The Acquisitions Table: Daguerreotype Apparatus

Daguerreotype Apparatus. Boston: H.P. Lewis, 1840.

Daguerreotype Apparatus broadsideThe technical elements of daguerreotypy were presented by Louis Daguerre to the world in Paris in August of 1839. By September, a technical manual, in French, was for sale on the streets of Paris and London. At the end of September 1839, an Englishman named D. W. Seager was in New York demonstrating the process, and he was soon followed by the Frenchman François Gouraud, who arrived in November and began giving lessons and selling apparatus built in France.

In early 1840, Gouraud traveled to Boston, where the city’s newspapers were already abuzz with the excitement of the new invention. The February 12, 1840, Columbian Centinel announced Gouraud’s pending arrival around February 20, stating that “Daguerreotype drawing is the wonder of the Age.” In June, Gouraud’s apparatus was still set up in S. G. Simpkin’s bookstore on Tremont Row, and the Frenchman was demonstrating daguerreotyping for Boston residents. One of those Bostonians was mechanic Ari Davis, who built and repaired scientific and nautical instruments on Cornhill. This broadside documents the fact that Davis was also building the three devices needed to make daguerreotypes: a fuming chamber, a camera, and a developing box. Davis moved from Boston to Lowell in early 1841, placing the date of this broadside firmly in the momentous year 1840.

On the broadside, Davis outlines the process and touts the advantages of his construction methods over those produced by others, stating that he “modified somewhat the apparatus, as described by Daguerre, and has rendered it more portable, lighter, and more elegant…” Davis writes glowingly of the process, calling the images “solar paintings” and declaring, “To those who have never seen the solar paintings, it may be proper to say, that no description can convey any idea of their beauty, accuracy, and wonderful minuteness.” The Society’s collection of 1839-1841 imprints on early American photography is outstanding, with important technical periodicals and early manuals already in our holdings. This broadside documenting Davis as a home-grown mechanic building cameras in 1840 Boston is an important addition to the evidence and documentation of the birth of photography.

Little Lamb, Big Story

Ali Phaneuf is a rising sophomore at Fairfield University and is currently a readers’ services summer page. As a journalism major and an art minor, Ali has always been an avid book reader, and her love of books and creativity was able to grow through her experience at AAS.

The story of “Mary had a Little Lamb” has been sung to children throughout the past two hundred years, and despite the countless times I have listened to this rhyme, it wasn’t until I overheard my sister singing it to my six-month-old niece that I began to wonder how Mary’s story came to be. During my time as an AAS summer intern, I was able to research the surprisingly extensive history of Mary and her lamb. Few people may realize that the popular tale derives from Mary Sawyer of Sterling, Massachusetts. When I discovered that the famous Mary lived in the town just next to my own I wanted to learn more about her and her renowned story.

A quick search in the AAS catalog led me to a book entitled Mary had a Little Lamb, The True Story by Fannie Dickerson, which was published in 1902, just three years following the death of Mary.  Not only does Dickerson explain the true story of Mary Sawyer, but she also includes a personal memoir of Mary within the text. Dickerson’s light-hearted book brings new light and meaning to my perception of what I once saw as a mere children’s tale.

The Birthplace of Mary's LambMary’s story begins circa 1816 when her family’s sheep gives birth to two baby sheep. Problems arise when the mother cares for only one of the two and neglects the other. Mary’s innocence and compassion for others is immediately evident when she finds the lamb the next morning and is distraught at the sight of the poor animal. After much coercing Mary is able to persuade her father to take the lamb inside their house; she gives it food, drink, and warm blankets and decides to sleep with it that night. When Mary wakes the next morning she is elated to see the lamb strong enough to stand on its own.

Mary later teaches her lamb to walk and brings it outside to interact with other animals. Dickerson explains that there are few girls who live near Mary, and so when Mary is not as school she spends most of her time at home with her animals. Due to Mary’s constant presence, her lamb becomes increasingly attached to her, and thus begins the story of the nursery rhyme we know today.

One day before school Mary forgets to say goodbye to her lamb and calls out to it. Mary’s brother Nate, who is constantly causing mischief, proposes to Mary that she take the lamb to school. Naive about the consequences that lay before her, Mary agrees to Nate’s proposal. Mary conceals the lamb beneath her coat and tells the lamb to remain under her desk throughout the day. Perhaps too trusting of the lamb’s obedience, Mary is horrified when she is called forward to recite lines and the little lamb follows her up to the front of the classroom. It comes as a shock to Mary when all of her schoolmates, including her teacher Miss Kimball, begin to laugh.

Statue of Mary's Little Lamb in Sterling, Massachusetts.

Statue of Mary’s Little Lamb in Sterling, Massachusetts.

Adding to the excitement of the day, there happened to be a special visitor at the schoolhouse, John Roulstone. Roulstone is described as a young man who is preparing for college by living with his uncle, Reverend Lemuel Capen. Dickerson explains that it was customary at this time for students to prepare for college by studying with ministers. John decided to visit the schoolhouse the day Mary brought her lamb and was consequently thrilled that he had gone. The next day John rode over to Mary and showed her a poem he had written about her and her lamb. The poem was comprised of three stanzas and was later completed and published in 1830 in the collection Poems for Children by Sarah Hale through the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen and Lyon. Hale’s published version of the poem included two additional stanzas following the original three. Dickerson explains to her readers that although Hale is commonly assumed to be the original author of “Mary had a Little Lamb”, this is not the case; she simply expanded upon the poem that had already been written by eyewitness John Roulstone.

Portrait of Mary Sawyer "in her old age."

Portrait of Mary Sawyer “in her old age.”

Mary’s story is one that brings smiles to many children throughout the nation, yet her legacy doesn’t end with the conclusion of her nursery rhyme. One Thanksgiving morning years later, Mary’s lamb was gored by a family cow. Mary’s mother made two pairs of socks for Mary from the wool of the little lamb. These socks served a special role in history due to Mary’s decision to unweave them and sell strands of the wool accompanying her autograph in order to raise money to preserve Boston’s Old South Meeting House. The Old South Meeting House is home to many historical memories, including the 1773 meeting of seven thousand Boston citizens that resulted in the Boston Tea Party. Mary was able to earn one hundred dollars from her wool, equivalent to about three thousand dollars by today’s standards.

Mary and her little lamb serve not only as a childhood nursery rhyme, but they also serve as a statement regarding the importance of preserving American history. In Dickerson’s book there is a section where Mary tells her version of the story and admits that had she known taking her lamb to school would have brought about so much publicity, she isn’t sure she would have gone through with it. Mary’s tale demonstrates how a seemingly minute story can grow into something so much greater. It makes me wonder how many of these children’s tales developed from such intriguing backgrounds.

