There were several local newspapers published in Scranton in the mid to late 19th century. The Welsh-language newspaper, "Y Drych," targeted the heavy Welsh population in Hyde Park, while the Scranton Republican, and later the Scranton Times, sought a larger, city-wide audience. The Albright Library in Scranton has copies of the Republican on microfilm beginning with the year 1867, the year after Scranton was incorporated, however what I am offering below is something of a rarity - abstracts from an early 1859 edition of the Scranton Republican.
Although the paper is only four pages long, it nevertheless gives insight into some of the issues of the day. These were the times just before the Civil War, when Scranton was changing from a sleepy hollow into an industrial powerhouse due to the area's booming coal and steel industries. I have chosen to highlight primarily local news, local business news and local advertisements. About half of the paper is devoted to local business advertisements and notices, several of which concern the many coal and mining companies in and around Scranton. The paper contains practically no national news of any importance, and instead offers snippets from local newspapers around the county, a common practice of the day. There's a listing of the "famous dead" of 1858, most of who will be unfamiliar to the modern reader, and there are three articles regarding a series of fires across the city that were apparently being deliberately set. I have also inserted several scans of business advertisements, including a train schedule for the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. Bringing the D. L. & W. to Scranton was a key factor in the city's industrial growth.
We begin with an editorial found on page 2, column 1, explaining that the paper has been sold to a new owner. The editorial is written by outgoing owner-editor, Theo. Smith. The most interesting line in Mr. Smith's parting editorial is when he seems to apologize to his readers by saying,"...he has doubtless written and published many things which had better remained unprinted; but he has invariably aimed to do right, and his short-comings have always been unintentional."
It is hoped that the excerpts below will give the reader some sense of what things were like in Scranton, and what people were thinking, reading and writing during this time. Some of the business advertisements, in particular, should prove to be quite amusing to the modern reader. Be sure to pay attention to the ad for Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor which promises to,"...cure the following among a great catalogue of diseases: burns, scalds, cuts, chafes, sore nipples, corns, bites, bunions, strains, poison, chilblains, biles, ulcers, fever sores, felons, ear ache, piles, sore eyes, gout, swellings, rheumatism, scald head, salt rheum, baldness, erysipelas, ringworm, barber's itch, small pox, measles, rash, &c."Now THAT'S one powerful salve! (I don't even know what some of these illnesses are!)
Page 2, column 1
To the Readers of the Republican
With this number of the Republican the subscriber's connection with the paper as its editor and proprietor ceases. The establishment has been purchased by F.A. Macartney, Esq., who will hereafter assume its editorial and business control.
Mr. Macartney possesses talent, energy and business tact, and will enter upon his editorial duties with a determination to place the Republican upon a firm business basis, and publish a paper that the people of Luzerne county will esteem it their duty, as well as pleasure, to sustain. It will be materially improved in every respect - in size, in typographical appearance, and in its editorial management. Nothing, in fact, will be left undone that may serve to make it an acceptable and instructive visitor to all classes of citizens.
It is unnecessary to say that its political "proclivities" will be unchanged. It will still support Republican principles - not feebly, as heretofore, but manfully, energetically, and with more talent and ability. It will fearlessly oppose the pro-slavery tendencies and unparalleled extravagance of the national administration, and the free trade views of many of its prominent supporters; but it will advance its opinions fairly and courteously and be entirely free from the low personalities that too often characterize the American press. But while having in view and fiercely discussing the political questions of the day, other equally important and interesting matters will not be overlooked. Local transactions, foreign and domestic news, the doings of the literary world, and the coal and iron and other interests of the Lackawanna Valley, will receive careful attention and be presented in a concise and attractive form.
In announcing this change in the propietorship of the Republican, the undersigned does not propose to take advantage of the privilege generally accorded to editors on such occasions, of writing a long valedictory, and does not choose to go into editorial hysterics, or labor to make his readers believe that he is about to break his heart of "collapse" with grief in parting with them. During his brief editorial career (he will take the occasion to say, however,) he has doubtless written and published many things which had better remained unprinted; but he has invariably aimed to do right, and his short-comings have always been unintentional.
