We're snowed in. Big dump overnight and it hasn't stopped yet. We have two non-working snowblowers in the garage, which means the human snowthrowers in this house need to get out there and wrestle with the mounds of snow. So while I sit here in my jammies, trying to psych myself up for snow duty, I've been entertaining myself with an old Minneapolis Daily Tribune we found among David's mother's belongings. Very old. Saturday, May 25, 1867. It was lining a box filled with her belongings, which we're just now getting around to digging through.
The yellowing Tribune is great stuff. Nine columns wide. No photos. The only graphics are cartoonish, appearing in paid advertisements. The lead piece, upper left, front page (there are four pages in all) says this: "The lines being down most all day yesterday, we are without the greater part of our dispatches. No one can regret this accident more than ourselves." A measure of humility nowhere to be found in the journalism of 2007, eh?! What follows is their "Telegraphic Summary" of the day's news. Standalone snippets (whose context is often unclear). Some selected examples:
' Secretary Seward has signified his willingness to interfere with the English Government, in behalf of the Fenian, McClure.
' The bombarding of the city of Mexico is still progressing, and great distress prevails in consequence.
' Maximilian, it is said, wishes to surrender but is prevented.
' The colored people of Ohio have called a State Convention to meet in Columbus on the 3d day of July next. The object of the Convention is to ascertain how the colored people can best assist in having the word whitestricken from the Constitution of that State.
' Queen Victoria has authorized the Speke family to incorporate in their arms a representation of the source of the Nile.
' Horace Greeley is getting hit all around for his officious flunkeyish in going to Richmond to become bail for Jeff Davis. He has attempted a defense, but like the explanation of his universal amnesty and universal suffrage doctrine, he has only made a bad matter worse.
' Mary Mann, a girl of sixteen, was shot near Sohohairie (sic) NY by Charles Loomis, who is twenty-one years of age. They met on the road, when, as the girl swears, Loomis raised his gun, saying, "Mary, I am going to shoot you." She responded "you dare not," when he fired, the contents taking effect in her face, arm and body. Even violence was described gently in those times.
News from the state includes the following snippets:
' Potatoes are retailing at two dollars a bushel. The all-absorbing question soon will be, "have we a potato among us?"
' The influx of immigrants by boats and railroads continues to a very great extent, notwithstanding some unfavorable reports that have been circulated to prejudice immigrants against Minnesota and thus divert them to other localities. Yes, there was a time when immigrants were welcome.
' We have nothing new to report in the Money market. Currency still continues scarce, and the prospect is that this state of affairs will continue until after harvest. With the exception of 7-30s, the movement in Governments is dull.
' The grand jurors will visit the county poor house , today, for the purpose of ascertaining the number and condition of the inmates and what, if any, further steps are necessary to be taken for their relief. They will dine in the establishment, having a curiosity to taste "anti-dispeptic food" and to become acquainted with the practical workings of the institution.
And then a few ads (underscoring simpler times that probably felt complex to the people living in them):
' Wanted to purchase'"A horse and wagon, suitable for the Grocery business. Apply to ___, corner of Washington and Hennepin Avenues, over the Store.
' Rare Chance. I wish to sell my FINE NEW HOUSE, at the corner of Minnetonka and Ninth streets. As I have fully decided to sell, somebody will be sure to get a good bargain.
' Patented, improved French Yoke Shirts out of New York.
' Crisper Coma for curling the hair of either sex into wavy and glossy ringlets or heavy massive curls.
' Itch! Itch! Itch! Scratch! Scratch! Scratch! Wheaton Ointment will cure itch within 48 hours. Also cure salt rheum, ulcers, chilblains, and all ERUPTIONS of the SKIN. Price 50 cents for sale by all druggists.
Okay. There's more, but I'm done now. Time to shovel, ummm, snow into the wind.