Tag Archives: 19th century

The Progress of the Southern Revolt

(The Charleston Mercury – January 3, 1861) Every effort of the General Government to avert its dissolution, only hastens on its fate. Major Anderson abandons Fort Moultrie and garrisons Fort Sumter. The President approves and the Northern press praises the achievement. The New York Evening Post even declares that this step to coercion raises the price of Stocks in New York. But what follows in the South, where the great game of disunion is going on?

The people of South Carolina are made more resolute in their determination to throw off the Government. Our city is like an armed camp. Martial music fills the air. Offers of assistance come by thousands from the neighboring States. Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, Fort Johnson, and the United States Arsenal, are occupied with our troops. Disciplined companies are arriving by the railroad from the interior of the State.

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.

The New American Monarchy in the Pacific

The New American Monarchy in the Pacific (1875)

(Frank  Leslies Weekly August 21, 1875) – The phrase, American Monarchy, will, no doubt, sound strange to many of our readers. The words, to most minds, imply a contradiction. Our separate nationality grew out of a deadly and destructive war against monarchical power and monarchical principles, and the most notional American never dreamed that the national flag would float over a kingdom created and sustained by American power. We live, however, in extraordinary times; and things the most wonderful and apparently impossible do come to pass.

Far away in the Southern Pacific, and a little to the northeastward of the Tonga groups, lie the Samoan or Navigator’s Islands. The Samoan group, which forms and extended chain running east and west, consists of the four larger islands of Manua, Tutuila, Upolu and Savaii, with several of smaller size. The islands are beautiful and fertile, the largest, Savaii, being about forty miles long by twenty-five broad. As far back as 1839 these islands were visited and surveyed by Lieutenant Wilkes and the other officers of the United States Exploring Expedition. About three years ago a friend of President Grant, by name Steinberger, and a “Colonel,” went to Samoa in a ship-of-war, on what he himself called a “mission.” At the time, very considerable mystery was associated with this mission. It now appears, however, that Colonel Steinberger’s real object was to induce the natives to sign a petition asking the assistance of the United States in their efforts to organize a government of their own, with the special request that he himself be sent out in the capacity of general superintendent. The “mission” was successfully accomplished; and, armed with the petition, Colonel Steinberger reappeared in Washington. Of course he must have reported, although to whom we are left at liberty to form our own opinion. Congress was in session, but Congress was left in as much ignorance of the whole affair as was the general public. As yet, nothing was made of the affair, because nothing was known about it. The people were indifferent, because the people were uninformed.

The second phase of the affair is greatly more interesting than the first. The prayer of the petitioners is granted; and Colonel Steinberger, in a ship-of-war which had been placed at his disposal, well supplied with cannon, small-arms and ammunition, and with numberless articles intended as presents to the native chiefs, is off again for Samoa. It was not possible now for the secret much longer to be preserved. Nor have we any reason to believe that there was any intention longer to maintain the mystery. The work had been done, and mystery was no longer a necessity in the case. Arrived at Samoa, Commander Erben, from the quarter-deck of the United States Steamer Tuscarora, spoke to the assembled people as follows: “I am sent by the Government of the United States to convey, in the vessel-of-war Tuscarora, Colonel A. B. Steinberger, sent by the President of the United States to remain among you.”

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.

Cooking by Gas in 1855

Cooking by Gas in 1855

A small party of scientific and other gentlemen of the city, yesterday made a visit to the city of Worcester, to partake of a dinner cooked by Mr. James B. Blake’s gas cooking apparatus, recently patented. They found the apparatus in a room adjoining Warren Hall, I successful operation, cooking the dinner for the invited guests. The apparatus is a very simple affair in its construction. The boiling part is a cast iron plate with different sized perforations suited to such utensils as are necessary for family use. A coil of copper gas pipe pierced for a number of jets is presented beneath each perforation in the cast iron plate, at such a distance that when the cooking utensil is inserted, the flame from the jet is at the best heating distance.

