Keywords, Classifieds, and getting permission

Trying to get this project off the ground over the past week has revealed to me a number of challenges. One of them is simply a mental challenge. I don’t know yet what exact form this website is going to take. I had a vision in my head before the semester started, but in my initial conversations with my advisor, it’s clear I need to keep an open mind. It all depends on what I find, and right now, finding stuff is my primary task.

What I hope to find are primary documents that tell stories from Daniel Anthony’s life that are either significant historically, significant for him personally, or both. As can be seen in the timeline I have posted on this site, Daniel Anthony was a successful newspaper editor during a time when newspapers were the primary source of news and information in America. They formed keystones of communities and as such their editors were important people.

Considering this, newspapers are the first place I hope to find more stories that can illustrate the life of Daniel Anthony. There are a wealth of databases I can search where newspapers are digitized, and a keyword search on the database “19th Century U.S. Newspapers” turned up close to 900 hits. I limited the search between 1857, when Anthony is said to have moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, and 1899, when the Database ends. I was also able to select the city of Leavenworth from a list of cities.

The key to this search was changing the keyword for his first name from “Daniel” to “D.R.” ┬áDuring my research on Daniel Anthony I conducted while interning last summer, he was occasionally referred to, or signed his name as D.R. Anthony. The “R” is for his middle name Read (or Reed), his Mother’s maiden name. While unable to go through all the results in one sitting, I did look at the first category which had around 20 hits – advertisements. This contained advertising/classified pages from Leavenworth-area papers, and among the ads were several for Daniel Anthony’s insurance business. I was aware he worked as an insurance agent, but to find actual advertisements is excellent.


(Courtesy, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers)

(Courtesy, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers)

Going forward, I have several potential sources, including letters, military records, these newspaper hits, and possible materials from archives in Kansas. I believe I will find many more. The hurdle with all of this is getting permission to use all these materials. That’s something I haven’t had to deal with very much in my previous scholarly work. Obviously I hope that every place I ask will let me use their┬ámaterials, but the fact is those responses will do much to determine the path this project takes over the next few weeks.

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