Working at AAS has been nothing short of inspiring. The dedication of the entire AAS staff has helped me to realize that information available on the Internet only scratches the surface of what one may discover from looking at original documents and books of historical people, places, and events. Interacting with so many incredibly intelligent people opened new doors to different ideas and options I have regarding my own path in life. This summer I was not only able to meet with scholars from across the country, but I also made relationships with other interns and finally got to conduct some of my own research as well; overall the self-satisfaction I received while at the AAS is truly immeasurable.

Finding John Levy

A couple of weeks ago, Claire Jones, an intern from Princeton University, posted about her project centered on Judaica at AAS. This is the next installment in her findings.

JohnLevy_0001From its cover, the book looked totally ordinary. I had picked the title—The Life and Adventures of John Levy—from my list of memoirs for a few reasons. First, if the author’s name was anything to go by, the book had been written by a Jew—something you can’t say about all the works in the Judaica collection, but a perspective that I’ve been trying to keep front and center in my work this summer. Second, AAS’s online catalog entry for the work was a bit curious: it listed the book as having to do with both African Americans and abolitionism. Intrigued and hoping to find something that might cross genres, I put in a request for the title and tracked it down in the stacks with Elizabeth, curator of books.

When I sat down after lunch to peruse the book, I knew from the first sentence that we’d stumbled on something great. Levy opened his memoir by revealing his birthplace as Nevis—an amazing stroke of luck, considering AAS’s interest in the Caribbean. Levy was probably a Sephardic Jew, part of the population that had been expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and rooted out over the years by the Inquisition. The Sephardim fled to other European countries—England and the Netherlands received large populations—as well as the relatively tolerant Ottoman Empire. The first Jews who settled in the United States in the seventeenth century arrived by way of the Caribbean, settling there on islands like Nevis before moving on to New York.

The island of Nevis is in the bottom right corner of this 1781 map published in London.

The island of Nevis is in the bottom right corner of this 1781 map published in London.

Hoping to find a portrait of Sephardic life in the Caribbean, I read on eagerly, finding out in the next few chapters that our hero spoke fluent Spanish (confirming his Sephardic heritage?) and growing more excited by the page. Levy threw a wrench into my plans, though, when not ten pages later, while describing the few years he spent in Liverpool, he tossed in a line about going to church on Sundays. Church? On Sundays? I started to get nervous. Was our perfect Caribbean Sephardim turning out to be something entirely different?

As it turned out, Levy never mentioned synagogue, or prayer, or Hebrew, or anything at all to do with Judaism in his memoir. Only the fact that his family was full of seemingly textbook Jewish names—his parents Daniel and Hannah, his sister Judith, his daughter Rachel—kept me going as I neared the end of Levy’s account. Fifteen pages from the end, though, there was another startling revelation. It turned out that the reason AAS had listed the book as African American literature was because Levy himself was a person of color. Such an important detail, dropped in rather unceremoniously just before Levy’s account of serving in the Civil War and the discrimination he faced in New England before and during the conflict, only left me even more confused about what exactly I had just read. I was dealing with a possibly Christian, probably black, Caribbean-born man with a Jewish name, and I needed help.

Luckily, Elizabeth knew just how to deal with the conundrum. We went straight to, entered Levy’s name, birthplace, and date of birth (all conveniently provided in the first sentence of his memoir) and, sure enough, he was the first result. Our search confirmed a good deal of the details in Levy’s memoir (though some, like his tale of seeing Napoleon sail past on his way to St. Helena, remain unconfirmed). Records confirmed that he was a well-off barber who was active in the New England abolition scene and married twice to mixed-race women, the first being the daughter of a slave. The census records didn’t quite seem to know what to do with Levy himself, though, with one listing him as “Black,” another as “Mixed,” and still another as “Mulatto”. Our confusion on this essential point was only deepening until we found a magic phrase, in his obituary of all places: “of Moorish origin.” That would explain so much, including the Spanish skills and the ambiguous ethnicity that confused U.S. census-takers. A possible new picture of Levy, this time the son of a Sephardic family that had lost its Jewish religion but maintained some of the old culture and traditions, began to emerge. And a last-minute search of Levy’s father Daniel gave us the best confirmation of all when he was linked to a fascinating article: “The Sefardim of the Island of Nevis.”

We had our Caribbean Sephardic Jew, then. Excellent. But we also had a successful businessperson of color making a living in New England and an active and dedicated abolitionist whose devotion to the cause was clearly personal. We followed John Levy’s story, going from utter confusion to rich clarity that afternoon, reminding ourselves that history is so much more complicated—and so much more rewarding—than the title of a book can suggest.


Obituary, March 27, 1879, Lawrence American, Lawrence, MA (“of Moorish origin”)

1850 United States Federal Census (“Black”)

New York State Census 1855 (“Mulatto”)

1870 United States Federal Census (“Black”)

Massachusetts Death Records, 1879 (“Mixed”)

John Levy’s first wife Sophia – 1850 United State Federal Census (living with “Minor Lewis”)

John Levy’s second wife Henrietta – 1850 United States Federal Census (“Mulatto”)

So you think you can bake? Nineteenth-Century Edition

Kristina Bush is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College. She majors in medieval studies and minors in public history, museums, archives, and digital humanities. Kristina is currently working at the American Antiquarian Society as a summer page in readers’ services. Being an avid book-lover and history nerd, Kristina has greatly enjoyed her time at AAS.

The Art of Confectionery title pageOne of the most surprising and exciting things I discovered in the stacks of the American Antiquarian Society was the cookbook collection. As someone who loves to bake, I was immediately interested in spending more time with this collection. Also inspired by former assistant manuscript curator Tracey Kry’s blog posts, I decided to test out a recipe. From the 1866 cookbook The Art of Confectionery, I selected a recipe for cupcakes.

The ingredients themselves did not seem too different from those in modern day recipes: flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda (which was called cake soda), and even sour cream, which I have used before in coffee cake. The two ingredients that most reflected the differences between the nineteenth-century pantry and that of a modern kitchen were rosewater and brandy. I believe that these two ingredients perform the function of vanilla in most modern recipes by flavoring the batter. My biggest challenge in making the recipe was finding rosewater, which turned out to be rather difficult to obtain. I could not find it in my local supermarket, and so I replaced it with orange blossom tea, as suggested in a trusty Google search.

