This week we have another 40 titles up on DigitalNC! In this batch we have special editions of Morganton’s The News-Herald that detail the destruction caused to Western North Carolina by “The Great Flood of 1916.”
In July of 1916, two hurricanes hit Western Carolina within a week of each other. The first one came from the Gulf Coast and stalled over the region from the 8th until the 10th, and the second made landfall in South Carolina, reached the mountains on the 15th, and dumped an astounding 22 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.
Asheville Grocery, 1916. Image via ourstate.com
After the storms had passed, the Swannanoa River was a mile wide, the French Broad was four times its normal width, there were over 300 landslides, and the town of Hendersonville was surrounded by a lake. At least 80 people died in the flooding, but since so many people lived in rural areas, the exact number is unknown.
July 18, 1916
July 19, 1916
July 20, 1916
Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.
If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.
The Alamance Gleaner’s News Snapshots of the Week for July 9, 1914 included details of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.
The notice of the Archduke’s assassination published by The Enterprise, The Hickory Democrat, and The Roanoke Beacon.
One hundred years ago, on June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria and his wife were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the nationalist group Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia). Many historians cite this incident as one of the first of several events which led to World War I. In commemoration of the war’s centennial, the staff at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center will post occasional blog entries which examine the way in which the conflict was covered by newspapers across the state. Blog posts will focus in particular on how the war affected communities in North Carolina. Of the newspapers made available online by Digital NC, ten were in print during the war, each published once per week:
July 2 notice of the Archduke’s assassination from The Courier (Asheboro).
The Archduke’s assassination received mention in several of these papers. The Enterprise, The Hickory Democrat, and The Roanoke Beacon all printed the same column, shown above. Since the assassination occurred on a Sunday, the news had time to cross the ocean and reach editors before the weekly editions were published on Thursday and Friday. However, The Alamance Gleaner did not alert their readers to the event until the following week when it was included in the syndicated News Snapshots of the week (see top of post).
Throughout July, tensions in Europe continued to escalate. By the end of the month, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia and in early August, Germany declared war on Russia, France, and Belgium. This led to Britain’s August 4 declaration of war against Germany.
Headline from the July 31 edition of The Carolina Home and Farm and the Eastern Reflector.
With the beginning of open hostilities, the conflict began to receive more attention in North Carolina newspapers. In the edition of July 30, The Alamance Gleaner ran a short column headlined “The War Dogs Aloose in Europe,” asserting, “It is now imminent that all Europe will be involved in a bloody conflict.” On the same day, The Mebane Leader published a column originally printed in The Charlotte Observer in which Serbia is compared to a copperhead snake. The average American may have been unaware of Europe’s rising tensions only a month ago. By the first week of August 1914, the tensions had boiled over into full-blown war, making the situation newsworthy to the citizens of North Carolina.
Here on our blog, we occasionally feature “matchups” that showcase relationships between different items in our collection. Today’s matchup? Cartoons from the Hickory Democrat and information from Charlotte City Directories.
A number of community newspapers on DigitalNC have cartoons; not many of those cartoons describe local content, which is why the recently published Hickory Democrat caught our eye. Scanning front page after front page during 1906-1907, right under the masthead, are cartoons commenting on items of US and local significance. They’re signed “Hutch” and sometimes say “Courtesy The Charlotte News.”
The usual Googling didn’t turn up much, and we couldn’t find any reference to Hutch in the Hickory Democrat besides the cartoons, so we turned to The Charlotte News. From the News, we were able to piece together more about the artist.
Hutch was the pen name of cartoonist Andrew C. Hutchinson, a Charlotte resident who began drawing cartoons for the News in his late teens. His talent was well respected, especially in light of his age. The News occasionally has articles related to Hutch’s career, mentioning that his cartoons were reprinted around the state (as in the Hickory Democrat) and beyond (the Atlanta Journal republished a cartoon in 1909).
The first reference to Hutch as a cartoonist is in the August 25, 1903 News, which states “Mr. Andrew Hutchinson, Charlotte’s clever young cartoonist, is seriously ill with malarial fever.” The first of his cartoons we located in the News are in the May 30, 1906 issue, which sports two on the front page:
Charlotte News, 1906-05-30, page 1. Available through Newspapers.com.
Charlotte News 1915-01-16, page 12. Available through Newspapers.com.
Sometime between March 1910 and December 1911, Hutch moved to New York to draw for the New York World. The clipping at right, from the January 16, 1914 News, proudly describes Hutch’s New York career, which was flourishing as he provided content for Life, Judge, Satire, and The Yonkers Daily News, and as he signed on to work for the Hearst Corporation.
What else do we know about Hutch? A 1910 Charlotte City Directory lists “Hutchinson, Andrew C. Jr. cartoonist” residing at 711 W. Trade Street. It looks like he’s there with his father and mother*, Andrew and Antoinette Hutchinson, as well as two brothers (James L. and John W.). He isn’t listed in the 1911 directory, which makes sense with his purported move to New York. From that 1911 directory, we unfortunately find out that his father passed away as Antoinette is listed as a widow.
This is as far as we got in tracking down Hutch. His cartoons don’t appear in the Hickory Democrat past 1907. We don’t know how long he worked in New York, how his career progressed, or where he ended up. If you have any clues, let us know.
*We know that Andrew, Antoinette, James and John are family from the 1910 census record, which also tells us that Andrew Jr. was born around 1886. Census Record Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Charlotte Ward 3, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1121; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm:1375134
Newspapers from across the state continue to be added at rapid pace to DigitalNC. The Press and Carolinian and the Hickory Democrat, two newspapers printed in Hickory, NC are now available online.
The Press and Carolinian, which was a merger between The Press and The Carolinian papers in Hickory in 1887, covers general news of the day both in Hickory and across the country. In their inaugural issue following their merger, the editors state to their readers that, “Our purpose is to spread, not to suppress the truth, and in this we ask the aid of all…We intend to make the Press and Carolinian not only a welcome visitor in every household but an indispensable luxury.” While they claim an air of neutrality, the paper has a definite Democratic slant to its reporting and promoted the Democratic party ticket headed by Grover Cleveland in 1892. Other topics regularly reported on include big issues of the day such as union strikes, tariff disagreements, and an overall focus on the economic conditions of the country. The issues available in DigitalNC cover 1887 until 1892. The Press and Carolinian was recommended for digitization by the Catawba County Library.
The Hickory Democrat is a much flashier looking newspaper than the Press and Carolinian, with issues from 1906 until 1915 available online. On the byline they inform their readers that they provide access to “All the News While It Is News.” One particular feature of the Democrat that makes it stand out is the prevalence of political cartoons on every front page of the paper, relating to both state and national news items. The Hickory Democrat was recommended for digitization by the Hickory Public Library.
This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.