On August 25, 1835 the New York Sun came out with a series about life found on the Moon.
From the August 28 issue of the paper:
Our plain was of course immediately covered with the ruby front of this mighty amphitheater, its tall figures, leaping cascades, and rugged caverns. As its almost interminable sweep was measured off on the canvass, we frequently saw long lines of some yellow metal hanging from the crevices of the horizontal strata in will net-work, or straight pendant branches. We of course concluded that this was virgin gold, and we had no assay-master to prove to the contrary.
The series ran for 8 days and resulted in world wide acceptance of the proffered subject and an increase in circulation. The series ended with a fire at the observatory when its telescope was directed at the Sun. The observatory was a total loss.
The author was supposedly Dr. Andrew Grant, who described himself as the travelling companion of Sir John Herschel. Dr Grant was a fabrication from the perpetrator’s imagination.
Was the perpetrator an early Republican? The story had no scientific foundation and flew in the face of actual science even in its time.
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