A Native American Revolutionary War Veteran’s Final Request

When I am gone, beat the drum and fire the guns. ~ Captain and Chief Tishomingo

As we get closer to July 4th, we think back on the stories of our American ancestors who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War. This old newspaper obituary tells us about the story of one of those Revolutionary War veterans, whose heroic story deserves to be more widely known.

obituary for Chief Tishomingo, Evening Post newspaper article 24 June 1841

Evening Post (New York, New York), 24 June 1841, page 2

Chief Tishomingo was the last great chief of the Chickasaw Nation.

According to his obituary:

Although but little known beyond the limits of his nation, yet he was a man who had seen wars and fought battles; stood high among his own people as a brave and good man. He served under Gen. [Anthony] Wayne in the revolutionary war, for which he received a pension from the government of the United States; and in the late war with England [the War of 1812] he served under Gen. [Andrew] Jackson, and did many deeds of valor.

Chief Tishomingo was born in Tishomingo, Mississippi – the town was renamed in his honor. The early history of the 19th Century was not kind to Native Americans – even those like Chief Tishomingo who had “fought in nine battles for the United States.” He and his tribe were forced to relocate to Oklahoma. He died on the trip near Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The first capital of Oklahoma was located in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, which was also named in Captain Tishomingo’s honor.

Watch this video about Chief Tishomingo’s life that was produced by Chickasaw.tv https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL9O9lNNzTk

Find your ancestors’ true life stories in more than one billion historical articles that cover over 300 years of American history from coast to coast. Start searching in GenealogyBank.com.

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Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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Nevada Archives: 41 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Nevada became a state in 1864 during the Civil War; in recognition of this, the banner on the state flag reads “Battle Born.” The 7th largest state in the country, Nevada – which is mostly desert – is the 35th most populous and the 9th least densely populated of the United States.

photo of Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo: Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Http2007; Wikimedia Commons.

If you are researching your ancestry from Nevada, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online NV newspaper archives: 41 titles to help you search your family history in the “Silver State,” providing coverage from 1864 to Today. There are more than 270,000 articles and records in our online Nevada archives!

Dig deep into our archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Nevada ancestors in these NV newspapers online. Our Nevada newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Nevada Newspaper Archives (1864 – 1922)

Search Nevada Recent Obituaries (1996 – Current)

illustration of the state flag of Nevada

Illustration: state flag of Nevada. Credit: Caleb Moore; Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Nevada newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The NV newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Austin Reese River Reveille 8/5/1864 – 8/11/1864 Newspaper Archives
Battle Mountain Battle Mountain Bugle 2/8/2012 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boulder City Boulder City View 8/7/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Boulder City Boulder City Review 11/5/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Caliente Lincoln County Record 6/14/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Carson City New Daily Appeal 9/14/1872 – 3/9/1873 Newspaper Archives
Carson City Nevada Appeal 7/4/2000 – 3/11/2013 Recent Obituaries
Elko Daily Independent 7/1/1885 – 2/19/1887 Newspaper Archives
Elko Elko Daily Free Press 1/30/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Ely Ely Times 10/10/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Eureka Eureka Daily Sentinel 6/18/1871 – 8/24/1876 Newspaper Archives
Eureka Eureka Daily Republican 2/28/1878 – 3/20/1878 Newspaper Archives
Eureka Eureka Sentinel 8/7/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hamilton Inland Empire 6/16/1869 – 9/21/1869 Newspaper Archives
Hawthorne Mineral County Independent-News 8/5/2013 – Current Recent Obituaries
Henderson Henderson View 4/24/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Henderson Las Vegas Weekly 5/8/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Las Vegas Business Press 11/20/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Las Vegas Review-Journal 10/1/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Centennial View 4/14/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Paradise View 12/6/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Summerlin View 3/31/1999 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Summerlin South View 10/29/2003 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Southwest View 12/6/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Whitney View 4/8/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Las Vegas Sun: Blogs 2/14/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Sunrise View 5/5/2004 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Las Vegas Sun 5/1/1996 – Current Recent Obituaries
Las Vegas Anthem View 6/6/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Lovelock Lovelock Review-Miner 7/27/2011 – Current Recent Obituaries
Mesquite Mesquite Local News 4/14/2012 – 6/5/2014 Recent Obituaries
North Las Vegas North Las Vegas View 11/29/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pahrump Pahrump Valley Times 10/12/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pioche Daily Journal 1/1/1876 – 4/26/1876 Newspaper Archives
Reno Nevada State Journal 8/1/1893 – 6/6/1922 Newspaper Archives
Sparks Daily Sparks Tribune 6/23/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries
Treasure City White Pines News 6/15/1869 – 6/15/1869 Newspaper Archives
Unionville Humboldt Register 3/25/1865 – 3/25/1865 Newspaper Archives
Virginia City Territorial Enterprise 8/4/1874 – 12/31/1879 Newspaper Archives
Virginia City Comstock Chronicle 10/2/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Winnemucca Humboldt Sun 12/12/2010 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference—all the Nevada newspaper links will be live.

Did you know?

The Territorial Enterprise (Virginia City, Nevada) is Nevada’s most important early newspaper and featured articles written by young staffer Samuel Clemens, later known as Mark Twain.

Also, Nevada was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave African American men the right to vote, on 1 March 1869.

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Frederic Haskin’s Answers to Questions: Like Google before Google

Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog article, Gena profiles Frederic J. Haskin and his Question & Answer column that was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers during the 1920s.

Where did inquisitive minds seek answers to their questions 70 or more years ago, long before the age of the Internet and search engines like Google? Your immediate answer might be: the library. Librarians, then as now, are the great reference source (even when Google lacks an answer). In fact, the New York Public Library has recently reported the finding of old index cards of reference questions and answers from the 1940s to the early 1980s. Recently, they have started to add those index cards to their Instagram account (@nypl) each week.

Frederic J. Haskin’s Answer Column

But who else, aside from librarians, answered questions in the days before the Internet? The newspapers. While many different types of Question & Answer columns were printed in newspapers, one column was syndicated in more than 100 newspapers during the 1920s. Frederic J. Haskin of the Information Bureau is said, at one point, to have received 1,000 letters a day which he answered with the help of his staff.

According to Haskin’s 1926 book Answers to Questions, his work on the Q & A newspaper column started because:

the author of this book gradually developed a large mail from readers asking questions about subjects which he had discussed. Pleased by the questions that his writings had inspired, the author set out to answer the inquiries which he received. As this became known, his mail increased until he was forced to obtain funds from the newspaper which he represented to pay for the cost of additional research work.*

Each newspaper that ran his Q & A column would start with an invitation such as this:

Any reader can get the answer to any question by writing… information bureau Frederic J. Haskin, director, Washington D.C. Give full name and address and enclose two-cent stamp for return postage. Be brief. All inquiries are confidential, the replies being sent to each individual.

When printed in the newspaper, readers’ questions were always signed with only their initials, allowing them to ask pretty much any type of question.

Questions, Questions and More Questions

The questions asked by people ranged from the historical to current events, practical to trivial. Understandably, questions that affected people in the here and now were asked, like this May 1919 question about the length of military enlistment – six months after the official end of World War I.

a question and answer column by Frederic J. Haskin, Charlotte Observer newspaper article 1 May 1919

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), 1 May 1919, page 7

In some cases, questions amounted to simple trivia – but for some of the questions, you may wonder what was the story behind the question that was asked. In this column from November 1922, the questions include “Why are some cranberries white?” and “Is China the most densely populated country?” to “Can a husband demand the delivery of mail addressed to his wife?”

For the latter question, the reply was:

Neither husband nor wife can control the delivery of mail addressed to the other against the wishes of the one to whom it is addressed. In the absence of instructions to the contrary, the wife’s letters will be placed with the husband’s mail unless they be known to live separately.

a question and answer column by Frederic J. Haskin, Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper article 6 November 1922

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), 6 November 1922, page 15

Haskin was a prolific author on various topics. Some of his Q & A columns also ran with an advertisement for his informative booklets, like this one on Parliamentarian Law, and there were other topics as well – such as poetry and maps

ad for a booklet on Parliamentarian Law by Frederic J. Haskin, Omaha World Herald newspaper advertisement 12 November 1931

Omaha World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), 12 November 1931, page 13

With a Touch of Genealogy Research

In his book Answers to Questions, the questions received from 5,000 newspaper readers and his answers are compiled and arranged according to topic. Chapters range from Agricultural and Aircraft to Criminology and Religion.

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Haskin understood the reference and educational value of his Q & A column. He wrote in his book:

It is also the most unusual school in the world. It costs nothing to go to it. It has millions of students. It offers a more diversified curriculum than any university. It spreads its knowledge through the daily press and the mails. It reaches the ditch digger and the captain of finance, the washerwoman and the social leader. It is open to anyone who can read and write. All a student is required to do is ask and it will answer. It is the school of universal information.**

It’s surprising how many of these old Q & A columns could be useful to today’s genealogist. And in some cases Haskin’s Information Bureau acted as a detective service. In a 1922 article about the Information Bureau that appeared in the periodical The American Magazine, it is recalled that one of the letters received was from a woman who wanted to know the whereabouts of her brother, a civil engineer, whom she had lost contact with. Using city directories, the Bureau researcher was able to give her an answer:

Your brother left Buffalo, probably in the year 1916. If he went to Detroit, he did not remain there permanently. As he was not enlisted in the army or navy during the way, though of draft age, he may have been married without your knowledge…

The researcher also recommends contacting the brother’s college alumni association. That article explains more about the Information Bureau and its team of expert researchers. And just like the traits of a good genealogist, it states:

Neither Haskin nor the people in his bureau pretend to know the answer to every question: But they do know where to find the answers.***

——————–

* Answers to Questions, by Frederic J. Haskin, p. 11. Hathi Trust http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.$b287779.
** Answers to Questions, by Frederic J. Haskin, p. 12. Hathi Trust http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.$b287779
*** “What People Are Inquisitive About,” by Fred C. Kelly. The American Magazine. Available from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=UbQ7AQAAMAAJ&lpg=RA4-PA45&ots=wkIdv0TUA-&dq=newspaper%20information%20bureaus%20questions%20and%20answers&pg=RA4-PA45#v=onepage&q=newspaper%20information%20bureaus%20questions%20and%20answers&f=false

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Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: Shot after Victory Speech

Only 4½ years after his older brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated – and just two months after civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been gunned down – America awoke on 5 June 1968 to read the horrifying news that another of the nation’s young leaders had been attacked: Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He was shot three times by a Jordanian, Sirhan Sirhan, in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles right after giving a victory speech in the California Democratic presidential primary. Five others were wounded in the shooting as well.

photo of Robert F. Kennedy, 1964

Photo: Robert F. Kennedy, 1964. Credit: U.S. News & World Report; Library of Congress.

RFK had only entered the presidential primary in March, but was rapidly gaining momentum. Winning the California Democratic primary over his rival Senator Eugene J. McCarthy on June 4, Kennedy gave his victory speech to a gathering of about 2,000 buoyant supporters in the hotel’s ballroom. He ended his victory speech shortly after midnight and headed for the hotel’s kitchen, a shortcut to get to a press conference. At 12:15 a.m., 5 June 1968, Sirhan struck and Kennedy fell to the floor, bleeding and mortally wounded from the gunshots.

He clung to life for 26 difficult hours, but died early in the morning of June 6. He was 42 years old. America had lost another legendary leader, felled by an assassin. Sirhan later said he was angry over Kennedy’s support for Israel.

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Here is the shocking newspaper front page editorial that readers in the Seattle, Washington, area saw that day.

article about the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Seattle Times newspaper article 5 June 1968

Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington), 5 June 1968, page 1

The lead news story reports:

Robert Kennedy’s Condition Remains Extremely Critical

Associated Press and United Press International

Los Angeles—Senator Robert F. Kennedy emerged from more than three hours of surgery in extremely “critical condition” today after he was shot in the head by a mysteriously silent gunman early this morning. The shooting occurred after he had won the California Democratic presidential primary.

The gunman was identified at midmorning as Sirhan Sirhan, 23, a Jordanian born in Jerusalem.

Kennedy was shot down about 4½ years after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by a rifleman in Dallas, Tex.

An aide said all but a fragment of a bullet was removed from Kennedy’s brain and a second bullet, less serious, remains in the back of his neck.

Vital signs—pulse and breathing—are in good order, Frank Mankiewicz, Kennedy’s press secretary, told newsmen, but the next 24 to 36 hours will be critical. He said there “may have been some impairment of the blood supply to the center of the brain”—which controls pulse, blood pressure and tracking of the eye—but “not the thinking processes.”

A series of tests conducted on the senator “do not show measurable improvement” in his condition, which remains extremely critical, Mankiewicz reported at 2:15 p.m.

Mayor Samuel Yorty said identification of the gunman was made by the suspect’s brother, Adel Sirhan of Pasadena, who was traced through the death weapon.

The 42-year-old New York senator came from behind in California’s crucial primary to accrue a winning lead over Senator Eugene J. McCarthy around midnight. Kennedy had proclaimed his win to about 2,000 supporters at an Ambassador Hotel rally and was taking a shortcut through the kitchen to a meeting with newsmen when shots rang out.

With stunning rapidity at 12:15 a.m., a man police described as a Caucasian, 5 feet 6 inches and 140 pounds, with dark hair and complexion, emptied the chamber of an eight-shot .22-caliber pistol.

Kennedy fell, hit three times. Five others near him were wounded, none as badly as Kennedy.

Pandemonium broke loose. Roosevelt Grier, giant Negro tackle for the professional Los Angeles Rams, quickly grabbed the much smaller gunman, wrestled the gun from him and held him for police.

The man under arrest was arraigned secretly at 7 a.m. as John Doe and bail was set at $250,000. The arraignment was on six accounts of assault with intent to commit murder.

Police Chief Thomas Reddin said the man remained silent for hours, then broke that silence and proved to be “extremely articulate with an extensive vocabulary,” but he refused to identify himself or discuss the shooting.

Kennedy was taken first to Central Receiving Hospital, where a doctor said he was “practically dead” upon arrival.

Physicians there administered closed cardiac massage, oxygen and adrenalin. “At first he was pulseless,” a doctor who treated him said, “then his pulse came back and we began to hear a heartbeat and he began to breathe—a little erratically.”