Recipe for cupcakes

Mixing the batterWhen it came to baking the cake, I was pleased to find the recipe I chose had specific measurements for all the dry ingredients. Some of the other recipes I came across in my research didn’t have measurements at all or used outdated measurements such as drams. First, I combined the softened butter with sugar using my hands. Then I added flour cup by cup, stirring with a wooden spoon. I didn’t use an electric mixer in the hopes of retaining historical accuracy. When the mix began to stick or looked too dry, I alternated adding brandy or the cooled orange blossom tea. Channeling Rachael Ray, I eyeballed the measurements of the liquids as the quantities were not listed in the recipe. I ended up using almost an entire 1.7 oz bottle of brandy and about half a cup of tea. Stirring the recipe ended up being quite a workout! I was glad that paging folio volumes at AAS this summer has been building up my arm strength. After adding the sour cream and baking soda dissolved in whole milk (the modern equivalent of sweet milk), the batter came together quite thick, similar to what one would expect of a muffin batter.

The next question was of baking temperature and time. I figured that it would be best to go with the traditional 350 degrees Fahrenheit and I set the timer for twenty minutes. Of course in 1866 an oven would have looked quite different and a new one at the time would have used coal as a heat source. This would allow for the cupcakes to bake at a constant sustained temperature, meaning that the conditions of my modern oven were not too dissimilar from those of the 1866 baker’s.

The cupcakes bakingThe cupcakes took between twenty-five and thirty minutes to cook and turned out a bit paler in color than expected. Despite the disappointing lack of a golden top, they tasted great! The brandy and tea flavor really came through. The texture was closer to that of a muffin than a cupcake; it was dense, fluffy, and moist. I didn’t even think they needed frosting—and I’m an avid frosting lover! (I was initially disturbed by the lack of a frosting recipe to accompany the cupcake recipe.)

Finished cupcakesI found that other recipes often suggested pairing cakes with jam, marmalade, or a light glaze. In favor of historical accuracy (and eating lots of cupcakes) I decided to try all the options. First, I tested a bit of the cupcake with blueberry jam, which I thought overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the cupcake. The marmalade paired better with the cupcake due to the orange flavor already present. My favorite topping was a simple lemon glaze I prepared with confectioners’ sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, and milk. The citrus flavors complemented each other but the lemon did not overwhelm the flavor of the cupcake. All in all I would call this a success story!

I have so enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by history on a daily basis. Working at the American Antiquarian Society has been a dream come true for me. Besides spending most of my time in the stacks, which I can now successfully navigate (an accomplishment in itself!), I Inside of cupcakehave also been able to work on a transcription project, find “lost” books, cover books in mylar, and meet amazing people. Working here has been inspirational on many levels. I am inspired to continue pursuing a library degree as I now know that I would like to work at an institution like AAS. I love being able to interact with researchers and historic material, and do something different every day. As a student, watching the AAS fellows conduct their research has inspired me to aim for their level of passion and focus in my own studies. The skills I have learned here will also translate to my academic interests at Mount Holyoke College. For example, working with the catalog and hearing about AAS’s outreach programs will inform my minor in public history and archives. I am looking forward to returning to school for my senior year and applying the knowledge and drive I have acquired this summer to my course work. I leave AAS feeling affirmed in my future and grateful for the opportunity I have been given.

From the Mixed Up Files of Avis Clarke

Dylan McDonough, an AAS summer staffer working on the Printers’ File, attends Harvard College, where he is a rising junior with a concentration in history. A native of Worcester, he graduated from Bancroft School in 2014 and has returned to the area each of the last two summers. Here, he shares a glimpse of his work on the Printers’ File.

Antiquarian Hall - side viewBack in high school, I had a Monday morning tradition. At the start of every week I grabbed a Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwich on my way to school, and, on that short drive, I invariably got stuck at the intersection of Salisbury Street and Park Avenue. Waiting for the light to turn green, I often glanced at the grand brick building to my right. What happened in this beautiful landmark of red bricks and white columns, this “American Antiquarian Society”?

Until I took a summer position at AAS a few months ago, that same question still lingered in my mind. I had been assigned to something I had never heard of: the Printers’ File. The Printers’ File, I found, consists of a collection of more than 16,000 notecards containing information on some 6,000 people involved in the early American book trade and was compiled almost exclusively by longtime AAS cataloguer Avis Clarke over forty years. My task: input the cards into a digital form that standardizes the data, rendering it interoperable and linked to a larger data universe. (For a more in-depth look at how the information is being inputted, please see my Printers’ File predecessor Emily Wells’s informative post on her own early work digitizing the cards.)

Currently, researchers must come to Antiquarian Hall to use the cards and sort through them by hand to find those that fall under a certain category. With digitization, though, researchers will be able to access the resulting resource remotely. More importantly, they will be able to search the data by race, gender, location, and more. Even with only about a third of the project done, I can already use a simple search tool to dig through the forms and find any man or woman who was affiliated with the book trade in a certain location. Naturally, as a Wormtown native, I searched for “Worcester,” and found eight early printers.

Haswell's Massachusetts Spy

Notice its declaration as Haswell’s Massachusetts Spy rather than Thomas’s.

The most intriguing of the eight, Anthony Haswell, first came to Worcester in 1775 as Isaiah Thomas’s apprentice. This link to AAS’s founder was what first drew me to Haswell, and as I dug deeper I found a captivating story behind his five years in Worcester. The cards on Haswell further record that, from 1777 to 1778, Thomas leased his Worcester printing press to Haswell, allowing Haswell to print Thomas’s famed newspaper the Massachusetts Spy. After Thomas took back control of the press and paper in 1778, Haswell spent the rest of the decade working in Thomas’s printing office before departing Worcester in 1781.

The Printers' File card for Haswell.

The Printers’ File card for Haswell.

When Avis compiled the Printers’ File, she also maintained a corresponding set of notecards recording her sources. Checking the source cards for Anthony Haswell, I found John Spargo’s Anthony Haswell: Printer – Patriot – Ballader (1925). Haswell actually served as Isaiah Thomas’s first apprentice, but the two printers apparently later had a falling out over criticisms Haswell printed about Thomas. Spargo tells us neither what was said nor where it was printed, but we can assume it was rather nasty, as Haswell’s name appears only once, in passing, in Thomas’s influential The History of Printing in America (1810).

The Printers' File source card for Haswell and the biography by Spargo.

The Printers’ File source card for Haswell and the biography by John Spargo.