The next edition of the Republican, under Mr. Macarthey's supervision, will be issued on or about the 27th inst. This delay is rendered necessary to give time to remove the establishment to larger and more commodious rooms and to effect the various improvements contemplated.
Page 2, column 2
The Famous Dead of 1858
The necrology for 1858 is distinguished by many notes names, but upon the whole, it may be remarked that Death has contented himself with fewer “shining marks” than usual. Among American statesmen the most eminent for the year was Thomas H. Benton. With him have departed Senator Evans, of South Carolina, Senator Henderson, of Texas, ex-Senator Bagby, of Alabama, General James Gadsden, of South Carolina, John A. Quitman, of Mississippi, Thomas L. Harris, of Illinois, and ex-President Anson Jones, of Texas. Among lawyers have died Benjamin F. Butler and Chief Justice Duer, of New York. Among authors, William Henry Herbert, William Jay and Madame Ida Pfeiffer. Among merchants, Anson G. Phelps, of New York, and John Adger, of Charleston. Among mechanics, Isaac Newton and John P. Allaire. Among scientific men, Bondland, the naturalist, and Robert Brown, the botanist. Among painters, Ary Schaffer. Among sculptors, Edward S. Bartholomew. Among theatrical characters, the great Racheal and Lablache, the singers. Among soldiers, Field Marshall Radetzky, of the American Army. Among navel commanders, two American Commodores, Matthew C. Perry and T. Ap Catesby Jones. Among philosophers, Robert Owen. Among prominent characters of the European courts, the Duchess of Orleans, Redschid Pacha, Grand Vizier of Turkey, and Baron Ward, (the Yorkshire Hostler,) Prime Minister of Parma. Among other notorieties deceased may be mentioned Soyer the prince of cooks, Dred Scott, whose name will be a famous one in the annals of the country, and Ebenezer Williams, the reputed Bourbon.
Page 2, column 6
An Epitome of News
The wife of Mortimer Thompson, ("Doesticks,") died at Brooklyn, N.Y., on Wednesday last.
Davis Dimock died in Montrose, 27th Sept., in his 83rd year. He had been a Baptist preacher in the Wyoming region and Montrose for nearly sixty years, and was an Associate Judge of Susquehanna county for a quarter of a century.
The New York Times designates President Buchanan "The Great American Mistake of the 19th Century," and says that he represents the United States in about the same sense and degree as Gen. Walker represents Nicaragua.
The Mauch Chunk Democrat is pleased to hear that the iron trade has very much improved within the last month. All of the works on the Lehigh Valley have been shipping to the cities all the iron they had on hand, and have as many orders as they can fill. The coal trade is "picking up," too.
The Washing correspondent of The Boston Advertiser call on the President New Year's day, and had the privilege of shaking hands with Miss. Lane, and having his pocket picked simultaneously, in the presence of a strong force of Irish police. All this was accompanied to the tune of Star Spangled Banner, played by a feeble band in an invisible chamber.
The New York Daily News is out in favor of separating the City from the State. It claims that the City and its suburbs contain one million inhabitants, that the City is riled by Northern and Western New York, with which its relations are not so intimate as with Connecticut and New Jersey.
The Senate of Indiana on the 8th ult., passed an amendment to the divorce law which had rendered that State the resort of discontented wives and husbands. The law will now require one year's residence instead of ten days as heretofore, and this must be verified by an affidavit, and by the evidence of disinterested persons. There seems to be no doubt that the House will pass the bill.
Page 1, column 4
Mississippi Ready for War
It will be remembered that Jeff Davis recently counseled the sovereign State of Mississippi to prepare for war. We are indebted to the Vicksburg Whig for the following inventory to be on hand:
4 flint lock muskets - all rusty and no breeches to at least two.
7 bayonets - rusty, with no points.
A pile of belts and scabbards, but no swords.
50 cartridge boxes.
