Notes On 19th Century Newspapers

Throughout Lighthouse Loyalty, newspapers, journalism, and writing feed into the plot of the story. Is it accurate? What papers could the Arnold Family have read? And how did newspapers help American’s form opinions about the Civil War?

I thought I’d share some of my notes on newspapers and delve into the historical backing for some of the journalistic details in my newest historical novel. Happy reading… Continue reading

Women and 19th Century Literature

If a person knows how to write, they will write something. A shopping list, letter, journal, recipe, book, novel, thesis paper. Through the centuries, women had written, but they didn’t always receive much attention or much help from publishers. In mid-19th Century America, a change started to occur in attitudes toward women, writing, and publishing. Against this backdrop, fictional character Susan Rose Arnold scribbles poetry, wonders if someday it could be published, and meets a woman who regularly writes for publications.

“Miss Shermann,” I said as I guided her up to her room after the evening meal, “what do you write? If you don’t mind my question.” She had perfect manners and the most fascinating way of controlling the conversation at the table, without seeming to be in charge.

“It depends,” she replied, smiling. “Sometimes short stories. Sometimes information about travel or the impracticality of these beautiful ladies’ fashions. Anything I can sell to a newspaper or magazine.” (Lighthouse Loyalty, Chapter 18)

Today, we’ll highlight some mid-19th Century female authors and the changing world of publishing.  Continue reading

1862: Harper’s Images Of Fredericksburg

I decided to feature something a little different today. As usual in this series, I’m sharing a historical source, but today it’s a visual source instead of a quote.

The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862) was – like all major battles during the conflict – reported in the newspapers. In the North, Harper’s Weekly famously published engravings of battles, leaders, and military life. (For more details about Fredericksburg, please view last week’s post here.)

Here are a few of the newspaper engravings that accompanied the news of the Fredericksburg’s battle: Continue reading

1861: “Lost In The Potomac”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsNovember 5, 1861

Voluminous accounts of the repulse of our forces at Ball’s Bluff have been published, including several official reports.

In the official list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Massachusetts 15th, Lt. Greene, mentioned in our last, is named among the missing. He may be a prisoner. The killed named in that list are 14, and no less than 228 missing.

Of the 20th Massachusetts, 22 are reported killed[,] 50 wounded, and 114 missing.

No list of prisoners have been received. Many have doubtless been buried unrecognized, and it is not known how many or who were lost in the Potomac. Continue reading