Before their eventual falling out, though, Haswell and Thomas altered the course not just of their own lives but of Worcester as well. Toward the end of Haswell’s lease of the newspaper, Thomas seemed to want to sell his Worcester press altogether. In a February 11, 1778, letter printed in the Spy, Haswell declared his intentions to purchase the press and settle it permanently in Worcester, asking his readers for financial assistance. The letter begins, “The utility of a Printing Press in this large country, is so well known to you, that the loss of it, especially at this time…would be more felt than at any other.” Haswell recognized the importance of print to the development of a young country in rebellion and a young town at the heart of that rebellion. He further notes, “Printing utensils are no where to be procured in this country at present, types in particular, are not now made in America…” The young country had yet to develop a printing equipment industry, so Haswell urged Worcester to jump on the opportunity to secure a full press. In spite of these efforts, Haswell failed to procure the necessary funds, and when the lease expired Thomas returned to Worcester to reclaim ownership of his printing press.

The press Haswell hoped to buy from Thomas, Old No. 1.

The press Haswell hoped to buy from Thomas, known as Old No. 1.

We know today that Thomas did keep his press in Worcester—in fact, as I write this sentence I sit about ten feet from Old No. 1—but the story of Anthony Haswell’s attempted purchase still cannot be dismissed. In Haswell, we have a significant piece of the early Worcester printing business and a man who recognized the value of a press to the Heart of the Commonwealth. Yet this man, who acted as Isaiah Thomas’s first apprentice and seemingly shared his views on printing, barely appears in Thomas’s influential record of American printers because of a personal grudge. Here we see the bias inherent in much of historical writing, a bias that the digitized Printers’ File, with its standardization and its easy manipulation of data, minimizes to a degree. And in this way, the Printers’ File provides unique angles and lost viewpoints on history, from the ordinary to the monumental. After all, the uncovered story of Anthony Haswell begs the question: If he had succeeded in purchasing Thomas’s printing press, would we today have an American Antiquarian Society to preserve such hidden stories of history?

The Acquisitions Table: Steel Printing Plate for “Echoes of the Woods”

Nicolas Valstin, engraver. Echoes of the Woods and Shepherdess and the Birds. Saint Louis: Kunkel Brothers, ca. 1871-1878.


This steel printing plate was used to create sheet music covers. The two tunes that would have been found inside this cover were both popular in the United States until about 1900. Both were reissued multiple times by the publishing house Kunkel Brothers, which was founded in St. Louis by two German immigrants who were also trained concert pianists. They first issued this engraved cover in 1871 for just the Shepherdess and the Birds title (copy at Library of Congress), but then re-engraved the plate circa 1878 to include Echoes of the Woods (which was composed by Charles Kunkel under the pseudonym Jean Paul in 1878). The plate joins the Society’s representative holdings of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century printing matrices, which encompass the history of printing processes used in America.

Judaica at AAS: A Summer Intern’s Experience

Stay tuned throughout the summer for updates on Judaica at AAS from Claire Jones, an intern from Princeton University. Thanks to AAS chairman Sid Lapidus and the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program, Claire is working with Elizabeth Pope, curator of books, to identify, improve, and promote AAS’s Judaica collection.

Claire Jones, summer intern from Princeton, paging a book in the American Antiquarian Society stacks.

Claire Jones, summer intern from Princeton, paging a book in the American Antiquarian Society stacks.

Last month, I arrived at AAS for a ten-week internship in order to work on the Society’s Judaica collection with the enthusiasm of an undergraduate history major who has only a vague idea of what she’s getting herself into. My first few weeks were a bit of a whirlwind, settling in at AAS and beginning to wrap my head around the sheer volume of information housed here. Having the goal of collecting every printed work produced in North America before the U.S. centennial will do that to a collection; even though my area of focus for the summer—Judaica from 1841 to 1876—is relatively small by AAS standards, it was still a daunting prospect to just throw myself at the catalog and see what I could find.

Luckily, I’ve had a guide through all this mess. Yes, there’s my incredible supervisor, Elizabeth, whose understanding of the collection honestly still boggles my mind a bit, but the real hero of my first month at AAS has been Mr. Robert Singerman, without whose enormous bibliography, Judaica Americana, I would be so hopelessly lost. I spent my first two weeks checking all of his entries for the years 1841 to 1876—almost two thousand in total—against our online catalog. Sure, I got a lot of disheartening “Your search has returned no hits” results, but that search process meant reading through a list of quite literally every known work of American Judaica produced in my time period. I started to see patterns—names of people and institutions that kept coming up, popular topics for books and plays and pamphlets—and really got a feel for what mid-1800s American Judaica actually looks like. Most satisfying of all, though, was the finished product: a color-coded spreadsheet of a little over 450 titles, or around 25% of all American Judaica in my target years, that AAS now knows it has in its collection. Totally worth a few dead ends in the catalog.

An overview of the spreadsheet's findings as presented to the AAS Council. The final results will be available on AAS's website in fall 2016.

An overview of the spreadsheet’s findings as presented to the AAS Council. The final results will be available on AAS’s website in fall 2016.

Figuring out what exactly was in the AAS catalog had the added benefit of letting us know what kind of Judaica we were missing as well. One of the amazing things about AAS is that it’s always on the lookout for works it doesn’t already have: again, it’s the goal of the Society, to be as complete as possible within its scope. Despite this goal, though, there were a few significant gaps, the most prominent being works by Jewish thinkers or issued by Jewish institutions like synagogues or charity organizations. Elizabeth and I put together an acquisitions strategy for obtaining some of the missing titles,and also decided to make Jewish voices the focal point of our work on the collection this summer.

All of which brings me to my favorite part of my work here at AAS so far: picking out the most interesting-sounding works from my precious spreadsheet with the goal of finding and showcasing the highlights of the Judaica collection, both here and on the AAS website by the end of the summer. Actually getting a chance to interact with these nineteenth-century volumes is amazing, one of the best perks of working at a place like AAS, a place that is almost literally bursting at the seams with old books. As I probe the collection for whatever gems it can offer up, from the most important sermons and treatises to trashy novels and splashy pamphlets, we’ll be finding out a lot more about both our own collection and nineteenth-century Jewish life and culture itself. Whatever happens, we should emerge at the end of ten weeks with a beautiful cross-section of thirty-five years of Jewish life represented through AAS’s collections, bringing out an oft-forgotten part of the American story for our readers to discover and explore.

The Medical Education of Nathan Staples Pike

Bloggers at Past is Present have previously written about the recent donation of Pike-Wright Family Papers in several posts. This post is continuing a look at Dr. Nathan Pike’s medical career.

