Just a couple of musings today from nineteenth century newspaper clippings to start the week and some historical events of note. I ran across the phrase “such are all the particulars” and found that it (or something similar) was commonly used in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries newspapers. It was often followed by phrases like “we have yet heard”, “that are at present known”, “we have been able to collect”, “on which we can safely rely”, “of which we are as yet aware”, “we have learned”, “that were communicated to me” and so on.
Hmmm . . . that made me think. This particular phrase is rarely, if ever, necessary today since news is broadcast instantly around the world. With cable news, internet news sites, Twitter and social media, news zips around the world in a matter of seconds, not hours or days. In recent days presidential hopefuls have announced their candidacies on social media or Twitter (although with all the media buildup, was hardly a surprise).
The story with this phrase that caught my eye was a tragic one in the July 19, 1833 issue of the Boston Post:
Melancholy Accident. – On Sunday evening the house of Mr. Peter Hannaford, Jr. of New Hampton, was struck by lightning, and Mr. Hannaford, his wife, and a young man by the name of Hobbs, of Deerfield, a student at the Institution, were killed, and four other persons in the house were knocked down. A child in the arms of Mr. Hannaford was uninjured. Mrs. H. had on a gold necklace which was melted. Mr. Hobbs was seated at a table, writing, where he remained unmoved, and it was not know that he was injured till they found he did not offer any assistance to the others, when they discovered he was dead. Such are all the particulars we have yet heard of this sad accident. – N.H. Pat.
As far as I can tell, the story was never mentioned again in the Boston Post or elsewhere.
News and an Obituary of Sorts
Another clipping from the June 13, 1828 North Carolina Free Press (Halifax) – this has to be the most prose-worthy description of someone’s untimely demise (at his own hands) I think I’ve ever read. It also apparently served as his obituary as far as the Free Press was concerned:
Wilmington, May 28 – Mr. Christopher Tillinghast, of this town, terminated his life on Saturday last by committing himself to the river. He left his dwelling early in the morning, and not returning to his breakfast, apprehensions for his safety were excited, and diligent search was made for him. On Monday afternoon his body was found floating in an upright position, near the wharf of R.W. Brown, Esq. The unfortunate man in order to render his purpose effectual, had tied a stone of about 30 lbs. To his body. His hat was found secured under his coat, which evinces his design to conceal whatever might serve as an indication of his fate. The cause assigned for this act, is a melancholy engendered by incessant struggling with difficulties and privations. Mr. Tillinghast has left a wife and child to deplore his untimely end.
This Week In History
I like to check historical events for the week before I start writing articles for the blog. Several historically significant and tragic events occurred during this week of April, most generating huge front-page headlines at the time.
April 12, 1861 – Fort Sumter is fired upon – the Civil War had begun.
April 12, 1945 – Just a few short weeks before Germany’s surrender, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died at his Warm Springs, Georgia home.
April 12, 1961 – The Soviet Union sends the first man in space, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin. Twenty years later in 1981 the first space shuttle, Columbia, is launched.
April 13, 1970 – Apollo 13’s oxygen tank explodes. Four days later, with teamwork and ingenuity the astronauts safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
April 14, 1865 – Just five days following Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, assassin John Wilkes Booth mortally wounds President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater.
April 14, 1935 – One of the worst dust storms of the so-called “Dust Bowl” occurred on this day, also referred to as “Black Sunday”.
April 15, 1865 – President Lincoln dies. Small town weeklies were celebrating victory this week with Lee’s surrender (April 14 was a Friday) and defeat the next week as they reported this sad news.
April 15, 1912 – The unsinkable Titanic sinks.
April 15, 1947 – Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African American baseball player to pitch a major league game for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
April 16, 1947 – Texas City explodes (see this article).
April 17, 1790 – American statesman, inventor, writer, innovator and scientist Benjamin Franklin died at the age of eighty-four.
Stop by later this week for another “Time Capsule Thursday” article to see what (besides President Lincoln’s assassination) was news this week in 1865.
Everyone have a great day — someday it will be history!