Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 44

Price Realized: $ 4,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(CIVIL WAR.) Issue of the Waterford News, published by 3 young Unionist women in Confederate Virginia. 4 pages, 10 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches, on one folding sheet; short separations at folds, minor foxing, and moderate edge wear. Waterford, VA, 20 August 1864

Additional Details

The Waterford News was published in Loudoun County in the northern tip of Virginia. Despite its close proximity to the West Virginia and Maryland borders, the area was largely under the control of Mosby's Confederate raiders and subject to a strict Union blockade which led to severe shortages. The area was home to a vocal but embattled Quaker population which supported the Union. As a reaction to these desperate circumstances, three young Waterford Quaker women launched a pro-Union newspaper in May 1864, and somehow continued publishing monthly issues through May 1865, donating all proceeds to the United States Sanitary Commission. They were Sarah Steer (born 1837), Elizabeth Dutton (born 1839) and her sister Emma Eliza Dutton (born 1844), listed only as "Sarah, Lizzie & Lida" on the masthead.
The present issue begins with an endorsement of the Lincoln-Johnson ticket, and continues with small incidents of Union life in Confederate territory. A local telegraph operator who lugged his equipment down the railroad to make contact with Baltimore. A $14 newspaper subscription stolen by Mosby's raiders from the post office. A recent Mosby raid which left Waterford "entirely surrounded by rebels, with their braggadocio," until they were dispersed by a party of 30 brave "Union boys." Even some terrible 19th-century puns ("What is the most fashionable hood worn in the South? False-hood"). This newspaper's existence is an inspiring story, its contents even more so. No other issues of the Waterford News have been traced at auction.