February 27, 2009

The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

The other day, I noticed that we had added some editions of the The San Francisco Chronicle to the site that were pretty close to the time of the 1906 earthquake. I wondered how the local papers reported the quake, or if they were even still able to publish.

Here's the headline from Thursday April 19,1906.
"San Francisco in Ruins"
It's not clear where they were publishing from since, as the paper says, "Newspaper Row Is Gutted" (page 2) and the fire threatened to leave the city "Without a Newspaper" (page 3), but this appears to be a special, combined edition of three San Francisco Papers, The Call, The Chronicle and The Examiner. It's just 4 pages long, down from a normal of about 16 for The Chronicle.

The Chronicle skipped April 20th, but by the 21st they were back:
Page 1; San Francisco Chronicle
And they published every day for the rest of the month, though it did take them a week or so to get back to the full length.

Of course, other major papers around the nation covered the story. Here's The Atlanta Constitution from April 19, 1906:
"Frisco in Ruins"

And The Chicago Tribune for the same day:
"Details of the San Francisco Horror"

February 26, 2009

3 Interesting Civil War Era Titles

There are lots of titles on Footnote that don't get much attention. Today I was poking around in 3 from the Civil War Era.

This first one is from the Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims. During the Civil War, as the Union Army moved through the South, they commandeered and used supplies, food, transportation and other resources from local folks. After the war, a commission was established to allow people to claim redress for the items that were taken. To receive repayment, the claimants had to demonstrate that they were loyal to the Union and that the Army had taken and used, not just destroyed, the items. The vast majority of claims were refused, but this is a collection of claims that were approved. You can learn more here.

Here's an image from the case file of William Martin, a free African-American living in North Carolina who had two sons that fought for the Union. He was a boatman and also had a 1,ooo acre farm of "turpentine" trees from which he made rosin. The Union army took 51 barrels of rosin and used two boats belonging to Mr. Martin. This page of the file includes the commissions final decision about how much to pay out for the claim.
William Martin's Approved Claim for Redress

The next title you many not have heard of is the Confederate Amnesty Papers. In May of 1865, a proclamation by President Andrew Johnson gave amnesty to most people who fought for the Confederacy, but certain groups of people (for example, ex-confederate Governors) were not included in the general amnesty. People in those groups had to send a personal request to the president with an explanation of their situation and an oath of allegiance. You can learn more here.

This image is from the request of William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the son of General Robert E Lee, who was ineligible because he served as a general in the Confederate army.
William Henry Fitzhugh Lee's Request for Amensty

The third title is the Lincoln Assasination Papers, a collection of papers related to the investigation and trial of people suspected of being part of the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. You can learn more about the title here.

Here's an odd little piece of the collection: a copy of the oath of office taken by President Andrew Johnson and the certification of the that oath by Chief Justice Salmon Chase.
Andrew Johnson's Oath of Office with Salmon Chase's Certification

February 23, 2009

World War I, Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryan

Here are a couple of interesting interchanges between Woodrow Wilson and his Secretary of State, William Jennings Brian:

First, this coded message from Wilson to Bryan from Department of State records from WWI. It's interesting to see the code they were using. This is from a collection of correspondence related to Illegal and Inhumane Warfare and comes from 1914, long before the US entered the war.
Coded telegram from Woodrow Wilson to William Jennings Bryan

This second, published in The Times of London, is an offer from Bryan to Wilson to support the war effort in any way he could.
William Jennings Bryan Offers to Help in the War Effort

February 19, 2009

French WWI Ship Found 1,000 Feet Down

There's a story on the BBC's website about the French battleship Danton which was torpedoed in 1917 by a German submarine. A team surveying for an undersea gas pipeline discovered the ship "in remarkable condition on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea."

The story includes some great video footage of the ship resting on the seafloor. I couldn't find an option to embed the video, but you'll find it here.

Here's the London Times' report of the event from the 24 March 1917 edition:
French Dreadnaught Danton Torpedoed

The Bomb Train

All Aboard  The Bomb Train.
Another great upload from PAKOPAKIS

February 18, 2009

Old Newspapers Really Knew How To Sell It

Would the newspaper business be in trouble today if they still wrote things like, "Cloud-Funnels Daily Traversing the Continent, Seeking Whom They May Devour."

Old Newspapers Really Knew How to Sell It

February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Abe

Charles Darwin Turns 200

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882), the English naturalist who put forward the idea that species evolve through a process he called natural selection.

Darwin, and his ideas, have been at the center of heated debate since he published his first works on natural selection in the late 1850s.

Here are a few articles that I found in the Chicago Tribune from 1872. Even within that one year, there seems to be a change in the way the paper talks about Darwin and a recognition of breadth of his influence.

Darwin and Free Religion
A January 1872 article about Darwin and Francis Ellingwood Abbot, a US philosopher and theologian who was a spokesperson for "free religion." The tone of the article suggests that the Tribune doesn't approve or Darwin or Abbot.

The Boston Radical Club welcomes Francis E Abbot
Another article (from February 1872) linking Darwin and Abbot. This one details a meeting of the "Boston Radical Club" where Abbot and others engage in "lively discussion" of Darwin's ideas.

The Progress of "Darwinism"
This November 1872 article describes the progress of Darwinism in religious, social and scientific circles.

Applying the Lessons of Natural Selection to Fashion
Here, also in Novemeber 1872, the Tribune discusses the application of natural selection to changes in fashion.

Getting Down to the Details with Darwin
And in this November 1872 review and discussion of Darwin's "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals," the Tribune adds their own examples to those provided by Darwin.

Chicago Tribune Article about the Death of Charles Darwin
Here's the Tribune's report on Darwin's death from page 3 of the in 21 April 1882 edition.

February 10, 2009

World War 2 Trucks

PAKOPAKIS is a Footnote member who seems to have an interest in World War II era US military vehicles made by International Harvester.

As of this post, PAKOPAKIS has uploaded 146 great photos. Here are a few interesting examples: