This summer the library received a donation of a single issue of the Alexandria Herald. [Note: Issues of the paper from June 3, 1811-June 2, 1819 are available on microfilm #00077; issues of the paper from June 9, 1813-December 28, 1825 are available on microfilm #00078.]
Newspapers of this period typically ran about four pages and were mostly text and advertisements. Technology and consumer demand contributed to dramatic changes in layout and design as demonstrated in another Alexandria newspaper, The People's Advocate, May 6, 1876, Document of the Month, July 2003.
Page 1 of this issue is taken from Blackwood's Magazine, "Speculation of a Traveller Concerning the People of the United States; with Parallels." The article compares the temperament, demeanor, and character of Americans, British, Irish, and Scots. A disclaimer on the following page notes "The article, which we insert on our first page, though it contains many libels, is not without some truths as regards the pecadillos of the American character -- yet it will not be the less amusing on that account."
Page 2 celebrates General Lafayette's recent visit to Yorktown, Virginia. President James Monroe had invited the General to visit the United States on the occasion of the country's 50th anniversary.
Page 3 carries dispatches from Gibraltar, the New York American, and Alexandria's Town Hall. It also includes employment notices, ship news, announcements and advertisements for property and goods.
Page 4 lists five categories of advertisements: "Marine," (e.g. steamboat passage from Washington and Alexandria to Richmond and Norfolk), "Dry Goods" (e.g. London Blue Cloth), "Groceries," (e.g. teas, St. Croix sugar, seed potatoes), "Notices," (e.g. news for stockholders, business re-locations, strayed or stolen silver hunting watch), and "Houses, &c" (e.g. rental property).
Ads for piano fortes, oysters, beaver hats, indigo, and seine twine also appear on this page.
For a complete list of newspapers in Local History/Special Collections see Special Collections Microfilm Index. A list of Alexandria newspapers in the collection appears below: