Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ground zero

Last time, we mentioned that January 1918 was the last publication of The Massachusetts Magazine. For possible contributing factors, we mentioned WWI as the United States was sending troops to Europe by the summer of 1918. Armistice followed that same year.

Coverage of flu cases, 1918
Another factor was that some of the earlier contributors aged or passed away: Col. Thomas Higginson, F.B. Sanborn, and others. Dr. Frank had collected editors and contributors from the ranks of Civil War veterans and various New England Illuminati.

Given the recent reminder, we must add the Spanish Flu. It was first observed in Kansas (Fort Riley) in March 1918. The map is from the Stanford University article on the pandemic (page has stale links, to be resolved). Not long after, the virus was seen at Camp Devens which is outside of Boston and was established in 1917.

This was the pandemic where we see rows and rows of cots with sick soldiers. During this time, medical personnel would have been extremely busy.

The base was named for Civil War general, Charles Bevens, who was involved in several battles in Virginia.

Remarks: Modified: 03/04/2018

03/04/2018 -- NIH, in 2004, published an article by JM Barry (The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications) who had researched and written about the flu pandemic in 1918. JM points to Dr. Loring Miner as having observed cases in Haskell County in January and February of 1918. By March, the flu heavily hit Fort Riley. Haskell County is southwest of Dodge City and is named for Dudley C. Haskell who had moved to Lawrence, KS with his family in 1855. Dudley was the namesake of Haskell Indian Nations University.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Last issue of The Massachusetts Magazine

While researching for the next issue (IV) of the TGA in which we will look at Volumes VI through XI of The Massachusetts Magazine, we were reminded that the last issue of this periodical was 100 years ago, this month (January 1918). This effort by Dr. Frank and friends ran for ten years. We looked at Volumes I through V in the last TGA issue (Vol III). These two will be printed under one cover in the spring of this year.

Frontispiece and counts by volume
So, how to look back at the effort and bring the TMM forward? As I read the articles, I have two things in mind. This was an American effort, as in the participants were, for the most part, of families who were involved with the development of the country, from the beginning. An example is Col. Higginson, His family is pre-Winthrop's arrival in 1630. Too, Gardner and Higginson go way back. Dr. Frank's publisher was Higginson.

The image shows the page count by volumes for the TMM. Volume I was published in 1908. For the most part, the issues were quarterly. In each issue, Dr. Frank presented material related to a regiment that was at the Seige of Boston. Lucie, his sister, carried on Sidney Perley's work for several issues. Judge Thompson presented several articles on his western adventure as a youth, not long after the trek of Lewis and Clark.

As one looks at the TOC of each issue (see this post for a listing - TMM, Vol. I and II which starts a series that provides links to's digitized issues), one sees that things get sparse about five years in. After our initial introductory look at each issue, which is about done (TGA Vols III and IV), we will start to do a deeper dive into the material. A lot of the topics are still apropos. And, looking at the TMM got me to look at other periodicals, such as The Atlantic (still publishing, albeit they moved from Boston to DC). Also, other topics, such as the Lyceum, came to the attention.

Remarks: Modified: 02/16/2018

01/20/2018 -- As we go through the remaining volumes (VI through XI), we are accumulating more material for additional research and publication. In 1917, the culmination of the discussion about Europe was the U.S. conscription and the initiation of U.S. troop involvement in Europe.

In the October issue of the TMM, in 1914, there was a report on the attitude about Europe. New England favored the Allies. The majority of the respondents to the survey of the Literary Digest were neutral. The survey was of editors of newspapers in the U.S.

Prior to that year, there had been many articles provided by older gents, such as Col. Higginson, F.B. Sanborn and F.M. Thompson who were veterans of the U.S. Civil war. Judge Thompson wrote a series on his western jaunt. Now that we have gone through the entire Table of Contents (all issues) with a quick read, we can get into the depth of the articles and study how they pertain to our interest in research. We intend to publish the digitized pages in future TGA issues.

02/11/2018 -- The Spanish flu would have been a contributing factor to the demise of The Massachusetts Magazine. The flu was first observed in Kansas in March of 1918, however it was in Massachusetts by summer.

02/16/2018 -- Our first post on The Massachusetts Magazine was May 28, 2014. Since then, we have published a copy of the Table of Contents for each issue and have reviewed all of the issues. The first five volumes were summarized in The Gardner Annals (Vol. III), We will have a similar look at the last six volumes in the next issue of The Gardner Annals. TGA Vol III and Vol IV are expected to print in the spring of 2018.