New from Kent and Essex, and America! | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have been busy adding 175,504 brand new pages to our collection, and we are delighted to welcome the three brand new titles which have been added over the past seven days.

So read on to discover more about our new titles, which represent England’s South East, as well as one very special title which focussed on providing advice for those looking to emigrate to the United States from Britain. Meanwhile, we have also made extensive updates to twelve of our existing titles, full details of which can be found below.

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We begin with our new specialist title of the week, the American Settler. Established in London in 1872, the American Settler was published from the offices of the Anglo-American Times as ‘a guide for British emigrants’ to the United States.

American Settler | 17 July 1880

Initially appearing every month before switching to a weekly publication schedule, you could find within its pages a:

…mass of information about the United States as a field for emigration, and emanating from a newspaper office wholly unconnected with emigration, and therefore having no interests to give a bias to the remarks, that information is of a reliable character; indeed, it is gathered from that laid before Americans of the Eastern States by the press of those States to guide American migration, and for the most part, therefore, it is not intended for republication in Great Britain.

Indeed, Chief of the Bureau of Statistics Edward Young remarked that the American Settler ‘is a marvel of cheapness and of condensed information,’ costing just one penny. With a circulation of approximately 5,000, the American Settler’s main audience consisted of Britain’s middle classes.

Our next new title of the week is the Essex Times. Established in 1863 and neutral in its politics, the Essex Times was published by Wilson and Whitworth in Romford. Claiming to have the ‘largest circulation throughout West Ham and South Essex,’ this title circulated ‘throughout Essex generally’ with an audience of 6,000.

Essex Times | 5 February 1910

Costing just one penny, this newspaper appeared every Wednesday and Saturday, Wednesday being market day in Romford. Romford’s main industries during the Victorian period were brewing, gardening, corn and cattle markets.

With a focus on local news from across the county of Essex – including Rochford, Stratford, Grays, Chelmsford, Saffron Waldon and West Ham – the Essex Times also featured a ‘London Letter’ and a general news digest entitled ‘Jottings on News.’ You can also find within its pages notices of births, marriages and deaths, railway timetables and column called ‘Wit and Humour.’

Rounding off this week’s trio of new titles is the Kentish Express. Established in 1855 as the Ashford and Alfred News, this weekly title served and still serves southern Kent today. Its first edition appeared on 14 July 1855, and was Kent’s first penny paper after the abolition of stamp duty on newspapers, which occurred in 1854.

Kentish Express | 18 July 1980

Changing its name in 1858 to the Kentish Express and Ashford News, the Kentish Express is still published in the town of Ashford and has four different editions, for Ashford, Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh.

In 1925 the Kentish Express courted controversy by publishing the following advert in its pages:

Young lady offers friendship to gentleman.

A writer for John Bull was enraged, proclaiming how ‘This sort of thing should not be published in any journal.’

Meanwhile, in November 1934 the Kentish Express was enlarged to 24 pages ‘of a more handy size,’ and ‘in addition to the usual complete county news it will contain many new features of general interest.’ It was also claimed at this time that the Kentish Express had ‘a larger circulation than any one paper in Kent.’

We move now to look at some of our updated titles of the week. We have added an impressive 57,950 new pages to the Staffordshire Newsletterwhich has served the ‘people of Stafford and Stone since 1906.’ We have also added nearly 40,000 new pages to Dublin title the Evening Irish Times, and we continue to augment early London daily the Morning Herald (London).

Also of particular interest are the updates we have made to Welsh language newspaper Seren Cymru

Settling in America

Our new specialist title the American Settler sheds a fascinating light on the growth of the United States in the late nineteenth century.

Its front page features a map of the country, listing its various states and their areas, alongside other countries. First and foremost comes Texas, which was then 274,316 square miles in size, the next largest land mass listed being the Austrian Empire at 240,918 square miles.

American Settler | 17 July 1880

But what sort of advice can you find for potential emigrants in the American Settler? A writer in the 10 July 1880 edition of the newspaper warmly recommends the Upper Mississippi Valley (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin), relating how:

This country is par excellence the field for settlement. It embraces the portion of North America which has gathered and is gathering wealth, population and power most rapidly.

All information in the American Settler was gathered from first hand accounts, often taken from American newspapers and then relayed to a British audience. One of these accounts comes from the Bismarck Tribune, which was published in the American Settler in July 1883 under the heading ‘Advice to Immigrants.’

‘On Board an Emigrant Ship’ | Graphic | 2 December 1871

With states across the country vying for new settlers, this writer states the case for North Dakota, reporting how:

If intending to change to the West, come to North Dakota. Here you will find excellent soil, richer and stronger in the elements that make grain or grass then any that can be found in the Middle States. Come as early as you can, and if you can come any time before the first of June, you will raise good sod crops from the first year.

An emigrant ship leaving harbour | Graphic | 3 October 1891

These sod crops included corn, beans and potatoes, with the writer further recommending to ‘bring your horses, cows and calves, and even chickens and pigs with you, as well as your furniture and farming implements.’ This paints a wonderfully vivid picture of migration through the United States, and we are informed that you can sell your horse for the price of $150 to $200, and your cow from $35 to $40.

But what if you were a woman who was seeking to move to North Dakota? Do not fear, for:

The country is full of kind-hearted industrious men who want wives.

A family farming in Philadelphia | The Graphic | | 22 December 1906

Employment for women could be found in service to private families, for ‘female help is in good demand at from $3 to $5 per week.’

North Dakota, says the writer, who had been living there for ten years, gave ‘every man’ a chance to make his fortune, relating how ‘Every man is entitled to 160 acres of land under the homestead, tree culture and pre-emption law.’ He signs off by proclaiming:

In the East there is no chance for a poor man. The West is full of opportunities.

Want to find out more about emigration to other states? The American Settler is your comprehensive guide, so have a browse in its pages today.

New Titles
Years Added
American Settler 1880-1892
Essex Times 1870, 1873, 1875, 1878, 1880-1882, 1884-1888, 1890-1896, 1898-1899, 1903-1907, 1909-1913
Kentish Express 1979-1982
Updated Titles

This week we have updated twelve of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

Years Added
Dundee Courier 1997
Evening Irish Times 1901-1904, 1906-1914
Gorey Correspondent 1873-1874, 1877-1878, 1881
Halifax Evening Courier 1898
Larne Reporter and Northern Counties Advertiser 1871-1872, 1874, 1876, 1884, 1888-1889, 1891, 1899-1900, 1903-1904
Luton Times and Advertiser 1855
Morning Herald (London) 1865-1869
Rochdale Times 1913
Seren Cymru 1851
Staffordshire Newsletter 1934-1971, 1973-1985
Teviotdale Record and Jedburgh Advertiser 1857
West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser 1991-1992

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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