Town Gossip: The Heat

Last week we grumbled and chattered about the heat, because the thermometer touched 100, and this week we are inclined to do the reverse, because the same marvelous little instrument has marked 40 degrees less.

Within 24 hours, between Sunday and Monday, the change was 40 degrees, an inconsiderable matter when so simply recorded, but a very serious matter when seriously considered. London physicians, and men of science, tell us that when the thermometer falls 10 degrees in that city it kills 300 people! We think there is little difference in the localities as to the effects, but in this city we have not weighed the matter very nicely. We realize when the thermometer goes up to 100 that some 40 or 50 deaths are announced as proceeding from sunstroke, to say nothing of all those unannounced, but we do not calculate for sudden cooling off.

Let the thermometer fall, as it did the past week, 40 degrees in 24 hours, and we will venture to say, in spite of our acclimatization and familiarity with sudden changes, as many deaths will occur from it in this city as in London. Understand us; we do not mean to say that the next week’s bill of mortality will make the increase, but that the blow will have been struck, and those who are in low health, or who have been suffering, will receive the billet that will speed them to the other world.

With the advent of really hot weather comes all the little excitements that naturally accompany it. Mosquitoes, for instance, those wretched little creatures on whom man has pronounced the decided verdict that he can see into the wisdom of all things else that the Almighty has created, but he cannot see into the mosquitoes. We think the city is partially exempt from the wretched pests, but there are localities about us which just about this time we should be glad to inhabit, localities where the trees are green and waving, where the waters ripple and dance over the clean gravelly bottom, and where nature seems to have set a bounteous repast before her hungry devotees, and all is spoiled by — mosquitoes.

The idea is too terrible to contemplate, and we must drop it—and go into something else.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, founded in 1855 and continued until 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.

Source: Frank Leslies Weekly – July 16, 1864
Image Details: ‘A place where the thermometer continually overleaps all laws of decorum.’ – Art Young, 1892.

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The New Ironsides

The Iron Clad Navy of America (July 1862)

The construction of our iron clad navy is progressing favorably and rapidly. Three large war steamers, on the plan of the Monitor, are near completion at New York City, and will be launched about the latter end of July.

Three others are building at Boston,one at Wilmington Del., and two at Chester, Penn. — making nine in all.  These vessels are all larger than the Monitor, of greater speed and weight of metal, and of course much more formidable. Each vessel is of not less than one thousand tons burden, 1, 450 tons displacement, and under eleven feet draft. They will each be armed with two 15 inch guns, and will be equally, efficient for sea service and harbor and river protection.

The Ironsides, which has been launched at Philadelphia, will, be ready for service in a few weeks. Her burden will be 3, 488 tons, displacement 3, 699, draft of water 13 feet. Her armament will be very powerful, and consist of two rifled 200 pound guns, and sixteen 11 inch smooth bores, which are demonstrated to be the most effective gun known at short range. The Ironsides is plated with heavy iron plates 5 1/2 inches thick and fastened with improved contrivances that will not jar the vessel or cause it to leak when struck by the enemy’s heavy shot.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the greatest exertions are made to complete the iron-clad frigate Roanoke by the first of August. This vessel will be clad with iron plates, four inches thick, and in point of speed an invulnerability, it is supposed, will prove superior to any vessel of the kind in the world.

In addition to these iron clad vessels, it is known that the government is building others, of the strongest character. When these vessels are completed, the iron clad navy of America will exceed in number of vessels, tonnage, weight of metal, and speed, the combined iron navies of all Europe.


Collection: The Civil War 
Publication: Old Post Union
Date: July 5, 1862
Title: The Iron Clad Navy of America
Location: Vincennes, Indiana

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.
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Women should not meddle…

Woman surely should not aspire to the law making, or law executing power. Her wisdom could never invent disentanglements like the following:

It was necessary, a short time since, to prove in Michigan that a man had murdered a little son by his first wife, and this could only be done by the testimony of his second wife. According to Michigan law the testimony of his wife could not be received. The difficulty was surmounted by proving that when she married him she had another husband living. Though thus guilty of bigamy she was not her husband’s wife, her evidence was received, and in consequence the man was convicted.

