I spent part of this morning working on some research for a book chapter I'm working on. In one of my secondary sources I came across a passing reference to a newspaper article from November 1863 and decided to follow up. The headline of the article was "An Affecting Incident." Thinking that was pretty specific, I hopped into the 19th Century Newspapers Database and typed that in as a title. But I hit search before I remembered to limit the search by date. No matter, I thought. It's not like there will be very many returns of that phrase.
I was wrong. Apparently the 19th century U.S. was chock full of "affecting incidents." The search turned up 116 articles with the headline "An Affecting Incident." Here are just a few of the affecting incidents I wasn't looking for:
"Female of advanced age" robbed of her life savings of thirty-two dollars, Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 1833.
"Exhibition of the affection of a slave for his master," Raleigh, NC Daily Register, 1853
"Unexpected Meeting and Recognition of Two Sisters After Separation of 20 Years," Daily Cleveland Herald, 1861
"A Bride Killed at the Altar," New Haven, CT Daily Palladium, 1864
I love research.