The doctor, Victor Baz, said Ethel Kennedy, who accompanied her husband in the ambulance, was frightened. “She didn’t believe he was alive because she couldn’t see that he was responding. I put the stethoscope to her ears so she could listen and she was tremendously relieved.”

Kennedy was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital near downtown Los Angeles. There a team of six surgeons began brain surgery at 3:12 a.m. that lasted about 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Doctors said one bullet struck near the right ear and entered the brain. Another hit in the shoulder. A third apparently grazed his forehead.

The actual surgery here was performed by Drs. Maxwell Ambler of the University of California at Los Angeles Medical School and Nat Downes Reid and Henry Cuneo of the University of Southern California Medical School.

Kennedy’s brother, Edward, senator from Massachusetts, flew here from San Francisco and was taken by helicopter to Good Samaritan.

Wounds were suffered by Paul Schrade, 30, United Auto Workers official; William Weisel, 30, unit manager for the American Broadcasting Co.; Ira Goldstein, 19, a radio newsman; Irwin Stroll, 17; and Mrs. Elizabeth Evans. All but Weisel, of Washington, D.C., are from the Los Angeles area.

The gunman appeared in the kitchen area behind the bandstand of the Embassy Room, where Kennedy backers, including movie stars and students, were listening to their candidate’s light-hearted victory speech.

Kennedy finished his speech and began working his way off the platform and into the kitchen, followed by close associates and members of his family.

At that moment the gunman pushed through the throng, reached his arm around others in front of him and shot the senator.

Grier, the football player, grabbed the man’s arm. Joe LaHive, a local Kennedy campaigner, wrested the gun away. Grier and a former Olympic decathlon champion, Rafer Johnson, lifted the assailant and spread him on a steel kitchen table.

“Nobody hurt this man!” one of the athletes shouted. “We want to take him alive!”

Women were screaming, “Oh no!” “God, God, not again!”

Kennedy was stretched on the floor, his face covered with blood. “Give him room! Step back!” someone yelled.

Kennedy seemed to hear nothing. His face was blank, his eyes staring sightlessly.

Grier, Johnson and two or three others held the gunman on the table 10 feet away. Screams began to be heard in the ballroom as news of the shooting spread to the campaigners, who had been cheering their candidate two minutes before.

Kennedy was given emergency treatment by a doctor summoned from the ballroom.

The gunman, apparently unharmed, was rushed through the Ambassador lobby by police 10 minutes after the shooting. By this time the crowd knew that Kennedy had been shot.

“Kill him! Lynch him!” onlookers shouted. They milled forward to get at the man, but the police ran him down the stairs and got him to the central jail.

Learn more about Robert F. Kennedy’s life, political career and assassination in GenealogyBank’s newspaper archives: http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/?fname=robert+f.&lname=kennedy

RFK Family Tree Chart

family tree for Robert F. Kennedy

Download our free family tree chart template to create your own personalized family tree chart like the Robert F. Kennedy family tree chart featured above: http://blog.genealogybank.com/family-tree-template-free-download

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African American Slave Born in 1686 Dies at Age 116 in 1802!

While doing genealogy research recently in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I came upon the obituary of a woman identified only as “a female slave named Alice,” who died at Bristol, Pennsylvania, at the remarkable age of 116!

obituary for a female slave named Alice, Newburyport Herald newspaper article 13 July 1802

Newburyport Herald (Newburyport, Massachusetts), 13 July 1802, page 3

Alice was only 10 when she was taken from her parents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Bristol, Pennsylvania – where she lived in servitude as an African American slave the rest of her days. The newspaper article states that her parents were from Barbados.

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Philadelphia was founded in 1682 – so her family had to be among the first African American slaves brought to that area. Bristol township in Bucks County was founded in 1692.

Illustration: “Alice, a Female Slave, ca. 1802” from Eccentric Biography; or Memoirs of Remarkable Female Characters (Worcester, Mass., 1804), frontispiece

Illustration: “Alice, a Female Slave, ca. 1802” from Eccentric Biography; or Memoirs of Remarkable Female Characters (Worcester, Mass., 1804), frontispiece. Source: Image Reference NW0120, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

Because of her extreme old age and excellent memory, Alice served as a local historian for the community. According to her obituary:

Being a sensible, intelligent woman, and having a good memory, which she retained to the last, she would often make judicious remarks on the population and improvement of the city and country; hence her conversation became peculiarly interesting, especially to the immediate descendants of the first settlers, of whose ancestors she often related acceptable anecdotes.

The old news article relates some of the memories she shared with her neighbors:

She remembered the ground on which Philadelphia stands when it was wilderness, and when the Indians (its chief inhabitants) hunted wild game in the woods; while the panther, the wolf, and beasts of the forest, were prowling about the wigwams and cabins in which they lived.

She remembered William Penn, the proprietor of Pennsylvania; Thomas Story, James Logan, and several other distinguished characters of that day.