528208_0002In 1837, at the age of eighteen, Nathan Pike began teaching in the Foster, Connecticut, district schools and continued this employment for three or four years. His certificate, written by the school committee, stated that he was “a gentleman of unblemished character and worthy of public patronage as a school master.”

In August 1839, Nathan enrolled at Berkshire Medical Institution


Pages from Pike’s medical notebooks

in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which had recently severed its ties to Williams College, becoming an independent medical school.  He attended lectures by Professor Watts on General and Pathological Anatomy and by Dr. David Palmer on Geology.

Nathan Pike’s medical education follows a complicated trajectory. His introduction to medicine at an institution rather than through an apprenticeship is unusual. In the first half of the nineteenth century, training for physicians (in New England, at least) traditionally began with a three-year apprenticeship under one or several sequential doctors. A minority continued their education at medical school, which consisted of two years of lectures—the second year being a repetition, sometimes verbatim, of the first.  The semester lasted four months. Formal medical education was not necessary—anyone could practice medicine. No licensing existed.

In November, 1839, after completing the semester in Pittsfield, Nathan started an apprenticeship with D. W. Hovey, in Killingly, Connecticut. A paper in the collection, signed and dated by Dr. Hovey in October 1841, attests that Nathan Pike studied medicine, surgery, and collateral branches of medicine and “witnessed” the practice of medicine with him for a period of one year and eleven months.

During 1840, Nathan signed a contract in July to teach in the Westfield schools, returned for a second semester, starting in August, at Berkshire Medical Institution and in December began a second apprenticeship with William Hubbard, M.D. Two papers in the collection, signed by Dr. Hubbard, certified that Nathan read medicine with him from December 1840 until August 1841.

In 1841, Nathan’s medical notes move from Pittsfield to New York, where he studied at New York University Medical Department, graduating in 1842.  His training with Dr. Hubbard must have coincided with his schooling, as one certification noted he had seen hospital practice and had free access to the dispensary and infirmary during his apprenticeship.

Nathan opened his practice in Sterling, Connecticut, in 1842, but it seems he was a lifelong student. His ledgers and notebooks indicate he returned to lectures given by Dr. Mott at his alma mater in 1846. And in November 1849, he again returned to Dr. Mott’s surgical clinic before continuing his education in December in Philadelphia.

It was natural that Dr. Pike would be drawn to Philadelphia, the center of American medical education, where its famous institutions hosted many of the most prestigious American physicians.  In 1825, Jefferson Medical College became the first in the country to establish a teaching clinic.  Prevailing medical school curricula then consisted only of lectures. Jefferson’s inclusion of patient care with formal education was unique and innovative.  Nathan is listed as a student at the College in the 1849-50 semester, when there were 477 students, with only 188 studying for a degree.  Most, like Nathan, were presumably clinicians advancing their education by viewing the latest surgical techniques and becoming acquainted with the latest medical practices. In the clinics he attended, he learned from Professors John K. Mitchell, Robley Duglison, William Gibson, Samuel Jackson, and Thomas Mütter.

Nathan’s interest in medical education continued throughout his life.  Among his collected papers is an announcement from Castleton Medical College in Vermont, listing the faculty, curricula, tuition, and helpful information about the school. He is listed in 1856 as a member for a two-year term of Yale Medical School’s Examining Board. He died—a young man of thirty-eight—the next year of tuberculosis before his term expired.

Raise a Glass to Freedom, Independence, and Perpetual Itching

Odds are your Fourth of July celebrations will include something along the lines of mounds of food, parades, drinks, bonfires, and fireworks. Turns out, if you add in some minor property destruction and some long-winded toasts, you’ll be right on target with those colonists who celebrated the long-awaited news of Congress’s adoption of independence in July of 1776.

Revelries sprung up everywhere as news of the Declaration spread throughout the colonies during the month of July. In Philadelphia on July 8, the Declaration was “proclaimed at the State-House in this city, in the presence of many thousand spectators, who testified their approbation by repeated acclamations.”[1] In New York on July 9, General George Washington had the Declaration read at the head of each brigade in and around the city, and it was “every where received with the utmost Demonstrations of Joy.”[2] Later that night, a large equestrian statue of King George III in New York, “which tory pride and folly raised in the year 1770, was, by the sons of freedom, laid prostrate in the dirt, the just desert of an ungrateful Tyrant! The lead wherewith this monument was made, is to be run into bullets…”[3] The Declaration was proclaimed in Williamsburg, Virginia, on July 25 and was “received with universal applause, under a discharge of cannon, firing of small arms, illuminations in the evening, &c. &c.”[4]

One of the most thorough descriptions of independence celebrations, however, appeared in the July 24 issue of Isaiah Thomas’s The Massachusetts Spy. Thomas had allegedly made the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in New England some days earlier when he intercepted a post rider bound for Boston carrying a copy of the Declaration and subsequently read it to a large crowd from the roof of the portico of Worcester’s Meeting House (later known as Old South Church).[5] Several days later, on July 22, a bigger and more formal celebration took place when “a number of patriotic gentlemen of this town, animated by a love of their country, and to shew their approbation of the measure lately taken by the Grand Council of America, assembled on the green near the liberty pole,” where they displayed the colors of the thirteen colonies, rang bells, beat drums, and read the Declaration of Independence to “a large and respectable body (among whom were the Select-men and Committee of Correspondence) assembled on the occasion, who testified their approbation by repeated huzzas, firing of musquetry and cannon, bonfires, and other demonstrations of joy.”


The Massachusetts Spy, or, American Oracle of Liberty, July 24, 1776

But this wasn’t enough for the “patriotic gentlemen” of Worcester. They followed these demonstrations by removing the King’s arms from the courthouse and burning them, after which a “select company of the Sons of Freedom” went to a tavern that had been known as the King’s Arms and tore down the sign proclaiming it as such. According to this article, the tavernkeeper—a woman named Mary Stearns—“cheerfully complied” with their wishes.

With the hard work of demolishing royal imagery done, the group celebrated by drinking in Stearns’s tavern to twenty-four separate toasts. The toasts began as might be expected: “Prosperity and perpetuity to the United States of America;” “The President of the Grand Council of America;” “His Excellency General Washington;” “Success to the American Arms;” etc.  But by the middle of the toasts, the effects of the free-flowing pints appear to have reached the gathered crowd. Toast numbers thirteen and fourteen call for “Sore Eyes to all Tories, and a Chesnut [sic] Burr for an Eye Stone” and “Perpetual itching without the benefit of scratching to the Enemies of America.”

