Archival Publications: Newspapers and Magazines

“A Stage Ride to Col­orado,” Harper’s Mag­a­zine, July 1867

Many geneal­o­gists are aware of his­tor­i­cal news­pa­pers, and search them out on,, and the Library of Con­gress. But there are some impor­tant archival pub­li­ca­tions that are avail­able with the orig­i­nal pub­lish­ers.

Harper’s Mag­a­zine has been pub­lish­ing month­ly issues since July 1850. Cur­rent suscribers to the mag­a­zine have access to all of the con­tent of the mag­a­zine from its ini­tial run until the cur­rent month.

If you are lucky, you will find an arti­cle, as I have done, which talks about an event your ances­tor was involved in.

The arti­cle, “A Stage Ride to Col­orado” by Theodore R. Davis cov­ers the stage coach route through Kansas to Den­ver, which was guard­ed by the 1st US Vol­un­teers. My 3rd great grand­fa­ther, Thomas David Via, was a team­ster in the 1st US Vol­un­teers. This group of sol­diers, the first “Gal­va­nized Yan­kees,” joined the Fed­er­al army from Point Look­out Prison Camp for Con­fed­er­ates in order to avoid what was a prob­a­ble death in the prison. Because they had been Con­fed­er­ates, they end­ed up get­ting sent out to the West to fight the wars against the Indi­ans, who had been in rebel­lion because the Fed­er­al troops were pre­oc­cu­pied with com­bat­ting the Con­fed­er­ates.

Harper’s Mag­a­zine

But, even if your fam­i­ly and its expe­ri­ences are not cov­ered by Harper’s Mag­a­zine, it remains an impor­tant chron­i­cle of Amer­i­can life and cul­ture. Geneal­o­gists would be served well by read­ing con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous jour­nal­ism to under­stand the times, if not the life, of the sub­jects of their research.

You might also con­sid­er look­ing at the archives of the New York Times. The Times posts every arti­cle pub­lished since 1851. (There is a small fee for down­load­ing the con­tent.)

Tomor­row, I will write about what I found at the Times about an ances­tral cold case from 1854.



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