The Whig adds: "We now have 5 Major Generals, 10 Brigadier Generals, and 60 Colonels, 60 Lieutenant Colonels, 60 Majors, and will soon have 600 Captains, 1200 Lieutenants, 4,800 Sergeants and 4,800 Corporals. We are happy to inform them, however, that we have no privates - the Legislature having dispensed with that useless portion of the army."
Jeff's Note: With this tongue-in-cheek article, we appear to have a classic example of how people underestimated the capabilities of the south on the eve of the Civil War.
Page 1, column 1
E.S.M. HILL, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Scranton, Luzerne Co., Pa., will attend promptly to collections and all other legal business entrusted to his care.
GEO. D. HAUGHAWOUT, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Office on Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, Pa.
D. MORRIS & CO. Merchant Tailors, opposite Wyoming House, Scranton, Pa.
J.AMSDEN, Architect, Civil and Mechanical Engineer. Office east corner of Lackawanna and Washington avenues, second door upstairs, Scranton, Pa.
C.W. ROESLER, Barber and fashionable Hair Dresser, basement of the Wyoming House, Scranton, Pa.
BANKING OFFICE, of Mason and Meylert, Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, Pa. Open at 9 a.m. close at 3 p.m.
SHERRERD & LEVENWORTH, ATTORNEY'S AT LAW, Scranton, Pa., (Office over Mason, Meylert & Co's. Bank.)
LAW FIRM. - Geo. Sanderson and E.N. Willard have associated as co-partners for the practice of law in Scranton. We intend to be prompt and punctual with business confided to us. Our Practice will extend to adjoining Counties whenever required. Office, rear of the Banking office of Geo. Sanderson & Co., Lackawanna Avenue, opposite the Wyoming House.
Geo. Sanderson - E.N. Willard
Scranton, Feb. 7, 1858.
W.M. FROTHINGHAM, M.D. - Late Resident Physician and House Surgeon to Bellevue Hospital, N.Y., and graduate of the School of Operative Surgery of Clamarts, Paris. Residence, Wyoming House, Scranton; Office, Schiager's Building, corner of Lackawanna and Washington Avenues, where he can be found at any hour of the night.
Dr. B.H. Throop
Rev. J.M. Hickock
Messrs. Jos. & Seldon Scranton
S. STEVENSON, Civil Engineer and Mining Supervisor, will resume the business of his profession after October 1st, 1858. Office above Plane No. 6, of the Pennsylvania Railroad at the former office of the Spencer Mines. Land surveys, surveys of mines, bridges and everything which belongs to his profession dispatched with promptness. E.B. Stevenson will continue the business of the Spencer Mines, where he will be prepared to fill orders for Coal at Dunmore, Providence or Scranton, with promptness and at market prices.
N.F. MARSH, M.D. , Physician and Surgeon, (late of Honesdale, Pa.) Residence on Mulberry street, between Washington and Wyoming Avenues, next door to Geo. Sanderson, Esq., Office, Purdon & Co's store, opposite the Wyoming House.
Begs leave to inform the citizens of Scranton and vicinity, that he has removed to this town, with a view to a permanent settlement, and offers his professions services to such as may need them.
He has permission to refer to his preceptor, Dr. W. Parker, East 12th Street, N.Y., and to the following gentlemen: Col. G.W. Scranton, Dr. B.H. Throop, Seldon Scranton, Esq.
DENTISTRY, DENTISTRY. DR. W.A. CHITTENDEN, RESIDENT DENTIST, Office in Sanderson Building, Lackawanna Ave. opposite Wyoming House. Dr. C., would respectably refer to the following named gentlemen:
The Messes, Scranton, Scranton,
Messes C.H. & W.G. Dowd, do.,
Mr. J.M. Chittenden, do.,
B. Leffingwell, Esq., N.Y.,
R. Buell, M.D., Brooklyn, N.Y.,
D.H. Hubbard, M.D., Clinton, Conn.,
J.B. Terry, M.D., Hartford, Conn.
