Two more clips from Ron Edge’s collection. These are from the Daily Intelligencer in 1878, and are meant to be read (and explained) in the context of the history of the Seattle Waterfront and a Chapter 3 posting of that, which will soon follow this posting. The subject of Chapter Three is early railroad history as it related to Seattle’s efforts to compete with Tacoma and build its own line to the East, or at first to Walla Walla. That Whitman County center for agriculture and mining was then the largest city in the territory (and would stay so until 1881 when Seattle slightly surpassed it.) Seattle named its railroad the Seattle and Walla Walla.
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This – if memory serves – is the second insertion of “EDGE CLIPPINGS.” For the most part what falls below this logo “Puget Sound Alki” – meaning “Puget Sound Eventually” or “Puget Sound Coming” or bye and bye – will be clippings pulled from old Puget Sound based newspapers. For instance, No. 2 is taken from The Washington Gazette (out of Olympia) for August 15, 1863. It is an announcement of the nearly-new territorial university’s program and its new president W.C. Barnard, out of Dartmouth College by way of La Creole Academy in The Dalles , Oregon and then Willamette University at Salem, Oregon. A reading of the entire clip will soon reveal that Barnard not only knows his subjects but also how to discipline. And the clip makes clear that church and state were then still in a devotional embrace. So thanks again to collector Ron Edge for pulling this clipping from his collection and sharing it. Be assured dear reader that we will try – always try – to pick clippings that are both entertaining and instructive. And we confess that we enjoy sharing these in part because it is so easy to do. They are ready-made delights, revealing narratives and pithy trivia.
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One of the guaranteed delights of “doing history” is the opportunity it gives to read old newspapers, searching both for stories relevant to some subject at hand, but even more for just browsing, a fishing expedition of hope that is fulfilled so easily it is like trolling for trout in the bay of a lake with a spouting fisheries tanker on shore. (That is an experienced analogy. When I was eight or nine my dad and I caught our limit just so, with the help of a tanker releasing trout in the bay where we waited in a rented row boat. We took about 100 trout in less than hour from Newman Lake a few miles east of Spokane.) In the interest of this browsing we introduced now a new feature of this blog, which we will call “Edge Clippings.” The name is chosen in reference to our friend Ron Edge, whose growing collection of scanned old newspapers will be our primary, but not only, horde for finding and extracting stories like the one used here from Ron Edge’s collection. Although somewhat obscured by a bleeding pentimento – the stains and graphics showing through from the other side of the original lightweight newsprint – it can still be read. And the reader must really read to the end of this “sad” story to wonder at the non sequitur of its twisted moral. The clip is “grabbed” from the Courier, an Olympia paper, for Jan 2, 1874. The Courier got it from a Chicago source. Note the editor’s name upper-left. Clarence Bagley would later return to Seattle and become the community’s most prolific pioneer historian. Historylink.org will have a good bio of him.
RON EDGE’S REPLY
I thought it prudent or sympathetic to contact Ron about this feature that uses, in part, his collections and scans from them as well as a pun on his last name. His reply: “Feel free to use anything I send you, including my name. One of the main reasons I am digitizing my stuff is to share with anyone who is interested.” Ron closed his reply with a clip of his own choice. He remarks, “I did notice the tuitions were a bit lower back then at the U.” The then he refers to was 1873.