About The National Era
from an unknown source
The National Era, a weekly abolitionist newspaper, published a wider range of material which,
unlike the National Anti-Slavery Standard, was not exclusively dedicated to the slavery issue.
The Era was a mixture of anecdotes, poems, letters, short stories, bulletins, notations and
transcripts collected and written by persons within the United States and foreign countries. The editor
of the paper was interested in publishing literary ideas as well as developments and changes taking place
during this period of history. Glancing across a typical page of the Era one might find a poem
on nature; next to it an anecdote for "good wives;" under this a letter from a congressman; in another
column a short essay on laughter and between these an article on the constitutional question of slavery.
The issue of slavery was a major part of the newspaper but it also allowed the reader a moment of
diversion only to be caught in the next column with some development on the "evils" of slavery. The
National Era was also a paper for keeping abreast of important local events and happenings on a
world-wide basis. Whether it was in the are of education, political science, economics, philosophy,
literature or business, the Era provided news interspersed with entertaining essays for its
readers. With transportation and communication between the major cities and ports still undeveloped,
the National Era provided the reader with additional news in the form of excerpts and editorials
from papers such as the Liberty Bell, New York Tribune, Philadephia Inquirer,
Cincinnati Gazette, Boston Courier and London Daily Times. Historians and men of
letters both find this newspaper useful for its historical documentation and literary content.
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