All operations warranted
Page 2, column 1
More Fires On Sunday last, about twelve o'clock our citizens were again called out to a fire, which, when discovered, was making considerable headway in the rooms occupied by Mrs. S.C. Avery in the large brick building on Lackawanna Ave., owned by Robinson and Barton. The alarm soon emptied the churches of their congregations and filled the streets with people, who rushed to the scene to subdue the fire; but the rapid and energetic movement of the Nay-Aug Hose Company rendered all aid from "outsiders" unnecessary, for they had extinguished the fire before many of our citizens could even get a sight at the flames. The engine company made pretty good time, as usual, and soon arrived on the ground, but on this occasion they were too late to render any assistance. The fire was confined to the room in which it originated. The loss sustained, therefore, was not great.
Another fire occurred about one o'clock on Monday morning, which consumed a small building on Mulberry St., owned by Mr. Creter. Engine company No. 2. Was first on the ground. Origin of the fire is unknown.
Page 2 - Business Notices
The annual meeting of the stockholders of Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Company, for the election of officers, will be held at the Company's office, S.W. corner of 7th and Sansom St., Philadelphia, on the 2nd Tuesday of January, 1859 between the hours of 10 o'clock A.M. and 2 P.M.
J.B. Newman, Sec't.
Office of the Scranton Anthracite Coal Company of Pennsylvania, No. 38 Spruce St., N.Y.
Annual statement of affairs of the Scranton Anthracite Coal Co. of Pennsylvania as they existed on the 30th day of November 1858.
Amount of Capital Stock subscribed, $500,000
Amounts paid by lands and cash, about $446,000
Amount of debts, about $124,000
R.L. Crook, Pres't
K. Brakeley, Treas. & Sec'y.
Page 2, column 3
Another of those serious accidents which, unfortunately, are of too frequent occurrence in our midst, happened on Saturday morning at one of the shafts of the Penna. Coal Company. Thomas Powell, a faithful employee of this company, was killed instantly and two men employed under him were severely injured. - Pittston Gazette.
Page 2, column 3
Statistics disclose the unpleasant fact to travelers intending to cross the Atlantic, that there is one chance out of eight of their never living to see the other side. For the last four years, about 100,000 persons have made the trip - all told. In that time three trans-Atlantic steamers have been lost with 1,200 lives. For the last twenty years the average loss of life is about one in a hundred.
Page 3, column 1
MARRIED - In Hyde Park, Dec. 29th, by Rev. W.K. Mott, Dr. H.S. Cooper, of Waverly, Luzerne Co. Pa., to Miss Augusta Weed of Norwalk, Ct.
Page 3, column 1
IMPORTANT TO FEMALES - DR. CHEESMAN'S PILLS, Prepared by Cornelius L. Cheesman, M.D., New York City. The combination of ingredients in these pills are the result of a long and extensive practice. They are mild in operation and certain in correcting all irregularities, painful Menstruations, removing all obstructions, whether from cold or otherwise, headache, pain in the side, palpitation of the heart, whites, all nervous affections, hysterics, pain in the back and limbs, &c., disturbed sleep, which arise from interruption of nature. To married ladies. Dr. Cheesman's Pills are invaluable, as they will bring on the monthly period with regularity. Ladies who have been disappointed in the use of other Pills can place the utmost confidence in Dr. Cheesman's Pills doing all that they represent to do.
Warranted purely vegetable and free from anything injurious. Explicit directions, which should be read, accompany each box. Price $1. Sent by mail on enclosing $1 to any authorized agent. Sold by one druggist in every town in the United Stares. R.B. Hutchings, General Agent for the U.S.. 165 Chambers Street, New York, to whom all orders should be addressed. Sold by W.N. Purdon, Scranton; G.S. Boyle, Wilkes-Barre.
