Monday, February 13, 2012

Historical Fake

During the winter, I have the opportunity to research a few things that the Historical Museum has on display.   I was fooled recently.  It is a good fake but a fake non the less.

One of the Board Members wrote a grant for the framing of some old photographs and an old document.  I took the items into a local business to have them done up proper.

They were a sight. Some wanted to roll up and had to be weighed down..they needed frames and hangers. The document was covered by a sheet of glass that was broken and was taped together…someone was going to cut their fingers..possibly me. 

Photos to be framed

I invited the Board members to see the finished project before I took them back over to the Museum.

Framed photos for the museum

Ready for the fake?

A  Fake document

This is it.  The Vicksburg Daily Citizen dated July 4 1863.  I always found the document which was the Wallpaper Edition very interesting. They used wallpaper because newsprint was in short supply.  I did not see an evidence of wallpaper..I was curious.

I found out that reprints were made to commemorate the death of General Grant in 1885 and by the G.A.R.  in 1920.  I cannot say for certain which time our “fake” is from. It is most certainly a fake, the original newspaper has a list of many distinctive characteristics that help to differentiate it from its many reprints.

I felt badly for a little while after my discovery.  I felt badly that I had it reframed and wasted 60 dollars. Then I thought..how many school children would have access to an original?   Even as a “fake” it highlights the last days of the siege of Vicksburg. 

General Grant has “caught the rabbit” and dined in Vicksburg.  He gained control of the Mississippi River and it was held for the Union throughout the rest of the Civil War. On a side note Vicksburg Mississippi did not celebrate the 4th of July until eighty years later, the siege and surrender must have really bothered them.

I am working on a living history presentation that will be held on the Courthouse lawn next July..I have found some Civil War re-enactors that will be joining us for a Civil War Sunday.  It will require lots of work and organization..I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will be a success:)

24 comments:

  1. I love Civil War Reenactments!

    Saw a fantastic one in Springfield Missouri...my first. It was a large battle at Wilson Creek. I learned much that day, as the smoke filled the valley I could almost imagine it was the real thing.

    What a wonderful event to arrange. You have absolutely breathed life into that museum. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once again you have proved how valuable you are to the museum with your knowledge. It would be hard to spot such a clever fake unless a person knew what to look for. That living history reenactment sounds terrific. It will be very entertaining. You have your work cut out to get it organized.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Who would have ever guessed it was a fake? I sure wouldn't. And you're right: even a "fake" can be very interesting. I look forward to hearing how the Reenactment shapes up. You are one ambitious lady! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your blogs about the historical museum are fascinating. Makes me want to visit your part of the country. Lots of times, I notice interesting historical bits in your Wistful Wednesday blogs, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think you are right that even a "fake" can still be informative. The "fake" can still provide a history lesson which many may never have known otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We used to take our middle school students to the Civil War reenactment at Wilson's Creek Battlefield in Battlefield, Mo near Springfield. You'd swear you were taken back in time.

    Even though your find there is a fake, it's an historical fake anyway! Sounds like it hold character and history too.

    Your gonna have a blast puttin' together your production, it sounds like it's somethin' right up your alley!!!

    God bless ya and have yourself one terrific week!!!

    BTW: We're havin' a winter snow/ice storm right now...ya want it??? Heeeheheheh :o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know if I would necessarily call your print a fake. When the GAR printed these, they were made for commemorative purposes and not with the intention of deceiving anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nate, You must think it is a GAR reprint then? Since we have an extensive Civil War collection for a very small museum..I always thought that this newspaper was an original. I am still learning:)

      Delete
    2. It may not be a GAR reprint as so many people made reprints of this paper, but it was extremely common at GAR reunions. The Yanks thought it all in grand fun to see that the citizens of Vicksburg had been reduced to printing their news on the back of recycled wall paper. The first commemorative editions were even printed on wall paper like the originals, so it's extra hard to tell what are real and what are reprints. Although if it's not on wall paper, it's most certainly a reprint. You can get some additional info here: http://www.historicpages.com/vickfake.htm

      My uncle had a similar situation when he discovered a paper he thought was original. When I gave him the news he was so mad, he threw it out (without asking me first). It's really too bad because these copies were really well liked by the veterans and had value in relation to their GAR significance. People collect GAR memorabilia too.

      My only comment is that it should not be considered a "fake" in the sense that people at the time that it was made thought it was real, they knew better. We're only fooled today because people today are usually only interested in the "original." For example, if someone made a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence for the 25 year commemoration in 1801, the reproduction would have value too. Not as much as the original, but no one would have been thinking in 1801 that they were buying an original printing.

      Delete
  8. I have seen newspaper used as wallpaper and for added insulation. I didn't know that it worked the other way around!
    I love reenactments. What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Even if it is a fake, at the age of 90 or more years, it has become history too.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Once again I'm reminded of how lucky your museum is to have you.
    I hope the directors are reminded of that too:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. That will be an amazing weekend, I am certain! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's a copy so, you're right, still valuable.
    I find those ld panoramic view photos so fascinating.
    They are lucky to have you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm sure the July reenactment will be a great success. You work so hard and do a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  14. When is a fake not a fake? When it too has historical context, Can we see a picture of those crossed toes? I can't seem to do that, if I could maybe it would help me out with so many things. Your reinactment will be great, why wouldn't it be?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh gosh - sorry to hear it was a fake... Still, it documents something historically accurate and interesting so still has value.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry they are fake, but fake or not it still looks good and has some history to it ! Have a great day !

      Delete
  16. Live reenactments are always a big hit. I hope it goes well.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Since moving "South" I have discovered there are many who are STILL not over losing to the North. One gentleman(?) that I gave a ride to Memphis (a friend of a friend) found out I lived near General Grant's home in Galena, IL growing up and loved visiting it. He got really angry and said Grant was a butcher. Neither of us were there during the Civil War but I told him to "get over it"! LOL! There are still Confederate flags flying down here, many still hate "Yankees" and there was a place on the news last night that stated someone was placing posters around recruiting for the KKK. I think when they talk about Southern hospitality maybe they mean South America not the Southern U.S. Don't get me wrong though. There are many very nice people here but on a whole I'm just not feeling "the love".

    ReplyDelete
  18. I should probably preface what I said above by also stating that there are many people who come down here and are disrespectful of the people and the culture also. I even apologized for a stranger once who was very insulting to a teacher at a class I was taking. It's all about understanding where people came from and if you read the history of the South and it's people you would get a better sense of where certain attitudes and behaviors originated. On the other hand, I don't suffer fools regardless of where they're from.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wish you the best with the reenactment. We live very close to Kennesaw Mtn. Battlefield, and I keep hoping to get there to take some pics. I have been to a reenactment there years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think a fake works just as well...after all it is an OLD fake!


    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. The finished product looks great- fake or not! Good luck with the reenactment.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! This is an award free, word verification free blog! I am sorry I do not accept anonymous comments. Connie