Topic Proposal

Dates subject to change on timeline:

Justin Farrell

October 11, 2010

Prof. Osborne

History Methodology


            For my topic I plan on researching and writing about how cities and newspapers covered the celebration and aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg. I will read through old 19th century newspapers such as the New York Herald and look at how long they covered the aftermath of the battle of long their citizens celebrated it for as compared to a newspaper from Maine and see what information they had and how long they covered it. If I cannot fine enough information on this topic alone I will compare how the papers of the North covered the celebration and for how long as compared to how the Sothern newspapers covered the defeat at the battle and for how long.

            These topics are significant because especially the first one is bringing both small and large newspapers into the light and showing how covering big events was hard because there was no email or anything like that. They had a much more difficult time covering events since they had to wire information in and write about what they knew at the time. This also leads to having both a morning and evening paper. This will bring into the light how people treated the victory and if they clung to it as a symbol of hope in the North or if after about a week they just moved on and waited for the next big even to take place. The second topic is just as interesting because it is comparing the two sides. Both of their respective papers had ample information on the battle but each side a different story to tell. The South especially having lost the battle had to report to people and they may have twisted it a bit to make it sound more cheerful or maybe the told it straight as it was. How long did the South cover the defeat versus how long the North covered the victory? What opinions the South had on their army compared to the opinions the North had their army? These are questions that each paper had to cover.

            The content of this is important because I can understand how the North felt after this great victory and how people in certain areas felt about the victory and how long they celebrated it for. Also I can see how long the papers covered the aftermath of the battle and what they switched too when they thought the time of coverage was up. Also if I was to go to option two I could how each side of the country felt about the events that occurred. How long the South papers talked about the defeat and how people reacted versus how people in the North celebrated and felt after the battle. 

            The following are some of the sources that I have used so far for research on my topic.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, Contained information that was wired to Maine and their newspapers. Information was on cavalry movements for the Unions and information from the aftermath of the battlefield.

“The Terrific Three Day’s Battle of Gettysburg- The Great Friday Victory”, New York Herald. Contains information on the battle news in the city of New York, how the city feels, and the death of the soldiers from New York.

New York Herald. Monday July 6, 1863 covers the victory on the whole first page. Mixed with reports on casualties and a message on the victory from Gen. Meade.

New York Herald. Thursday July 9, 1863 covers the aftermath of the battle, the movements of both armies, and the joy and celebrations of people has begun to die down and disappear.

New York Herald. Friday July 10, 1863 covers engagements at Boomsboro and small dispatches from the Gettysburg on the aftermath but the articles are becoming smaller and less important to people.

New York Herald. Saturday July 11,1863 columns begin to become smaller on Gettysburg. Information on Rebel accounts of the battle, movement of troops, and deaths. However, majority of focus is moving away from Gettysburg.

United States Gazette and Philadelphia North American. Monday July 6, 1863 covers the feeling of victory and the retreat of Lee’s Army.

United States Gazette and Philadelphia North American. Wednesday July 8, 1863 covers the continued celebrations in Philadelphia.

Unites States Gazette and Philadelphia North American. Friday July 10, 1863 covers deaths and casualties but all information of Gettysburg has begun to dwindle and has been reduced to just small articles.

All this information was found on the link for 19th Century Newspapers on the library’s website. I have also been able to find information on the New York Times website and will look through the archives to see what I can find as well.

            A timeline of my work follows:

October 11th -14th will look through more articles on both websites and in the archives.

October 20th – 22nd begin to craft my essay portion of the project and outline how I will go about writing the paper.

October 25th – 29th write the paper and take it to the writing center to get it reviewed.

November 1st– 3rd complete the project by writing the final draft and will have the writing center look at it one more time. Write my final copy.