Keeping the South Carolina Colony Informed

The 18th century newspapers in the British colonies of North America covered a fascinating combination of international news and extremely local topics. This edition of The South Carolina Gazette from January 26, 1737 is an excellent example.

International News


The poor Kingdom of Poland, already laid waste by War and Famine, is now visited by the Bloody Flux, which is become epidemical, and has carried off infinite Number of People, and frightened the rest to such a Degree, that whole Provinces are deserted.


Extract of a Letter from Spanish Town in Jamaica. ‘Our once most flourishing Island is now exceedingly upon the Decline; and nothing so much as Luxury, Poverty, Taxes and Faction abound among us: Neither are our intestine Wars with the rebellious Negroes in the least abated; and nothing is become more common, than to hear of Plantations burnt and utterly destroy’d by them, insomuch that some of our distant Parishes will be oblig’d in a little Time to abandon their Habitations.

Holland and Maritime Canada

From Amsterdam they write, That the Greenland Fishing this Year has been so prodigious, that the Dutch have taken 589 Whales and three young ones. The French and Spaniards have also taken 70 Whales this Season at Groenland: And if, as one observes, England has not come in for her Share of Train-oyl and Whalebone, she may boast of having out number’d all her Neighbours in Horse-Races. He might have added too, for the Glory of this Island, That we out do all our Neighbours in Pantomime, Farce, and Puppet-Shew.


The Woollen Manufacture in Denmark is so much improved, that his Majesty finding there is Cloth enough made in his own Kingdom to serve his Subjects, has forbid the Importation of any Woollen Manufacture from foreign Parts. (more…)

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Suffrage: The Women in Washington (1870)

A Deputation from the National Woman’s Suffrage Association consisting of Mrs. M. E. Joslyn Gage, Charlotte B. Wilbour, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Paulina Wright Davis, Madam Anneke, Martha C. Wright, Rev. Olympia Brown, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Phoebe Couzens, Josephine S. Griffiing, and Susan B. Anthony, was appointed from the Convention to wait on the District Committees and ask a hearing, which was granted for Saturday, Jan. 22, 1870.

The Deputation attended by a large number of distinguished friends of the cause appeared at the Capitol, crowding one of the large committee rooms. The Joint Committees from the Senate and the House consisting of Honorables Hamlin, Sumner, Patterson, Rice, Vickers, Pratt, Harris, Cook, Welcker, Williams, Cowles, Bowles, Gilfillen, were punctual to the minute, and gave the ladies a respectful hearing of two hours.

Hannibal Hamlin

Hannibal Hamlin, United States Senator from Maine

Senator Hamlin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia, called the meeting to order and spoke as follows:

We have met this morning for the purpose of considering two petitions which have been presented, I believe, only to the Senate Committee of the District of Columbia. The first one is a petition, very numerously signed, I think, by both ladies and gentlemen of this city; and, in a few brief words, it adds that: “The undersigned, residents of the District of Columbia, earnestly, but respectfully request that you extend the Right of Suffrage to the women of the District of Columbia.” The other memorial, very nearly as brief, is in these words: “The undersigned citizens of the United States pray your honorable body that in the proposed amendments to the Constitution which may come before you in regard to Suffrage, and in any law affecting Suffrage, in the District of Columbia or in any Territory, the right of voting may be given to the women on the same terms as to the men.

Some of the testimony was reported in The Revolution on January 27, 1870.

Mrs. HOOKER: The fifth commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” could not be obeyed while boys are taught by our laws and constitutions to hold all women in contempt. She felt it was not only woman’s right but duty to assume responsibility in the government. She thought the importance of the subject demanded its hearing.

Madam ANNEKE: You have lifted up the slave on this continent; listen now to women’s cry for freedom.

Mrs. GAGE: Liberty is an instinct of the human heart, and men desirous of creating change in governments or religion have led other men by promising them greater liberty, more freedom, and better laws. Nothing is too good or too great for humanity—nothing is too sacred for humanity—and, as part of humanity, woman as well as man demands the best that governments have to offer. Woman demands the ballot equally with man. Honorable gentlemen have spoken of petitions. For twenty years we have petitioned, and I now hold in my hand over three thousand names of citizens from but a small portion of the state of New York asking that justice shall be done women by granting them suffrage. But people have become tired of begging for rights, and many persons favoring this cause will not again petition. We but ask justice, and we say to you that the stability of any government depends upon its doing justice to the most humble individual in it.

