Front page - 1865

On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 

Medicinal purposes

In 1865, if you were afflicted with indigestion, there’s a good chance that a doctor might prescribe you his finest aged brandy for relief. Far from the obvious punchline it appears to be, the use of alcohol as medicine was accepted by medical professionals for decades on end. In the advertisement on this page, H.E. Slaymaker of Reigart’s Old Wine Store describes the healing properties of straight brandy for the aforementioned ailment. At this point in medical history, people seemed to be aware of the main effects of drinking brandy – that is, getting drunk. Slaymaker returns to this point multiple times, mentioning specifically that “strictly temperate” citizens have called for the publishing of the positive uses for medicinal brandy. Despite its popularity as a “much abused alcoholic stimulant,” Methodists, farmers and other upstanding townspeople noted the medicinal effects of brandy.

Life in 1865

To say that 1865 was a defining year in American history is something of an understatement. Cataclysmic events occurred that are still felt to this day. Here are a few:

April 9: Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, which serves as the first big step toward ending the Civil War.

April 14: President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., during a performance of “Our American Cousin.” Lincoln dies early the next day, making Andrew Johnson the 17th president.

June 19: Word of the abolition of slavery reaches Texas, leading to the creation of the holiday Juneteenth.

December 6: The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified by all states and signifies the end of legal slavery.

December 24: In defiance of the recently ended war, six former Confederate soldiers form the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee.

Sources: LNP archives,