Newspapers of years ago …

Online First Pictou Island Memories

My son Jason was recently remodeling his century-old farm home and came across sections of old newspapers. They were found placed behind the original cedar shingles that protected the 27-inch wide spruce boards that the walls were constructed with. We are assuming that those newspapers were used for insulating purposes. The newspapers are in spectacular readable condition and are entitled (The Halifax Journal) with the printing date being 1873. The writings are very legible with news of the day from all over the world. I would like to share a story taken from one of those papers, word for word, dated June 18th 1873. This article dated is entitled, A Hundred Years Ago:

One hundred years ago (1763) there was not a single white man in what is now known as Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana or Illionis. The total population of the United States was 79,163. Then what is now the most flourishing part of the United States was as little known as the heart of Africa itself. I was not until 1776 that Daniel Boone left his home in North Carolina to become the first settler in Kentucky.

A hundred years ago, Canada belonged to France. Washington was a modest state and the United States was the most loyal part of the British Empire.

Remembering that this article was written in 1873, it states that a hundred years before (1773) there was but four newspapers in all of America. Steam engines and railroads had not been imagined. Telegraph and postal cards, friction matches and breach loading guns, stoves and gas for dwellings, rubber shoes, photographs, kerosene oil and safety lamps were unheard of. Compound blow-pipes and free schools, lever watches and greenbacks, cotton and woolen factories were unknown. Anything like the present meanings of these items very utterly unfamiliar. In 1773, not even a nail, or a brick, a pair of scissors, a razor, a woven pair of stockings, an axe or a hoe, a lock or key or a plate of glass of any size was made in what is now the United States.

In 1790 there were only 25 post offices in the United States. The microscope and the telescope were in their infancy as instruments of science and geology and chemistry were almost unknown.

In a word it is true, that to the century past have been allotted more improvements in their bearing upon the comfort and happiness of mankind then to any other which has elapsed since the creation of the world. This being dated June 18th 1873.

With all of these improvements within the past country, who would allow such narrow and contracted views as to object to a suitable Centennial Celebration of the marvelous progress of the age?

Dated June 18th 1873.

Some 146 years later in the year 2018, the population of United States is a staggering 327.2 million..

jimturple@eastlink.ca