Give Pieces a Chance

Hannibal Journal, and Native American.  May 28, 1842.  Vol. 1, no. 21.

A dealer recently sent me a box with pieces of newspapers.  Some of them were either the front or back page, and many of them were just half of one page.  Still, I waded through the large mound of fragments to see what was there.

Why should I spend time going through them considering the dealer gave them to me because they had no market value?  I spent time because discoveries can be made.  This example of the Hannibal Journal, and Native American is the only known issue with this title in an institutional library.  Old references refer to the newspaper as starting out with this title, then later becoming just the Hannibal Journal.  This fragment of the top half of the front page confirms the old references and preserves the bibliographic evidence.

509236_0001Even though this is just one-eighth of the complete issue it tells us a lot.  It lists J.S. Buchanan as publisher and proprietor.  The paper is published weekly, which gives the starting date as around the beginning of January.  There are 15 different advertisers that can be found on the front side of the fragment.  On the back side are a variety of articles copied from newspapers such as the Louisville Journal, Cincinnati Chronicle, Quincy Whig (IL), St. Louis Republican, Hunt’s Merchant’s Magazine, Boston Post, and the New Orleans Picayune, showing it exchanged issues with a number of newspapers.

Part of the prospectus is also extant.  It states that the main audiences of the paper are farmers and merchants.  Old references recorded the Hannibal Journal, and Native American as the successor to the Journal and Price Current.  The prospectus also states that the Hannibal Prices Current will also be published weekly.  Even though no issues are recorded, here is evidence that a separate publication was being published from this office.

AAS added a number of fragments to the collection.  Each fragment added a little more to the sum total of information we can provide readers, and we are giving these pieces a chance to be used.

Published by

Vincent Golden

Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society

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