Join the #ChronAmParty for Digital Newspapers

It’s the third Tuesday of the month, so it’s time to join the #ChronAmParty on Twitter. Libraries participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program select and tweet vintage newspaper stories from Chronicling America using the hashtag #ChronAmParty. It’s a great idea to bring attention to a wonderful resource for free digital newspapers.

Perhaps you’ll find new resources when you follow participating libraries from areas where your ancestors lived. Or even better, post an article you’ve found in your Chronicling America digital newspapers research. Why should librarians and archivists have all the fun, right?

I love reading vintage digital newspapers. And I’ll bet I’m not the only genealogist who has gotten sidetracked by a juicy story.

This month’s #ChronAmParty topic is True Crime Tuesday. So I’m tweeting about the 1900 true crime story of Benjamin Benjamin (yep, that really was his name), who Join the #ChronAmParty for Digital Newspaperstook a powderfrom San Francisco with $1,000 of his clients’ money. And Benny Benjamin didn’t just leave town: he bought a ticket to Australia and was never heard from again.

The digital newspaper image above is from the October 7, 1900, issue of the San Francisco Call, courtesy of University of California, Riverside.

I wonder who gave the reporter the quote about Benjamin being “flighty” – because that’s some first-class punning right there. Why did Benny Benjamin flee? Was it mysticism, insanity, family trouble? My money’s on wanting to change that double-barreled name he was saddled with and what better place than Australia?

At the time he disappeared, Benny was serving as a juror on a murder trial case that was heading to final arguments. (Way to get discovered right away, Benny!) A mistrial was declared and the defendant, former constable Frederick Begerow, was tried again.

Join the #ChronAmParty every 3rd Tuesday of the month on Twitter. Show your fellow genealogists and National Digital Newspaper Program libraries what you’ve found in Chronicling America.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

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