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New York Times Carriers’ Address Reviews the Year 1863 in Bad Verse, Including Freeing of Russia’s Serfs, and the Battle of Gettysburg
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For in this struggle vast The liberties of man shall rise or fall, And unborn generations to us call… The laborer on England’s soil, The peasants that in Austria toil, The serfs, that over Russia’s plains Are dropping now their long worn chains…”

On or around New Year’s Day, some newspapers printed “carriers' addresses” with an appeal for a holiday gift or donation from subscribers. Newspaper carriers were often the printer’s apprentices, sometimes younger than teenagers.

[CIVIL WAR]. Broadside, “Carriers’ Address / New York Times / To Our Patrons.” New York: Dodge and Grattan, [ca. January 1] 1864. 1 p., 15½ x 21½ in. Intricate borders and patriotic imagery.

Inventory #25040       Price: $1,350


Old Father Time is a carrier good— O’er al the world he goes his round—
Through crowded street and lonely wood, O’er wavy sea and solid ground,
He goes and visits every hearth / That dots the thickly teeming earth.
To hovel low or palace tall, To desert tent and castled hall…


For in this struggle vast The liberties of man shall rise or fall,
And unborn generations to us call, ‘Be firm, for on you all our hopes are cast.’
The laborer on England’s soil, The peasants that in Austria toil,
The serfs, that over Russia’s plains Are dropping now their long worn chains,
All men that beneath the load, Which tyrants lay, or feel the smart,
Which drives them on their weary road, Poor slaves, with bitter, burning heart,
Have looked with eager, anxious eyes, To where the Starry Banner flies;
For well they know that Banner bears The promise of the coming years,
And on its every fold they see This blazon, ‘All men shall be free’


‘Twere all too long to tell the story, Which makes this year ablaze with glory-
The heroes of the year to name, Who’ve found in death’s deathless fame, And now sleep well on pillows glory-‘
Twere all to long to name each day, On which the Starry Banner floated

Victorious over ramparts moated, O’er hills whence hostile batteries play,
O’er heaps of wounded, dead and dying, A beaten foe before it flying,
But one day stands among the rest, Wearing a brighter crown of glory-Through all the lands , from East to West, Never forgotten be its story.


For days, o’er Pennsylvania’s hills, And through her valleys far and wide/
Had swept in cruel wave on wave, Rebel invasion’s furious tide…
And as some sudden earthquake pours,/ From dark abysses of the main,
A billow vast, which onward roars / And spreads destruction o’er the plain;
But when against some moveless crag / It’s dashed, ’tis scattered, backward tossed,
So ’gainst the height, where waved our flag, / Dashed all in vain the rebel host,
Till darkening hopes again grew bright, / O’er Gettysburghs ensanguined height.


On right, on left they fiercely dashed—/ Driv’n backward, on again they came,
Their musketry incessant crashed, / Their batteries roared with sheets of flame,
While hissing ball and screaming shell / Made the dark air all thick with death,
And o’er it all their charging yell / Made e’en the boldest catch his breath.
And almost yield to black despair, / But God’s hand held the Banner there.


No! The Great River shouts to tell / That Freedom is again victorious,
That on that morning Vicksburg fell, / And o’er it waves the Banner glorious,
And that his current seeks the sea, / No longer chained by slavery.


Again roared Ocean on his strand, / Again the hills their silence broke,
And like a belfry all the land / With joy thrilled ’neath the double stroke.
While Freedom’s ‘chosen voices’ still, / The voice of the eternal sea,
And of the mountains, earth shall fill, Ne’er shall that day forgotten be
When Gettysburgh’s hard fight was won, And Vicksburg’s weary siege was done.


Thanks for the stout arms, black and white,/ Which bear the Banner of the free,
And for the stout hearts, which shall yet / Bury oppression neath the sea…


Historical Background

This copy, printed for New Year’s Day 1864, mentions the global trend towards freedom in 1863. It reviews the events of 1863, including Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and stanzas declare the importance of the conflict to preserving the hope of liberty on earth for all, from American slaves to Russian serfs.

A contemporary estimated that in 1860 or 1865, the carriers of New York papers, “in English, German, French, Irish, Welsh, Political, Literary, Theatrical, Scientific, and Religious, with their enormous issue, no doubt received, on a single New Year’s Day, no less than $5000 in pour-boires [gratuities] at the doors of newspaper subscribers in that city alone.”[1] The practice largely ended by the early twentieth century.

The New-York Times(1851-present) was founded by Henry J. Raymond (1820-1869) in September 1851. It generally supported the Republican Party until the 1880s (but was not as partisan as Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.) The inaugural issue described the paper’s purpose: “We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.” During the New York City Draft Riots of July 1863, Raymond and others drove rioters away from the Times office with Gatling guns.

Condition: Very good condition. One horizontal and one vertical fold, stain in upper right margin and very minor chipping at the bottom edge.

[1]Frederic Hudson, Journalism in the United States, from 1690-1872 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1873), 99.

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