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Carriers' Addresses
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 carrier.

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.

Early Carriers' Addresses

Later Examples

Themes & Topics

Unusual Forms

The Night Before Christmas

Other Addresses

About This Site
The Newsboy

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15-Mar-2006 14:57:54 EST.
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