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On Jon’s Desk: Scrapbook of Clippings from New York Daily Tribune, a collection of newspaper clippings concerning the Utah War (1850s)

Albert G. Browne, Jr.'s Handwritten Note

“The following letters were written to the Tribune from Camp Scott by Mr. ….. during my absence from the Camp from Jan 5. to May 27. 1858. During that interval I was employed on a journey to the States with despatches from Gen. Johnston to Gen. Scott, and in returning.”
– A. G. B., jr., handwritten note contained in Scrapbook of Clippings from New York Daily Tribune

Title: Scrapbook of Clippings from New York Daily Tribune

Compiled by: Albert G. Browne, Jr.

Printed: New York, 1857-1886

Edition of One (scrapbook)

Call Number: F826 N49

Image of page containing editor's envelope and Catholic University of America stamp.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would describe the Scrapbook of Clippings from New York Daily Tribune as an outwardly ugly book containing a beautiful wealth of historical information and research value. Any historian who has spent hours searching microfiche will tell you that finding and assembling relevant newspaper articles for research can be brutal. A collection of related articles on a specific subject presented by a contemporary, primary source is, therefore, a veritable treasure trove. This is exactly what this scrapbook of clippings is. As a collection of newspaper article clippings from the New York Daily Tribune primarily from the 1850s on the topic of Johnston’s Army and its expedition to Utah it provides insight into the historical record of that time from an East Coast perspective (albeit resting upon accounts from witnesses present with the Army).

Image of first page of newspaper clippings in the scrapbook.

The Library of Congress describes the New York Daily Tribune in this way:

“Horace Greeley founded the New York Tribune as a Whig party, penny paper on April 10, 1841, and would continue as its editor for the next thirty years. During Greeley’s tenure the Tribune became one of the more significant newspapers in the United States, and Greeley was known as the outstanding newspaper editor of his time. In 1924 the Tribune merged with the New York Herald to form the New York Herald Tribune, a publication which would remain a major United States daily until its demise.

“Distinguishing features of the early penny press were their inexpensiveness, their appeal to the average reader, their coverage of more and different types of news, and, in some instances, a marked political independence. Penny papers such as the New York Sun and the New York Herald were known for their emphasis on lurid crime reporting and humorous, human interest stories from the police court. The Tribune offered a strong moralistic flavor, however, playing down crime reports and scandals, providing political news, special articles, lectures, book reviews, book excerpts and poetry. As with other penny papers, the Tribune was not averse to building circulation by carrying accounts involving sex and crime, but it was careful to present this material under the guise of cautionary tales.

“Greeley gathered an impressive array of editors and feature writers, among them Henry J. Raymond, Charles A. Dana, Bayard Taylor, George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, and, for a while, Karl Marx served as his London correspondent. Reflecting his puritanical upbringing, Greeley opposed liquor, tobacco, gambling, prostitution, and capital punishment, while actively promoting the anti-slavery cause. His editorial columns urged a variety of educational reforms and favored producer’s cooperatives, but opposed women’s suffrage. He popularized the phrase “Go west, young man; go west!” The Tribune supported Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but opposed his renomination in 1864.”

Please see the Library of Congress webpage here for more information on the New York Daily Tribune.

Also of interest is the provenance, or history, of the scrapbook, itself. According to stamps in the scrapbook it once belonged to the Catholic University of America. Why they chose to let this treasure go may perhaps always be a mystery. If you are interested in what the Catholic University of America is, please go to these links:

The Scrapbook of Clippings from New York Daily Tribune be just about the ugliest looking book you have ever seen, but it is an amazing historical source that likely has and will continue to save researchers much time and eyesight thanks to the scrapbooking skills of one newspaper clipper, Albert G. Browne, Jr., a century and a half ago.

Contributed by Jon Bingham, Rare Books Curator

Editors note:

We recommend the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive Lecture:

Save Everything

“Save Everything!: Reflections of a Historian on Archives of the Future”
Dianne Harris, Dean, College of Humanities and Professor of History
Tuesday, March 7 at 7PM
Gould Auditorium, Level 1
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah

For centuries, historians have been using primary source material preserved in archives — drawings, texts, artifacts of material culture [like this scrapbook!], and more — to shape their narratives of the past. How has the digital turn changed the ways historians now interact with primary sources? How has the availability of vast quantities of digital data shaped the nature of historical research? And what is the future of the archive in the digital era?

Please join Dean Dianne Harris as she discusses this topic from her perspective as an architectural and urban historian.

Dianne Harris is Dean of the College of Humanities at The University of Utah, where she is also a professor in the Department of History. She holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley. Dean Harris currently serves on the boards of the National Humanities Alliance, and the Utah Humanities Council. In 2015, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities.

For more information contact Judy Jarrow at 801-581-3421 or

View the original article on the OpenBook Blog

1 Comment
  • Dave Morrison
    Posted at 18:59h, 28 February Reply

    Fascinating primary source! Any plans to recapture the text, or digitize the text if readable?!

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