The old 1800s obituary also tells a wonderful story about Alice herself:

She was a worthy member of the Episcopal society, and attended their public worship as long as she lived. Indeed she was so zealous to perform this duty in proper season, that she has often been met on horseback in full gallop to church, at the age of 95 years.

The old newspapers in GenealogyBank’s archives have her remarkable life story.
Find your ancestors’ stories – don’t let them be lost to your family.

Note: FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank are partnering to make over a billion records from recent and historical obituaries searchable online. The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to the present.  Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/

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Rhode Island Archives: 52 Newspapers for Genealogy Research

Though small in size, Rhode Island has been part of United States history from the very beginning; it was one of the original Thirteen Colonies. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union and the eighth least populous. However, it is second only to New Jersey in terms of being the most densely populated state.

photo of Narragansett Towers & Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island

Photo: Narragansett Towers & Narragansett Town Beach, Rhode Island. Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you are researching your ancestry from Rhode Island, you will want to use GenealogyBank’s online RI newspaper archives: 52 titles to help you search your family history in “The Ocean State,” providing coverage from 1732 to Today. There are more than 4.2 million articles and records in our online Rhode Island archives!

Dig deep into our archives and search for historical and recent obituaries and other news articles about your Rhode Island ancestors in these RI newspapers online. Our Rhode Island newspapers are divided into two collections: Historical Newspapers (complete paper) and Recent Obituaries (obituaries only).

Search Rhode Island Newspaper Archives (1732 – 1921)

Search Rhode Island Recent Obituaries (1981 – Current)

Newspaper Factoid: First published in 1829, the Providence Journal is the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the United States. Be sure to check it out in our archives, along with some of the older 1700s and 1800s Rhode Island newspaper publications.

illustration of the state flag of Rhode Island

Illustration: state flag of Rhode Island. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Here is a list of online Rhode Island newspapers in the archives. Each newspaper title in this list is an active link that will take you directly to that paper’s search page, where you can begin searching for your ancestors by surnames, dates, keywords and more. The RI newspaper titles are listed alphabetically by city.

City Title Date Range* Collection
Bristol Mount Hope Eagle 1/10/1807 – 10/8/1808 Newspaper Archives
Charlestown Charlestown Press 8/3/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Coventry Coventry Courier 1/23/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Cumberland Valley Breeze 3/8/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
East Greenwich East Greenwich Pendulum 1/8/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Hopkinton Wood River Press 8/3/2006 – Current Recent Obituaries
Newport Newport Mercury 6/19/1758 – 12/30/1876 Newspaper Archives
Newport Rhode-Island Republican 10/3/1801 – 4/21/1841 Newspaper Archives
Newport Newport Herald 3/1/1787 – 9/17/1791 Newspaper Archives
Newport Weekly Companion; and the Commercial Centinel 5/2/1798 – 7/20/1799 Newspaper Archives
Newport Guardian of Liberty 10/3/1800 – 9/26/1801 Newspaper Archives
Newport Rhode-Island Museum 7/7/1794 – 12/29/1794 Newspaper Archives
Newport Newport Gazette 1/16/1777 – 12/26/1777 Newspaper Archives
Newport Rhode-Island Gazette 10/4/1732 – 3/1/1733 Newspaper Archives
Newport Gazette Francoise 11/17/1780 – 1/2/1781 Newspaper Archives
North Kingstown Standard-Times 1/1/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
North Providence North Providence Breeze 3/8/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pawtucket Pawtucket Times 1/1/1898 – 2/28/1921 Newspaper Archives
Pawtucket Valley Breeze, The: Pawtucket Edition 8/19/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Pawtucket Times 10/7/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Providence Providence Evening Press 3/14/1859 – 11/13/1878 Newspaper Archives
Providence Rhode-Island American 10/20/1809 – 2/1/1833 Newspaper Archives
Providence Providence Patriot 1/15/1814 – 12/27/1834 Newspaper Archives
Providence Providence Gazette 10/20/1762 – 10/8/1825 Newspaper Archives
Providence Rhode Island Press 6/29/1861 – 12/29/1877 Newspaper Archives
Providence United States Chronicle 1/1/1784 – 5/17/1804 Newspaper Archives
Providence Manufacturers’ and Farmers’ Journal 1/3/1820 – 9/18/1876 Newspaper Archives
Providence Columbian Phenix 2/28/1807 – 1/8/1814 Newspaper Archives
Providence Independent Inquirer 8/28/1823 – 8/20/1830 Newspaper Archives
Providence Literary Cadet and Rhode-Island Statesman 4/22/1826 – 7/18/1829 Newspaper Archives
Providence Providence Phoenix 4/28/1802 – 2/21/1807 Newspaper Archives
Providence Microcosm 4/17/1830 – 3/30/1833 Newspaper Archives
Providence Providence Journal and Town and Country Advertiser 1/2/1799 – 12/30/1801 Newspaper Archives
Providence American 10/21/1808 – 10/17/1809 Newspaper Archives
Providence New Age and Constitutional Advocate 11/20/1840 – 3/8/1842 Newspaper Archives
Providence American Journal and General Advertiser 3/18/1779 – 8/29/1781 Newspaper Archives
Providence Rhode-Island Religious Intelligencer 5/24/1822 – 5/14/1824 Newspaper Archives
Providence Impartial Observer 8/11/1800 – 3/6/1802 Newspaper Archives
Providence State Gazette and Town and Country Advertiser 1/4/1796 – 7/2/1796 Newspaper Archives
Providence Rhode-Island Farmer 8/9/1804 – 1/31/1805 Newspaper Archives
Providence Religious Intelligencer 5/13/1820 – 11/4/1820 Newspaper Archives
Providence Providence Journal 12/23/1981 – Current Recent Obituaries
Smithfield Valley Breeze & Observer 3/8/2007 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wakefield Narragansett Times 1/21/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Warren Herald of the United States 1/14/1792 – 12/12/1812 Newspaper Archives
Warren Bristol County Register 3/11/1809 – 3/31/1810 Newspaper Archives
Warren Telescope 11/6/1813 – 6/28/1817 Newspaper Archives
West Warwick Kent County Daily Times 6/7/2008 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westerly Westerly Pawcatuck Press 7/1/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Westerly Westerly Sun 4/27/2000 – Current Recent Obituaries
Woonsocket Call 10/8/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries
Wyoming Chariho Times 1/29/2009 – Current Recent Obituaries

