Author Archives: Andrew Bourque

About Andrew Bourque

Library Assistant, American Antiquarian Society

A slice of 19th century humor

masthead of Ohioan

The Amateur Ohion, published in Cincinnati, in January of 1878, like many amateur newspapers, contains a short humor column.  This little column contains a very odd little joke. It begins: Why is an elephant like a steamboat? We'd love to hear your guesses for the punchline! Send us your comments and we'll reveal the "correct" ...

What is in a title?


When I first saw the front page of our convict's little excerpted diary (the one I wrote about in a previous post), I thought to myself, what a curious title. The title was, of course, one of the main things that encouraged me to poke my nose into it in the first place.  If ...

“Promiscuous Leaves” from A Convict’s Diary


AAS holds in its manuscripts collections an excerpted diary of a convict from the 19th century.  It is a small unassuming volume of just under fifty pages on plain brown paper, and doesn’t visually grab your attention. It was the title on the front page that piqued my curiosity: Promiscuous Leaves from My Diary. A glance ...