Catalog

Presented for sale by Phil Barber, Cambridge, Mass. 02139 Telephone (617) 492-4653
www.historicpages.com

Early American Newspapers Introductory Catalog

For my part I entertain a high idea of the utility of periodical publications; insomuch as I could heartily desire, copies of ... magazines, as well as common Gazettes, might be spread through every city, town, and village in the United States. I consider such vehicles of knowledge more happily calculated than any other to preserve the liberty, stimulate the industry, and ameliorate the morals of a free and enlightened people.- George Washington, 1788 in a letter to Matthew Carey, published of the Philadelphia Columbian Magazine.


SCENE in a prosperous Colonial printing shop, contemporary woodcut. Note the double presses and female printers.

About This Era and its Newspapers
The subject period of this catalog comprises the first fifty years or so of the United States, after independence was won in 1783 and up to the Penny Press era of the 1830's. Earlier papers are quite rare, and are offered individually in my Early Americana General Catalog. Later issues may be found in my 19th Century General Catalog.

The first era of American printing begins in 1639 and ends about 1830. These earliest printed items are the products of a pre-Industrial Age technology, printed on wooden "Franklin" presses on papers manufactured by a laborious hand process from rags, old clothing, and other newspapers. These wonderfully collectible imprints are charming in their simplicity, survivors of a sturdy era of hard, honest work by skilled crafts people. They are most appealing mementos of that long lost world and are among the most sought after of all American journalism history items.

Right, contemporary woodcut of Spring sowing. Almost all Americans lived on farms in this era.

The first newspaper appeared in Boston in 1690, entitled Publick Occurrences. Published without authority, it was immediately suppressed, its publisher arrested, and all copies were destroyed. The first successful newspaper was the Boston News-Letter, begun by postmaster John Campbell in 1704. Although it was heavily subsidized by the colonial government it enjoyed a very limited circulation. Two more papers made their appearance in the 1720's, in Philadelphia and New York, and the Fourth Estate slowly became established on the new continent. By the eve of the Revolutionary War, some two dozen papers were issued at all the colonies, although Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania would remain the centers of American printing for many years. Articles in colonial papers, brilliantly conceived by revolutionary propagandists, were a major force that influenced public opinion in America from reconciliation with England to full political independence. All newspapers from the Colonial and Revolutionary years are quite rare today, with issues before 1750 extremely rarely seen in today's marketplace.

LEFT, Sam Adams, master Revolutionary era strategist whose articles frequently appeared in the BOSTON GAZETTE.

When America's independence was won in 1783 there were forty-three newspapers in print. The press played a vital role in the affairs of the new nation; many more newspapers were started, representing all shades of political opinion. The importance of the press to the young nation can hardly be overemphasized. Newspapers and the occasional magazine were the only medium of mass communication and the sole sources of information needed by Americans to make informed choices about their new government. The no holds barred style of early journalism, much of it libelous by modern standards, reflected the rough and tumble political life of the republic as rival factions jostled for power. The ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 at last guaranteed of freedom of the press, and America's newspapers began to take on a central role in national affairs. Growth continued in every state. By 1814 there were 346 newspapers.

 It is worthy of remark that newspapers have almost entirely changed their form and character ... They have become the vehicles of discussion, in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private character of individuals are all arraigned, tried, and decided ... they have become immense moral and political engines, closely connected to the welfare of the state, and deeply involving both its peace and prosperity.    -Miller, A Brief Retrospective of the Eighteenth Century, published in 1803

In these early years of the new independent America, the state was fragile and its future was far from certain. The war that resulted in American independence had been as much a civil war as a struggle against British authority. Loyalties were sharply divided among Americans, between those who kept allegiance to a king whose authority to rule them came directly from God (at least according to Church of England) and those who followed the radical French philosophes’ declaration that the inalienable "rights of man" would now replace the traditional authority of church and state. Many colonial militia units fought alongside the recoats, in addition to those which fought against their traditional comrades-in-arms in past colonial wars with France and Spain.

