full folio size unless described as quarto (abbreviated 4to) or octavo (8vo), which are respectively smaller in format. Most newspapers have been removed from bound volumes and may exhibit characteristic minor spine weakness or separation without significant paper loss. Illustrations are provided of a number of items (more will be added), depicting as much of them as can be shown with my 8 1/2" x 11" scanner. To access the pictures, click on the highlighted link that follows the catalog listing. When done viewing, select the "Back" button in your browser to return to this page.

Each catalog entry is briefly described for its general appearance, historical significance, and content. Every one contains hours of historic reading and insights into the world preserved on its pages, much more than I could find the space to describe here. The exact dates that you will receive will be of my choice 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 honor 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.

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 on line 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!

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How to Order from This Catalog

Because catalog items tend to sell quickly, we ask that you e-mail your order to us to confirm availability before you send payment. To reserve a catalog item, please enter the quantity you want in the "Order Quantity" box (where available; some listings are one of a kind and do not have this option) and press the "Add to Cart" button. You will then see your "shopping basket" and its contents and total. You may remove selected items at any time, and use your browser's "Forward" button to view the cart page whenever you wish. When you fill out and submit the Checkout page, your order will be sent to me. As soon as I receive your order, I will confirm the availability of your selections via return e-mail, with your invoice for the total amount due. We will reserve your confirmed selection(s) for seven days for receipt of your mailed payment.

Postage for an order delivered within the U.S. is 3.85 plus. 40 per paper.

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N-928. THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Washington, D.C.]
During the war years the venerable old paper was definitely not an ally of Lincoln administration. It constantly criticized his conduct of the effort to keep the Union intact, and eventually supported McClellan's quixotic bid to replace Lincoln in the White House. There is plenty of news of the war's events, often taking place so close to the fortified city, plus lots of ads, official notices, and more. Harder to find from the war years.
Fine, some browning at the fold line . . . 14.95
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N-929. THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE, 1862 - 1863. [Complete issue of 16 pages, quarto size, published at Washington, D.C. by Blair & Rives]
The ancestor of today's Congressional Record, this daily paper chronicles the activities of the 37th Congress, among the most productive sessions of the national legislature in our history. For decades Democrats were the "party of no", and actively sabotaged bills thought to conflict with the economic interests of the slaveholder aristocracy. After their departure into the rump assembly at Richmond, the U.S. government was finally able to forge ahead with legislation more in accord with the will of the American people. The drama of the daily struggle with the crisis of armed insurrection in the homeland is also here, for this periodical documents verbatim the day to day doings of our government when its survival as the world's beacon light of freedom was far from certain, and when the necessities of civil war would forge a new national government much altered from what the Founders envisioned. Excellent addition to any Civil War collection. Fine condition. . . . 4.50
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N-930. THE TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Taunton, Mass.]
The factories of this Massachusetts mill town supplied many a pair of shoes to the national army. This paper staunchly supports the President's efforts to suppress the slaveholders' insurrection by whatever means may prove necessary. Full war news under multi-deck heads throughout the paper, commentary of all kinds, fine ads, more. Quite unusual. Taunton is today another of those all to familiar nearly dead American manufacturing cities, crumbling after its good-paying jobs were shipped to overseas factories in the relentless quest for greater profits for stockholders, the cost to the country be damned.
Fine condition, spinecut . . . 10.00
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Our new government is founded upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth..." -Alexander Stephens, Vice-President, Confederate Staes of America, speech at Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