Mrs. DAVIS: We are tired of petitioning. It is time our legislators knew what was right and gave us justice.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.


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Anti-Slavery Convention Address (1841)

This is an excerpt from “the Address” produced by the Western New-York Anti-Slavery Convention, billed as “A Convention of the People” held at Le Roy, in Genesee County, New York in January of 1841 ten years after the society’s founding. Accessible Archives subscribers can read the entire Address in the January 21, 1841 issue of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

Following the convention the Address was distributed to newspapers and other abolitionist groups. This document was produced by committees meeting over a three day period.

Western New-York Anti-Slavery Convention Address (Excerpted)

Slavery, and the slave trade in the District of Columbia present a spectacle of moral turpitude, unequaled in Christian or heathen lands. How long shall it continue? How long shall the clanking of the slaves’ chains, mingle with the voices of your own representatives, as they make their boast of human liberty? How long shall the wailing of undelivered humanity, fall upon your ears like the tolling of the bell of Judgment? How long shall the soil of the Capital, “so fair and free,” quiver with the heavy tread of the land pirate, as he drags the victim of his ruthless tyranny to the auction block, and from thence to the slave prison? How long shall the “Robber right” prevail within your own constitutional jurisdiction? How long shall your petitions be disregarded, and yourselves made the jest and by-word of those whose education has been amid the influences of slavery?

It is for you to say. The power is yours. It will be of avail, when you shall say. This monster is not easily dislodged. Ten years of hard labor ought to have taught us so. If we conquer, it must be by stern, energetic action. The groans of the slave are daily being registered in heaven, and his tears are all bottled up. Fellow citizens, will you not arise? Look upon the blighting, withering influence of such a system upon the blighting, the slave, ourselves, our children, our children’s children— upon our politics, our religion, our social and domestic intercourse –and last, not least, upon our character abroad, and then say, how long it shall continue. Our lives are gliding by, like a weaver’s shuttle, and the time drawing near, when our accounts are all to be balanced by an infallible hand. The hour of death is an “honest hour.” Then, memory, (however long she may have been steeping herself in forgetfulness,) lashed into activity by conscience— that stem monitor of the Deity, runs over the deeds of a life with terrific rapidity. We shall not forget the slave, then. Nature will then be true to her holiest instincts, and proclaim her sympathy with her kind. As we desire peace upon a dying bed, let us not, while living, forget MAN, for he that forgetteth man, forgetteth the image of his Maker. O, then, let us not falter. Let no obstacle daunt us, no opposition dishearten us; but let our voices, “loud as old ocean’s roar,” be heard pleading for the down-trodden of our race, until the clanking of the chains shall no more be heard within the limits of our mighty land. That time will come, and who will not speed it? The spirit of freedom has gone abroad, and neither conferences, congresses, nor general assemblies, can arrest her march.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.


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Purity, a Sarah Josepha Hale Acrostic

In 1837 Sarah Josepha Hale began working as editor of the expanded Godey’s Lady’s Book based in Philadelphia, but insisted she edit from Boston while her youngest son, William, attended Harvard College.

She remained editor at Godey’s for forty years, retiring in 1877 when she was almost 90. During this time, she became one of the most important and influential arbiters of American taste. In its day, Godey’s, with no significant competitors, had an influence unimaginable for any single publication in the 21st century. The magazine is credited with an ability to influence fashions not only for women’s clothes, but also in domestic architecture. Godey’s published house plans that were copied by home builders nationwide.


Sing, my muse, in worthy lays;
A noble theme demands thy praise,
Radiant with love’s brilliant rays
As zephyrs mid spring’s foliage play,
Hallowing the influence of mild May,
Joy and peace around diffusing,
O‘er each spirit lonely musing,
So is thy charming minstrelsy
E‘en as the gentle zephyr free;
Pure as the light of stars of heaven,
Hallowed by power to Truth given,
And calm as is the breath of even:
Hope beckons to a brighter clime,
And Fancy wings her flight sublime
Long may thy gifted muse rehearse
Each grateful theme in glowing verse.

By Robert G. Allison.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.