The baking part consists of an oven of peculiar construction, and which overcomes the grand difficult hitherto experienced in gas cooking . The difficulties hitherto encountered were the loss of heat by radiation and imperfect combustion. In the latter particular there was not only a taster of gas, but an unpleasant odor from the unconsumed gas. Mr. Blake has overcome both of these difficulties. The oven of his invention is oval in form, made of Russian sheet iron, with an inch of coal dust between the outside and the inside, which is so perfect a non-conductor that but very little heat is lost by radiation. The gas is applied at the bottom of the oven, and the heat ascends around it, between the sheet iron that forms the oven and the charcoal lining; there being no escape at the top, the mixed gases, instead of escaping there, as in other gas-cooking ovens, come down past he burners, and, being heavier than the air, not the least offensive odor is noticed.

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.

Plots and Counter Plots - Lincoln's Perils

Plots and Counter Plots – Lincoln’s Perils

All our readers are familiar with the tremendous conspiracies to take the life of the President elect, and to put out of the way at the same time all his suite, including a lachrymose colonel of dragoons, and a major of artillery who had already suffered in the cause of Old Abe to the extent of a disagreeable dislocation. Mr. Lincoln’s night ride to Washington will make hereafter a splendid incident for the theatre, while his Scotch cap will be as famous as the green turban of the Prophet, and his long military cloak be placed with the uniform of Washington in the Patent Office.

When the news of the plots arrived the country shivered in its shoes; when the country was informed that the second Washington had been safely enfolded in the protecting arms of Mr. Seward, the country took a long breath, and felt relieved. Subsequently, the country desired to know all the particulars of these terrible conspiracies, and wished to be informed why the triumphal tour of the President elect had been so suddenly interrupted.

Among other things, the country has been a good deal exercised about Wood, not Fernando, but W. S. Wood, who officiated as the Grand Chamberlain for Uncle Abe. Nobody seemed to know who Wood was or by whose authority he acted.

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.

Spring Cleaning with Godey's Lady's Book

Spring Cleaning with Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book 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.

Miscellaneous Tips

These tips on the cleaning and maintenance of the home appeared in an 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

  • TO CLEAN FURNITURE— An excellent method of cleaning mahogany furniture, which is not French polished, is this: Put into half a pint of linseed oil, a small quantity of alkanet-root, and a little rose-pink. Let this mixture stand for three days in a vessel that will allow stirring it, and stir it three or four times each day, and then put it into a bottle for use. If the furniture is very dirty, wash it with soap and warm water, and then rub with vinegar, and before the vinegar is thoroughly dried off, lay on, with a bit of old flannel or rag a covering of the mixture, and continue rubbing until the oil is well soaked in. Then rub with a clean soft cloth until it is quite dry and bright. If the furniture is not very dirty, the vinegar may be used without the soap and water.
  • TO CLEAN FEATHERS — Take for every gallon of clear water one pound of fresh-made quicklime; mix them well together, and let it stand twenty-four hours, then pour off the clear liquid. Put the feathers into a tub, and pour over them enough lime-water to thoroughly cover them. Stir them round and round, briskly and rapidly, for a few minutes, and leave them to soak for three days. Then remove them from the lime-water, and thoroughly rinse in clean water, and spread them to dry. They will dry better where a drought of air can reach them; and should be spread very thinly, and frequently moved, until they are quite dry. This plan may be used, either for new feathers or for such as have become heavy or impure by age or use.
  • TO CLEAN DECANTERS — Cut some raw potatoes in pieces, put them in the bottle with a little cold water, rinse them, and they will look very clean.
  • TO RENOVATE BLACK SILK — Slice some uncooked potatoes, pour boiling water on them; when cold, sponge the right side of the silk with it, and iron on the wrong.
  • TO CLEAN CARPETS — After all the dust is taken out, tack your carpets down to the floor. Then mix half a pint of bullock’s gall with two gallons of soft water; scrub it well with soap and this gall-mixture; let it remain till dry, it will then look like new. Be careful your brush be not too hard.
  • STRAW MATTING — Straw matting should be cleaned with a large coarse cloth dipped in salt and water, and carefully wiped dry. The salt prevents the matting from turning yellow.
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.