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Hints for Home Comforts from 1855

This list appeared in the November 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Hints for Home Comforts

  • A short needle makes the most expedition in plain sewing.
  • When you are particular in wishing to have precisely what you want from a butcher’s, go and purchase it yourself.
  • One flannel petticoat will wear nearly as long as two, if turned behind part before, when the front begins to wear thin.
  • People in general are not aware how very essential to the health of their inmates is the free admission of light into their houses.
  • A leather strap, with a buckle to fasten, is much more commodious than a cord for a box in general use for short distances; cording and uncording is a nasty job.
  • Sitting to sew by candlelight by a table with a dark cloth on it is injurious to the eyesight. When no other remedy presents itself, put a sheet of white paper before you.
  • People very commonly complain of indigestion; how can it be wondered at, when they seem, by their habit of swallowing their food wholesale, to forget for what purpose they are provided with teeth.
  • Never allow your servants to put wiped knives on your table, for, generally speaking, you may see that they have been wiped with a dirty cloth. If a knife is brightly cleaned, they are compelled to use a clean cloth.
  • There is not anything gained in economy by having very young and inexperienced servants at low wages; they break, waste, and destroy more than an equivalent for higher wages, setting aside comfort and respectability.
  • No article in dress tarnishes so readily as black crape trimmings, and few things injure it more than damp; therefore, to preserve its beauty on bonnets, a lady in nice mourning should in her evening walks, at all seasons of the year, take as a companion an old parasol to shade her crape.
  • A piece of oil-cloth (about twenty inches long) is a useful appendage to a common sitting-room. Kept in the closet, it can be available at any time to place jars upon, etc, which are likely to soil your table during the process of dispensing their contents; a wing and duster are harmonious accompaniments to the oil-cloth.
  • In most families many members are not fond of fat; servants seldom like it—consequently there is frequently much wasted; to avoid which, take off bits of suet fat from beefsteaks, etc, previous to cooking; they can be used for puddings. With good management, there need not be any waste in any shape or form.
  • Nothing looks worse than shabby gloves; and, as they are expensive articles in dress, they require a little management. A good glove will last six cheap ones with care. Do not wear your best gloves to concerts or assemblies where full dress is not required— the heat of the gas, etc, gives a moisture to the hands, that spoils the gloves; do not wear them in very wet weather; as carrying umbrellas, and drops of rain, spoil them.
  • A given quantity of tea is similar to malt— only giving strength to a given quantity of water, as we find therefore any additional quantity is waste. Two small teaspoonfuls of good black tea, and one three parts full of green, are sufficient to make three teacupfuls agreeable, the water being put in, in a boiling state at once; a second edition of water gives a vapid flavor to tea.
  • It may sound like being over particular, but we recommend persons to make a practice of fully addressing notes, etc, on all occasions; when, in case of their being dropped by careless messengers (which is not a rare occurrence), it is evident for whom they are intended, without undergoing the inspection of any other parties bearing a similar name.
  • Children should not be allowed to ask for the same thing twice. This may be accomplished by parents, teacher (or whoever may happen to have the management of them), paying attention to their little wants, if proper, at once, when possible. The children should be instructed to understand that, when they are not answered immediately, it is because it is not convenient. Let them learn patience by waiting.
  • We know not of anything attended with more serious consequences than that of sleeping in damp linen. Persons are frequently assured that they have been at a fire for many hours, but the question is as to what sort of fire, and whether they have been properly turned, so that every part may be exposed to the fire. The fear of creasing the linen, we know, prevents many from unfolding it, so as to be what we consider sufficiently aired; but health is of more importance than appearances; with gentleness, there need be no fear of want of neatness.
  • If the weather appears doubtful, always take the precaution of having an umbrella when you go out, particularly in going to church; you thereby avoid incurring one of three disagreeables: in the first place, the chance of getting wet— or encroaching under a friend’s umbrella— or being under the necessity of borrowing one, consequently involving the trouble of returning it, and possibly (as is the case nine times out of ten) inconveniencing your friend by neglecting to return it. Those who disdain the use of umbrellas generally appear with shabby hats, tumbled bonnet ribbons, wrinkled silk dresses, &c. &c., the consequence of frequent exposure to unexpected showers, to say nothing of colds taken, no one can tell how.
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.


Bald Eagle Tales from 1911

This is from Chapter XVII of History of Walton County by John L. McKinnon in our Florida County Histories:

The Great American Bald Eagle

This bird, symbolical of American liberty, is a great bird, and develops a faculty, or instinct, very near akin to reasoning. They give much trouble in the range to sheepmen. Since I have lived in DeFuniak, J. Love McLean, Bazey Andrews (a colored man) and myself were on a cow hunt in the southern range. We were on horseback, each had a dog, but no gun. As we passed up east of the scrub and near the “scrub pond,” we heard a great noise in the air. We looked to our right and there was one of these great bald eagles, swooping down on a fleet-footed doe, striking her at one time on the head, and then on the rump, tearing the flesh each time with his great beak and talons, repeating these blows. On nearing us, the scared doe saw us on the slant of the hill, ran to us, stopped in our very midst, looked up to us with her soft, dreamy eyes, as much as to say, “will you not protect me from this terrible bird of prey?”