In this difficult time the Federalist - Republican disagreements over the most important aspects of political philosophy and practice were endless and passionately defended - and there was violence, as Americans struggled, often without success, to explain themselves to each other. People used the same words, but their meanings and implementation differed drastically. The conversation nonetheless continued and in that discussion grew the symbolic language of the nation, having at its core the notions of liberty, independence, representation, what made a republic, separation of powers, "popular sovereignty," and, ultimately, who were "the people." In the controversy over the defining of state, the nation was born.

It has been said that to be American was to participate in the revolutionary dialogue that Adams and Jefferson had started. In these early years, our newspapers did not try to dampen the hostilities that this dialogue created. In fact, they amplified them, and helped bring about new crises for the state to manage. But as the only vehicles of mass communication, they made the dialogue possible, and there lies the vital link between early American journalism and American nationhood in this formative period.

The subject period of this catalog ends in the 1830's, at the dawn of the Industrial Age, when dramatic advances in printing and papermaking technology led to an explosion of newspaper growth. It became possible for the first time to produce a daily newspaper that could be sold for just a cent a copy, and so the period came to be known as the "Penny Press" revolution. Previously, newspapers were the province of the wealthy, literate minority, but now the availability of cheap, interesting reading material created a significant stimulus to the achievement of the nearly universal literacy now taken for granted in America. Examples of these later newspapers are offered for sale in the next section of my Introductory Catalog. Click here to go there.

RIGHT, Street scene in Philadelphia, one of America's three large cities. Contemporary woodcut.

All items from this formative period of American journalism are now scarce to rare. An experienced printer and his apprentices could "pull" no more than six hundred newspapers a day; a circulation of two thousand copies per issue was considered exceptional throughout most of the period. Many papers produced less than five hundred copies of each issue. Almost all early papers and magazines ended up discarded or recycled into new paper. Only a few specimens saved by libraries, by the newspaper publishers themselves, and by a handful of individuals, and form these come the examples available to modern collectors.

About The Catalog Listings
All items in this catalog are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and accurately described. Any item may be returned within seven days of receipt for a full refund. No reason for return is ever required.They are in fine used condition and are complete with all pages as issued. All papers are free of damage or objectionable defects. I am are sure you will be delighted with their exceptional state of preservation. I purchase only the finest condition newspapers that can be found to offer to my valued friends and customers.

These are the finest quality original antique newspapers and magazines, that you might find elsewhere priced at much greater cost. It has always been my policy to present my catalog items at "wholesale to the public" prices. Therefore all catalog items and quoted prices are net, and are not subject to further discount, either for dealers or in consideration of quantity orders. It is our policy to price our items based on what we believe to be their fair market value. I do not set prices at absurdly inflated levels to take advantage of novices or "investors"; nor do employ the common ploy of starting with an unrealistically high price in order to "negotiate" a phony discount later. As over a third of our catalog orders are from dealers buying for resale, at our stated prices, we have every confidence that this policy maintains an ethical standard of integrity and fairness to all.

About These Newspapers and Magazines
The newspapers are full folio size unless described as quarto or octavo, which are respectively smaller in format, the latter being the standard size for most magazines. Most newspapers have been carefully removed from bound volumes and may exhibit characteristic minor spine weakness or separation without significant paper loss. Magazines are disbound from annual volumes and lack wraps unless otherwise stated, as these were very rarely preserved in the bound runs. Illustration plates are lacking unless described as present in the description, as most were framed by the original subscribers.

Historians delight in telling us what our history is and what it means. The documentarian, on the other hand, as often delights in recording and conveying the simple fact that we have had a history at all: that there was once a time when people looked like this, or sounded like that, or felt these ways about such things." -Ken Burns, Introduction to The Civil War, 1991

Each catalog entry is very briefly described for the general appearance, historical significance, and content of the title. Every issue contains hours of additional historic reading and insights into the world preserved on its pages, much more than I could find the space to describe here. The periodicals offered here are what are called "atmosphere" or "type" issues. They were printed on those ninety-nine days in a hundred that nothing of great historic note occurred. They are still of great value (and quite modest price) for the intimate glimpse they provide into a long-vanished world. Their articles detail what was important to Americans of those days, be it politics, wars, social values, or any of the other enduring human concerns. Even the ads, so modest by our standards, speak to us of the never-changing human wish for novelty, status, comfort, and security.

