Vermont 150 and 175 years ago–first week of August

As time allows, we will bring you items from Vermont newspapers now available on the Chronicling America website from 175 and 150 years ago. This week, we’re looking at the Rutland Herald and Burlington Free Press.

The August 5, 1836 issue of the Burlington Free Press found the editor, H.B. Stacy, promoting the Presidential aspirations of William Henry Harrison. Harrison failed to reach the presidency in that election, but would succeed in 1840. The commencement at the University of Vermont was noted. Amongst the other items in the issue was a report about two pranksters who had caused quite a consternation by sending a boat with two dummies in it over Niagara Falls:

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Amid reports of the “Texas War” and the Creek war, the August 2, 1836 Rutland Herald printed a report of a new machine that achieved perpetual motion, and that “with the power of one man…would be sufficient to propel the largest ship across the Atlantic, in an incredible space of time.” If only! Check it out:

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The August 2, 1861 Burlington Free Press weekly edition was dominated by reports and recriminations after the Union loss at Bull Run just days before. A letter from a soldier in the Vermont 2nd describes their actions in Northern Virginia leading up to the battle–a very interesting read, I might add–and elsewhere in the issue includes a summation of the events of the battle. Here’s an excerpt:

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Take a look at these and other Vermont newspapers on the Chronicling America website: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ . Enjoy!

Tom McMurdo

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