J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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parties to whom the books were consigned they were totally overlooked, and there
was not a single volume out of the whole edition disposed of.

Mr. George P. Upton relates that the custodian of the warehouse mentioned
to him that the books perhaps ought to be offered for sale, at the same time
handing him a copy for examination. The books remained in the warehouse for
nine years undisturbed until the great fire of 1871 wiped them out of existence.
The copy which Mr. Upton had was loaned to a friend and never returned. In
fact it was learned afterward that the copy thus loaned was destroyed. There
is therefore no copy of this work in this specially made translation in existence

It may be remarked that while the romantic story of "Arne" is well known
to readers and may readily be found in the ordinary channels of the book trade,
this particular translation had been made by a Norwegian expressly for the pub-
lisher, and it was a very quaint as well as a unique production because the Eng-
lish text was full of Scandinavian idioms. The title page bore the imprint, "Pub-
lished by H. Geelmuyden's Widow."


A news item in the Chicago Times, printed in its issue of July 17, 1863, an-
nounced the arrival in the Chicago River on the previous day of the Norwegian
vessel Skjoldemoen, commanded by Captain L. Wesenberg with a crew of five
men, from Bergen, Norway, whence she had sailed on April 1 1th, arriving at
Quebec on July 2d, and making Chicago ninety-six days after leaving her home
port. This was the second vessel to arrive at this port from Norway, the previous
year having witnessed the arrival of the Sleipner. The voyage was a rough and
stormy one. Many gales were encountered, and the hardy Norse sailors were
occupied much of the time in fighting for the safety of their vessel and cargo.
But they reached Chicago safely and delivered a cargo of herring, stock fish,
anchovies and Norwegian cod liver oil.

The dimensions of this diminutive craft were sixty-three feet in length with a
breadth of seventeen feet, and with a capacity of fifty-five tons. She was sloop
rigged similar to the Viking ships of old. Her cargo of fish and oil weighted
the hull of the vessel so deeply that her deck was but twelve inches above the water


line. On her arrival she was moored at the foot of Wolcott street (now North
State street) on the north side of the river. The reporter for the Times and the
writer of the news item referred to, it is interesting to learn, was none other than
Mr. Elias Colbert, the well known astronomer, and for nearly fifty years a mem-
ber of the Tribune editorial staff which he joined soon after this event. The vessel
is described as "a tiny craft smaller than the average of our river tugs."

"While the tonnage of the Skjoldemoen was small," says the writer of a his-
torical sketch of the event, printed in the Times-Herald of January 6, 1901, "the
Chicago citizens of 1863 accepted her presence at their docks as indisputable
evidence that the city need not depend upon. New York for its ocean trade. The
town swarmed down to where the Norwegian bark lay, climbed on board, made
minute inspection of her cargo, questioned her crew, listened to glorious yarns
of the voyage and drank to the health of the sturdy captain over and over again.
Efforts were made to call a public meeting, and the captain was assured that on
his return voyage he should carry home many American products. He was in-
vited to come again and to urge other foreign vessel owners to take the trip. The
freedom of the city was his, and the tales of his exploits passed far west to the
new wheat fields of Iowa and Minnesota, where farmers were beginning to dream
of a foreign market for their cereals.

"The captain and his bark remained in Chicago until July 31st. There was
much to be done to the vessel before the home voyage was attempted. Finally
she was ready and a new cargo placed on board. This consisted of flour, pork,
hides, hams, tobacco, and kerosene lamps, all American products, and all for the
Norwegian trade. The bark set her pennant 'Homeward Bound,' the citizens
flocked to the docks and cheered. She made her way out into the lake and slowly
disappeared over the horizon's edge on the long three months' voyage back to
Bergen. Some there were who looked for her return, bringing other vessels with
her. But she never came back."