The exact dates that you will receive will be of my choice as stock allows, all from within the years listed. There is a good supply of different dates in stock of each title, so you may order multiples of each listing with confidence; all different dates will be provided. Catalog prices are per single issue. I cannot accept requests for specific dates or special historic content at these low "type issue" prices but we will be pleased to receive your want lists for such items.

I pride myself on the quality and accuracy of my catalog descriptions, and strive to provide all the information needed to enable you to make an informed selection. Please consult my collector information pages and glossary of terms page linked below, if you are not sure of what any of the descriptive terms mean.

Pictures of Cataloged Items
Digital photos are available of the items in this catalog. To view them, click on the small thumbnail illustration in the item description. You will then see on your screen a full-size version of that illustration. You can return to the catalog by using your browser's "BACK" command. All illustrations are of actual specimens being offered for sale, and were chosen as most representative of the items. The photos may depict a full page or a detail close-up, or several typical issues, but all papers are complete and undamaged as noted.

Please note that the camera flash tends to exaggerate foxing and spotting, some degree of which is normal in old paper and which is not so dramatic in person!

Glossary of Terms Page | Collector Information Page | Want List Page | Home Page

How to Order from This Catalog

My catalogs use a "shopping cart" system, which will take you from each catalog to a confirmation page and when you are ready, to the order checkout page. To use it, please be sure the "javascript" and "accept cookies" functions are enabled in your browser.

To order a catalog item, please enter the quantity of issues you want in the box in each item's description, then press the "Add to Cart" button. You will then see your "shopping basket" and its contents and total. You may remove selected items at any time, and use your browser's "Forward" button to view the cart page whenever you wish, and your "Back" button to return to the catalogs.

When you are ready to place your order, simply click "submit" on the completed shopping cart checkout page, and it will be e-mailed to me. As soon as I receive your order, I will confirm the availability of your selections via return e-mail, with your invoice for the total amount due, and I will reserve your confirmed selections for receipt of payment.

I accept checks, money orders, and all credit cards through PayPal, the free, safest Internet payment service. If you choose this payment option on your order form, I will request PayPal to send you a bill for the amount of your confirmed order. As soon as your payment is received, I will ship your order to you.

Postage per order addressed within the United States is 3.85 plus .40 per item. Postage will be added to overseas orders at my actual cost. There is a seven day return privilege on all items.
Please click here to view my full terms of sale and unconditional guarantee of your satisfaction. I accept X.com's PayPal. I'm VERIFIED! Buyer Protection is guaranteed. CLICK TO VERIFY

Your comments are always welcome, as are your inquiries, if you have questions about these historic collectibles. We value our customers, and appreciate the confidence you place in us when ordering from our online catalogs. We strive to merit your patronage and to enrich your collecting experience through accurate, knowledgeable descriptions, honest pricing, courteous service, and timely order filling. Enjoy your browsing!



Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.-Thomas Jefferson, 1787.

Extremely Rare Volume I Issues of One of the Great American Newspapers
N-40. [ATMOSPHERE ISSUE] THE MASSACHUSETTS SPY, 1770. [Complete issue, singlesheet, 2 pages, crown octavo size, published at Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, by Isaiah Thomas]
I am pleased to offer original Volume One first year of printing issues of this classic American Colonial newspaper. It appeared in small format as a tri-weekly evening commercial paper to replace the late Boston Chronicle, whose editor John Mein was driven from the colony for excessive muckraking into certain activities of the would-be revolutionary elements. Firmly in the Patriot cause, it contains a budget of news items from across the world and the American colonies, plus local items of interest, ads of all kinds and occasional humorous or educational features. These issues come from a very tense time in Boston, August to October, 1770, just a few months after the infamous Boston Massacre, with the old city a powder keg ready to explode under continuing British military occupation.
Only 21 years old when he produced these issues, Thomas (1749 - 1831) is considered the first great American journalist. During the War of Independence, Thomas moved across the river to Cambridge, and later to Worcester, Mass., where the paper continued to be published until 1840. Very few of these early issues survive; these are the first I've seen in thirty-five years. The issues offered here are complete in singlesheet format; some were printed with the colophon nameplate, and some without. As Thomas himself explains it in his History of Printing in America, page 265 in the 1970 reprint, "Twice in the week it [The Spy] was to be printed on a quarter of a sheet, and once on a half sheet." In November 1770 the paper became a bi-weekly of four pages in every issue, and later went to full folio size, with a famous nameplate copper engraving cut by fellow patriot Paul Revere.
EXTREMELY UNCOMMON. Apart from two 1770 volumes, one in the American Antiquarian Society (which Thomas founded), only a handful of scattered 1770 dates of this influential paper survive in all U.S. libraries. See Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers 1690 - 1820, page 320.
Condition is nice very good, no major flaws, two small binding punches in the margin, some occasional light pencilled graffiti, possibly contemporary. . . SOLD

