History By Mail Review December 2022
History By Mail is a monthly subscription service for reproductions of historical letters and documents. Each letter comes with a separate document explaining the context of the letter including its author, recipient, and relevance to the events of its time, as well as a transcription when necessary.
With History By Mail each letter comes with a separate document explaining the context of the letter including its author, recipient, and relevance to the events of its time, as well as a transcription when necessary.
There are many different options on subscription choices such as a monthly subscription, 6 months subscription or a yearly subscription and would make a great gift for Christmas, an Anniversary or even Father’s /Mother’s Day or even a Wedding gift.
They kindly sent us this box to review.
Envelope #1: Police Report & Bus Diagram from Rosa Park’s Arrest 1955
When opening the first envelope it was fascinating to read the police report of Rosa Park’s arrest. Rosa Parks was arrested for being a black female sitting in the white section of a bus who would not move back. The document shows where Rosa was sitting on the bus along with a fingerprint card from her arrest.
The information included with this piece of history gives you an overview who Rosa was and a detailedrecap of the bus incident. The story is very detailed and almost feels like you are transported back to1955.
After reading the piece of paper provided you truly get a deep understanding of such a pivotal time in history.
Envelope #2: Check for the purchase of Alaska 1868
Did you know that Alaska used to belong to Russia? I did not, but by reading this informative document I learned that in 1868 the U.S. got a treasury warrant and bought Alaska from Russia. I learned so much from reading this document. Governments use treasury warrants to authorize large payments, and what a large payment it was! Alaska cost a total of $7.2 million dollars and this purchase included 600,000 square miles of territory for less than 2 cents per acre.
With the purchase of Alaska, the U.S. became 20 % larger! Some people did not support the purchase of Alaska, but other believed it was a good decision, especially when gold was discovered in 1896 leading to the gold rush.
Envelope #3: Eisenhower’s “Order of the Day” & Sketch of D-Day Platoon Leader 1944
General Dwight D. Eisenhower issued this “Order of the Day” and 175,000 copies were printed and distributed to soldiers, sailors, and airmen as they embarked on their journey across the English Channel.
The letter enclosed in the envelope is empowering and gave me chills to read. It was message was powerful, hopeful but also stated heading into war was extremely dangerous.
It was incredible to read about the history of WW2 and the detailed history of D-Day. D-Day initiated the Battle of Normandy which allowed the Allies to gain a secure foothold in mainland Europe. The D-Day invasion was a major psychological and military blow to the Axis powers.
Envelope #4: Original Christmas Cards
Did you know the tradition of Christmas cards has been around since 1843? The first set of Christmas cards was commissioned by British civil servant Henry Cole, and designed by painter John Callcott Horsley.
The document included with the set of 5 original Christmas cards explains some history of the British Post, as well as more history of the civil servant Henry Cole. Part of the history states that it was considered impolite in Victorian England to leave a letter unanswered. Cole was receiving so many letters that he was unable to keep up to responding to them all, which is why he had his friend and painter design a card. The printed cards had “To” and “From”, with a generic message stating Merry Christmas. By creating this type of Christmas card, Cole was able to respond to all his fellow letter senders, but saving massive
amounts of time. Interestingly enough, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, in the same week that Cole started sending his cards and more and more people starting sending them, and getting into new traditions.
Envelope #5: Letter from Annie Oakley to President McKinley 1898
I’m sure most people know the name Annie Oakley, but I learned from this envelope that she was one of the most famous Americans at the end of the 19 th century, and some people even consider her to be America’s first female entertainment star. Annie was an exhibition shooter and a sharpshooter and actually would perform around different shows all around the world!
The information included with this envelope goes into detail about the Spanish-American war, and why Annie Oakley wrote a letter to the president offering up her sharp shooting services if they were to go to war.
I also learned a lot about Annie Oakley and that she was part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West travelling show. Not only was Annie a show-women, but what I found fascinating was that she also taught over 15,000 women how to use a gun.
Envelope #6: WWI Rationing Card & Nursery Rhyme 1917 & 1918
When you hear about WWI you hear a lot of ration cards, but I had never had the opportunity to see one first hand, and see all the detail that went into one before opening this envelope.
Along with the ration card, you also see a nursery rhyme which was distributed to the U.S. Public Schools for school children to pledge their support to the war effort.
It was very interesting to read about how specifically Children were really encouraged to do their part to help the war effort. Many campaigns were directed right at children to help them feel empowered that they could help in the war effort.
History By Mail December 2022 – Final Thoughts
History By Mail is a great gift idea to a history junkie, or for yourself! The documents you receive are perfect to keep as a keepsake, to use as learning materials, or even keep as collectible items.
It is so interesting to see actual documents, with people’s exact handwriting, and exact written words onsuch important documents. I really valued the pages of context that was included with each piece of history because it really helped you gain a deeper appreciation for the historical document.
Many people think learning about history is by reading a book, but by subscribing to History By Mail’s box you actually get to learn about history by seeing REAL historical replicas.
Expect to see a new theme every four months which is expertly curated by their team.
I can’t wait to share the knowledge I learned while reading their documents at my next family dinner. If you are curious about history I highly recommend you check out History By Mail.
History By Mail
History By Mail is a monthly subscription service for reproductions of historical letters and documents.