One of my favorite pastimes is perusing old newspapers; besides enjoying their quaint jargon, I love the fascinating and realistic views they offer to history. I certainly find them more entertaining than today’s newspapers, anyway. Below are a few snippets from The Centinel, a paper in Gettysburg, Pa that ran from 1805 to 1813 (so far, my favorite era of newspaper).
GREAT NAVAL ACTION. London, Nov, 10.
We ftop the prefs to ftate that it is this afternoon very generally reported, that Admiral Lord Collingwood has taken 12 fail of the line, as they were coming out of Cadiz!
[The above comes as a rumor from Lord William Stewart, to the Lords of the Admiralty.]
(This is Lord Cuthbert Collingwood. via…)
Besides the delightful use of ‘f’ for ‘s’, this little snippet held a lot of value, from what I’ve been able to find out. (Do correct me if my research is wrong; I enjoy history, but find it rather confusing at times). Apparently Lord Collingwood had a small fleet off the coast of Cadiz, Spain and successfully maintained a blockade there. Lord Nelson met him there to combine their forces and from Cadiz they sailed to the Battle of Trafalgar. November 9th, the day before the newspaper notice, Lord Collingwood was promoted to Vice Admiral and given a barony.
Gettysburg Sentimental Society
The Society met pursuant to adjournment, when the following question was discussed:
“Are Theatrical Performances injurious to Society?”
After much debate, the question was negatived by one vote.
The question for discussion next evening-“Is duelling a mark of courage?”
By order of the Society,
A. McIlhenny, Scc’y.
Jan. 5, 1808
This was my favorite little bit of news. Isn’t it so cute? The Gettysburg Sentimental Society was the first of several debate societies in that region and concerned themselves with questions of political and social importance. I was quite excited to discover an online history that mentioned the Society where I was able to find that the last question was also answered negatively. It’s kind of a shame debate societies have died down.
WANTED, A Girl to do the house-work of a small family. To one well recommended, generous wages will be given. Inquire of the printer.
The Housemaid, Thomas Gainsborough via
Lastly, an advertisement. Nothing exactly special, just one of those little things that sets the imagination running. Who was the girl who answered the ad? What was the family like? And, an even larger stretch, I like to think it had something to do with a New Year’s resolution :)
And there you have it, a brief look at one of my side hobbies! There are quite a few online newspaper archive sites; I found this particular newspaper through the Google News Archive. Whew, this was a rather random post, wasn’t it? But I think that’s part of the appeal of old news for me; you never know what you’ll find!