in Nineteenth Century America.
Carriers' addresses were published by newspapers, usually on
January 1, and distributed in the United States for more than two centuries.
The custom originated in England and was introduced here during colonial
times. The newsboys delivered these greetings in verse each New Year's
Day and the customers understood that a tip was expected. The poems, often
anonymous, describe the events of the past year, locally, regionally,
and nationally, and end with a request for a gratuity for the faithful
Often the poem referred to the carrier's diligence and hardships during
winter weather. Illustrated with wood-engravings and decorative borders,
carriers' addresses are distinctive examples of popular publishing in
nineteenth century America. Brown University Library holds one of the
largest collections of these charming works, in the Broadsides
Collection and the Harris
Collection of American Poetry and Plays.