The toasts quickly reverted to more standard fare, with glasses raised to the memory of General Joseph Warren, the state of Massachusetts-Bay, the town of Boston, and so on, ending on a heartfelt and hopeful  plea that “May the Freedom and Independency of America endure till the sun grows dim with age, and this earth returns to Chaos.”

The newspaper article concludes with a note that “The greatest decency and good order, was observed, and at a suitable time each man returned to his respective home.” It’s good to know that after they set off cannons, muskets, built bonfires, tore down and burned royal symbols, and in all likelihood got roaring drunk, they showed the utmost decorum in getting home safe and sound.

[1] Pennsylvania Gazette, July 10, 1776

[2] New-York Gazette, and Weekly Mercury, July 15, 1776

[3] The Massachusetts Spy, or, American Oracle of Liberty, July 17, 1776

[4] Dixon and Hunter, Virginia Gazette, July 27, 1776

[5] The story of Thomas’s being the first to publicly read the Declaration in New England first appears in the Massachusetts Spy of July 5, 1826, which also recaps the fiftieth anniversary celebrations, over which Thomas presided. The story is repeated in the diary of Christopher Columbus Baldwin, Thomas’s successor as librarian of the American Antiquarian Society, in his entry of July 4, 1832, where he notes that the story had been retold by Thomas many times over the years. There is no contemporary evidence for Thomas’s reading, but the specificity of the story, as well as Isaiah’s status as a printer who would need to set the text into his newspaper (which he did in the July 17, 1776, issue), does suggest authenticity. Later accounts carry conflicting details, including that Isaiah’s reading and the events of July 22 (sometimes stated as July 24) are the same event.

“Here a Lee, there a Lee, everywhere a Lee, a Lee”

Lee to Page, September 23, 1776

Richard Henry Lee to John Page, September 23, 1776. Images of the other letters are available here.

Kathy Major has been volunteering in the Manuscripts Department at AAS for several years and just recently found a small collection of uncataloged Richard Henry Lee letters, which she writes about below. Kathy worked at AAS from 1976 to 1984 and was Keeper of Manuscripts for a portion of that time. After leaving the Society to care for her children, Kathy worked at the Gale Free Library in Holden, most recently as head of technical services, until her retirement in 2014.

The title of this post is from the lyrics of the amusing song, “The Lees of Old Virginia,” from the popular Broadway musical 1776.  The character singing the lyrics is supposed to be Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), the Virginia delegate in the Second Continental Congress who presented the motion for independence from Great Britain : “….that these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states….” In addition to serving in the Continental Congress (1774-1779, 1784-1785, 1787), Lee signed the Declaration of Independence and also served as president of the Continental Congress and later became a U.S. senator.  Certainly he would not have been very happy with his portrayal in the Broadway show (and later film) as vain and somewhat dim-witted.  The actual Richard Henry Lee left behind a large correspondence, including three wonderful letters we’re integrating into AAS’s Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection.  The assistant curator of manuscripts was concerned about the fairly large backlog of unprocessed manuscripts and had asked me to begin to go through them.  Lo and behold, the three Lee letters turned up, and it was discovered that they have never been published.

The letters were donated to AAS almost thirty years ago by Mrs. Allan Carr McIntyre of Watertown, Massachusetts, and contain much valuable information about the military progress (or lack thereof) of the American Revolution from 1776 to 1778.  Written in Philadelphia, all three were addressed to Col. John Page (1744-1808), then serving as lieutenant governor of Virginia. Page was also an officer in that state’s militia and eventually served in the U.S. Congress from 1789 to 1797.

272194_0001On September 23, 1776, Lee referred to preparations on Harlem Heights for a confrontation with British General William Howe’s forces and to the mysteriously set “Great Fire” that destroyed a large portion of New York City.  He added a disparaging comment about the American troops : “…these northern militias. They are immensely expensive and utterly useless.”  Lee suggested that more ships should be converted to privateers in order to prey on British “sugar ships” from the West Indies, as well as the need to build  “10 or 12 large sea galleys,” to keep open the Chesapeake Bay to prevent invasion.

On October 10, 1777, Richard Henry Lee wrote of “a wise and well concerted attack on the British force on or near German town.” He believed that the British were “surprised, forced, and actually beaten,” but that a thick fog caused confusion among the American forces, which led to their retreat, thus depriving the U.S. of “a brilliant victory.” There is no reference to General Washington’s forces squandering too much effort on the Cliveden house, but certainly Saratoga and Germantown showed the French that the American troops could fight.

The third letter, dated September 7, 1778, detailed the confrontation between the naval forces of Admiral Lord Richard Howe and French Admiral Comte D’Estaing known as the Battle of Rhode island, or the Siege of Newport, during which “the same storm that has damaged our crops so much in  Virginia saved Lord Howe from ruin.” Lee mentioned that the French fleet was in Boston for repairs, and that American General John Sullivan’s army was forced to retreat, but Lee claimed victory for Sullivan due to “the enemy being driven from the field of battle in great disorder.” He added that the Battle of Rhode Island was “injurious to the enemy,” which “got a sound drubbing.”  He wrote hopefully that the French would reinforce D’Estaing’s fleet shortly.  This proved to be wishful thinking.

These three letters in no way support the character delineation of Lee as seen in the fun Broadway musical  (Alexander Hamilton and hip-hop, anyone?).  What they do convey are the commitment, dedication, industry, and determination of the Revolutionary War generation to secure independence for the united American states.

Please click here for images of all three letters!

Now available online: Photographs of Tuskegee Institute

Booker T Washington and familyFor some collections within the Graphic Arts Department, we do not catalog each item in the collection individually. Sometimes, it makes more sense to create one all-encompassing record that describes the collection as one entity to avoid redundancy in the catalog. These collections are still easily found in the online catalog, and they will usually have an itemized contents list or finding aid to help researchers make their way through them. However, sometimes these collections are important or visually interesting enough to warrant more. Many collections within Graphic Arts have been digitized and are available online and/or in GIGI (Daguerreotypes, Watch papers, etc.) But now, some collections will be available on the AAS website using the publishing platform of Omeka to create illustrated inventories where each item in a collection will be described in some detail.

Printing Office - TNIIImproved school and church near TuskegeeThe first collection to use Omeka to bring it to the light is the Society’s collection of fifty-six albumen prints of the Tuskegee Norman and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Tuskegee, Alabama, and the surrounding area. The images depict the people and buildings that made up Tuskegee Institute during the 1890s. Portraits of students standing before different halls and dormitories and in the classroom show the day-to-day life on campus. Other images show the locals who descended on the Tuskegee campus annually for the Tuskegee Negro Conference, where they learned of new advances in farming. The photographs show life off campus as well. Scenes depicting the “Black Belt” and other views outside of the college show the daily life of African Americans in Alabama near the turn of the century.

