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World War I: “Xmas To Be Day Big In U. S. Hospitals”

(The Camp Knox News, December 13, 1919) The War Department authorizes publication of the following from the Office of the Surgeon General:

Christmas in army hospitals will be a happy day for sick and wounded patients. A special Christmas dinner will be served and there will be other evidence of good in the form of decorations of winter greens, and in a number of cases there will be Christmas trees and special programs. Relatives and friends of the patients will not forget them in the matter of gifts. Every opportunity will be grasped in order to make the Christmas season this year as joyous and cheerful to the brave wounded men as it is possible to do.

Our collection, America and World War I: American Military Camp Newspapers, addresses a topic and period that continues to be of the widest interest and importance to scholars, students, and the general public – America in the World War I Era. Camp newspapers make important original source material—much of it written by soldiers for soldiers—readily available for research.



The Domestic Slave Trade (1837)

On January 7, 1837 Phillip A. Bell began to publish a weekly newspaper called Weekly Advocate. From the beginning, one of the major goals of this newspaper was to educate its subscribers, and much information appeared in a list format including: principal railroads, lengths of rivers, heights of principal mountains, principal colleges in the United States and the principal features of various countries of the nations of the earth.


The following article is taken from a late number of the New York Sun, and the Editor anxiously asks, “CAN THIS BE TRUE?” as if he had never heard before of such inhuman conduct. We answer, “YES,” and we have FACTS in our possession, in relation to the traffic to American Citizens, which are ten-fold worse than the African slave trade itself. Let it be remembered, that all the particulars, in this case, come directly from the very scene of shear atrocities.

Shall we conceal, from motives of delicacy, the awful features of this nefarious traffic? But this is only one solitary instance, and yet we weep when we peruse it. O! how different would our cold and lukewarm brethren, feel and act on the subject, if they could only have brought up, vividly, before their imaginations, the several thousand free Citizens of these United States, who are now pining in hopeless captivity in this LAND OF FREEDOM!

Now here is a free MAN, born and brought up in one of the British Provinces of America, put in prison by some ruthless white ruffian; and unless he has some white witness at hand to prove his freedom, HE MUST BE SOLD INTO SLAVERY, to pay for the expenses of his arrest! Is not this acting on inhuman and worse than heathen principles? Shall it not be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the Judgment, than for slaveholding America? We caution colored seamen, especially, against going among those soul-searchers and man-stealers. When will that day arrive, that we shall be spared the painful necessity of calling the attention of the public, to such inhuman and disgraceful conduct, in a land of Bibles and Missionaries; and in a country, too, professedly the freest, most enlightened, and Christian, of any other on the face of our globe.

Yours, &c.


This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Armistice Signing

EDITORIAL: Germany’s Punishment

(Frank Leslies Weekly for November 16, 1918) – When Germany is decisively defeated or surrenders unconditionally to what extent shall she be punished? Wide difference of opinion upon this point is developed in connection with the discussion of the fourteen paragraphs of the President’s speech of January 8 last as the basis for peace. Criticism is most acute of the famous third paragraph, which would remove as far as possible all economic barriers and establish an equality of trade relations among all nations.

Secretary of the Navy Daniels is quoted as saying that if we do not stand unitedly on these fourteen principles which our allies have accepted, the sincerity and good faith of America will be questioned. We cannot agree with Secretary Daniels, nor does the President, himself. In one of his recent notes to Austria Mr, Wilson said that conditions had so changed since last January that the pronouncement then made concerning Austria’s subject races no longer held. Professor George Trumbull Ladd of Yale, in an analysis of the fourteen points, argues that they are so vague and indefinite that a “complete acceptance would only be a bid for further parleying,” and that in such an event it would not be Germany but the United States that would have “to eat her own words.” In England special concern is shown regarding the President’s phrase “the freedom of the seas,” and the British Navy League has called a meeting to protest against making this a principle to be discussed at the peace conference.

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.


Paris Gossip and Fashion Notes in Godey’s Lady’s Book (November 1890)

The latest Parisian craze is the stare! A crazier-looking picture it would be hard to find; but the stare is, nevertheless, the fashion. In order to “do it” you must assume a look of utter abstraction and appear to be gazing at something all unseen by your friends and well-wishers; but which, in its contemplation, causes you to open your eyes very wide, and to persevere in doing this strange and uncalled-for thing. What you see apparently appalls you. And yet, the prettiest women are staring persistently in this insane way. What will not fashion’s votaries do?

Fashions are growing more eccentric daily; the more extreme they are, the more popular they become. Lace is regaining much of its past favor, although always popular, it has not been so universally used for the last few years; but now all kinds are in great demand. Black lace flounces have been in oblivion for some time; but the happy possessors can bring them forth, as they are growing in favor for trimming silks and velvets, and Worth has the daring to festoon them on the light cloth gowns now worn in the evening, while some of the famous Paris milliners are trimming felt hats with black lace. There are jetted net flounces that must be scantily gathered to show their beauty, and others lightly wrought with gold, steel or silver, or with tinsels of many colors. Raised figures of gold or of steel are most effective on black laces, others are jeweled in Russian fashion, and some of the prettiest are studded with turquoises amid gold, or pink coral with silver. The three-inch trimming laces with turquoises or corals have also pretty insertions of similar designs.

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.



All Hallows Eve Explained in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1873

All Hallows Eve (October 31), was anciently kept with cheerful sociability in many rural households, by the rich and the poor. It was an occasion that seemed to mark the close of the harvest season, and the beginning of winter, the time of home delights, when the comforts of a well-to-do life are enjoyed. There was, moreover, a superstitious notion that on this particular night of the year (as on the Walpurgis-Nacht in Germany; which is made such a strange, wild time in Goethe’s “Faust”) all the fiends, imps, goblins, witches, and other unblessed agents of supernatural power would come out and frisk about the world till daylight or cockcrow.

Hence it was supposed to be a most favorable occasion for divining people’s fortunes, by different methods of conjuration or chance experiment. In every shire of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, some customs of this kind have prevailed within the memory of persons still living.

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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