*Date Ranges may have selected coverage unavailable.

You can either print or create a PDF version of this Blog post by simply clicking on the green “Print/PDF” button below. The PDF version makes it easy to save this post onto your desktop or portable device for quick reference—all the Rhode Island newspaper links will be live.

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Have You Seen This Intricate Patchwork Heirloom Quilt?

In 1881 New Hampshire held its 26th Annual State Fair in Laconia, New Hampshire. The fair had not been held in Laconia since 1852.

The New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette devoted an entire page to reporting the handicrafts, food, animals and other award-winning items that were proudly displayed during this three-day event.

According to the newspaper report:

The fair of last week, although in many respects not meeting the expectations of all, was an unqualified success as far as attendance and receipts were concerned.

In reading over the description of the items on display, this brief mention of a quilt caught my eye:

Miss Jennie M. Huse a patchwork quilt of handsome pattern containing 10,368 pieces.

article about Jennie Huse and her quilt, New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette newspaper article 29 September 1881

New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette (Concord, New Hampshire), 29 September 1881, page 4

Remarkable patchwork – 10,368 pieces!

My wife and I have old heirloom quilts that have been passed down in our family, safely tucked away in the family cedar chest.

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I wonder if Jennie Huse’s quilt was passed down in her family?

A quick check of her family history shows that while she never married, several of her siblings did.

screenshot of records from FamilySearch about the Huse family

Source: FamilySearch

Speaking of her family, both her father Thomas Muzzey Huse (1812-1877) and her brother David Scobey Huse (1844-1863) served in the Civil War. Her brother died during the war in Mound City, Illinois.

Genealogy Tip: Be sure to look for family photos using the Internet Archive Book Images tool. I wrote about this website before. See: Top Genealogy Websites Update: Internet Archive Book Images + Flickr

screenshot of the website Internet Archive Book Images

Source: Internet Archive Book Images

This handy site quickly lets you find photographs that were printed in the millions of books that they have digitized and put online.

In this example, you can see that this site quickly identified photographs of both Jennie’s father and her brother. Here’s an entry on her father:

screenshot from the website Internet Archive Book Images showing a photo of Thomas Huse

Source: Internet Archive Book Images

Here’s an entry on her brother:

screenshot from the website Internet Archive Book Images showing a photo of David Huse

Source: Internet Archive Book Images

Are you related to Jane “Jennie” Muzzey Huse?
Do you know where her intricate quilt is now?
If so, have you counted the pieces in her patchwork quilt? Does it really contain 10,368 pieces?

Please let us know in the comments section.

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‘People’s Lawyer’ Louis Brandeis: 1st Jewish Supreme Court Justice

On 1 June 1916, President Woodrow Wilson achieved one of his greatest political triumphs when his controversial nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Louis Dembitz Brandeis, was confirmed as the first Jewish Supreme Court justice. Brandeis, whose brilliant legal mind was acknowledged by even his staunchest opponents, had built such a successful private law practice that he was able to devote himself to supporting public causes – for which he adamantly refused any compensation.

photo of Louis Brandeis, c. 1916

Photo: Louis Brandeis, c. 1916. Credit: Harris and Ewing; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

He became a fierce legal opponent of monopolies, large corporations and public corruption; an advocate for social reform; and a protector of workers’ rights and working conditions. He also helped pioneer a concept that has become extremely important in today’s world: the right to privacy.

