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Old Newspaper Gives Vintage View Of Carroll County

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Carroll County Times

UNIONTOWN, Md. (AP) — Thanks to a donation to the Historical Society of Carroll County by retired veterinarian R. Gary Roop of New Windsor, abstracts from the historic Engine of Liberty and Uniontown Advertiser, Carroll County’s first newspaper, are available again to the public.

The Engine of Liberty was published by Uniontown resident Charles Sower between 1813 and 1815, when he sold it.

The newspaper’s pages documented daily life in Uniontown, trade and the state of local politics.

Sower hoped the publication would stimulate demand for the creation of a new county, with Uniontown as its seat. The effort didn’t bear fruit immediately.

The county wasn’t formed until 1837, 17 years after Sower died. But his newspaper is credited with laying important groundwork.

Sen. Joseph M. Getty compiled the first edition of the collected articles in 1993, when he served as executive director of the Historical Society of Carroll County.

The historical society does not own the original newspapers, which are at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Sower, as editor, had maintained an archive of copies of the paper. The Sower family kept that, Getty said, and handed it down through the generations until it reached relative William Randolph Taylor, who become a professor at the university.

The original publication of abstracts was done with the permission of the library.

The book of selected abstracts from the newspaper sold out and was out of print for some time.

The book has been reprinted, and copies may be purchased at the discounted price of $8 each through the end of September at The Shop at Cockey’s, the historical society bookstore and gift emporium at 216 E. Main St., Westminster. The regular price will be $12.Historical Society of Carroll County members may purchase copies at a discount.

A research copy also is available at each branch of the Carroll County Public Library and in the media center of each Carroll County middle school and high school. In addition, Roop has provided copies to selected historical museums and organizations throughout the county.

Roop said, “It’s hard to put yourself in that time period,” but the old newspapers provide a window into the past. “It’s history,” he said.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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