Treasure Trove of Historic Newspapers Found!

One of the Special Collections & Archives temporary archival assistants, Christine P. Horn, recently discovered and processed a small treasure trove of historic newspapers. The titles include local rags such as L’Abeille de la Nouvelle Orleans, The Daily Picayune, The Mascot, and The New Orleans Bulletin. A January 10, 1885 edition of The Mascot highlights a few 19th century French Quarter sights and sounds:

“Young or unsophisticated pleasure seekers…make it a practice to visit the guilded hells of Royal Street, where the dismal strains of dyspeptic violins and asthmatic pianos keep time with the cracked voice harridans”

and

“Nothing disgusts a well-dressed dude so much a to walk into a beer saloon, and find his adored one reclining in the arms of a policeman.”

An even more interesting discovery consists of several issues of The Daily Citizen out of Vicksburg, Mississippi from the end of June and early July 1862. As you may recall, this was during the siege of Vicksburg by the forces of General Ulysses S. Grant in the American Civil War. Due to the siege, several issues of this newspaper were famously printed on the back of wallpaper pieces, as the city had run out of newsprint. Additionally, as the city’s defenses finally fell to General Grant and his army, the Union forces added a note on July 4, 1862 to the current edition which read:

“Note.  July 4, 1863.

Two days bring about great changes. The banner of the Union floats over Vicksburg. Gen. Grant has “caught the rabbit;” he has dined in Vicksburg, and he did bring his dinner with him. The “Citizen” lives to see it. For the last time it appears on “Wall paper.” No more will it imagine the luxury of mule meat and fricassed kitten- urge Southern warriors to such diet never more. This is the last wall–paper edition, and is, excepting this note, from the types as we found them. It will be valuable hereafter as a curiosity.”

Click here for more information about newspapers printed on wallpaper and the editions of The Daily Gazette in particular.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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