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What Easter Means to the Egg (1902)

(Frank Leslies Weekly, March 27, 1902) Perhaps you don’t know that the egg, which is such an important part of the interest in Easter Day, the egg which is stained blue or scarlet or yellow or which is decorated with the face of a Chinaman or something of that sort, has gone through a long and tedious course of inspection before it reaches you. So that the dealer who sells the egg, if he is informed in his calling, can tell whether it is old, whether its shell is slightly cracked, whether it has been touched with the frost, or whether there is water inside. For the egg business, having become one of the most important industries of the country, has been the subject of great thought and study by men who have made huge fortunes from the product of the hen.

I visited, the other day, one of the largest egg houses in New York when the rush of their Easter business was on. The Easter time is the very busiest time in all the year for the produce men. In the spring, of course, the traffic in eggs is the heaviest, because it is then that the hens, delighting in the warmth of the first, spring sunshine, lay the largest quantity. And the biggest, day among the egg merchants of New York is always the Friday before Easter, when the grocers are buying their eggs for Easter Sunday. In the commission house where I called there was great hurry among the men, who were unloading cases of eggs from some of the wagons and loading other cases on to other wagons. Many of the eggs had come in by express and were delivered by the express companies. After they had been received at the office the new arrivals were sent at once to the inspection department.

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.


The Origin of Easter by Jane A. Stewart [1906]

(Frank Leslie’s Weekly, April 12, 1906) To the student of the world’s history there is great interest and food for reflection in the facts concerning the origin of the religious observance of Easter. Strange though it may seem, this popular church festival dates back to a heathen custom. Our twentieth-century celebration is the modern evolution of heathen ideals and the transformation by Christian usage and environment of a great popular pagan festival of olden time—that of the goddess Ostara. In the Anglo-Saxon language this festival was termed “Eastre,” and the name was applied to a celebration which the Saxons of old were wont to observe about the same season at which the Christian festival of Easter takes place.

The goddess Ostara seems to have been regarded as the personification of the morning, or of the east, and also of the opening year, or the beginning of spring. Apropos of this heathen representative of the east, it is to be noted that from very early times the east has been held in certain distinction above the other points of the compass and enveloped with a sort of sacred halo. The ancient worshipers of the sun used to place their altars in the eastern part of their temples facing the rising orb of day. That the east had a certain sacred character is evidenced in the Scriptures, which contain several noteworthy references: “The glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east” (Ezekiel xliii., 2); “There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew ii., 1); “And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them” (Matthew ii., 9.) A high regard for the east was manifested by the early Christians, who perpetuated the idea handed down from their ancestors. Looking toward the sun in the east, in praying or repeating the creed, was thought to put worshipers in remembrance that Christ is the sun of righteousness, and such was the attitude in olden times during devotion —a custom now obsolete.

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.


Stop Teaching That Boy! [Georgia in 1832]

This appeared in the April 7, 1832 issue of The Liberator. In addition to its own original articles calling for the immediate abolition of slavery in the United States, William Lloyd Garrison, it’s editor and publisher, often included short stories about slavery from all around the country like the one shown here:

An Interesting Case

With cheeks burning with shame for our country, we copy the following paragraph form the Cherokee Phoenix of the 16th inst:

On last Tuesday, a company of the Georgia Guard visited a school in this place under the care of Miss (Sophia) Sawyer, a missionary under the American Board. It had been understood by then that she had been giving instruction to a little black boy, and teaching him to read the Bible.

Miss Sawyer was warned, by a Sergeant who commanded the Guard, to forthwith desist from teaching the black boy. It appears that at the last sitting of the Legislature of Georgia, an act was passed making it unlawful for any person to give instruction to any black person in the State, under the penalty of a fine of not less than $1000 nor exceeding $5000, and imprisonment until the fine is paid, for every such offence.

Whether Miss Sawyer had ever heard of the existence of such a law, before she took the boy into school, we are not able to say; but it is very likely she never had. She was promised to be arraigned at the next Superior Court in the newly formed county called ‘Cherokee,’ on the fourth Monday of this month, provided she persists in teaching the boy.