The sensations of the people of Chicago on the arrival of the Norwegian vessel
above described were, no doubt, similar to the thrills experienced by the people
of Boston a few years before. In 1847, a Chinese sea-going junk sailed into
Boston harbor, having made the voyage from China to that port by way of the
Cape of Good Hope. The surprise of the Boston people was very great at its
appearance, and the unwonted sight of such a craft in the harbor excited pro-
found interest. After remaining there for several months, during which time the
junk became a popular show place, it sailed away on its long journey back to


A daily newspaper advocating the principles of the "Know Nothing" party,
was started in the spring of 1855, by William W. Danenhower, a pioneer book-
seller of Chicago. The editorial staff was composed of Washington Wright, Will-
iam H. Merriam and George P. Upton. The paper was owned by Simon B. Buck-
ner. who afterwards became a general in the army of the Confederacy. It will
be remembered that a party bearing the title of the Know Nothing party, the
leading principles of which were the exclusion from participation in political
affairs of men of foreign birth, enjoyed a brief though flourishing existence in


the years 1854, '55 and '56. By May 1, 1856, the resources of the Native
Citizen, as it was called, were exhausted and its daily issues were discontinued.
A weekly issue, however, probably under another name, was continued during the
ensuing presidential campaign, its support being given to the so called American
party which had absorbed the Know Nothing party, whose candidate for the
presidency was Millard Fillmore.


The history of newspapers in the State of Illinois, previous to 1879, is the
subject of a volume by Franklin W. Scott, recently issued by the Illinois State
Historical Library. Some quotations and adaptations from the introduction to
this work occur in the following paragraphs. "The Civil War greatly affected the
newspapers and the newspaper situation, and set in motion certain developments
that were not fully worked out until after the close of the period with which this
paper deals. The stress and conflict of public opinion, and popular anxiety for
news from the armies and from Washington not only revolutionized the practise
of reporting and revised the form and make up of papers; it made dailies out
of weeklies, and overcame pious scruples against Sunday editions.

"The immediate effect was on circulation. The papers of the larger towns,
and especially of Chicago, were affected very advantageously. The circulation
of the Tribune rose from 18,000 in 1861 to 40,000 in 1864, and other papers
showed like increases. John Wentworth, who, in a panic at the prospect of war,
sold his Democrat lest he should be ruined, saw that journal help to swell the
increasing tide of subscriptions to a height hardly thought of before. The war
put the Chicago newspapers for the first time on a really money making basis. . .

"There were few dailies in the state outside of Chicago, and none of them
could compete with those of that city and St. Louis in furnishing news from the
front and from Washington. The Chicago and St. Louis papers gained at that
time a circulation all over the state which they have never lost."


An important part was played by the war in the changes that came in the
conduct of newspaper publishing. The war was directly the cause of the birth
of the "patent inside" device for the use of weekly papers published throughout the
country. Mr. A. N. Kellogg, publisher of the Baraboo, Wisconsin, Republic, find-
ing that in consequence of the enlistment of his patriotic journeymen printers he
would be unable to issue a full sheet on the regular day, ordered of the Daily
Journal office at Madison a number of half-sheet supplements, printed on both
sides with war news, to fold with his own half-sheets. "While mailing his edi-
tion," says F. W. Scott in a recent publication of the Illinois State Historical Li-
brary, "it occurred to him that if the awkward fact of his paper's being in two
pieces could be obviated, an excellent paper could be regularly issued with a
decided saving of labor and expense."

Acting on this idea, Mr. Kellogg himself began the printing of "patent insides,"
the first issue of which was made on July 12, 1861. The idea was at once taken
up by other Wisconsin papers and later Mr. Kellogg finding that much use was




In this house, Miss Bertha Honore was
ami-riod, in 1870. to Potter Palmer


made of this device, removed to Chicago and engaged in the business exclusively.
"Although the idea," says Scott, "originated in Wisconsin, and has been developed
in all parts of the country, Kellogg and Chicago have remained the center of the
industry, which has grown to enormous size. As Chicago was the center of the
patent inside industry, it was natural that Illinois newspapers should make more
general use of the idea than those of other states. The effect was not marked in
the first few years, but by the later seventies nearly one-half of the smaller country
weeklies were 'co-operative/ to use the word by which such papers were designated
in the newspaper directories. Many of them, no doubt, would not have been estab-
lished had not this invention greatly reduced the cost of production."


