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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Birth announcements, 1853

More than one newspaper in western Massachusetts indulged in a joke about authorship as a kind of fatherhood when announcing the birth on May 22, 1853 of Herman Melville's daughter Elizabeth "Bessie" Melville. The first item below is one I had not seen before, from the Franklin Democrat (May 30, 1853) courtesy of Fulton History

Franklin Democrat [Greenfield, Massachusetts] May 30, 1853

BORN.

...
In Pittsfield, 22d, a daughter to Herman Melville, the well-known author of several literary, not physiological works.
Greenfield native Joseph Hussey Sprague edited and published the Franklin Democrat from 1852 to 1854.

As reported by Jay Leyda in Another Friendly Critic for Melville, this earlier notice of Melville's "new work" in the Springfield Republican for May 28, 1853 (page 2):

Springfield Republican - May 28, 1853
 refers to this birth announcement on the same page, different column:

Springfield Republican - May 28, 1853
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