In looking through our old newspaper collection, we see many which were saved, not because a family member was mentioned in them, but for other reasons. An interesting article here, the mention of a friend there. These old papers are treasures now because of the breadth of articles, from the most mundane local happenings, to heart-stopping international diplomacy, and because of the advertisements. Oh, the advertisements! Dry goods, grocers, purveyors of books. Liniments, ointments, creams, potions.
Alabama’s Greenville Weekly Advocate from October 2, 1873 has columns of small treasures, some of which I will share with you.
CIVILITY: We notice that the ticket agent of one of the railroads running out from St. Louis adds to the advertisement of his road these curious words: “No trouble to answer questions.” We insist that that man be appointed Superintendent of all the railroads in the United States, with plenary powers. We feel inclined to write him a letter of thanks. Where did he come from?
Only one death from yellow fever occurred in Montgomery on the 30th ult, Tuesday, making five altogether from that cause, since the 23rd ult. A great many people have fled from the city.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT: Yesterday was observed by our Israelitish friends of this city, as a day of atonement. Their places of business were closed, and the day given to appropriate religious observances.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, September 29. In consequence of the money crisis in the cities, the Universities of Virginia have made arrangements for credits to all students temporarily embarrassed by the same.
ALICANTE, SPAIN, was bombarded by the Insurgent ironclads Numancia and [Mendezinez?] this past Saturday. Some of the projectiles thrown were filled with petroleum and great damage was done to the city.
Secretary Richardson declines the advice of a New York financier that he should drown himself.
I did not have to go out of my way to look for news that sounds contemporary! That which was present in 1873 is still with us, in some ways.