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folio, on an old long primer type, published weekly on Friday. Imprint, “Salem : Printed by E. Russell, at his New Printing-Office, in Ruck-street, near the State-House.”!
This Gazette was of short continuance; its circulation was confined to a few customers in Salem and the neighboring towns, which were inadequate to its support.
The American Gazette : Or, The Constitutional
Journal, Was first published June 18, 1776. It was published on Tuesday, printed on a crown sheet, folio. Imprint, “Salem : Printed by J. Rogers, at E. Russell's Printing-Office, Upper End of Main-Street,” &c. Russell was the conductor of this paper, Rogers being only his agent; it was published only a few weeks. In the head was a large cut, a coarse copy of that which then appeared in the title of the Pennsylvania Journal; the device, a ship and a book, or journal, &c., as has already been described.
It was several years after this newspaper was discontinued before the printing of another commenced in Salem. In January, 1781, Mary Crouch and company issued from their press The Salem Gazette and General Advertiser. This Gazette was printed only nine months, when Samuel Hall, who first published The Essex Gazette, returned to Salem, and, on the 18th of October, 1781, established The Salem Gazette, afterwards printed by T. Cushing.”
[See List of Newspapers printed in the United States in January, 1810.)
*Meaning court house.
* In 1857, the editor of the Gazette stated that 49 other papers had been started in Salem since the Gazette, of which 46 had broken up in bankruptcy. Samuel Dodge died at Rowley, Mass., June 17, 1860, aged 82, who had taken and paid for the Salem Register sixty years.- M.
No attempt was made to establish a newspaper in that place until the year 1773.
The Essex Journal, and Merimack Packet : Or,
the Massachusetts and New Hampshire General Advertiser,
Was issued from the press, December 4, 1773, by Isaiah Thomas, printed on a crown sheet, folio, equal in size to most of the papers then published in Boston. At first its day of publication was Saturday ; afterwards, Wednesday. Two cuts were in the title; one, the left, representing the arms of the province, that on the right, a ship under sail. Imprint, “Newbury-Port: Printed by Isaiah Thomas & Henry Walter-Tinges, in King-Street, opposite to the Rev. Mr. Parsons's Meeting-House,” &c. Thomas was the proprietor of the Journal; he lived in Boston, and there published the Massachusetts Spy. Tinges, as a partner in the Journal, manageď the concerns of it. Before the full expiration of a year Thomas sold his right in this paper to Ezra Lunt, and, about two years after, Lunt sold to John Mycall. Tinges was a partner to both; but to the latter only for about six months, when the partnership was dissolved, and Mycall became the proprietor and sole publisher of The Essex Journal, the publication of which he continued many years.
The. Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of
Liberty. The printer of the Massachusetts Spy, or Boston Journal, was obliged to leave Boston, as has been mentioned, on account of the commencement of hostilities between the colonies and the parent country. He settled in this place, and on the 3d of May, 1775, recommenced the publication of that paper, which he continued until the British troops evacuated Boston, when he leased it for one year to William Stearns and Daniel Bigelow. They adopted another motto: “Undaunted by Tyrants, we will die, or be free.” After the first lease expired, the paper was leased for another year to Anthony Haswell, printer. Owing to unskillful workmen, bad ink, wretched paper, and worn down types, the Spy appeared in a miserable dèshabille during the two years for which it had been leased, and for two years after. At the end of that term, the proprietor returned to Worcester, and resumed its publication, with a new motto: “Unanimity at Home, and Bravery and Perseverance in the Field, will secure the Independence of America."
Good materials of the kinds just mentioned could not be immediately procured, and the Spy from necessity was continued under numerous disadvantages until 1781, when it was printed from a good type, on better paper, with new devices and an engraved title. The device on the left was a figure representing America, an Indian holding the cap of Liberty on a staff with the left hand, and in the right a spear, aimed at the British lion, which appeared in the act of attacking her from an opposite shore. Round the device
LIBERTY DEFENDED FROM TYRANNY." That on the
right was a chain of thirteen links, with a star in each link, representing the union of the thirteen states. This chain was placed in a circular form, leaving an opening for the arms of France, to which the ends of the chain were attached, and which perfected the circle. Above the arms were two hands clasped, and directly over them a sword, with its hilt resting on the clasped hands; the motto, “UNION.” The title was thus new modelled, Thomas's Massachusetts Spy; or the Worcester Gazette. Motto: “The noble Efforts of a Virtuous, Free and United People, shall extirpate Tyranny, and establish Liberty and Peace.”
At the conclusion of the war the Spy was enlarged, and each page contained five columns. It was printed from new types; and the motto was changed to “ Noscere res humanas est Hominis. Knowledge of the world is necessary for every man.”
About that time, its editor began to publish, in the paper, as room would permit, Robertson's History of America, and completed the whole in about one year. This was followed by a history of the revolutionary war. Besides these, the Spy contained valuable, useful, and entertaining extracts, on various subjects, from European and American publications, as well as original essays.?
This paper was printed with continued improvements until March, 1786, when the publication was, on the following account, suspended. The legislature of Massachusetts had in March, 1785, passed an'“act, imposing duties on licensed vellum, parchment and paper.” This act laid
i The English edition of Robertson's History, in three volumes, 8vo, then sold for six dollars. The price of the Spy was only nine shillings per annum.
* The Worcester Speculator, inserted in the Spy, in numbers, weekly, was furnished by a society of gentleinen in the county of Worcester. A selection from these numbers, all the composition of the late Reverend Doctor Fiske of Brookfield, together with some other pieces by that gentleman, was afterwards printed in two duodecimo volumes, entitled The Moral Monitor.
a duty of two-thirds of a penny on newspapers, and a penny on almanacs, which were to be stamped. The British stamp act of 1765, violently opposed in the colonies, rendered this act so unpopular from its very name, that the legislature was induced to repeal it before it went into operation. But, in the July following, another act was passed, which imposed a duty on all advertisements inserted in the newspapers printed in this commonwealth. This act was thought by the publisher of the Spy, and by many others, to lay an improper restraint on the press. He therefore discontinued the Spy during the period that this act was in force, which was two years. But he published as a substitute a periodical work, entitled The Worcester Weekly Magazine, in octavo.
The restoration of the Spy took place in April, 1788, and a motto was at that time introduced from the constitution of Massachusetts, viz.: “The Liberty of the Press is essential to the security of freedom.”
In 1801, Thomas resigned the printing and publishing of the Spy to his son Isaiah Thomas, Jr. The Spy is the oldest newspaper in Massachusetts.
In 1785, a neat, small paper, was published semi-weekly in Charlestown, Massachusetts, entitled The American Recorder and Charlestown Advertiser. It was printed about three years by Allen & Cushing, and then discontinued. Imention this, because it was the only newspaper issued from a press in the county of Middlesex.
'In 1843, there were 79 newspapers published in Massachusetts, and the Spy, although it had met with some interruptions, was still recognized as the oldest paper in the state. In 1845, it began to be published daily ; and now, in 1872, is one of the most flourishing papers in the country. There are now (1872), about 175 newspapers and other periodicals published in Boston alone.-M.