DALLEY'S MAGICAL PAIN EXTRACTOR. In all diseases inflamation more of less dominates; now to allay inflamation strike at the root of the disease - hence an immediate cure. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor, and nothing else, will allay inflammation at once and make a certain cure. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor will cure the following among a great catalogue of diseases: burns, scalds, cuts, chafes, sore nipples, corns, bites, bunions, strains, poison, chilblains, biles, ulcers, fever sores, felons, ear ache, piles, sore eyes, gout, swellings, rheumatism, scald head, salt rheum, baldness, erysipelas, ringworm, barber's itch, small pox, measles, rash, &c. To some in may appear incredulous that so many diseases should be reached by one article; such an idea will vanish when reflection points to the fact that the salve is a combination of ingredients, each and every one applying a perfect antidote to its apposite disorder. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor in its effects is magical, because the time is so short between disease and a permanent cure; and it is an extractor because it draws all diseases out of the effected part, leaving nature as perfect as before the injury. It is scarcely necessary to say that no house, workshop or manufactory should be without it.
No Pain Extractor is genuine unless the box has upon it a steel plate engraving, with the name of Henry Dalley, manufacturer.
For sale by all the druggists and patent medicine dealers throughout the United States and Canada. Principal Depot 135 Chambers St. New York.
(Note that this is the same N.Y. address as Dr. Cheesman's Pills, above!)
PUBLIC LECTURES, 1958-59. Young Men's Literary and Debating Club.
A Course of Eight highly popular Lectures will be delivered at Wyoming Hall, Scranton, and will comprise the following talent:
November 17th...Dr. Isaac I. Hayes...Subject - "Kane's Polar Sea."
Friday, Nov. 26...Park Benjamin...Subject - "Amusing Traits of American Character."
Saturday, Nov. 27...Park Benjamin...Poem - "Fashion."
Tuesday, Dec 14...John G. Saxe...Poem - "Love."
Friday, Dec 24...Hon Horace Mann...(New Lecture)
Friday, Jan 7, 1859...Bayard Taylor...Subject - "Moscow."
Friday, Jan 21...Hon Horace Greeley...Subject - "Great Men."
Friday, Feb 4...George W. Curtis...Subject - "Democracy and Education."
Lectures to commence at 7 ˝ o'clock. Tickets for the Course may be obtained at Amsden's Book Store, Post Office, Wyoming House, and at the door on the evening of the Lectures.
Office of the Black Diamond Coal Company of Scranton, Pa., No 15. Beaver St., New York.
ANNUAL STATEMENT of the affairs of the Black Diamond Coal Company, of Scranton as they existed on the 30th day of November 1858.
Amount of capital stock subscribed...$500,000
Amount paid in by lands...............350,000
Amount of debts, about................130,560
W.W. WINTON, Arest. J. P. J. P. Z., Treas, & Secy.
Page 3, column 2
Whereas frequent fires destroying much property and endangering human life, have recently occurred, which have been represented and believed by many citizens to be the work of incendiaries, and several attempts to fire other buildings have been made; therefore,
Resolved, by the Burgess and Town Council of the Borough of Scranton, that a reward of two hundred and fifty dollars will be paid for the detection and conviction of any person or persons who have been or shall be guilty of setting fire to any building of whatever kind within the limits of said Borough.
Attest, Geo. B. Chase, Sect
Scranton, December 1, 1858
Page 3, column 2
PUBLIC HALLS - SAFETY FROM FIRE
Resolution by the Town Council
Resolved, by the Burgess and Town Council in Council assembled, that the owners of Public Halls in the Borough of Scranton, be required to be put up on the front entrance doors of said Halls suitable fastenings in such manners as to fasten open, and prevent in case of fire, or an alarm of fire, the possibility of said doors being forced shut by a rush of persons, or obstructing the free escape of all within the Buildings. Said fastenings being so constructed as to be secured by lock and key. In case of any or all such owners of Public Halls refuse or neglect to put on such fastenings as herein provided, the High Constable is hereby authorized and instructed to cause and be put on said fastenings at said owners expense, and it shall be the duty of the said High Constable to see that said doors are fastened open upon every occasion said Halls are occupied by a public assemblage.
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