Well, it’s been a relatively busy week. I wrote earlier about being given a month’s access to the full archive America’s Historical Newspapers. This investigation has been fruitful: I’ve found a new reprinting in the Jamestown Journal of Jamestown, NY (12 Oct. 1843) and several interesting articles that reference the story, one of which will show up in the revision of the article I’m working on, “‘Taken Possession Of’: Hawthorne’s ‘Celestial Railroad’ in the Evangelical Canon.”
Later in the week, a link in Dan Cohen’s twitter feed led me to a Language Log post that mentions the Pennsylvania Civil War Newspapers archive (whew!). I didn’t know this archive, and a quick search there returned yet another witness, from the Lancaster Intelligencer (1 Feb. 1859). This one includes a short editorial preface—these are my favorite witnesses, as they add not only to the corpus of reprintings but also to the cultural narrative surrounding the story.
This project continues to grow exponentially; every new resource discovered returns new results.