The American Magazine, or Montbly Chronicle for the British Colonies. By a Society

By a Society of Gentlemen. Veritatis Cultores Fraudis Inimici.

This Magazine was first published in October, 1757. Imprint, “Philadelphia : Printed by William Bradford.” Price 12s. per annum.

It was discontinued soon after the appearance of The New American Magazine, printed in January, 1758, by Parker, and edited by Nevil, at Woodbridge. I cannot find that Bradford published more than three numbers.

The Penny Post. This was a small work of a few pages 12 mo. published for a short time by Benjamin Mecom, in 1769. I have not seen a copy of it. His design was to print it weekly; but it came from the press in an irregular manner,


The American Magazine,

Was published monthly, through the year 1769, for its author Lewis Nicola ; each number contained forty-eight pages. To this magazine were subjoined the transactions of the American Philosophical Society, of which Nicola was a member. The work was begun and ended with the year. It was printed in octavo, price 13s. per annum.

Nicola was born at Rochelle, in France, and educated in Ireland. He had some appointment in the British army, but quitted it. He was the author of one or more small military treatises, written about the commencement of our revolution, to which he was friendly. He obtained military rank in Pennsylvania, and eventually became a general officer in the militia.

The Royal Spiritual Magazine, or the Christian's

Grand Treasury.

This work was begun in 1771, and published monthly, for a few months only, by John MacGibbons, in Front street, between Arch and Race streets.

The Pennsylvania Magazine, or American Monthly


This Magazine was first published in January, 1775, by Robert Aitken. The celebrated Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense,' &c., was one of the principal compilers and writers of the Museum. It was a work of merit; each number contained forty-eight pages, octavo, with an engraving. The war put an end to it.

Aitken contracted with Paine to furnish, monthly, for this work, a certain quantity of original matter; but he

; often found it difficult to prevail on Paine to comply with his engagement. On one of the occasions, when Paine had neglected to supply the materials for the Magazine, within a short time of the day of publication, Aitken went to his lodgings, and complained of his neglecting to fulfil his contract. Paine heard him patiently, and coolly. answered, “You shall have them in time.” Aitken expressed some doubts on the subject, and insisted on Paine's accompanying him and proceeding immediately to business, as the workmen were waiting for copy. He accordingly went home with Aitken, and was soon seated at the table with the necessary apparatus, which always included a glass, and a decanter of brandy. Aitken remarked," he

1 There was a political paper published in London, in 1739, which I have seen, that bears the title Common Sense.

would never write without that." The first glass put him in a train of thinking; Aitken feared the second would disqualify him, or render him untractable; but it only illuminated his intellectual system ; and when he had swallowed the third glass, he wrote with great rapidity, intelligence, and precision; and his ideas appeared to flow faster than he could commit them to paper. What he penned from the inspiration of the brandy, was perfectly fit for the press without any alteration, or correction.'


A public journal was printed in the German language at Germantown, as early as the summer of 1739, by Christopher Sower. The title of it in English, was,

The Pennsylvania German Recorder of Events.:

At first this paper was printed quarterly, at three shillings per annum ; it was afterward published monthly, and con

* Aitken was a man of truth, and of an irreproachable character. This anecdote came from him some years before his death. Paine, when he edited the Magazine for Aitken, was suspected of toryism.

* This person was a native of Germany, born 1793, and immigrated 1724. He wrote his name Saur (pronounced sour), for which reason, it is probable, his son altered the orthography of his own name to Sower. For a particular description of Saur and his enterprises, Simpson's Eminent Philadelphians, 902; Printer's Circular, vi, 356; O'Callaghan's List of American Bibles, passim. —M.

*This paper was entitled Der Hoch-Deutsch Pennsylvanische Geschict. Schreiber, oder Sammlung wichtiger Nachrichten aus dem Natür•ünd KirchenReich, signifying in English, the High-Dutch Pennsylvania Historiographer, or collection of Impartial Intelligence from the Kingdoms of Nature and the Church. Saur designed it to serve as a journal for the sect of Tunkers, with whom he was identified, and at first published it only occasionally on one side of a sheet for gratuitous distribution. It took a more definite form in 1736, as a folio, 9 by 13 inches. See Printer's Circular, vii, 356.- M.

tinued for several years. This was, undoubtedly, the first

, newspaper printed in the German language in America.

Germantanner Zeitung (Germantown Gazette). This Gazette was printed by Christopher Sower, jun., and, probably, as a substitute for the Germantown Recorder, which had been published by his father. It was a weekly paper, and commenced about 1744. As an appendage to it, Sower for some time published, every fortnight, a small magazine of eight 8vo. pages, containing, chiefly, moral and religious essays; with which, it is said, he, for some time, supplied his newspaper customers gratis. It was entitled Ein Geistliches Magazin.' The Zeitung was continued until the troubles occasioned by the revolutionary war obliged the publisher to drop it. It had an extensive circulation among the Germans settled in Pennsylvania. Its publication was continued till 1748.


A newspaper in the English and German languages was published in Lancaster, by Miller and Holland, in January, 1751. What the title of it was I cannot learn, nor the time at which it was discontinued.

Francis Bailey, it is said, published a paper in English soon after the beginning of the war, but this fact is doubted by some. 'He afterwards removed to Philadelphia, in 1778, and there published the Freeman's Journal.

· For a more correct account of this work see Simpson's Eminent Philadelphians, 903-4, note.- M.


The district of country which composes the state of Delaware, was, previously to the revolution, distinguished as “ The Counties of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware."

[ocr errors]


The first and only newspaper published before 1775, in what is now the state of Delaware, made its appearance in Wilmington about the year 1762, entitled, if my information is correct, The Wilmington Courant, printed and published by James Adams, for the short period of six months; when, for want of encouragement, it was discontinued. About the year 1787, Adams commenced the publication of another paper, entitled The Wilmington Courant. Its continuance was only two or three years.

« VorigeDoorgaan »