A young lady is teaching a poor little black boy to read the bible— the word of him who spoke as never man spoke— and she is forthwith visited by a ruffian Guard, with bayonets fixed, and ordered to desist. This, too, in a land of freedom!— in a country where the Guard has no legal right to remain an hour.

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.


Synopsis of News – March 29, 1856

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, later often known as Leslie’s Weekly, actually began life as Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. Founded in 1855 and continued until 1922, it was an American illustrated literary and news publication, and one of several started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. John Y. Foster was the first editor of the Weekly, which came out on Tuesdays. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

Synopsis of News

A negro woman, in Camden, Arkansas, lately gave birth to four children, three girls and one boy, averaging in weight about seven pounds each. The owner of the mother has named them Mississippi, Ouachita, Red River and Railroad; the boy received the last appellation.

A man is walking for a wager in New Orleans. He is to walk 338 half miles in 338 half hours, on a bet of $1500.

The Virginia Senate has passed the bill accepting of Lewis W. Washington, the grant of the birth-place of George Washington.

HERCULEAN TASK.—A man lately accepted a challenge to make one million strokes with pen and ink within a month; not to be mere scratches or dots, but far down strokes, such as form the child’s first lesson in writing. The month was to be four weeks, and he was to abstain from the task on Sundays; so that he must average 36,000 strokes per day. On the first day he executed about 50,000 strokes; on the second day nearly as many. But at length, after many days, the hand became stiff and weary, the wrist swollen, and it required the constant attendance of a relation or friend to besprinkle it, without interrupting its progress over the paper with a lotion calculated to invigorate it. On the 23d day the million strokes, exceeded by some few thousands, “to make assurance doubly sure,” was accomplished.

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.


Confederate Conscription Exemptions in April 1862

The first general American military draft was enacted by the Confederate government on April 16, 1862, more than a year before the federal government did the same. The Confederacy took this step because it had to; its territory was being assailed on every front by overwhelming numbers, and the defending armies needed men to fill the ranks.

The compulsory-service law was very unpopular in the South because it was viewed as a usurpation of the rights of individuals by the central government, one of the reasons the South went to war in the first place.

Under the Conscription Act, all healthy white men between the ages of 18 and 35 were liable for a three-year term of service. The act also extended the terms of enlistment for all one-year soldiers to three years.

These are the original exemptions included in that first conscription law.  Additional exemptions were added later.

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.

Exemptions Under the Conscription Law of Congress

The following exemption bill was passed by Congress, and signed by the President just before the adjournment:

A bill to be entitled ‘An act to exempt certain persons from enrollment for service in the armies of the Confederate States:

SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That all persons who shall be held to be unfit for military service under the rules to be prescribed by the Secretary of War…

  • all in the service or employ of the Confederate States
  • all judicial and executive officers of Confederate or State Governments
  • the members of both Houses of Congress, and of the Legislatures of the several States and their respective officers
  • all clerks of the officers of the State and Confederate Governments allowed by law
  • all engaged in carrying the mails
  • all ferrymen on post routes
  • all pilots and persons engaged in the marine service, and in actual service on river and railroad routes of transportation
  • telegraphic operatives and ministers of religion in the regular discharge of ministerial duties
  • all engaged in working iron mines, furnaces and foundries
  • all journeymen printers actually employed in printing newspapers
  • all presidents and professors of colleges and academies, and all teachers having as many as twenty scholars
  • superintendents of the public hospitals, lunatic asylums, and the regular nurses and attendants therein, and the teachers employed in the institutions for the deaf and dumb and blind
  • in each apothecary store now established one apothecary in good standing, who is a practical druggist
  • superintendents and operatives in wool and other factories, who may be exempted by the Secretary of War, shall be, and are hereby, exempted from military service in the armies of the Confederate States.

Collection: The Civil War – Part I: A Newspaper Perspective
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: April 26, 1862
Top Image: Southern “Volunteers” by Currier & Ives ca. 1862

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