DETAIL of ads in THE MASSACHUSETTS CENTINEL

From Early in The Troubled Post-Revolutionary Era
N-051. THE MASSACHUSETTS CENTINEL, typical issue printed between 1785 and 1789. [complete issue of 4 pages, quarto sized, published at Boston, Mass. by Benjamin Russell].
This early Federalist newspaper hails from a dark period in our history, when the new nation was gripped by a terrible postwar depression, was all but rent asunder by rival factions jostling for power under the weak Articles of Confederation, and under threat of re-conquest by the ever rapacious imperial powers of Europe. Yet for all the doubt and danger, it was indisputable that the nation had emerged from a bitter struggle as the first republic of the modern world, with a destiny to greatness - if the proper course of action were found and followed. The articles and editorials reflect these times vividly, in both the aspirations and the fears of the people. Would we become a true popular democracy, or merely replace "one tyrant three thousand miles away, with three thousand tyrants a mile away", in the famous words of a Tory. There are also many fine ads, often illustrated with small woodcuts of sailing ships, plus all the news as reports come in from across the nation and the world.
Condition is fine or better, all issue being nicely-preserved specimens of the earliest affordable U.S. journailsm. . . . 37.50

Please enter your order quantity here: 

The First Successful American Magazine
N-052. THE COLUMBIAN MAGAZINE or MONTHLY MISCELLANY, typical issue printed between 1786 and 1790. [Complete issue of 48 + 2 pages, octavo size, published at Philadelphia. Penna., by Seddon, Spotswood, Cist, and Trenchard].
A consortium of Philadelphians, composed of an artist, a printer, a bookseller, and a publisher, created this unique magazine three years after America won her freedom. Its contents are remarkably varied and attractive - its stated aim was to be "a future criterion of the opinions and characters of the age" and in this it succeeded, with contributions by era luminaries in many fields. It also broke ground in featuring fiction, in an age when fiction was not a staple of magazines. There are good news reports of doings in Philadelphia and across the infant republic, as well as from England and France and other parts of the world. Some verse and genealogical statistics also appear. I am pleased to be able to offer examples of this very elusive classic of early American publishing, the first magazine that survived in independent America for more than a year .
Condition of the issues is generally a pleasing fine, carefully extracted from an annual volume. Price, each issue, . . . 79.95
All 18th century American magazines are considered scarce to rare today. For a selection of individually catalogued issues of several titles, please visit my Early Americana General Catalog, through this link
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

The Greatest of the Earliest American Magazines
N-053. THE AMERICAN MUSEUM, typical issue printed between 1787 and 1789. [Complete issue of 48 to 96 pages, octavo size, published at Philadelphia, by Carey & Stewart].
Founding editor Mathew Carey had co-founded the Columbian Magazinein 1786 but after a few months left to produce this title, which rapidly gained wide acceptance. Washington himself praised the venture, and Carey's subscription list swelled to 1,250, an unprecedented circulation for an American magazine. Carey had emigrated from Ireland just three years previous, after serving time in a British gaol for his criticisms of King George's policies in his homeland. He was thus an ardent patriot in his new land, and his magazine is rich with the contributions of like-minded men. The magazine is extremely eclectic, presenting articles of note from many sources. Also printed here are documents of the Revolutionary years, some poetry and tales, the doings of government, and excellent news reporting from over the world. Lovely example of a classic of American publishing .
Condition of the issues is nice clean fine, carefully extracted from an annual volume. Price, each issue, . . . 69.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