The Chicago Republican was incorporated in January, 1865, with a capital of
$500,000. The incorporators were Ira Y. Munn, John V. Farwell J. K. C. Forrest,
J. Young Scammon, of Chicago, and a number of other gentlemen from elsewhere
in the state. The projectors secured the services of Charles A. Dana, afterwards
of the New York Sun, as editor-in-chief. Dana had been assistant Secretary of
War under Stanton from 1863 to 1865, and had at an earlier period been asso-
ciated with Horace Greeley on the New York Tribune. Dana brought with him
J. G. Hazard who subsequently became well known as the musical editor of the
New York Tribune, and Frederick H. Hall now on the editorial staff of the Chi-
cago Tribune.

The first number of the Republican was issued May 30, 1865. "No paper
ever established in Chicago," says Moses, "had started out with more cordial de-
mand for its existence, with stronger backing or more flattering promises of suc-
cess; yet the result was not what its over-sanguine projectors had anticipated.
Differences arose between the editorial and business departments ;" and in May of
the following year Dana left the paper, and returned to New York. The Repub-
lican passed through a variety of experiences, editorial changes, changes in owner-
ship, and reductions in size and price, until at length just as it seemed about to
enter upon a career of prosperity the fire of October, 1871, swept away its en-
tire plant, the insurance upon which turned out to be worthless. However, publi-
cation was resumed after the fire for a few months. On the 12th of October it
reappeared and continued until March of the following year, when it was succeeded
by the Chicago Inter-Ocean.


In F. W. Scott's introductory essay to a recent publication of the Illinois
State Library, already referred to, he describes the formation of the Western
News Company. This company, he says, "grew out of the system organized by a
young and energetic Chicago newsdealer, John R. Walsh, to build up a business
on the increased demand for prompt delivery of newspapers and periodicals due
to the war excitement." The American News Company, up to 1861, had monop-
olized the business of distributing news publications, having its headquarters in
New York City.

"In that year, however, Walsh opened a news depot in Chicago to capture the


business of the Middle West, and commenced to supply the outlying towns of
Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Newsdealers in those states soon found
that they could get their newpapers from Walsh twelve hours earlier than from
the American News Company, and twenty-four hours earlier than by mail. Walsh
soon had all of the business, and kept it throughout the war. By this time he
was distributing fully one-half of the total issues of the Tribune and the Times.
This competition led to negotiations which resulted, in 1866, in the absorption
of his business by the older company, of which it became the first branch with
Walsh as manager."


The residents of Evanston were apprised by the Evanston Press, in its issue
of July 2d, 1898, that the Chicago papers would not be issued on that day, for
the reason that the members of the Stereotypers' Union had gone on a strike, this
being in explanation of the non-appearance of the papers on that morning, at a
time of great public anxiety for news regarding the events then transpiring. The
Press further stated that "the news from the great battle of Santiago which began
yesterday will not be read today, and the people will have to get their war news
off the bulletin boards, or wait until the publishers of the great dailies and their
Stereotypers come to terms." In fact for some days thereafter Evanston people
were supplied with the news from the special daily issues of the Press, which
under usual circumstances was issued but once a week. The Press, not having
the privileges enjoyed by the great city dailies by reason of their possession of
franchises in the Associated Press, was obliged to telegraph to Washington for
the news as it was received there from hour to hour, and was thus enabled to
announce the greatest event of the Spanish-American War, after that of Dewey's
capture of the Spanish fleet in the Bay of Manila, namely the destruction of
Cervera's fleet at Santiago.

This was the time when the news from the seat of war in Cuba was of the
most exciting character, the siege of Santiago by the land forces of the United
States having reached the point of making an assault upon the city. Already the
battles of San Juan and El Caney had been fought, and the public was eagerly
waiting to hear of the capitulation of the besieged city which seemed to be as-
sured. It was just at this time that the Stereotypers chose to make their de-
mands for increased compensation, believing that the publishers would promptly
comply in view of the public demand for news. In this they were disappointed,
all the publishers standing together in resistance to the demand, and announcing
that all further issues of the daily papers would be suspended until the places of
the strikers could be filled or terms arranged.

After the issue of the morning papers on July 1st, there were no further
issues until the morning of the 6th; thus four days elapsed without an issue, when
the interest of the public was most intense to learn the news from the war, these
four days covering the final stages of the siege and the capture and destruction
of Cervera's fleet on the <lth. In its issue of the 6th, the date when publication
was resumed, the Tribune had this to say regarding the difficulty that had resulted
in the suspension of all the dailies in the city. "The strike on the part of Stereo-


typers' Union, No. 1, of Chicago, which has interfered with the publication of
the English newspapers of this city, was precipitated by that union after un-
usually protracted and earnest efforts had been made by the associated publishers
of Chicago in the interest of harmony." The demands of the stereotypers amounted
to an increase of from thirty to forty per cent in their wages, which the publishers
refused to pay for the reason that the Union had made their demands "in peremp-
tory and menacing fashion." The publishers, too, believed that in view of previous
demands by trade unions, which had resulted favorably to them, that they, the
publishers, had reached a point where "this condition of menace and danger had
become intolerable." It was thus that the publishers chose to suspend publica-
tion, rather than submit to the tyranny of "the most radical and inconsiderate
elements of the unions." The result of this unfortunate and ill-timed strike was
the return of the strikers without accomplishing their object, as the publishers
absolutely refused to make any concessions under the circumstances.

This period of suspension was of the most embarrassing character to the great
dailies, which thus suffered the loss of four days of issues at a time when their
sales would probably have broken all records. But to have yielded "would have
been to surrender the management of business to the stereotypers, and to establish
a precedent which might have been ruinous" to the publishers.


"The [Civil] war had brought prosperity to the Chicago papers," writes F. W.
Scott, "and had shown very clearly the need, in that news center, of a press asso-
ciation which would do for Chicago and other middle western papers what the
American News Association was doing for those of New York. On the initiative
largely of Joseph Medill, of the Chicago Tribune, a meeting was held at Louis-
ville, Kentucky, on November 22d and 23d, 1865, at which the Western Associated
Press was formed. Horace White, afterwards editor-in-chief of the Tribune,
was made a member of the executive committee.

"The forming of this association not only meant co-operative use of telegraph
news among the papers that held membership, but also through co-operation with
the New York Association it greatly broadened, at a minimum cost, the news
resources of both the western and the eastern papers. Without such associations
the telegraph would never have been able to keep pace with the demands of the
press, and the telegraphic news service of anything like the scope attained even
by 1870 would have been possible only for the largest and wealthiest papers.
The effect of this organization and its successors, the Associated Press, upon
the number of papers full} 7 equipped with news service, particularly the daily
papers, of course, is not to be overlooked. One direct result was to make a close
corporation of the newspapers already existing in any particular place, and to
render it almost impossible to start a new newspaper that could compete with
them, inasmuch as the newspaper could not get the Associated Press dispatches
without their consent."


Before the day of photographers there were daguerreotypists. Alexander Hes-
ler was an artist of the latter description, having a studio in Galena in the early


fifties. He had won a wide reputation both for his portraits and his out-of-door
views. No toils were severe enough to prevent him from carrying about the un-
wieldly apparatus required by the older processes of his calling, for the purpose
of procuring views of scenery, groups of persons, or buildings, and it is owing to
his patience and unflagging industry, that so many valuable pictorial records of the
time are preserved to us.

