We are closing out the old year with a bang. You will find below brief descriptions of three new books by highly respected authors. Ernest Thode has produced an expanded New Second Edition of his popular research aid, Historic German Newspapers Online. Joseph Lee Boyle, who has compiled a number of books that identify runaway indentured servants from the Mid-Atlantic region, has produced another such book about New Jersey runaways. And new author Jack Crowder, who earlier this year brought us a collection of vignettes on women heroes of the American Revolution, has now drawn from original sources an hour-by-hour account of the fateful battles that initiated the American Revolution. Please read on for details.
New Second Edition!
HISTORIC GERMAN NEWSPAPERS ONLINE
Your German genealogy research will not be complete until you have thoroughly examined all of the resources available—and that includes a search of German-language newspapers. Astonishingly, there are more than 2,000 historic German-language newspapers online at numerous public, private, and commercial websites. This new second edition of Historical German Newspapers Online, by genealogist and librarian Ernest Thode, will help you discover all digitally available German-language newspapers 50 years or older, search them by location and title, and narrow down the dates for which they are available online. Since the first edition of this book was published in 2014, a great many more historic German newspapers have been digitized, prompting the need for this enlarged second edition, which is nearly 100 pages longer than the previous edition. The book’s coverage is quite literally worldwide. Of course, by far the largest number of German-language newspapers online are from Germany, followed by Austria, then present-day Poland. But more than two dozen other countries throughout the world are represented, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia (country), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States.Whether you are a genealogist, family historian, demographer, migration researcher, or social historian, you’ll find that these newspapers are extremely useful resources.
“Great Lovers of Drink.” WHITE NEW JERSEY RUNAWAYS, 1720 1766
Whatever the motivation, runaway servants were not an uncommon phenomenon in the 18th century. One source estimates that between 20-25% of indentured servants fled their masters. From the genealogist’s standpoint, this presents a methodological problem since it was in the runaway’s best interest to conceal his/her identity after making a successful getaway. Fortunately many runaway identities were saved in the thousands of, often very detailed, runaway ads placed in colonial newspapers by the disgruntled “masters.” And this is precisely where the research and publications of Joseph Lee Boyle come in.
Since New Jersey had no newspapers at this time, Mr. Boyle assembled this list of New Jersey runaways, for the period 1720-1766, from advertisements in no fewer than 30 papers published from New England south through Maryland. Although we will never know precisely how many New Jersey indentured servants and other runaways fled their masters, Mr. Boyle has transcribed several thousand ads for missing persons with New Jersey connections. For this compilation the author has listed only white male and female runaways; however, for those ads where white and black runaways are listed together, blacks are so identified in the index at the back of the volume.
The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution: An Hour by Hour Account of the Battle of Lexington, Concord, and the British Retreat on Battle Road
Most school kids know that “the shot heard round the world” refers to the un-named British regular or Massachusetts militiaman who first opened fire at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Although we will never know whose musket started the American Revolution, author Jack Crowder has gathered together much of the first-hand information pertaining to the events on Lexington Green and between Lexington and Concord during the first day of the Revolutionary War.
With The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution: An Hour by Hour Accounts of the Battle of Lexington, Concord, and the British Retreat on Battle Road, Mr. Crowder’s second new book of 2018 devoted to our War for Independence, we have a documentary history of the people, places, times, and events that forever changed the course of our history. Mr. Crowder has delivered a concise hour-by-hour account of April 19, based on the writings of the participants and eyewitnesses. While no such work could omit the names of Paul Revere, John Hancock, Lord Percy and other notables, most of this story is told from the vantage point and in the words of the common men and women of Massachusetts. Most of the militiamen, for example, were farmers and shop keepers possessing virtually no military experience. Most were under thirty-five, and some were teenagers. Some, like Benjamin Balch and Samuel Payson, were clergymen. A few combatants were women, such as Prudence Wright of Pepperell, Massachusetts, the wife of a militiaman, who organized a group of women, dressed in men’s attire, to guard the road that passed through the town. These women ultimately captured two of the enemy on April 19. (Persons interested in this aspect of the American Revolution should see Mr. Crowder’s other book, Women Patriots in the American Revolution).
Interspersing sworn testimony of persons who survived Lexington and Concord with his own narrative, Jack Crowder keeps us on the edge of our seat with accounts of:
- The narrow escape of patriots John Hancock and Samuel Adams at 2:30 AM
- British commander Lt-Colonel Francis Smith learning about the nature of his secret mission only just before crossing the Charles River.
- The alarms sounded in a score of towns calling upon militiamen to advance upon Lexington
- The militiamen defense of Concord Bridge that prevented the British from confiscating the Patriot stores of arms.
- Extraordinary acts of heroism on both sides, including by septagenerian militiamen
The First 24 Hours of the American Revolution is amply illustrated with reproductions of period paintings, drawings, and photographs. There is also a town-by-town appendix of militiamen who were mortally wounded in the various skirmishes. Mr. Crowder’s inclusion, finally, of a bibliography of sources and a name index to all persons mentioned in the text or in the affidavits sworn by eye-witnesses will guide researchers who wish to investigate the people and events of “the first 24 hours” even further.