One of the most valuable resources for a writer who wants to get the time period right for historical fiction are newspapers, right from the time period of when events really happened. It is also a great way to see how much things cost, what was popular in fashion, current technology and what people were most concerned about.
Most newspapers of the day had the world news on the front page and the local info on an inside page. Why? Because everybody already knew everybody's business. They wanted to know what was going on in the rest of the country and the world. Most of these are New York State newspapers but that's OK because the world news is the same.
These are not transcriptions but images of the actual newspaper pages that you can print or download in PDF format. Use your printer options so you can "print selection" of a particular article unless you want to print out the whole page. Don't forget to note on your printout the newspaper name and the date for future reference. Here are a couple of my favorite newspaper links.
To use the search engine for the best success type what you want to look up between quotation marks. For example: "Joseph Appleton" otherwise you will get everyone named Joseph and also everyone with the last name of Appleton as hits. Of course you can also research events. Click on the FAQ_HELP_INDEX link at the top right of the page to see the list of newspapers they have. They begin about 1820.
This site is helpful if you are researching the St. Regis Reservation (also know as Akwesasne) or the Mohawk Indians as the reserve is on the St. Lawrence River and straddles the border on both sides. The majority of the information most likely being in the newspapers of Franklin and St. Lawrence counties.
So there you go now get cracking on researching that next great historical novel!
This is post #8 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.