In a speech Brandeis gave at his alma mater Harvard University in 1905, he said:

Instead of holding a position of independence, between the wealthy and the people, prepared to curb the excesses of either, able lawyers have, to a large extent, allowed themselves to become adjuncts of great corporations and have neglected the obligation to use their powers for the protection of the people. We hear much of the ‘corporation lawyer,’ and far too little of the ‘people’s lawyer.’ The great opportunity of the American Bar is and will be to stand again as it did in the past, ready to protect also the interests of the people.

As a crusading “people’s lawyer,” Brandeis won many legal victories for working people and the general public, and worked hard to support Woodrow Wilson during the presidential campaign of 1912 – and later, helped President Wilson formulate his ideas on how to combat monopolies and regulate large corporations. As a consequence of all this judicial and political activism, Brandeis earned the enmity of conservative Republicans and powerful, wealthy businessmen.

Therefore, it was not surprising that when President Wilson nominated Brandeis for the Supreme Court on 29 January 1916, the nomination was controversial and met with a great deal of opposition. After Brandeis retired from the Supreme Court on 13 February 1939, his successor, Justice William O. Douglas, wrote of the opposition to Brandeis’s confirmation:

Brandeis was a militant crusader for social justice whoever his opponent might be. He was dangerous not only because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage. He was dangerous because he was incorruptible.

Douglas also acknowledged one of the strong undercurrents in the opposition to Brandeis’s confirmation: the fact that he was a Jew. As Douglas wrote:

The fears of the Establishment were greater because Brandeis was the first Jew to be named to the Court.

Traditionally, confirmation of Supreme Court nominees had been a matter of a straightforward up-or-down vote in the Senate, usually held on the same day the president submitted the nomination. However, the controversy over Brandeis changed everything. For the first time ever, the Senate Judiciary Committee held public hearings on the nomination, and 47 witnesses testified during a confirmation process that took an unprecedented four months to complete. Bitter opposition came from such famous figures as former President William Howard Taft, who would himself go on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on 11 July 1921, and former presidents of the American Bar Association.

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Even the head of Brandeis’s alma mater, Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, opposed his confirmation, even though Lowell was in many ways a fellow progressive – and Brandeis had been one of the most brilliant students in Harvard University’s history, graduating in 1877 at the age of 20 as valedictorian, with the highest grade point average in the school’s history (a record that took eight decades to break). The reason for Lowell’s opposition is revealed, perhaps, when one remembers that one of his more controversial efforts was an attempt to limit Jewish enrollment at Harvard to 15% of the student body. Anti-Semitism was an unspoken but strong factor in the opposition to Brandeis.

When all the wrangling was done, the full Senate confirmed Brandeis by a vote of 47 to 22 on 1 June 1916. During a 23-year career as a Supreme Court justice, Louis Brandeis continued to be the “people’s lawyer,” especially in the areas of freedom of speech and the right to privacy, and he earned a legacy as one of the Court’s greatest justices.

article about the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Boston Journal newspaper article 2 June 1916

Boston Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 2 June 1916, page 1

This old newspaper article reported:

Washington, June 1.—The nomination of Louis D. Brandeis of Boston to the Supreme Court to succeed the late Joseph Rucker Lamar, was confirmed by the Senate today by a vote of 47 to 22. The vote, taken without debate, ended one of the bitterest contests ever waged against a presidential nominee. Mr. Brandeis will be the first Jew to occupy a seat on the Supreme bench.

One Democrat in Opposition

Only one Democrat, Senator Newlands, voted against confirmation. Three Republicans, Senators La Follette, Norris and Poindexter, voted with the Democratic majority, and Senators Gronna and Clapp would have done so, but were paired with Senators Borah and Kenyon. The negative vote of Senator Newlands was a complete surprise to the Senate, and the Nevada senator, recognizing that his action had aroused comment, later made public a formal explanation.

Newlands Explains Vote

“I have a high admiration for Mr. Brandeis as a publicist and propagandist of distinction,” said Senator Newlands. “I do not regard him as a man of judicial temperament, and for that reason I have voted against his confirmation.”

Throughout the fight President Wilson stood firmly behind his nominee, never wavering even when it seemed certain that an unfavorable report would be returned by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Before the committee voted he wrote a letter to Chairman Culberson, strongly urging prompt and favorable action.

The new justice was born 60 years ago in Louisville, Ky., graduated from Harvard University in 1877 and began the practice of law in Boston after admission to the bar in 1878. He probably will take the oath of office June 13, a week from Monday, just before the Court adjourns for the summer recess.

Nomination Sent in Jan. 29

The nomination of Mr. Brandeis was sent to the Senate Jan. 29. It was referred to the Judiciary Committee, and immediately a flood of protests against confirmation and memorials in favor thereof began to pour in.

