NOTICE TO MEMBERS:
The next annual membership meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society will be held March 31, 1932, at the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, beginning at ten o'clock a. m. The meeting is held at Tulsa on the invitation of the University. The business meeting will be held in the forenoon and the afternoon will be given over to the program which will be mailed to the members. At eight o'clock p. m. Honorable Charles Hillman Brough, Ex-Governor of Arkansas, will make an address on the early history of Arkansas and Oklahoma, especially on that part of Oklahoma which at one time constituted a part of Arkansas. Governor Brough is a very able and interesting speaker, and his address alone is worth the time and expense that it will take to go to Tulsa.
The University of Tulsa, Chamber of Commerce, and the people of Tulsa have requested a large attendance, and the membership while there will have the opportunity of visiting the Museum of the University, including the Bright Roddy, Ellis Clarke Soper, Alice M. Robertson, and James A. Wolfe collections of Indian relics and documents. Also other collections of Indian and historic relics in Tulsa.
Seldom a week passes that some one does not write or telephone to the Historical Society in regard to an old newspaper published over 130 years ago. Every one who has one of these papers thinks it is of great historical value in that it contains an account of the death and funerals of George Washington. They tell us that the copy of this paper which they have is one of the originals and that there is no doubt about its authenticity. Some even trace their copy of the Ulster County Gazette back through the family history for several generations. We tell all of those who own one of these original (?) copies that the Society has one of these papers in a glass case in the Museum and two or three other copies in the files of the Society.
The Autumn number of the Michigan Historical Magazine contains a six page story giving the history of the Ulster County Gazette, from which we purloin the following:
"At a time when elaborate preparations are being made everywhere for celebrating the bicentennial of Washington's birth in 1932, there are abundant reasons for giving attention to the many reprints of the Ulster County Gazette, published at Kingston, New York, January 4, 1800.
"The funeral of George Washington accupied parts of the inside pages with the customary inverted rules to give the black borders of mourning, which made the paper an attractive item contemporaneous with Washington's passing.
"The flood of reprints of this humble little newspaper has caused it to be referred to as 'without doubt the most widely known literary relic in this country.'
"For years as the month of February drew near, the librarians and newspaper editors of the nation have received appeals from owners of copies of that famous newspaper, nearly every one of the owners was convinced that the copy possessed was an original, which had been in the family for generations."
"No other item in American literature has received such extensive, minute and careful study as this Ulster County Gazette. The decision arrived at is that not one original copy is known to exist at the present time.
"Sixty-seven reprints, beginning about 1825, have been catalogued. There is little surprise in the quotation that the Ulster County Gazette 'covers the county like the dew.' Probably a ten-year-old issue of any present day newspaper in the United States would be more difficult to find than one of the reprints of this paper one hundred and thirty-one years after its first appearance."
The Michigan Magazine quotes from many authorative sources and they all seem to agree that there are no original copies of this old paper known, but, however, it is possible that there could be such a copy.
The American Antiquarian Society has a copy of a letter from Mr. McKinsey telling how a reprint was made in the office of the Daily News, Frederick, Maryland, which was quoted by the Michigan History Magazine: "Ordinary news print was cut to the proper size and soaked in an old tan vat to give it the semblance of age and then after drying the papers, reprints were made about 1888 and run off in ten-thousand lots. These were shipped to customers wherever ordered for a period of ten years, and were sold by him at county and state fairs."
Hundreds of copies of the reprint of the Ulster County Gazette were sold at the Centennial in Philadelphia in 1876.
In order to answer the many questions concerning this paper, the Division of Accessions, Library of Congress, issued a circular several years ago entitled, "The Ulster County Gazette of January 4, 1800," giving information about the many reprints. This circular reads: "Almost every private owner of one of these reproductions honestly believes that he has the original copy, but persons who are competent to decide and who have taken an interest in the question, are of the opinion that no authenticated original issue can now be traced."
Whether, original or reprints, these old Ulster County
Gazettes giving an account of the death of Washington are valuable and of great service to the student of American history.
A group of Tulsa women interested in Oklahoma history have formed the initial chapter of an organization to be known as the Tulsa Historical Society, with aims similar to those of the Oklahoma Historical Society with which it expects to cooperate. By unanimous wish of its members, the chapter was named the Rachel Caroline Eaton chapter, honoring one of its charter members, one of Oklahoma's outstanding historians. The officers of the newly created chapter are Mrs. Roy R. Westbrook, president, Mrs. George F. Brigham, vice president, Mrs. W. P. Hicks, second vice president, Mrs. Clifton M. Mackey, secretary, Miss Anna M. Anderson, corresponding secretary, and Mrs. Powell Clayton, treasurer. Organization of local historical societies indicates a gratifying expansion of interest in Oklahoma history and offers means for the State organization to extend its work and influence. Similar societies have been formed in Tahlequah, Claremore and Muskogee, and in Pottawatomie County, and it is hoped their example will be followed by other communities. Such local societies should not only stimulate interest in the history of their immediate neighborhood, but should be able to pursue research for available historical material that the State organization, because of its limited facilities, is unable to discover.
Washington Irving arrived at Fort Gibson on the eighth day of October 1832, and two days later began the journey described by him in his Tour on the Prairies. There is considerable interest manifested throughout the state in celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of his visit. The presence of Irving within the limits of this state and the subwere notable events and deserve to be fittingly observed on sequent publication of his classic description of our country the centenary of his visit.
In Muskogee and surrounding country, steps are under way to prepare for such a celebration. From Tahlequah,
Wagoner, Haskell, Prior and other towns, citizens have attended meetings in Muskogee where plans have been discussed. The Muskogee Historical Society is taking the lead with the cooperation of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Legion, the Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Veterans, and other organizations. Without waiting for the general scheme to develop the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution have decided on lacing a stone monument near the bank of the Verdigris River in the vicinity of the former Osage Agency and trading houses on one aide of the stream and the Creek Agency on the other. It was here Irving began his description in his book, and where the company of which he was a member departed for the West on the tenth day of October 1832. It is planned that this monument shall notice also the location nearby of the historic Texas road and of the house of Sam Houston three miles away. The Tulsa Historical Society is making its plans also for the proper observance of Irving's visit and his presence on or near the site of Tulsa. It is proposed that the Oklahoma Historical society shall lend its countenance and assistance to the celebration by undertaking to stimulate interest in communites where the movement has not yet taken form.