When photography succeeded the older processes Mr. Hesler soon became an
adept in its practice. He was commissioned by a New York publishing house to
explore the country along the upper Mississippi and procure views in that pic-
turesque region. At Fort Snelling he heard of a waterfall in the neighborhood
known as Brown's Falls, and soon after took a number of views of the charming
scene. On his return the picture was exhibited in his studio, and there seen by
George Sumner, a brother of Charles Sumner, who had been attracted by Mr.
Hesler's reputation, and who had made him a visit at Galena. Mr. Sumner took a
print of Brown's Falls with him on his return to Boston, where it most fortunately
fell into the hands of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet, who was then making
a study of Western history for his poem "Hiawatha." His beautiful description of
the Falls of Minnehaha was written after seeing this picture and being inspired
by it. Mr. Longfellow, in acknowledgement of his obligations to the maker of
the picture, sent Mr. Hesler a copy of the poem with his compliments.

Mr. Hesler removed his studio to Chicago in 1853. Soon afterward he made an
exhibit of his work at the Crystal Palace in New York, and received the highest
award. That exhibition made a sensation, as nothing so perfect in the way of
portraits had yet been produced. In 1858, at the Illinois State Fair, Mr. Hesler
was awarded three silver medals ; and in 1 876, at the Centennial Exhibition in
Philadelphia, he received the highest awards. The splendid well known photo-
graphic views from the cupola of the old courthouse in Chicago were taken by
Hesler in 1858, and are the best pictorial records of the scenes of that time
that we have. After the great fire of 1871, which destroyed his studio and its
contents, Mr. Hesler removed to Evanston. In 1887 he issued a beautiful volume
of views entitled "Picturesque Evanston," and besides those contained in that
collection he took a great number of views throughout the village, then becom-
ing the most attractive town in the West.


"But keen and sympathetic as was his feeling for nature," writes his daughter,
Mrs. Helen Hesler Kilbourn, "it was the study of the soul in the human face
that most delighted him." Many of Chicago's well known citizens sat for their por-
traits in Hesler's studio. One morning in February, 1857, Mr. Lincoln came
in for a sitting. "His hair was long," said Mr. Hesler in his account of the visit,
"and I asked him if I might arrange it, to which he replied, 'Fix it to please you.'
I ran my fingers through his hair, throwing it off his forehead." The picture
shown as the result of this sitting is a profile view of the head and face. "In
1860," says Mrs. Kilbourn, "Mr. Hesler wrote Mr. Lincoln that the Republican
National Committee had requested him to make a more 'dressed-up portrait' to
comport better with pictures he had made of Douglas, to be used in the campaign.


He kindly replied that his friends had decided that he should remain in Spring-
field until after the election, but if he would come down there he would give him
sittings. Mr. Hesler went down the last of June and secured a number of good
negatives, prints from which in reduced form were scattered by thousands all
over the country."


An odd genius, by the name of Charles D. Mosher, flourished in Chicago before
the fire of 1871. He had a photograph gallery at 146 Lake street at that time,
and some years after the fire we find him at 125 State street. In 1883 he
deposited some thousands of memorial photographs in a vault of the City Hall.
These photographs he had been taking for this purpose for two years previously,
and they were to remain there until the second Centennial, 1976. He says in
the "key" to the list of names, printed in a small volume describing the plan,
"the photographs are cabinet size, and photographed with that accuracy that
there is not so much as one single hair added to or taken from the likenesses."

These memorial photographs were to constitute a "Memorial Offering," and
"are to be deeded to the City of Chicago." Mosher was a sort of "Colonel Sellers"
in the expansiveness of his ideas, in which were included plans for providing for
Chicago great public buildings for all sorts of purposes, a museum, art gallery,
opera house, and library; all to cluster around the nucleus furnished by his col-
lection of "Memorial Photographs." Just how this was to be accomplished was
not made quite clear. In his plan, elaborately detailed, he quite eclipses the well
known "Plan of Chicago," recently presented to the public. He also gives his
views at length on "the duty every person owes his fellowman," and says he has

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.2) → online text (page 28 of 55)