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Handwritten newspapers appeared in a variety of social contexts in the 19th-century U.S.1 The largest extant portion of 19th-century handwritten newspapers emerged from home and school settings. More far-flung examples include those written aboard ships during exploratory and military voyages. Others were produced within institutions such as hospitals and asylums. Such works were written during times of privation, including life in an army regiment or a prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War. At other times, handwritten newspapers accompanied efforts at westward settlement and transcontinental railway journeys. Impromptu papers could follow in the wake of natural disasters that knocked out print-based means of communication, and they could become part of a convent’s social and spiritual life. For scholars of Native American studies, the most well-known handwritten newspaper (which might be better termed a literary journal) is The Muz-ze-ni-e-gun, or Literary Voyager, in which appeared works by the Ojibwe writer, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft.


This chapter appears in book: Handwritten Newspapers: An Alternative Medium during the Early Modern and Modern Periods (pp.81-97). Published by the Finnish Literature Society.