Harper’s Weekly, New York
November 7, 1874
We present the very first illustration of Thomas Nast’s legendary creation – The Republican Elephant. The historic sketch, is entitled: “The Third Term Panic,” with the elephant labeled, “The Republican Vote.” The Democratic Party is portrayed by its donkey (1870) symbol dressed in the costume of a lion. The famous sketch shows the collected animals of the forest representing various newspapers, states and issues, being frightened by the donkey crying, “Caesarism.” Democrat Samuel Tilden was elected Governor of New York two weeks later. Another important Nast political sketch appears on the front page of the issue, portraying Tilden as a rat!!
But, this special publication has even more–a full page illustration drawn by Winslow Homer titled, “CAMPING OUT IN THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS.” Homer prints in Harper’s Weekly issues have been carefully removed and framed in their own right–they are highly sought-after pieces of artwork.
18 pages, complete, and in excellent condition. The Republican Elephant print can be removed and framed if desired without hurting the publication or print. The perfect gift for a G.O.P. Congressman or Republican official, and a key element of any serious collection of political memorabilia. See also our 1870 issue of Harper’s featuring the first use of the Democratic Donkey.
The Sioux City Daily Journal, Iowa
Thursday, November 23, 1871
At a Women’s Suffrage Association meeting in Philadelphia, Lucy Stone was elected President, and Julia Ward Howe, Chairman of the Executive Committee. Both women made stirring speeches before the Convention. The front page report says, “….resolutions were adopted affirming that woman’s enfranchisement means greater purity, constancy and permanence in marriage, and that discussions of temperance, peace and other reforms, is educating women to their duty as voters, and men to the need of the help of women.”
Four pages, excellent condition, cut cleanly at spine for microfilming at the Library of Congress many years ago. Great illustrated advertisements including dentists, a famous “MEDICAL INFIRMARY,” Railroad Schedules, and much more. The Department of State copy.
The Chicago Times
October 18, 1871
Large front page single-column headlines begin the Times’ full report on how the fire began, how it raged through the city destroying everything in its path, and the aftermath. “THE FIRE. A Resume of the Great Calamity. Detailed Account of the Origin and Progress. The Destructive Advance of the Flames Through the City. The Chicago of the Future,” and more.
Incredibly, a large part of the report talks about an “old Irish woman” (Mrs. O’Leary) who went to check on her cow, taking with her a lamp. “In a moment the cow had accidentally kicked over the lamp, an explosion followed, and in an instant the structure was enveloped in flames.” This is the only newspaper we have seen with this report. The offices of the Times were burned in the fire, and this edition was printed in another building.
Four pages, huge margins, old folds, and in fine condition. and filled with insurance ads owing to the Chicago Fire. I can’t begin to stress the rarity of this original historic newspaper. You’ll read this newspaper all night long before sharing it with other history buffs!
November 19, 1870
This “fully loaded” issue of the legendary illustrated newspaper contains not one, but two large sketches and a full description of a visit to the recently-discovered diamond mines in South Africa. The first is captioned: “WASHING FOR DIAMONDS AT THE NEW DIAMOND FIELDS IN SOUTH AFRICA.” Sketch no. 2 reads: “DIAMOND MINERS GAMBLING AT NIGHT.”
And, for an amazing bonus there is a double page balloon’s-eye illustration of New York City (I can’t stop looking at it!) headed: “BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF THE SOUTHERN END OF NEW YORK AND BROOKLYN, SHOWING THE PROJECTED SUSPENSION BRIDGE OVER THE EAST RIVER, FROM THE WESTERN TERMINUS IN PRINTING-HOUSE SQUARE, NEW YORK.” Our scans don’t begin to do this sketch justice–it’s that good. I would remove it for professional framing. What a conversation piece!
There are many other interesting illustrations including an early balloon flight made some 33 years before the Wright Brothers flew their biplane over Kitty Hawk.
This is the original and complete 20-page issue of Harper’s in very fine condition. It even has the original subscriber’s label at the top left. Don’t delay on this one–it’s a perfect gift for your favorite jeweler!
Noted political artist, Thomas Nast, presents his political cartoon, “A LIVE JACKASS KICKING A DEAD LION,” the first appearance of what would be come the symbol of the Democratic Party. The jackass, or donkey, portrayed the Copperhead Press (Democratic sentiment in 1870) while the lion impersonated Edwin M. Stanton, who had died December 24th, but whose memory was being assailed even as he lay in his coffin.
This historic issue also contains a lovely illustration of the “Monarch,” Britain’s newest and largest sailing ship that brought philanthropist George Peabody home to America following his death in 1869. Peabody founded The Peabody Institute, and was one of only two men (Dwight D. Eisenhower was the other) who was honored with the “Freedom of the City of London.”
The Democratic Donkey illustration appears on the final page of this complete, sixteen-page issue of Harper’s. Excellent condition, and simply a must for any serious collection of political documents and memorabilia. (Also see our Harper’s Weekly featuring the first Republican Elephant sketch in 1874)
The Olympia Transcript, Olympia, Washington Territory
Saturday, May 29, 1869
Page three sports report titled: THE BASE-BALL GAME,” describes a 3 1/2 hr. game of eight innings (rain stopped the game) won by the Olympics team of Victoria by a whopping score of 45 to 23 over the Raniers of Olympia. The box score is also published. A return match was scheduled for the Fourth of July. The paper goes on to say, “Although the boys were rather badly beaten, yet we think it not a fair test. They will play better on their own grounds.” This is the first time I’ve seen a baseball game this early played on the West Coast! Imagine–1869!
This very rare Washington Territorial newspaper also contains a front page report lauding the “almost inexhaustible and invaluable fisheries of Alaska, the gold fields of Cook’s Inlet and the Stickeen River region, the rich coal mines of Unalaska and the vast forests of timber so near our own ports.” The article appears to be very supportive of the 1867 Alaska Purchase (known as “Seward’s Folly”).
Four pages, very fine condition. A scarce Western newspaper filled with advertisements for saloons, drug stores, insurance companies and even the “OFFICE SUPT. INDIAN AFFAIRS.”