The Advisory Group has selected the newspapers for the next phase of the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project. We’ll be continuing some of the titles from Phase I, others are new to the project. The focus is around the Gilded Age, so dates range from 1870s-1900. Here’s the list:
Bolivar Bulletin; Camden Chronicle; Clarksville Chronicle/Tobacco Leaf-Chronicle; Columbia Herald; Johnson City Comet; Knoxville Daily Chronicle; Lawrence Democrat; Maryville Times; Memphis Daily Appeal; Milan Exchange; Morristown Gazette; [Nashville] American; Nashville Globe; Pulaski Citizen; Rugbeian; Sequachee Valley News; Savannah Courier; Southern Standard [McMinnville]; Winchester Home Journal
A Chattanooga paper will also be included. We’re waiting to hear about the availability of negatives before we can make the final decision on which one. Watch this space!
Here’s a map of Phase I’s geographical coverage. Page count totals are about equal for the three Grand Divisions.
Thanks to our friends at the McClung Historical Collection for bringing this rare newspaper to our attention. As far as we know, it’s the only surviving copy of this title!
The Examiner. June 29, 1878.
The Examiner was Knoxville’s first African American newspaper. Its publisher and editor, William F. Yardley, was a remarkable man. In fact, Frederick Douglass referred to him as “one of the most remarkable men that I have met.” As well as publishing the first African American paper in Knoxville, Yardley can claim several other firsts: he was Knoxville’s first African American lawyer and is believed to be the first African American lawyer to take a case to the State Supreme Court (1883). In 1881, Yardley established another newspaper in Knoxville, the Bulletin. For a neat summary of Yardley’s achievements, see this short bio in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, here.
Click the image above and it will take you to a zoomable (and legible) version of the four-page newspaper on McClung’s Digital Collection website. (And while you’re on that website, meander through all the other wonderful treasures on display!)
Special thanks to Jeanie for identifying this unique artifact, and to Sally for scanning it and making it accessible to the public.
Gene Patterson’s work falls outside the timeframe of our project, however, I’m sure anyone with an interest in newspapers and/or journalism would find his story interesting.
Patterson was editor of the Atlanta Constitution from 1960 to 1968. His obituary notes that, “[his] image and words anchored the editorial page during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement in the South.”
The TNDP Advisory Group met recently to discuss which titles to include in Phase II. We have yet to finalize the list but, as with Phase I, the selection will cover the broadest scope possible, encompassing the state’s three Grand Divisions, as well as representing diverse political perspectives.
The song, “Here’s your mule,” written by C.D.Benson (mentioned in the ad above) and published in 1862, became one of the most popular songs of the Civil War. Originally sung by Confederate troops, it was later adopted by Union troops too, with soldiers of both sides adapting the lyrics to reflect specific events. Benson’s original words were based on a practical joke played on a sutler by soldiers at a camp in Tennessee. After hiding the sutler’s mule the soldiers dispersed around the camp and called out, “Here’s your mule!,” causing the poor sutler to wander frustratedly around the camp but providing much amusement for the troops.
Here are some lyrics printed in the Fayetteville Observer, 1863, with a chorus variation offered at the end.
Fayetteville Observer. April 23, 1863.
Here’s a piece from the St Cloud Democrat, Minn.:
St Cloud Democrat. January 15, 1863.
Sheet music for the song:
Here’s Your Mule – Sheet Music
Want to hear how the tune went? Melodies varied from camp to camp, one version was reportedly sung to the tune of My Maryland (O Tannenbaum). Here’s a YouTube link to the “97th Regimental String Band” performing the song:
The phrase “Here’s Your Mule” became popular in everyday speech. A quick search on Chronicling America shows its popularity amongst newspaper editors. This piece from the San Francisco Call shows there was still interest in the phrase more than 20 years after the end of the war:
Not from the same era as TNDP newspapers, but historically significant nonetheless …
Special Collections at UT Libraries recently acquired Charlie Daniel’s collection of editorial cartoons – over 20,000 of them! Once organized, the cartoons were scanned and 1,500 of them have been made available to the public online. Read more about the project and browse the collection here: http://kiva.lib.utk.edu/omeka153/
From the Charlie Daniel Collection at University of Tennessee Libraries, Special Collections
“The site now features 5 million pages from more than 800 newspapers from 25 states. The site averaged more than 2.5 million page views per month last year and is being used by students, researchers, congressional staff, journalists and others for all kinds of projects, from daily podcasts to history contests. The news, narratives and entertainment encapsulated in the papers transport readers in time.”
“This magnificent resource captures the warp and weft of life as it was lived in grassroots America,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. “Metropolitan newspapers were early targets for digitization, but Chronicling America allows the journalism of the smaller cities and the rural countryside to become accessible in all its variety—and sometimes, quirkiness.”
Read more about the 5 millionth page milestone–and more NDNP news–in an interview with Deb Thomas, NDNP Project Coordinator, published in The Signal (the Library of Congress’ digital preservation blog).
Pressmen’s Home, located near Rogersville, Tennessee, was the headquarters for the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union of North America, as well as a sanitarium, trade school, and home for retired pressmen.
“For sixty-five years the union maintained its headquarters at Pressmen’s Home in Hawkins County. The Pressmen’s Home Community, located in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee, was a 2,700-acre complex with its own phone system, post office, electrical system, and farm. In addition to its headquarters, the union maintained a retirement home, a sanatorium, and a printing trades school at the site.
The East Tennessee location of the IPPAU-NA headquarters was the dream and accomplishment of George L. Berry, president of the IPPAU-NA from 1907 until his death in 1948. Berry was a dominant and controversial president, and the union’s progress and growth were intertwined with Berry’s life. The IPPAU-NA moved its headquarters to Pressmen’s Home from Cincinnati in 1911 because Berry and the union leadership believed the location (originally a mineral health resort known as Hale Springs) was suitable both as a tuberculosis sanatorium and as a technical trade school for retraining pressmen in the new offset printing methods.
The school eventually became the largest trade school of its kind in the world. While pressmen were also trained on letterpress at the school, its main function was to retrain letterpressmen and educate young printers in the offset craft. The training of thousands of printers at the technical school, along with the correspondence courses the school established, enabled the union to meet the demand for offset printers following World War II.
In 1916 the tuberculosis sanatorium opened and played an important role in combating the disease, the principal cause of death among union members. Besides the physical facilities at Pressmen’s Home, the union undertook an extensive campaign to educate the membership about tuberculosis and methods to prevent contamination. By 1961, the year the sanatorium closed, the union facility took credit for saving hundreds of lives through the treatments offered to its members.”