Just the Outlander chapter
The chapter starts at the printer. We’re back in North Carolina in 1776, and it’s all about the Big House fire. We finally get to understand the reason behind the misprint. Did something in history change?
Well, it turns out that the printer got it knowingly wrong. In fact, the printer didn’t even care about getting it right. The printer’s apprentice, Sampson, decides that the obituary will make a good write-up with a piece about General Washington’s address. The piece about Washington doesn’t fill the page, so rather than have a blank spot, Sampson thinks the obituary is perfect.
But it’s old news. Printer Amos Crupp is confused about this. Why would they print old news? Sampson explains that the entire page is in Baskerville 12-point, and it turns out the stencil for December is missing. Instead of dealing with that, Sampson thought January 1776 would work as a date. Amos doesn’t really care; it’s not like anyone from the fire is alive now. Why would they care?
Finally, a mystery has been solved. We still don’t know who shared the news, since it only came from a “subscriber,” but the mystery behind the date finally makes sense. This was a printer error on purpose. It would cost less to print the wrong date on the obituary than change the font of the address.