This is just the first of the illustrated inventories that we are creating. Inventories featuring a collection of photographs of Worcester’s fairgrounds and of the silhouette collection are in the works and will be available online soon!

AAS Hands-On Workshop Initiates Region-Wide Public History Program

IMG_0694 IMG_0691This past March the Society held a Hands-On History Workshop on the Declaration of Independence.  It featured Danielle Allen of Harvard University and used AAS collection materials to explore how Americans first learned about and celebrated independence in 1776 and how the Declaration was represented and interpreted in the nineteenth century.

Our Hands-On History Workshop was also the first program in a region-wide initiative sponsored by AAS and Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area entitled Declaring Independence – Then and Now. Recognizing that the Declaration of Independence is not only a beloved statement of our nation’s embracing of liberty and equality, but is also a living document, whose values continue to shape our lives today. Declaring Independence –Then and Now explores how the Declaration of Independence came to be, how we can find its roots in our own towns, what it meant to the founding generation, and how it continued to inform the generations that followed, including our own.

In the spring of 1776, the Massachusetts assembly sought to know the hearts and minds of the people. They charged each town with debating and resolving a critical question: Should the colonies declare independence from Great Britain? Declaring Independence –Then and Now engages Freedom’s Way towns in uncovering the evidence of responses to this challenge, through town debates, resolves, and local declarations of rights and liberties, as detailed in Pauline Maier’s American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. Towns also actively engaged in affirming, disseminating, and publically performing their assertions of independence. Their deep commitment to the public act of declaring liberty and equality continues to shape our local and national conversation today.

Mary Fuhrer, a public historian and AAS member, worked with communities in Massachusetts to uncover this evidence and to shape it into a performance piece. These will be presented at the Bullfinch Meetinghouse, 725 Main Street, Lancaster, Massachusetts, on Sunday, June 26, from 3 to 4 p.m., and on Saturday, July 2, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the Minute Man Visitor Center, Minuteman National Historic Park, 250 North Great Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts. The Lancaster program is presented in partnership with the Bulfinch Fund and is part of the Bulfinch 200th Anniversary Celebration. The program is also part of the church’s Annual Strawberry Festival and participants are invited to stay for chicken salad and all things strawberry, including ice cream and shortcake.  The Minute Man National Historical Park is a collaborating partner of the presentation in Lincoln.

I will act as narrator for both programs and will be joined by citizens of Lancaster and Lexington who, in addition to reading sections of the Declaration of Independence, will also discuss the mindset of their town leaders in 1776 and how the ideas in this seminal document continue to impact American government today.

The Acquisitions Table: The Spectroscope and Its Applications

Lockyer, J. Norman. The Spectroscope and Its Applications. London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1873.

529791_0001This manual on the spectroscope is part of Macmillan’s Nature Series and is bound in publisher’s brick red cloth with gilt and black stamped front cover. Pasted onto the title page is a colorful watercolor spectrum with the initials “J.B.L.” next to it. The frontispiece is a tri-fold colored plate of spectra and there are sixty figures in the text, many illustrating types of spectroscopes. The front pastedown endpaper has the signature of previous owner David Peck Todd (1855 – 1939). An American astronomer and director of the observatory at Amherst College, Todd was chief astronomer at the Lick Observatory during the transit of Venus in 1882 and created the first known photographs of the transit. Spectroscopic measurements helped confirm the theory of the existence of an atmosphere on Venus, which appeared as though surrounded by a halo of light.

#hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks

The following is the story behind the newest feature on AAS’s website, #hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks.

monographs 336678 federalist bindings copyAs a monographs cataloger at the American Antiquarian Society, I work primarily with books and pamphlets, often ones printed in the United States during the nineteenth century. However, the twenty-five miles of shelves at AAS hold much more than books and pamphlets, and recently I ventured into collections that were entirely new to me and explored an array of AAS’s holdings that I hadn’t previously encountered.

portrait 44585 square elizabeth schuyler hamilton from republican courtThe impetus for this journey was the smash Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical. I listened to the Hamilton Original Cast Recording in October, and, like so many others have, I immediately started re-listening and quoting it at the drop of a hat. One of the (many) things I love about the music is how it incorporates the words and text of history into its reimagining of the past—the song “One Last Time” quotes George Washington’s Farewell Address verbatim, and “The Farmer Refuted” draws from a pamphlet war between Alexander Hamilton and Samuel Seabury. I began to wonder what might be within the walls of AAS that could connect me to the stories of Alexander Hamilton; Elizabeth Schuyler pottery 37085 square copper lustre pitcher with transfer-printed image of lafayette english made for the american marketHamilton, his wife; and their friends, allies, and opponents.

Ambitiously, I decided to see if I could find something in AAS’s collections inspired by each of the forty-six songs in the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording. It took a bit of creative thinking, a generous approach to “inspired by,” and several conversations with my colleagues who guided me through AAS’s collections, but, after several months, I succeeded! Along the way, I posted the results of my journey to Instagram, where I gathered all the posts under the hashtag #hamildays
currency optionand gave some context—perhaps, at times, too much, given Instagram’s post limits—about what I had posted.

Over the course of creating fifty posts, the #hamildays project took me through twenty-eight collections at AAS, many of them new terrain for me. I wasn’t aware of the Currency Collection until Curator of Graphic Arts Lauren Hewes pointed it out to me. However, it was a perfect match for lyrics from the song “Stay Alive,” and it was thrilling to handle something as quotidian and tangible as money. It was also unexpectedly educational to see the volume of
manuscripts 271114 square abigail adams to mary smith cranch 24 june 1785 p 2 and 3bills counterfeiting banknotes issued by the Continental Congress and to learn that a sixpence could be issued as paper currency.

I was familiar with, in a general way, AAS’s manuscript collections, but I don’t interact with them on a daily basis. It was exciting to discover that AAS holds some of Aaron Burr’s papers and to read through them, finding Burr’s marriage certificate and handling letters written by his daughter, Theodosia Burr Alston.

newspaper 1014 new york evening post november 16 1801I’ve used digitized versions of AAS’s immense newspaper collection to search for information on authors and publishers, but physically handling them and turning through their pages while following the threads of the publication of the Reynolds Pamphlet, in which Alexander Hamilton admitted to an adulterous affair, was a very different experience than targeting snippets of text on a screen. Turning through a newspaper page by page gave me a richer sense of eighteenth-century daily life by seeing the advertisements, reprinted articles, reports of household unrest, and political news that made up people’s everyday experience.

map 488638 square montresor a plan of the city of new york & its environs.jpgAlthough I work with the books and pamphlets held by AAS, I discovered new things in those collections as well. For the first time, I visited the Almanacs Collection, which was cataloged prior to my tenure at AAS, and I was startled, although ecstatic, to learn how political almanacs could be, and how they visually depicted maps of the “present seat of war” and generals such as George Washington and Horatio Gates.

