From its humble beginnings in 1865, The Salvation Army has had a knack for making news. Through the late 19th century into the 20th, William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, was one of the most recognizable names and faces in the British Empire. As The Salvation Army’s first General, William Booth launched one of Britain’s most ambitious social-reclamation projects. His name consistently claimed headlines in newspapers in the English-speaking world. And the likeness of this tall, gaunt man, with the silver hair and long grey beard could be seen in any number of pictorials and print shops.
At first, the British public was skeptical of the goings-on of William Booth and the newly formed Salvation Army. In time, they warmed to the organization that contributed so much to helping society’s most vulnerable residents. As the Army spread around the globe, from the Australian outback to the Canadian prairies, the slums of the Indian subcontinent and points in between, its exploits were reported to a vast and receptive readership.
The Salvation Army was recently contacted by Royce Tennant, a rare book collector living in Nanaimo, BC who had unearthed a treasure trove of newspapers relating to The Salvation Army. On page 2 of this newsletter are printed rarely seen illustrations of William Booth and his Army, as they appeared more than a century ago.