Bald EagleThe eagle poised in mid-air for a moment just above us, then flew away across the pond and lighted on the lowest limb of a very low pine, under which were ewes and lambs feeding. When our dogs came up they chased the panting doe from our midst into the “scrub” that was close at hand, where she was safe from all. We passed through the pond, rode immediately under the bird, hollowed and squalled at him until we found that there was no use wasting our breath, and could never make it fly away. It would move sideways back and forth along the limb looking at us, as much as to say, “you kept me, through your dogs and the “scrub” from dining on venison, I will see to it that you will not keep me from dining on tender lamb. I am the great bald eagle, symbol of American liberty. This is my country, where in the mischief are you from?”

We had to go on and leave him there, knowing well that he would soon dine on lamb meat. We reported that evening to the sheep men and they went in quest of the saucy rascal. Are we not reminded here that there is a Refuge for us when we are pursued by the evil one, that is more secure than the “scrub” was to that stricken, soft-eyed doe?


New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union Cause

A Look Inside: New Jersey and the Rebellion

Part Two of our Civil War collection, The Soldiers’ Perspective, provides an in-depth look at the day-to-day actions of the troops themselves primarily in the form of regimental histories.

Usually written by an individual, but sometimes compiled by a committee, these books were published after the war to document what actually happened. While some battle and war narratives are included, the focus was primarily on the individual rather than on regimental action.

This is an excellent example that was published in 1868, quite soon after the war ended:  New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union Cause by John Y. Foster.

Visitors with institutional access to Accessible Archives can browse this book at and personal subscribers can locate it by logging in and using the Browse feature to reach the  The Soldier’s Perspective list of books.

From the Preface

New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union CauseThe story of New Jersey’s part in the War for the Union, recorded in the following pages, has been written under many and serious difficulties. While the writer has in some cases been furnished with ample materials, in many others he has not been able to procure any official data whatever, while in nearly every instance he has found the testimony so conflicting and uncertain that it has been impossible to reach any really satisfactory conclusion. Compelled in some cases to examine hundreds of pages of manuscript to arrive at a single fact, and in others to travel scores of miles in quest of some authority which, when found, proved worthless or untrustworthy, the labor of gathering up the stray hints, the vague personal narratives, and the official statements out of which this Book is constructed, has been from first to last infinitely greater than any reader will conceive. But to the writer, this work, with all its embarassments and discouragements, and responsible as it proved, has been one of genuine pleasure; and if he has been so fortunate as to preserve any facts as to the gallantry of our troops, or the patriotism of our people, which might otherwise have been lost, he is wholly content.



Medal of Honor Established on July 12, 1862

The Medal of Honor was established by an act of Congress on July 12, 1862, early in the American Civil War, to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States.

Medal of honor awarded to Private Wilbur F. Moore of Co. C, 117th Illinois Infantry Regiment

Medal of honor awarded to Private Wilbur F. Moore of Co. C, 117th Illinois Infantry Regiment

The Medal of Honor is usually presented by the President in a formal ceremony at the White House, intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.

In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”. Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.

The Medal of Honor Roll was established by Act of Congress, April 27, 1916, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 560. It provides that each Medal of Honor awardee may have his name entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. Each person whose name is placed on the Roll is certified to the Veterans’ Administration as being entitled to receive a special pension of $100 per month for life, payable monthly by that agency. The payment of this special pension is in addition to, and does not deprive the pensioner of any other pension, benefit, right, or privilege to which he is or may thereafter be entitled. (more…)


What Shall Women Wear? (1869)

by A. K. Gardner, M. D.

Women are born slaves. From their very birth they are fettered, and till they are laid in their coffin their limbs are never free. Petticoats float around their forms in airy fetters, which prohibit any free movement, which debars them from running, jumping, ascending hills or stairs, riding, active walking—in fact, of any prolonged movement requiring freedom of limb and unconstrained action. The only species of mankind that can be compared to her is the Turk, who fetters his limbs in almost an equal manner, but otherwise he is free.

Woman, additionally, however, restrains the use of her arms almost as much as her lower extremities. Often she envelops them with a flappy covering, which is constantly in the way, getting into one’s soup-plate, catching on every hook, nail, knot and projection. But if by chance of fashion it be tight and less obnoxious at a dinner party, the sleeve commences so low down upon the arm that it is impossible to elevate the hand even up to the head, far less to be able to reach to turn on the gas, to put a book on a shelf, to open a window, even to arrange a stray lock upon the head, and all hairdressing must be done before the garments are put on, or devolved upon an assistant waiting-maid.

As if this were not sufficient restraint, the fabrics from which her garments are made are of such flimsy material that they can ill suffer the slightest contact with the ordinary objects that surround them—a thorn, a splinter, or a nail brings desolation and incapacity; a drop of rain or a spark of fire are alike fearful, and the care and time necessary to safely pass a splash upon the sidewalk is only less than the difficulty man experiences in getting around the voluminous trains of the lady herself.

It would be useless to inquire “What shall women wear?” if the question had reference to the decrees of fashion, for, besides the fact stated already, that woman so dresses herself that she is rendered incapable of any active employment, she is also so completely under the thralldom of fashion, that it would be useless for me to make any attempt to interfere with or regulate the style of her external apparel.

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.