The “Daily Drift” on January 3, 1904

I have used newspapers and census records for family history research for a while, but haven’t used it for regular history research. I’ve started to do this now partly due to inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, Strange Company. In it, Undine (@HorribleSanity on twitter) uses newspaper articles and historical records to find some of the most fascinating stories and often mysteries. You should check it out, each week she has a story, a newspaper clipping, and a link dump of interesting posts.

In the mean time, here’s a newspaper clipping from the Nebraska State Journal on January 8, 1901, in what appears to be a regular feature called the “Daily Drift.” It comments on Nebraska weather, “looks like a short ice crop” this year, gives advice to a local man, mentions the “restoration” of a dead lobster, and comments on state politics.

There are two items which I found particularly interesting. One on Carry Nation, who I was researching at the time, and the other about the editor’s (I assume) opinion on women’s suffrage.

Nebraska State Journal article from Jan 8, 1901
Nebraska State Journal article from Jan 8, 1901

Carry Nation’s Motivations

“Mrs. Carrie Nation of Wichita justifies her recent act of destroying saloon furniture and fixtures by pointing to the sad fact that her first husband was much given to strong drink and died of delirium tremens instead of dying for her. She is not taking the most effective course that might be pursued in effecting the world’s salvation, but it may be worth something to her to know she is known.”

Carrie Nation had several motivations including a call from God and her hope to save women and children from the results of having alcoholic husbands and fathers.

But, yes she did marry Dr. Charles Gloyd, an alcoholic, who died just six months after Carrie gave birth to their daughter, in September of 1868. They had only been married since November 1867. For the rest of her life, Carrie also took care of Gloyd’s mother, Nancy.

Women’s Suffrage

“Man and woman are one and, politically, it seems to have been decreed that man is that one. You cannot change the eternal order of things without endangering the stability of social order, which is why our stentorian voice is raised against the proposition of giving women the elective franchise. If they needed it it would be different, but they do not. Let us therefore protect the republic by saving woman from herself.”

Do you really need to be told what I think of this as a 21st century woman? I’m sure you don’t, but one thing I do find interesting is that it’s not a big protest statement, but a statement of what the author seems to think is just common sense.

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These items are interesting, but not particularly unexpected. There are a couple of other things here that I might have to investigate though, including the “restoration to life of a dead lobster” and the deadly Christmas carol of Major Langford.

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