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Interesting coincidence of names re: Lincoln...
Item # 581804
December 5, 1863
SOUTHERN ILLUSTRATED NEWS, Richmond, Dec. 5, 1863 A very rare publication from the Confederacy, only a few issues of which having come into our inventory over the past 35 years.
The front page features an engraving of "Captain William Downs Farley" with the balance of the front page taken up with a biography of him, which includes near the beginning: "..a man so notable for daring, skill & efficiency as a partisan that all who valued those great qualities honored him as their chiefest exemplar...". This biography is very extensive & carries over to take most of an inside page.
Much of the remainder of the issue is taken up with various literary items.
However by far the most significant content would be the three back page items which bring together on one page in a Confederate newspaper many of the names involved in the Lincoln assassination that would happen more than a year in the future. Under the theatrical reports is mention that: "...Laura Keene, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Walcott...lately formed an alliance known as 'Laura Keen'es Combination & have been traveling through the Northern States...On Monday last huge posters were put out announcing the 'American Cousin' with Charles Walcott in one of the principal parts..." Remember that Laura Keene starred in "Our American Cousin", the performance at Ford's Theatre the evening of the assassination. Also on the bkpg: "Edwin Booth is playing in Boston supported by Mrs. Anna Cornell & Mr. Marshall." He was the brother of John Wilkes Booth. Even his name is here, performing at Ford's Theatre no less: "The present week is announced as the last of J. Wilkes Booth...at Ford's New Theatre, Washington, D.C." And a bit further on is even mention of the President: "...preparatory to his appearance at Richmond in the character of one of President Lincoln's special peace envoys as already announced..." (see). This page brings together the names Laura Keene, John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, the play "Our American Cousin" and Ford's Theatre, an almost eerie coincidence, particularly for a Confederate newspaper.
Begun on September 13, 1862 the "Southern Illustrated News" sought to fill the void left when the Southern States lost access to Harper’s Weekly and other illustrated newspapers from the North. In its “Salutatory,” in the first issue the editors state: "...We propose to issue an Illustrated Family Newspaper…devoted to literature, to public instruction and amusement, to general news, and to the cause of our country in this trying hour when she is engaged in a terrible, but resolute and hopeful struggle for her liberty and independence..."
Although it could be argued it never lived up to all of these goals as reports from the war were very limited, it was an important publication nonetheless. At its peak boasting as many subscribers as the largest daily paper in Richmond. As with all Southern publications it suffered from lack of supplies, reporters, artists and engravers as many had been drafted either into the military or into the service of the Confederate administration to engrave paper money and stamps. The engravings were crude when compared to Yankee publications.
Complete in 8 pages, never bound nor trimmed, very nice condition.