N-933. THE UNION GAZETTE AND DEMOCRAT, 1862 - 1863. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Taunton, Mass.]
This newspaper illustrates the dilemma that many Americans found themselves in: while as Democrats that had neither voted for nor supported Abraham Lincoln, they were nonetheless unquestioningly loyal to their flag and demanded prompt retaliation on those who dared to raise arms against it. Full news, seven days' worth as this is a weekly newspaper, ads, editorials, letters, etc. The issues offered here are almost certainly unique, the only survivor of their date and title, as they come from the only known holding (Union List, pg. 301). Even the Library of Congress holds only two single issues from this paper's entire 61 year life! VF, spinecut. . . . 10.00
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Printed in the Capitol of the Confederacy!
N-936. DAILY DISPATCH, 1861 - 1862.
[Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Richmond, Virginia]. From the capital city of the southern confederacy comes this important and influential daily newspaper. Its editor was not entirely supportive of the Davis regime though in fairness to the beleaguered Confederate President his was the hopeless task of organizing a strong central government to preserve states' rights - one of the glaring inconsistencies of the rebel position that doomed the insurrection to disaster before it had begun. Full news of the war, Official Confederate notices, the State Gazette. There are ads for goods of all kinds, for the bitter privations of war are yet to be felt in the capital. .
Fine . . . SOLD