Or how could any woman solve such a difficulty as this? It is in the Chicago Liberal: “Swear an Atheist? Upon what will you swear him?” asks a writer.

To which I reply, although I am not an Atheist; swear a Christian!

Upon what will you swear him? Not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king; nor by the head, for you cannot make one hair white or black, see Matt ch. v.: 33, 34, 35. Upon what then, will you swear him? Why upon a book, which says, “swear not at all!”

Woman should not meddle with things above her. It takes men, male citizens, to work algebra like this.

Source: The Revolution 1868-07-02

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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Crowding Women Out (The Lily, 1854)

A large number of sewing machines are in full operation in this city. They do the work of many a busy hand. As they increase, what will those do who have heretofore depended upon their needles for their livelihood? This is a serious question—one that affects a very large and worthy class. Who will answer it?

–Utica Tel.

We will answer it. Men having taken up the business of doing the sewing by machinery, those who have heretofore depended upon their needles for a livelihood will be compelled to enter upon employments hitherto claimed as belonging exclusively to men. As the men have entered upon woman’s sphere and taken her employments out of her hands, it is her right to enter upon his, and choose such occupation as may suit her fancy, and such as may promise to be most profitable.

By the introduction of sewing machines, and by entering the millinery and other branches of business formerly engrossed by women, men are bringing about the very thing which the advocates of woman’s rights desire to see.

Women must seek new fields of employment, or they must starve. Some may prefer the latter to going beyond what is called their sphere; but the majority will have the courage and independence to take what of right belongs to them, and will enter upon various employments for which they have the capacity.

It will be no strange thing to see within a few years, women merchants, women book-keepers, women shoe-makers, women cabinet-makers, women jewellers, women book-sellers, women typesetters, women editors and publishers, women farmers, women physicians, women preachers, women lawyers etc., etc… Already there are some engaged in nearly or quite all these occupations and professions, and as men crowd them out of their old places the numbers will increase. It is well that is so. Woman has long enough stitched her health and life away, and it is merciful to her that sewing machines have been invented to relieve her of her toilsome, ill-paid labor, and to send her forth into more active and more lucrative pursuits where both body and mind may have the exercise necessary to health and happiness.

Men are aiding to forward the Woman’s Rights movement by crowding women out of their old places. Women will be the gainers by the change, and we are glad to see them forced to do what their false education and false delicacy have prevented their doing in times past. Let them engage in just what they please, provided it is honorable, without fear of transcending the bounds of their sphere, and very soon public sentiment will not only accord them the right, but will award them praise for their energy and perseverance.

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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Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and George Thompson 185

William Lloyd Garrison: Madman or Reformer?

The Liberator was a weekly newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison in Boston, Massachusetts.  On January 1, 1831 the first issue of The Liberator appeared with the motto: “Our country is the world—our countrymen are mankind.”


The American Spectator, of June 11th, contains some remarks upon the editor of this paper. Our readers will recollect that Mr. Garrison is now at a distance from this place. In his absence, however, we remark that the charges brought against him by the Spectator, that he has lost his reason– that his doctrines are those of a madman– that he is governed by a wild spirit of fanaticism, etc. are the same which are always brought against zealous reformers. To such opinions, unsupported by facts or arguments, the editor might reply, as did the great Apostle, to a similar accusation. ‘I am not mad; but speak the words of truth and soberness.’

The Spectator concludes his remarks, by the following benevolent wish:-

‘In our humble judgment, every true patriot and Christian, unless his information be partial, or his mind deluded, will desire, with one of the most intelligent and pious men in Boston, that Mr. Garrison’s “subscription may not be sufficient to secure to him his bread.!”’

We regret that the editor of the Spectator should be disappointed, but must say, that the subscription list of the Liberator has been steadily increasing since its commencement, and that its success, hitherto, exceeds the original expectations of its publishers.

William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator was a weekly abolitionist newspaper published in Boston. The paper held true to the founder’s ideals. Garrison was a journalistic crusader who advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves and gained a national reputation for being one of the most radical of American abolitionists.

Image: (Left to Right)  Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and George Thompson in 1851.

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