A sub-committee consisting of Senators Chilton, Fletcher, Walsh, Cummins and Works was appointed to report on the nomination. It adopted the unusual course of holding public hearings. Clifford Thorns, railroad commissioner of Iowa, was the first witness, protesting against confirmation on the ground that Mr. Brandeis had been guilty of unprofessional conduct in handling the 8 per cent. rate advance case before the Interstate Commerce Commission. Sidney W. Winslow, president of the United Shoe Machinery Company, testified that Mr. Brandeis had been guilty of unprofessional conduct in relation to his company, and shortly thereafter Austin G. Fox, a New York attorney, appeared before the committee as the representative of 85 citizens of Boston, headed by A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard, and took charge of the opposition. Then United States District Attorney George W. Anderson of Boston, at the request of the committee, undertook direction of the case for those favoring confirmation.

47 Witnesses Testified

In all, 47 witnesses were heard and 1,500 pages of testimony taken. William H. Taft, Simeon E. Baldwin, Francis Rawle, Joseph H. Choate, Elihu Root, Moorfield Storey and Peter W. Meldrim, all former presidents of the American Bar Association, wrote protests to the committee against confirmation, and Charles W. Eliot, president emeritus of Harvard, and many others wrote in favor of confirmation.

On April 3 the sub-committee, by a strict party vote, recommended confirmation, and on May 14 the full committee agreed to a favorable report by another strict party division.

Related Jewish American Articles:

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Genealogy Research with Legal Notices in Newspapers

Newspapers have long been the way that official notices of court actions, legal matters and other announcements have been communicated to the public, and researching these legal notices can help you learn more about your ancestors and fill in details on your family tree.

This blog post highlights some of the past articles we’ve published on the GenealogyBank Blog about researching legal notices in newspapers. Just click on the title of any article that interests you to read the full blog post.

divorce notices, Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article 22 May 1914

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 22 May 1914, page 16

screenshot of a GenealogyBank search results page showing sample “Legal/Probate/Court” records

GenealogyBank search results page showing sample “Legal/Probate/Court” records

name change notice for Max Kaplansky, Daily People newspaper article 25 September 1901

Daily People (New York, New York), 25 September 1901, page 1

How to Find Your Ancestor’s Divorce Records in the Newspaper

divorce notices, St. Louis Republic newspaper article 25 June 1889

St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), 25 June 1889, page 12

land sale notice by Artemas Bryant, Barre Gazette newspaper article 13 February 1857

Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts), 13 February 1857, page 3

article about Latin terms, Springfield Union newspaper article 5 May 1977

Springfield Union (Springfield, Massachusetts), 5 May 1977, page 19

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Elisha Perkins Invented Metallic Tractors – in the 1700s?

Here is the death notice of Dr. Elisha Perkins (1741-1799). It is fairly straightforward.

obituary for Elisha Perkins, Norwich Courier newspaper article 11 September 1799

Norwich Courier (Norwich, Connecticut), 11 September 1799, page 3

The death notice tells us that Perkins died in New York City on Friday morning, 6 September 1799, and that he was the inventor of “metallic tractors.”

Wait – he was the inventor of the metal tractor? In the 1700s?

Didn’t John Deere (1804-1886) or Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884) invent the metal tractor in the 1800s?

What exactly did Elisha Perkins invent?

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Looking for more information in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives, I found this article in the Norwich Courier reporting that Perkins’ “metallic tractors” were being used to cure people in Great Britain – including over two hundred people in Durham, England.

article about the Perkinsian Institution founded by Elisha Perkins, Norwich Courier newspaper article 10 July 1805

Norwich Courier (Norwich, Connecticut), 10 July 1805, page 3

So, Perkins’ “metallic tractors” was some sort of medical device.

Dr. Perkins’ son Benjamin Douglas Perkins wrote a booklet in 1798: The Influence of Metallic Tractors on the Human Body, in Removing Various Painful Inflammatory Diseases, Such as Rheumatism, Pleurisy, Some Gouty Affections, &c. &c. Lately Discovered by Dr. Perkins, of North America.

title page of the book written by Benjamin Perkins about the medical device "metallic tractors"

Source: Internet Archive

This booklet has been digitized and is online on the Internet Archive.

(I wrote about the Internet Archive before – see “Top Genealogy Websites, Pt. 2: Google Books & Internet Archive.” This site has digitized and put online millions of early books and manuscripts. It is one of the “Best” websites online.)

Perkins’ metallic tractors were actually just two small metal rods he used to prod and massage areas of inflammation – not the kind of tractors used in farming, as we might initially assume when reading Perkins’ death notice.

According to Wikipedia: “The Connecticut Medical Society condemned the tractors as ‘delusive quackery,’ and expelled Perkins from membership on the grounds that he was ‘a patentee and user of nostrums.’”

Genealogy Tip: Don’t assume anything during your genealogy research. At first glance it appeared that Elisha Perkins had invented an early version of the farming tractor – but by digging deeper we see that his invention was actually a quack medical device.

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