Tag Archives: The Christian Recorder

Market Gardeners in 1889

The short item below appeared in the April 18, 1889 issue of The Christian Recorder.

The Christian Recorder embodied secular as well as religious material, and included good coverage of the black regiments together with the major incidents of the Civil War. The four-page weekly contained such departments as Religious Intelligence, Domestic News, General Items, Foreign News, Obituaries, Marriages, Notices and Advertisements.  This newspaper is included in our African American Newspapers collection and all personal subscribers have access to this material.

While America’s modern food industry has gone high tech and produce is sourced globally, remnants of the system described here lingered on well into the 20th century.  The image above was taken in 1960.

Market Gardeners

The number of market wagons that come over from New Jersey and Long Island during the evening is exceedingly large. In order to get an idea of their traffic one has only to think of the enormous amount of vegetables, fruit, eggs and garden produce that is used every day to feed a great city like New York.

At midnight or before a start is made from the outskirts of the neighboring towns on either shore, and from that time until a few hours of daybreak the ferry boats and ferry houses are alive with wagons and carts . The horses know their duties so well that driving is scarcely necessary, and it is not an uncommon sight to see a horse pulling a cart on which is seated some old farmer quite fast asleep.

As soon as they get into town they steer for the various markets along the North River and sit on their wagons wrapped up in blankets until dawn, or until purchasers come along to buy their wares. There is considerable competition among the farmers for favorable places in which to stand their carts , and late arrivals are not so fortunate in their sales as are those who get into town earlier.

The life of a Long Island or New Jersey farmer is not altogether a happy one. He works in the field all day, and has to depend for whatever sleep he can get during the interval of his arrival in the city and 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening.

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.

Source: The Christian Recorder, April 18, 1889

Photo: Produce vendor with his horse-drawn cart at Washington Market, New York City, 1960

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Where Tornadoes Begin

The most remarkable and interesting features of the development of tornadoes is the fact that they nearly always from southeast of a moving center of low pressure, and their tracks, scattered here and there, conform closely to the progressive direction of the main storm.

For example, on Feb. 19, 1884, forty-four tornadoes occurred in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, but principally in Georgia and Alabama. They developed at a distance of 500 to 2,000 miles from a storm-center that moved across the northern part of the United States, beginning at the northern extremity of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, thence south-easterly through Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to northern Illinois and Indiana, northward through Michigan, across Lake Huron, disappearing north of Quebec.

This sudden sharp turn of the storm center southward into Illinois and Indiana. Seems to have relation to the unprecedentedly large number of tornadoes that developed not far from the south Atlantic coats, extending inland as far as southern Illinois and Indian. This southward lunge of a mass of cold, moist air seems to have caused the abnormal conditions of temperate and due point, and the high winds necessary to case the most tremendous exhibition of destructive, terrible tornado power ever recorded by the signal service.

This invariable location southeast of the storm center is one of the main peculiarities of tornado development upon which the predictions depend.

Popular Science Monthly

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.

Source: The Christian Recorder, February 4, 1884
Top Image: Damage from a tornado which struck Fort Smith, Arkansas on the night of January 11, 1898. From NOAA Public Domain Photo Archive

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An Alphabet of Proverbs from 1862

The Christian Recorder

This alphabetical list of proverbs appeared in the September 20, 1862 issue of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States’s newspaper The Christian Recorder.

Alphabet of Proverbs

  • A grain of prudence is worth a pound of craft.
  • Boasters are cousins to liars.
  • Confession of faults makes half amends.
  • Denying a fault doubles it.
  • Envy shooteth at others, and wounds herself.
  • Foolish fear doubles danger.
  • God reaches us good things by our hands.
  • He has hard work who has nothing to do.
  • It costs more to avenge wrongs than to bear them.
  • Justice overtakes many a rogue.
  • Knavery is the worst trade.
  • Learning makes a man fit company for himself.
  • Modesty is a guard to virtue.
  • Not to hear conscience is the way to silence it.
  • One hour to-day is worth two to-morrow.
  • Proud looks make foul work in fair faces.
  • Quiet conscience gives quiet sleep.
  • Riches is his who wants least.
  • Small faults indulged are little thieves that let in greater.
  • The boughs that bear most hang lowest.
  • Upright walking is sure walking.
  • Virtue and happiness are mother and daughter.
  • Wise men make more opportunities than they find.
  • You never lose by doing a good turn.
  • Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.

