Frontpage 1814

On June 18, 2019, LNP will celebrate 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. 

The Pennsylvania Lottery

Long before the Pennsylvania Lottery was formally created in 1971, lotteries were used as a way of raising money for a variety of works without needing governmental intervention. On this paper’s front page, we can find a long advertisement for the “Grand State Lottery for Promoting Internal Navigation. The writers of Lancaster Journal heralds money as the “sinew of war,” yet they cannot resist being “attracted by the magnetism of interest.” Prizes were drawn over a series of days, ranging from $500 to $40,000, or in today’s dollars, $5,925 to $474,072. 

“Miracle cures”

The lower left section of the paper is dedicated to what appear to be multiple “miracle cures” from a local doctor named T.W. Dyott. Right below “Dr. Robertson’s Celebrated Stomachic Elixir of Health” is Dr. Dyott’s own “Anti-Bilious Pills.” What exactly is “bilious?” In the early 1800’s, the diagnosis of bilious fever was often given to anyone who was shown to have both a fever and symptoms of nausea and vomiting. In probably the most famous case of the diagnosis, Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie was said to have died from a strong case of bilious fever. As this was a time of somewhat outrageous medicinal claims, Dr. Dyott’s anti-Bilious pills are also proclaimed to remove “yellow fever, chronic pain, flatulencies, indigestions, costiveness, hypochondriac complaints, strangury, rheumatism and gout.”

1812 drags into 1814

Extending briefly outside of its namesake, the War of 1812 would end by the close of 1814. The two-year conflict initially started thanks to the U.S. disagreeing with the trade policies of France and Great Britain, which had slowed U.S. expansion westward. Important skirmishes took place throughout 1814, including future president Andrew Jackson’s victory in Pensacola, Florida, and a battle that ended with British soldiers briefly seizing the White House. Though the occupation only lasted a little over a day, British soldiers were able to burn down significant parts of the White House and the Capitol Building, among others. All told, the repairs cost $787,163. A peace treaty, the Treaty of Ghent, was signed on Dec. 24, 1814, formally ending the War of 1812.

Sources: LNP archives; PAlottery.state.pa.us; nps.gov; battlefields.org