The tradition of children writing letters to Santa Claus rose in popularity in the second half of the nineteenth century in the United States. By the early 1900s, newspapers in south Georgia began publishing these letters in their December issues. They provide amusing and sometimes poignant insight into Christmas culture, familial relationships, charity, war, and consumerism from a century ago. The letters hint at other traditions related to Santa Claus, including his list of good and bad children and the practice of leaving foods for him to eat. The letters reproduced below and hundreds of others can be found in the South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive.
The South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to six newspaper titles published in four south Georgia cities (Albany, Americus, Thomasville, and Valdosta) from 1845 to 1922. Consisting of over 81,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.
The archive includes the following south Georgia newspaper titles: the Albany News (1870-1883), the Albany Patriot (1845-1866), the Americus Times Recorder (1881-1921), the Sumter Republican (1870-1885), the Thomasville Times Enterprise (1873-1922), and the Valdosta Times (1908-1912). The Digital Library of Georgia will add additional titles from the region over time.
The South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive (1847-1922), the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive (1827-1922), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html