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A Page from the History of the American Library Association

A Page from the History of the American Library Association

Earlier this week, I returned home by train from the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Boston.  Many of the train riders carried publishers’ bags full of books. As the train rolled through a number of cities, small towns and villages, I began to think about how libraries were conceived, funded, and promoted in rural areas. I was searching Frank Leslie’s Weekly on my laptop and found an article on the American Library Association and their mission to promote reading education by bringing books to rural communities. Initially, small collections of books were installed in general stores and of course school houses. Then came the bookmobiles. I have not seen a bookmobile in decades, but I wonder if they are still traveling the back roads and rural areas of America.

Researchers interested in local and regional history and popular culture will find Frank Leslie’s Weekly full of unique information covering many phases of America’s educational history.

Books for Everybody

How the American Library Association Is Educating the Nation by Furnishing Out-of-the-way Villages and Isolated Farming Districts with Worth-While Literature

Associate Editor of LESLIE’S

A Page from the History of the American Library Association

A Page from the History of the American Library Association

On a bleak and blustery day in February I was journeying down the Hudson River from Albany. The weather was bad, so bad that it furnished the chief topic of conversation throughout the car. Our train was hours late, everyone seemed weary, and the dreary chill outside found reflection in the minds of the travelers. I fell to thinking of the affairs of the nation and the world as illustrated by conditions which seemed to depress the minds of my fellow travelers everywhere. Life had become strangely difficult and uncertain. Progress was slowing down. The minds of the people were distressed and dissatisfied. I began to wonder if there were any ameliorating circumstances, any light to relieve the dismal shadows. As my mind turned in this direction, I was almost surprised to find many hopeful things to think about, and, yielding to a journalistic instinct, I began to map out a series of what might be called “Cheer-up Articles.”

My cogitations at that point were interrupted pleasantly. A sweet-faced little woman came down the car aisle and, after a moment’s hesitation, stopped and spoke to me. She had listened the night before to an address which I had delivered in Albany and she wished to express her appreciation. It was certainly a welcome relief from the universal chorus of disapproval as to the weather and other human ills which had been sounding in my ears during our journey. Besides, the lady with her sweet, intellectual face, crowned by a wealth of white hair, looked like the fine old-fashioned New England women whom I had learned to reverence in my youth. And I was glad for the privilege of speaking with one of her type.

Soon we were deep in talk and I found that I had been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of one of the nation builders, Miss Mary L. Titcomb, Librarian of the Washington County Free Library at Hagerstown, Maryland.

What One Community Is Doing

Here was my first “cheer-up” article, for from Miss Titcomb I learned of the great constructive work being done by the American Library Association and of its plans for still greater things in the near future. I was almost ashamed to admit that I knew nothing of the County Library work until Miss Titcomb placed in my hands the facts.

A Page from the History of the American Library Association

A Page from the History of the American Library Association

In 1900 the Washington County Library was organized at Hagerstown, the county seat, in western Maryland. The original Board of Trustees were a German Reformed minister, two lawyers, a banker, a paper-maker, a farmer and a merchant. They had in mind the diffusion of information and culture by cultivation of the reading habit, especially among the rural sections of Washington County which has a population, including the county seat, of some fifty thousand people, almost exclusively engaged in agriculture.

At the beginning some 75 deposit stations were scattered over the territory, being placed in country stores, post offices, creameries, at the toll gates and in private houses. These boxes contained about fifty books each and were returned every sixty or ninety days for a fresh supply. Reading-rooms were opened. Country schools were visited and books distributed among the students. As an illustration of the evolution of the reading habit as cultivated by this County Library, the records of a little country school, by name “Sweet Spring,” are presented. This school opened in September with eighteen pupils and ten books. During the first term the books were read twenty-four times, but no pupil read more than four books, and seven of the eighteen pupils did not read any. During the second term there were fifteen pupils and ten books. These books were read fifty-nine times, and there was no pupil who did not borrow at least one book. The third term the attendance was nineteen and the supply of books the same. During this term the circulation rose to one hundred and thirty-five, and twelve of the children read every book that was sent. The fourth and last term of the year opened with twenty pupils, four of whom had to leave to work in the fields. From sixteen to eighteen children during this last term read ten books a hundred and seventy-one times. Sixteen of them read every book. The first term each book was read twice, while during the last term each book was read seventeen times.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.


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