The Longest-Lived 18th Century American Magazine
N-056. THE MASSACHUSETTS MAGAZINE, OR MONTHLY MUSEUM OF KNOWLEDGE AND RATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT, typical issue printed between 1789 and 1796. [Complete issue of 68 + 2 pages, octavo magazine size, published at Boston, Mass. by Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer Andrews].
Considered the most varied and inclusive of the earliest American magazines, this handsome monthly aimed to present its readers, according to the subtitle, with the latest in "Poetry, Musick, Biography, History, Physick, Geography, Morality, Criticism, Philosophy, Mathematicks, Agriculture, Architecture, Chemistry, Novels, Tales, News, Marriages, deaths, Meteorological Observations, Etc." This it did in excellent style, guided by the great American publisher Isaiah Thomas. I have been fortunate enough to aquire a fine archive of this scarce magazine which I am able to offer at very reasonable cost.
Condition of the issues is generally quite fine, some light foxing or browning due to the quality of paper employed in the project. Price, each issue, . . . 39.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

DETAIL of the COLUMBIAN CENTINEL masthead, with the "USA" device modeled on a Continental Army uniform button

A Classic Federalist Spokesman
N-069. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, typical issue printed between 1791 and 1799. [complete issue of 4 pages, folio sized, published at Boston, Mass. by Benjamin Russell].
The same newspaper as above, with a name change, as "Columbia", literally, "the land of peace", was one of the names proposed for the new nation. It was one of the greatest of the early Federal newspapers, a veritable New York Times of its day, the chief paper of the old city that was the economic and commercial center of the new nation. "Centinel", incidentally, is the old-fashioned spelling of "Sentinel".
The paper was published without break from 1784 until 1840. Editor Benjamin Russell (1761 - 1845) oversaw the production of the newspaper throughout this extraordinarily long life. Russell was a staunch Federalist and a veteran of the War of Independence, having run away from home at age thirteen to serve in the Continental army after war broke out at Lexington and Concord. He later learned the journalist's craft from the master Isaiah Thomas, the greatest American newsman of the Revolutionary War years (and the first documented American newspaper collector).
Attractive ads highlight this early Federalist newspaper, and these papers are filled with national, business, and commercial news, and capture the flavor of life in the new United States in the first few years under the federal Constitution. Politics were bitterly contested, with the Jeffersonian faction in fear of the creation of a monarchy by the Federalists, who in turn feared and despised what they thought would be "mob rule" if too many Americans were allowed too much liberty. On top of it all, a bloody revolution had broken out in America's old ally, France, and throughout the decade the passion of that conflict would affect the U.S.'s domestic and foreign policies, ultimately to the extent of an actual undeclared war, fought mostly at sea, between the two nations.
Exceptionally well-preserved issues in very fine condition with untrimmed margins, each. . . 19.95

Please enter your order quantity here: 

Of the "S" that looks like an "F"

Many new collectors are confounded by the unfamiliar ways some words are found printed in old newspapers and documents. Foremost among these is the mistaken idea that the letter "f" was used where we today use an "s" . In the old Anglo-Saxon alphabet, from which the English alphabet is derived, the small "s" was written in two forms: one is the "long s" that resembles our modern letter "f" (but note, it does not have the center bar), which is used when the "s" is the first letter of the word, or the first of a pair of "s's"; the other is the familiar shaped "s" which appears at the end of words. This usage is cognate to the two forms of "s" in the Greek alphabet. English printer John Bell first phased out the use of the long "s" in his books at the end of the 1700's, and by 1810 or so the new practice was universal in printed material. Interestingly, though, the use of the old long "s" continued in handwritten documents for many years, through the 1870's. This innovation must have saved typesetters much labor!
Scene in a 1700's printing shop, 1850's woodcut
Scene in a Colonial era American printing shop

An Early Tri-Weekly Newspaper
N-078. THE MASSACHUSETTS MERCURY, typical issue printed between 1793 and 1795. [Complete issue of 4 pages, quarto size, published at Boston, Mass., by Young and Etheridge].
This title appeared three times a week and as such was the most frequently published newspaper in Boston for some years. Boston alone of the major American cities (actually there were only two others) did not possess a daily newspaper in the 18th century. This one is full of trade and news. Much content is from revolutionary France in this bloody year of the Terror. I see ads for theatrical performances, still very frowned upon in Boston, when the Puritan inheritance would linger for generations. Lots of political comment, many fine ads for a wide variety of goods and services, notices of ships' comings and goings in the busy port city and more. Scarcer title.
Condition of the issues is very good to fine, light edge wear or creasing or light foxing. Price, each issue, . . . SOLD

