The Buffalo Post’s depiction of General Thomas Sweeny and the Fenian Raids

Buffalo Post 1This was the front page during the Fenian Raid is a sketch of Fenian General Thomas Sweeny, wearing his Federal Uniform. Taken from a popular CDV of him and printed in the Buffalo Post of the Evening of June 2, 1866 at the time of the Fenian Raid.

Sweeny in Fenian UniformIt is interesting for several reasons; the locality being Buffalo… front and center of the Fenian Raid action, the date – only a day after the Fenians crossed over to Canada, the misinformation and rumors and the newspaper playing to an excited Buffalo audience, the stories overall, it’s great local ads but the biggest attraction is the sketch of Sweeny.

You normally do not see illustrations in local papers during this period, except for the weekly pictorials out of NY City, like Harper’s and Frank Leslie’s. This illustration copy is not the best but it certainly draws your attention, considering that a newspaper reader would not be used to seeing a print and that large on the front page. It was done to market this paper above the other competitors.

The fake news of the time, claiming 5 pieces of artillery crossed the river, Fenians “gobbled up” 8 engines at Niagara. The Fenians marching onto Port Colborne. The Canadian Volunteers not responding to the call up by the Canadian Govt and of course the other Fenian landings into Canada. These headlines were feeding the rumor mill.

And oh how the Buffalo residents loved their oysters!

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