The "Nation" and The "Envelope"
THE STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE, “THE NATION” AND “THE
ENVELOPE” BY MT. PISGAH EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR HARNETT
COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
quilt square entitled "The Nation”, a replica of the masthead of the handwritten newspaper,
was from a copy of the first newspaper known to be published in Harnett
County. This was a handwritten weekly newspaper edited and published by
the late John McLean Harrington (November 2nd, 1839 -April 3rd, 1887)
and predates the War Between the States. About 100 copies of the
newspaper were written and distributed from "Buffalo Springs",
a thriving community at that time said to be near Barbecue Church. Its
business centered around the turpentine industry. With the coming of the
Western or Coalfield Railroad and the Salem Plank Road, the little
village died. When Mr. Harrington edited "The Nation", he was
only about 18 years of age.
that under the title, "The Nation", it is sub-titled "The
Voice of the Nation Must Be Heard". Under that is written Vol. 1
-Buffalo Springs, Saturday, May 22nd, 1858.
to the late Harnett County historian, Malcolm Fowler in "They
Passed This Way", page 151, "The Nation" was a newsy
newspaper handwritten on both sides of a sheet of paper 12 x 16 inches
and then folded letter-sized for mailing. It was decidedly
pro-Democratic. For instance, on the editorial page, Mr. Harrington came
out strong for the following candidates in 1858: John W. Willis for
Governor, Major John G. Gilmore for the State Senate, and R. C. Belden
for Sheriff. Even though he was not old enough to vote, he was,
apparently, acting as a mouthpiece for his favorite candidates.
Harrington had also written and published a handwritten paper or
magazine of 28 pages 8 x 10 inches in size called "The Young
American". It was devoted to news, literature, prose, poetry, and
news items and advertisements at home and elsewhere. The terms for this
magazine, "The Young American" was $0.20 a copy or $2.00 per
year, payable in advance.
1860, when he was about 21 years of age, John McLean Harrington began
publishing "The Weekly Eagle". This was continued until the
coming of the Civil War, when it was impossible to get the paper needed
to continue his publications.
Harrington was a very talented and versatile person, whose work also
included teaching as early as age 15 and during and after the war,
bookkeeping for J. and D. C. Worth, merchants, later operating a Post
Office, and some surveying.
of Mr. Harrington's handwritten newspapers are said now to be in the
Duke University Library and a few in the Carolina Room of UNC.
quilt square with "The Envelope" was mailed at Harrington Post Office on May 26, 1883
and addressed to Captain S. A. Harrington, Raleigh, North Carolina. Note
that the U. S. Postage was 3 cents.
Post Office represents the rural post offices that dotted the country
side in the 1800's and very early 1900's. Harrington Post Office was
located in western Harnett County about one and a half miles east of Mt.
Pisgah Church on the property of Rhett Denise Thomas, daughter of the
late Ruby Harrington Denise and a descendant of Nannie McCormick
Harrington and James Harrington. She is also a relative of the late John
McLean Harrington, bachelor, who published the newspaper, "The
Offices of this period were a definite convenience for rural people.
There were very few paved roads. On this particular road at that time,
traveling would sometimes be difficult due to the fact that the road
would become muddy during wet weather. Many of the customers would
travel once or twice a week, either walking, or driving a house and
buggy or wagon to pick up their mail, doubtless, there would be time for
conversation and catching up on the community news.
were several who served as postmaster of the Harrington Post Office. The
first one was William Dalrymple Harrington. Others who served were James
Harrington, John McLean Harrington, Nannie McCormick Harrington, and
Post Office continued to serve several miles of the Mt. Pisgah area
until about 1909, when it was replaced with Rural Free Delivery from the
Broadway, North Carolina Post Office - the RFD carrier being the late
John A. McLean. The late Bob Sloan was carrier on the other route.
However, Harrington, like other rural post offices served the area for
more than a half century.
Written by: Myrtle
H. Sykes (Vernon), President
Mt. Pisgah Extension Homemakers Club
Fowler - They Passed This Way
"The Envelope" Row
3, Number 13
Member Mt. Pisgah Extension Homemakers Club
"The Nation" Row 3, Number 17
Embroidery by: Joy
Howington- For Mt. Pisgah Extension Homemakers Club