And a good newspaper is a well-spring of knowledge.

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.
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Moody and Boys-og

Happy Birthday D.L. Moody

Dwight Lyman Moody (February 5, 1837 -– December 22, 1899), also known as D.L. Moody, was an American evangelist and publisher who founded the Moody Church, Northfield School and Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts (now Northfield Mount Hermon School), the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers.

Moody began his educational ministry with the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 (later called the Northfield School for Girls) and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. Moody built the girls’ school in Northfield, Massachusetts, the town of his birth, and the boys’ school a few miles away in the town of Gill. Moody’s goal was to provide the best possible education for young people without privilege, and he enrolled students whose parents were slaves as well as Native Americans and people from other countries, which was unprecedented among elite private schools at that time.

Moody and his Success

We were privileged on the morning of Nov. 21st., Sunday, to hear Dwight L. Moody, pronounced by Theodore Cuyler to be the “mightiest preacher to the common people” since the days of Whitefield. Mr. Cuyler had reference to the success of this plain speaking man – this preacher in the dialect of the street. And how unparallelled has that success been! It is questionable whether any apostle or preacher of the Master ever had such crowds to wait upon his ministry.


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The books of Horatio Alger, Jr.

Happy Birthday Horatio Alger, Junior!

Horatio Alger, Jr. was born in the coastal town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, on January 13, 1832, to Horatio Alger, a Unitarian minister, and his wife Olive Augusta Fenno.

Horatio Alger, Jr. in 1852

Horatio Alger, Jr. in 1852

The future author was the descendant of Plymouth Pilgrims Robert Cushman, Thomas Cushman, and William Bassett. He was also the descendant of Sylvanus Lazell, a Minuteman and brigadier general in the War of 1812; and Edmund Lazell, a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1788.

Horatio attended Gates Academy, a local preparatory school, and completed his studies at age fifteen. In July 1848 Alger passed the Harvard entrance examinations, and was admitted to the class of 1852.

His first novel Marie Bertrand: The Felon’s Daughter was serialized in the New York Weekly in 1864. His first boys’ book Frank’s Campaign was published in Boston later the same year. Alger initially wrote for adult magazines, including Harper’s Monthly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

A friendship with William Taylor Adams, a boys’ author, led him to begin writing for the young.

The following short piece by Mr. Alger appeared in The Christian Recorder in 1865.

Edward’s Temptation

It was six o’clock in the afternoon. At this time the great wholesale warehouse of Messrs. Hubbard & Son was wont to close, unless the pressure of business compelled the partners to keep open later. The duty of closing usually devolved upon Edward Jones, a boy of fourteen, who had lately been engaged to perform a few light duties, for which he received the sum of $50 annually. He was the boy, but if he behaved himself so as to win the approbation of his employers his chance of promotion was good. Yet there were some things that rendered this small salary a hard trial to him – circumstances with which his employers were unacquainted. His mother was a widow. The sudden death of Mr. Jones had thrown the entire family upon their own resources, and these were indeed but slender.

There was an elder sister who assisted her mother to sew, and this with Edward’s salary, constituted the entire income of the family. Yet by means of untiring industry, they had continued thus far to live, using strict economy, of course. Yet they had wanted none of the absolute necessaries of life.

But Mary Jones – Edward’s sister – grew sick. This not only cut off the income arising from her labor, but also prevented her mother from accomplishing as much as she would otherwise have been able to do.

On he morning of the day on which our story commences, Mary had expressed a desire for an orange. In her fever it would have been most grateful to her. It is hard, indeed, when we are obliged to deny those we love that which would be a refreshment and benefit to them.


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