News from yesteryear
Published 9:21 am Friday, September 5, 2014
by Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
COURTLAND—Visitors at the Southampton Heritage Village/Agriculture and Forestry Museum will literally be taken back more than 150 years to the Civil War era when they read several 1860s newspapers on display in the Main Building.
Such articles as “A warehouse on the property of John L. Bacon on Grace Street in Richmond being turned into a hospital for wounded Civil War soldiers,” to ads offering rewards from $50 to $100 each for runaway slaves, filled the papers.
Other ads offered lard by the barrel, tobacco, liquor, piece goods and a palm-leaf fan. A list of those wounded and killed during the war was also published in one issue, as well as an ad offering a reward of $30 for a deserter from the Army Camp near Gordonsville.
These articles, advertisements and more are abundant in the four newspapers — one edition of the Richmond Dispatch dated July 4, 1862, and three editions of the Richmond Whig, dated July 30, 1863, Aug. 6, 1862 and July 4, 1862, donated recently to the museum.
The papers were given by Steven Morris of Ivor, who found them in an old abandoned building while hunting in Sussex County more than 50 years ago.
Morris said he came upon the papers in a box of trash in the structure, retrieved them and took them home.
He had them laminated and has held on to them all these years, according to Bill Vick, who heads up the museum.
“We’re so happy to have them,” Vick said. “We wish more people would donate items such as this — it’s Southampton history right at your fingertips.”
Vick said the papers, which are each one 23-by-18-inch page printed on both front and back, with small hand-set typography that is quite hard to see.
He said visitors will need a magnifying glass for reading them and glasses will be available for them to use.
The newspapers are displayed in the Main Building of the museum, which is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
They also will be available for public viewing on Heritage Day from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.