The School Gazette, Volume 1, Number 1
Below is a transcription of the first issue of The School Gazette from 1824. I have included it here as a sample of my larger project of digitizing all 18 issues of The School Gazette and The Levee Gazette.
In commencing a publication of this kind, it is customary to make some-thing of a statement of the object of the paper, its politick sentiments, & all the different bearings which it is intended to effect on the morals, literature, religion, & politicks of the country. In accordance with general practice therefore, the conductors of the pa-per wish to have it understood, that they are neither Moralists, nor Philosopher, no Theo-logians, nor Politicians; but only a few harmless maidens, in a little retired nook which they call "Study Hall," where they meddle not with things too high, nor seek to step out of the little pleasant sphere in which they move, to busy them-selves with the cares of the great world abroad. The object of this paper is merely to furnish a pleas-ant & profitable relaxation from the duties of the school; to give an opportunity for the indulgence of humour and the imagination; & to promote a read-iness in easy & sprightly composition. It therefore is plain that there will be no occasion for the anxiety which will doubtless be felt by the great politicians of the day at the commencement of a new news paper. They may be assured that however powerful may be the talents employed in its support, it is not des-tined to become a political engine to any party, and it is hoped that neither Crawford, Adams, or Jackson or any other of the candidates for the Presidency or their partisans, will be needlessly alarmed on the present occasion.-The Young Ladies who conduct the paper will edite it alternately, & it will be the duty of the Editor to collect the pieces for insertion, to transcribe them in a fair and legible hand, & to keep secret the names of those whose pieces are inserted in the paper.--The papers will be read aloud by the Teacher at the close of the school on Wednesday - & be kept by her. The young Ladies will be at liberty to copy any thing from its pages which they wish.
To the Editor of the School Gazette
Dear Miss Editor:
I beg leave through the medium of your newspaper, to say a few words to the young Ladies in Miss Beechers school, par-ticularly to those who are engaged in supporting the School Gazette, the fame of which I have hear even before it had any existence. But in the first place, I suppose I must tell who I am, & something about my self, tho, I feel considerable apprehension that my tale may not be credited. It is a fact however, that I am no mortal man, or woman either, but truly one of those little noisy, in-sects that nightly perched upon the tree in Hartford streets, nightly seranade its worthy inhabitants with our songs. I know it is very presumptuous in me to hope such an insignificant creature should hope to find a place in your truly valuable miscel-lany, but as it may be in my power to give you considerable information of which you are now ignorant concerning our puny race, I have some hope that my communication may find acceptance. I apprehend that you will scarcely believe me when I assure you that we insects have our beaux and belle, our tea parties & balls, our sleigh rides and water parties, & all the same kind of amusements and dissipation that mortal men enjoy-----
I, miss Editor, am a young female of great family & fortune, & last week for the first time I made my appearance in company; or as you fashionables would have it, "last week" I came out" for the first time. I had for a long time been antici-pating the happy period when my age and education would allow me to make my first debut in our fashionable circle; O it was with rapture I heard my mother say that I should make my first appearance at the next commencement Ball in Bug College.
I thought the time could never come, but at length the joyful period arrived, & three days before I had received an invitation from one of our sprucest beaux whom I always admired, & who has often addressed & attentions to me as my delicacy & reserve would forbid me to repeat. As you may never have seen any thing of this kind, I will transcribe it for you perusal.
"Col. Bumble Bees compliments to Miss Caty Did, I would beg the honour & felicity of attending her to the Commencement Ball to be given in the grand Hall in Bug College/"
At the appointed time the gentleman came, all dressed in yellow mall-cloths with yellow kid gloves, & though he is rather corpulent, I assure you he was a prodigious genteel looking fellow. He conducted me with great gallantry to the hall, where the brilliant scene that presented itself fully answered my expectations. The room was most tastefully hung with silk worm & spider webs and lighted with great elegance and splendor. At the farther end the musicians were placed; they con-sisted of twelve negro crickets, who had purposely been sent for from New Haven for the occasion, as they were acquainted with a great variety of the newest and best cotillions. The dancing soon commenced & the ball was opened by Miss Anna Matilda, Lititia, Butterfly; who has been reigning belle for some time past, & was lead out by Sir William Wasp, a true dandy of the first school. Col. Bumble Bee & myself took the second place, and the next dance I was led to the head by the Elegant Gen. Horn Bug.
You would have been delighted to have seen how well the company all appeared, & the care and elegance with which they danced There was however one or two exceptions, for there was one Mr Devil's Darning-needle, that made sad work in one of the cotillions, & Old Father Long legs succeeded so badly that after his first attempt, he was content to sit the rest of the evening and chat with old Miss Spider. Young Dr Grasshopper was much admired for his dancing, as were the two Miss Fly's particularly Miss Emmeline Hornfly--
But there were two little fellows dressed in black, who seemed to carry the palm in dancing, & they were the most active nimble sprightly dancers I ever saw. They were the two Mr Fleas, who I after-wards understood were resident graduates in the college. Two of the college faculty Professor Lightningbug & Tutor Hornet honored us with their presence, tho they did not dance--There was one Minister, that not only attended but also took a part in the dancing This was the Rev Mr Beetle who we afterward under-stood came from the eastward where it is quite common for Bugs of his cloth to attend Balls.
But alas, there is no pleasure without its attendant pain, no roses without a thorn among us insects as well as among mankind, and this happy evening which I had so long anticipated ended with vexation & chagrin.
As the ball was nearly through there was a gentleman made his appearance in the room, & very soon one of the managers brought him to me, as "Mr Caty -- did not," and would you believe it the very first time I spoke to him he flatly contradicted me; and not a word could I speak with out his <strike>giving me the would</strike> instantly giving me the lie. Yet said "did" he said "did'nt" & if I said "did'nt" he said "did." At length the altercation grew so loud & angry, that it attracted the attention of the company. Col. Bumble Bee, came up and called the gentleman to an account for his insolence. High words ensued, & the Col. In the height of his anger drew his dirk, & had it not been for the interference of the company, blood would have been spilt on the spot. But it broke up the ball entirely, and the next day a dud was fought, in which my poor Bumble Bee was mortally wounded, and as my spirits are so much affect by this sad affair, that I cannot at present go into company to pass away my listless hours, I thought I would commence a correspondence with the conductors of the School Gazette; & if my communication is deemed worthy of insertion in your excellent paper, I shall feel much honoured & probably shall again take the liberty of addressing you. With sentiments of high esteem & tender you the homage of my high consideration, and am ever yours
-- Caty Did.
"And they all with one consent began to make excuse."
When application was made to those who had subscribed to write for this paper they all wished to be excused. They did not indeed say that they were married and therefore could not write. But one said "I do not know enough to write," another, "I do not know what to write," a third, "I have not time," a fourth "I wish to wait till the first number comes out & see what the other say, & how they say it before I try." Now as you are all to share the pleasure of hearing them read, you ought to take your part of the trouble. Some of you say that you did intend to write very well. I give you all due credit for your good intentions, but my friends, good intentions go but a very little way in filling up the pages of this paper. But to those who have complied with my request, I return my most sincere than his ------------
Last week Tuesday, during the storm Three lessons, and all the credit marks appertaining thereto. Any person who will restore them to the owner shall recieve a pint of squash seed as a reward
Enquire at this office.
What will become of us? Mr Holebrook says that the world is growing flat
An answer is requested.
Died at the house of a respectable phy-sician in this town a Blue China Dish owing to the severe wounds it received in an encounter with a young gentleman boarding in the family. The origin of difficulty which terminated in the melancholly manner we have not learned but a friend has furnished us with the following pathetic lines on the occasion which we may safely assert cannot be read with out tears by any one unless he be something more or less than human.
Come all and list a dismal tale
Ye kitchen muses do not fail
But join our sad loss to bewail.
Placed safe upon the table side
There stood our noble dish with pride,
An evil wight soon onward hied,
Knocked out its brains, & so it died,
Come kindred dishes with me mourn,
Hither ye plates & platters turn,
Knives, forks, & career, all give ear,
And each drop a dish water tear.
No more with hasty pudding corwn'd
Shall you this noble dish surround,
Tried pork, nor buttered-chicken here
Nor boiled potatoes shall appear;
But broken hearted it must go,
Down to the dismal shades below
While kitchen muses platters plates
Knives forks and spoons unpraid the fates
With streaming tears cryed "I never"!!
Our China Dish is gone forever!!!
In this town by the Rev. Mr Wrong Mr Samuel Wight to Miss Eliza Thought. She, thought & all, was Wright
Distressing occurance: On yesterday eve a Miss Tabitha May-pole was gazing at the starry heavens a spontanious combustion took place in her upper tabernacle, alas had [...] owing as we have since learned, to a violent friction occasioned by its coming in contact with an atmospheric exhalation. It was however soon extinguished by the benevolent exertion of Mr Pigmy Jan. who mounting a fire ladder soon put a period to its ravages. The danger done to its interior furniture was considerable, but not as much as would have been the case had the accident taken place the day before, as she had just finished her learned dissertation on the subject of "happiness" and thereby exhausted some of her most brilliant ideas –- Y –-
Cash for intellects A good price will be paid for witty bright & well polished intellect on leaving them at the office of the School Gazette.
Take Notice. A liberal price will be paid to any one having the following rare articles for sale. Good memory. A very small share will be better than none. A few ounces of common sense, & as much as the art of letter writing as can be attained. As the last mentioned article is now in very great demand, as high a price will be given as is required.
Enquire at this office.
Also for sale a small quantity of indolence. Very cheap for cash.
Answer to Correspondents
The piece written by our corresponder A—-contains allusions to a young gentleman & lady so obvious, that it is not deemed prudent to insert it. A continuence of her favours is requested.—-