N-938. THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Providence, R.I.] The Journal was one of the most respected Republican newspapers of its day, and on its broad pages are preserved very detailed accounts of the war, with special emphasis on the exploits of the state regiments in Federal service. Strong editorials, lots more, essential Civil War issue.
Fine . . . 9.95
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N-941. THE FREE PRESS, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Northampton, Mass.]
A finely made full sized newspaper from western Massachusetts. It is an excellent specimen of how the majority of Americans got their news of the great conflict, with lengthy extracts from the big city papers and, most interestingly, letters from hometown boys in the local regiments, in this case the 37th Massachusetts. Editorials condemning the rebellion and the poor performance of some federal officials, plus many ads rounding out the picture of ordinary life in a nation at war with itself. Scarce title.
Fine . . . 10.00
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N-944. THE MOORE'S RURAL NEW-YORKER, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 8 pages, folio size, published at Rochester, New York]. An uncommonly handsome agricultural weekly, richly illustrated and in full folio format, each issue contains nearly a full page of war news. As most Americans lived in rural communities far removed from the circulation areas of the big city dailies, papers such as this were their primary sources of information. 8pp very good to fine, splash of light foxing Fine . . . 10.00
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N-946. THE LYNN WEEKLY REPORTER, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Lynn, Mass.] This excellent paper features an entire week's worth of news of the war and its events, battles, leaders, personalities, the politics of the day, and so forth. Quite uncommon.
Fine . . . 10.00
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N-949. THE DETROIT TRIBUNE, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Detroit, Michigan]
A very scarce Michigan daily with extensive news of the war. The adventures of the local regiments receive priority in the coverage but the reporting is detailed, taken from the big Eastern dailies for the most part and supplemented by eyewitness accounts from letters of other sources. Rare opportunity! Choice fine . . . 19.95
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N-951. THE DAILY EVENING TRANSCRIPT, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large folio size, published at Boston, Mass.] This paper carries the news of battles and other war's events in classic "Penny Press" style, sensationalized reporting with lots of big headlines. Such heads could not exceed the width of a single column, due to the nature of the big Hoe rotary presses that were used in the Civil War, so tall, bold type fonts were the order of the day. These issues are from an old estate and are in the original state, never bound, cut or trimmed; thus they may have some moderate fold browning, short edge tears, some fold rubbing or separation or the like. Virtually no text at all is lost, (see the scan below of some typical issues) but I have reduced their price to just . . . 7.50
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N-954. GLEASON'S LITERARY COMPANION, 1863 - 1864. [Complete issue of 16 pages, 4to size, published at Boston, Mass.] A beautiful patriotic eagle masthead makes this weekly Newspaper a must for any fine masthead specialty collection. Inside is reading matter of all kinds, including an installment in the delightful series "Aunt Hezekiah's Umbrella Brigade" in which that patriotic senior citizen bests the cowardly rebels every time, with an engraving of her exploit. Lovely Americana in excellent condition. Fine . . . 8.50
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N-957. THE YOUTH'S COMPANION, 1861 - 1865. [Complete issue of 4 pages, large 4to size, published at Boston, Mass.]
These issues how that the war touched America's children hardly less than her adults, for each issue has something in it about the great struggle. written for children to explain to them why daddy and brother and uncle are off far away. Touching mementos, young Americans absorbing memories in these formative years that would endure a lifetime, and affect American life and culture far into the 20th century. Fine . . . 6.50
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N-959. THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER, 1861 to 1865. [Boston, 4pp elephant folio]. A fine Republican journal in oversized folio format and in bright clean condition; edited by Nathan Hale Jr., grandson of the Patriot hero, strongly Unionist and pro-Lincoln, with full war news coverage. . . 10.00
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N-962. THE BOSTON DAILY JOURNAL, 1861 to 1865. [Boston, 4pp large folio]. During the war years the old Whig paper was a leading supporter of the war policies of the Lincoln administration. Its chief war corespondent was Charles C. Coffin; writing under the byline of "Carleton", his accounts of war's events are classics of Civil War reporting. In typical period fashion, the news is also covered in reports copied from other newspapers, and in letters mailed to the editor by hometown soldiers and officers. Among the latter are some of the finest eyewitness accounts of the great conflict as experienced by the men who fought it.
Issues presented here are in bright fine condition with some disbinding nicks in the gutter affecting no content (see scan below of typical issues), thus reduced in price for this minor cosmetic blemish to just. . . 7.50
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N-965. THE NEW YORK EVENING POST, 1861 to 1865. [New York, 4pp very large folio]
. Poet William Cullen Bryant edited this newspaper for nearly half a century. With good news, features, and commentary, it is an excellent addition to any collection. It is also noteworthy for its enormous size, about 22" x 30" per page, a classic "horse blanket". My scan below shows the top sections of two typical issues, with a modern newspaper for size comparison . . . . 12.50
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N-967. THE NEW YORK HERALD, 1861 to 1865. [New York, 8pp folio]. A typical issue of what is considered the best of the U.S. wartime press. Editor James Gordon Bennett fielded an army of war correspondents whose reports provide splendid coverage of the great conflict. An early supporter of slavery and states' rights, Bennett became a supporter of the effort to restore the Union, if not of the Abolitionist aspect of the war. Essential Americana from the war years. . . . 15.00
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N-970. THE NEW YORK TIMES, 1861 to 1864. [8pp folio]. The great American "newspaper of record". Under the guidance of founding editor Henry Raymond, this paper stands as a classic of accurate news reporting. Today it is prized by historians and collectors as a superb source of original news reports. At present we have a good stock of this excellent paper, in bright fresh condition, and offer an issue for . . . . 12.50 View Scan
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N-973. THE NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE, 1861 to 1865. [New York, 8pp folio]
. The colorful eccentric Horace Greeley founded and edited this highly influential Republican journal, among the most important of all newspapers in our history. War coverage is full and detailed, and there are specimens of Greeley's famous sarcastic wit in every editorial. Essential Americana. . . . .12.50 
View Scan
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N-975. THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 1861 to 1865.. [New York, 16pp] The great American "high tech." weekly newspaper, full of the latest in scientific progress, in feature articles and illustrations of the newest inventions and improvements in this era of technological development. There are also many fine illustrated ads, perceptive editorials, lists of new patents, letters to the editor, etc. These issues are selected for their Civil War content, which may consist of such diverse articles as news from the fronts, letters from officers and men, often about weaponry, and features on the deadly new killing machines whose development the war stimulated. Fine, scarce from the war years and in strong demand. These issues are in the sixteen page smaller quarto format used only during the war. Per issue . . . 15.00
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Select here to go to our full Civil War catalog, containing newspapers individually described and catalogued for their historic significance, including a number of fine complete Harper's Weekly, a further selection of "atmosphere" titles and selected ephemera of the period.


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