About The History Carper

The idea for the History Carper was conceived in the late 1990s and began to take real shape in 2001. My original mission was to make out of print and hard to find historical source documents available to homeschoolers and educators. I used the world-wide inter-library loan program to obtain old books from universities and public libraries from all over the United States, and even once from the Philippines. I was amazed at the material some libraries were willing to let me use. University libraries sent me books that were over 150 years old without any clue who I was! If they had known I was squashing their paper pulp treasures onto a flat-bed scanner, they might not have been so happy about it.

The process was very slow. Optical character recognition is pretty hit or miss on older printing technologies. I really wanted to buy my own copies of those books, chop the bindings off, and feed them through a good-quality, high speed scanner. Alas, that wasn’t an option, so I contented myself with scanning one page at a time. Fortunately, a number of other organizations with much greater resources were doing just that, putting old books online faster than I could ever dream of doing it from my living room. So, instead of trying to save the whole world’s history, I narrowed my focus to materials promoting liberty and God’s Law from the years leading up to and following the American Revolution and that homeschoolers would be able to use. I continue to add to the site all the time, but I am more selective than I was at the beginning, and not nearly as frantic!

I hope you enjoy your time spent here and that I have provided you with a valuable, educational resource. Feel free to discuss any of the letters, articles, histories, etc., in the comment sections and to add your name to my mailing list. I’ll keep you posted on new additions, historical milestones, and other important history-related resources.

Be blessed!
Baruch tih’yeh!

Jay Carper


  1. There is a communication to The Pennsylvania Journal published on Dec. 27, 1775 that has recently been attributed to Benjamin Franklin regarding the symbol of a rattlesnake seen on a drum carried by Marines. In it, the virtues of the rattlesnake as used in this symbol are extolled. Can anyone help me with the identifying the reason[s] that this is now attributed to Franklin?

  2. Hi Bob!

    This wasn’t the first time Franklin had referred to the colonies as a rattlesnake. He published his famous Join, or Die illustration on May 9, 1754. I first read the article you are asking about (The Rattle-Snake as a Symbol of America) years ago in The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, vol 3: London. I believe that collection was published well over a hundred years ago. Since it wasn’t signed “Benjamin Franklin”, I’m not sure how it came to be ascribed to him. My guess is that his authorship was commonly believed even in 1775, but I really don’t know.


  3. Good Morning,
    I am looking to locate a copy of the following paper;
    September 29, 1787 issue of the Providence Gazette
    Would you have any idea on where I might be able to find one?
    Chris Zubyk

    1. Hi Chris,

      No, I’m sorry. I don’t know.

      For any other readers who might have information for Chris, please post it here. If you want to send info to Chris privately, leave a comment, and I’ll pass his email address and phone number on to you.

      Jay Carper

  4. I just found your website. I will now add it to my links. Please go to my site and look at the Chronology and Incidents. You might find some new stuff for the timeline, which looks pretty good to me.

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