These fifty posts, with images from twenty-eight different AAS collections, have now been political cartoon 46362 square peep into the antifederal club.jpggathered up and archived on the AAS website as #hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks. The #hamildays archive follows the structure of Hamilton: An American Musical, and is divided into two acts with each song represented by an image (or, upon occasion, two). It also includes a bibliography of both the collection items represented and secondary sources consulted. I hope you enjoy exploring #hamildays as much as I enjoyed assembling it.

Pictures, from top to bottom:

The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed Upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787. 2 vol. New York: J. and A. M’Lean, 1788. Bindings Collection copy.

Portrait of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton from: Griswold, Rufus W. The Republican Court, or, American Society in the Days of Washington. New and rev. ed. New York: D. Appleton, 1856. Plate faces p. 55.

Copper lustre pitcher with transfer-printed image of the Marquis de Lafayette. English-made Staffordshire pottery for the American market.

Continental Currency. Three Dollar Bill. Philadelphia: Hall & Sellers, January 14, 1779.
Continental Currency. One Third of a Dollar. Philadelphia: Hall & Sellers, February 17, 1776.

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 June 1785. Abigail Adams Letters.

New York Evening Post. New York, N.Y. November 16, 1801.

Montrésor, John. A Plan of the City of New-York & Its Environs to Greenwich, on the North of Hudsons River, and to Crown Point, on the East or Sound River, Shewing the Several Streets, Publick Buildings, Docks, Fort & Battery, With the True Form & Course of the Commanding Grounds, With and Without the Town. Surveyed in the Winter, 1775. [London]: A. Dury, [1776?].

A Peep into the Antifederal Club. New York, 1793.

The Campaign Newspaper Title Quiz: The Answers

Last week we asked readers to figure out which five from a list of thirty nineteenth-century campaign newspaper titles were fake. Here are the answers. How did you do?

  1. Sober Second Thought (Hartford, CT), 1841


A Democratic newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. Castigator (Middletown, CT), 1840


Another Democratic newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. A Kick in the Pants – Fake
  1. Hard Cider Press (Chicago, IL), 1840


This is the first campaign newspaper published in Chicago.  It was a Democratic paper.

  1. The Old Soldier (Springfield, IL), 1840


This is one of the earliest campaign newspapers known from Springfield, Illinois. It was a Whig newspaper supporting the election of William Henry Harrison. Abraham Lincoln may have worked on this publication.

  1. Tippecanoe Banner and Spirit of Democracy (New Albany, IN), 1840

Tippecanoe banner

A Whig newspaper supporting William Henry Harrison.

  1. Cabinet Maker (Boston, MA), 1860


This is a Democratic newspaper supporting Stephen Douglas.  Like the Rail Splitter supporting Abraham Lincoln, the title of this paper is based on the trade Douglas was taught as a young lad. The aim was to present him as a candidate of the working class.

  1. My Worthless Opponent – Fake
  1. Rough and Ready (Boston, MA), 1848


A Whig newspaper supporting Zachary Taylor.


  1. Give ‘Em Jessie! (Groton, MA), 1856


A People’s Party newspaper. The phrase “We strike for freedom but not with a cane!” refers to the incident when Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Charles Sumner with a walking cane in the Senate chambers over a speech Sumner gave attacking slaveholders.

  1. Harry of the West (Lexington, MO), 1844


A Whig paper supporting Henry Clay.

  1. The Slasher (St. Louis, MO), 1844


A Democratic paper supporting James K. Polk.

  1. Rough and Ready (Concord, NH), 1846-1848

A Democratic Republican paper published in opposition to the Tough and Steady (see number 15 below).

  1. The Cane Mutiny – Fake
  1. Tough and Steady (Concord, NH), 1847


An independent newspaper in opposition to the Rough and Ready (see number 13 above).

  1. Whip & Spur (Newport, NH), 1839-1856

This is a Whig newspaper that appeared during various elections between 1839 and 1856.  Here are three mastheads used in 1839, 1840, and 1844.

NH_Newport_WhipSpur01 NH_Newport_WhipSpur02 NH_Newport_WhipSpur03 

  1. The Hare Splitter – Fake
  1. The Polk-er, and Young Hickory Advocate  (Hamilton, NY), 1844


A Democratic newspaper supporting James K. Polk (as if you couldn’t guess from the title).

  1. The Thrasher (Hudson, NY), 1840


A Democratic newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. Barnburner (New York, NY), 1848


A Free Soil newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. New-York Must be Redeemed! (Rochester, NY), 1840


A Democratic newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. That Ball! (Rochester, NY), 1840


A Whig paper supporting William Henry Harrison.

  1. The Giraffe (Cincinnati, OH), 1842


A Whig newspaper supporting the election of Thomas Corwin as governor.  This is an example of a campaign newspaper printed for a local rather than national election.

  1. Mother’s Favorite! – Fake
  1. Scott Soup Bowl (Cleveland, OH), 1852


A Whig newspaper supporting Winfield Scott.

  1. That Same Old Coon (Dayton, OH), 1844


This is a Whig newspaper supporting Henry Clay. The symbol of the Whig party was the raccoon. This newspaper included an image of a raccoon in the masthead, and the pages were bordered by images of raccoons as well.

  1. Coon Dissector  (Dayton, OH), 1844


A Democratic newspaper supporting James K. Polk.  The symbol of the Democratic party at the time was a rooster.  Instead of incorporating their own symbol into the campaign newspaper, they decided to attack their local opponent seen above in number 26.  They used an image of a dead raccoon with a knife in its chest and decorated the borders with dead raccoons hanging by the neck.

  1. The Magician (Harrisburg, PA), 1840


A Democratic newspaper supporting Martin Van Buren.

  1. The Dirty Shirt (Philadelphia, PA), 1840


A Democratic newspaper supporting the election of Martin Van Buren.

  1. Old Granny, That Delivered the American Frontier from the British Proctor and His Army (Pittsburgh, PA), 1840


A Whig newspaper supporting William Henry Harrison.