Next, I turned to Baltimore newspapers. Several of the microfilmed Easton Star Democrat articles mentioned the coverage of the Isaiah Fountain case by the Baltimore newspapers: the Sun, Evening Sun, Baltimore News, and the Baltimore Afro-American. I wanted to see what these and other newspapers reported about the Fountain case.
I found that I could perform online searches for various historical newspapers by using Newspapers.com, ProQuest.com, and the National Archives website articles about the Fountain case.
Hundreds of newspaper articles were printed about the Fountain case, as well as the many side-issues that were associated with the case. My search of these papers also turned up a number of great photographs and political cartoons in the Evening Sun and Afro-American.
Reading all the newspaper articles provide me with different perceptions and points of view about Isaiah Fountain, Talbot County officials, county citizens, and the newspapers themselves. They also provided more wonderful details about the case and trial testimony.
I visited the Clerk’s Office at the Talbot County Courthouse to see if any of the records of Isaiah Fountain’s trial existed. Unfortunately, the transcripts had been sent to the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis. Nothing was retained at the courthouse except some original ledger entries indicating the dates of the trial, witnesses, and the verdict.
Once I had the chance to organize and read through all the collected newspaper articles, I thought “Wow. What a great story!” I was also amazed that the Fountain case wasn’t recorded more thoroughly in the local history books about Talbot County, MD.
Even though the trial records weren’t available locally, I decided that the story of Isaiah Fountain would make a great lecture to present to my neighbors at our community clubhouse. I then began to prepare a lecture, with an accompanying Power Point slide show.
By the end of 2019 I had put together a forty-five minute presentation with accompanying slides about the Isaiah Fountain case and arranged to present the talk in May of 2020. I was all set to share the Isaiah Fountain story with my neighbors. Unfortunately, COVID-19 reared its ugly head.