By the Greatest Early American Newsman
N-087. MASSACHUSETTS SPY; OR, THE WORCESTER GAZETTE, typical issue printed between 1790 and 1799. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Worcester, Mass. by Isaiah Thomas]
The great American Patriot journalist Isaiah Thomas (1749 - 1831) founded this famous newspaper in 1770. It soon became one of the most influential of its time, steadfastly loyal to the Patriot cause in the difficult times before and during the War of Independence. Thomas' press was the most successful to date in America, with branch offices in many towns; his press published the first American novel in 1789, the first American folio Bible, children's books, including the famous History of Little Goody Two Shoes, and more. The imprints of his shops are well known for the quality of their type and excellence of printing.
Recognizing their unique value to history, Thomas was also the first documented U.S. collector of old newspapers, carefully amassing a large collection of early papers that would became the nucleus of the American Antiquarian Society’s matchless journalism archive. His experience with the Fourth Estate left him well equipped to write in 1810, the History of Printing in America, a great classic account of the press of the 18th century and the first history of American newspapers.
Condition is fine. Containing Thomas' mature commentary on the political and social scene, plus full news, a page of attractive advertisements, this title is a must for every collection of eighteenth century historical paper Americana. Per issue . . . SOLD

From The Jefferson Era
N-099. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, dated between 1801 and 1809. [complete issues of 4 pages each, folio sized, published at Boston, Mass. by Benjamin Russell]
These newspapers are from the administration of Thomas Jefferson, the bitterly hated enemy of Federalism. Like the irrational right-wing press attacks on recent chief executives, the President was the object of personal and political vilification at every turn. His greatest accomplishments are reported as petty mistakes and nothing he does ever pleases his critics. Editor Russell decked his paper in mourning rules on the day of Jefferson's inaugural, to mark the death of the republic. Although history has rejected these judgments of the man, this kind of reporting makes a startling change from the so-called "objective" journalism of our time.
The Centinel's circulation approached two thousand copies per issue at this time; the paper was printed twice weekly, with the occasional "Extraordinary" number as the volume of news required. In Clarence Brigham's monumental study, The History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, less than thirty surviving holdings of this title are located in all U.S. libraries. The issues offered here are in top condition and are filled with news of the day, commentary, ads, etc. My scan depicts the several different Centinel Mastheads used in these years.. . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Edited by a Sworn Enemy of Thomas Jefferson and an Early Gay Author
N-101. THE PORT-FOLIO, typical issue printed between 1801 and 1805. [Complete issue of 8 pages, large quarto size, published at Philadelphia, Penna., by Fry and Maxwell].
Boston-born editor Joseph Dennie (1768 - 1812) was a grandson of Bartholomew Green, early proprietor of the first American newspaper, The Boston News-Letter. Well-suited to the world of journalism, Dennie was a ferocious antagonist of President Jefferson, attacking him and vilifying the notion of republican government at every turn. Finally an outrageously defamatory article caused his indictment for sedition in 1801 - quite an irony that the great champion of the free press, Jefferson, had to resort to the hated Federalist Sedition Act of 1798 (still the law of the land) to silence a critic. In any event, and he was found "not guilty" and thereafter toned down his invective. The newspaper contains political comment and extensive fiction and poetry. Dennie is remembered today as an early gay writer, in an era when men of such preference formed "bachelors' clubs," excluding women, where they socialized away from public scrutiny. Some of this stories published here reflect the decided disdain for the society of women that exemplified this genre of writing.
Condition of the issues is fine but with considerable foxing, price reduced accordingly. Price, each issue, . . . 4.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Fine Early Women's Weekly Miscellany
N-103. THE BOSTON WEEKLY MAGAZINE, typical issue printed between 1803 and 1805. [Complete issue of 4 pages, quarto size, published at Boston, Mass. by Samuel Gilbert & Thomas Dean].
"We formed our plan at first, on the hope of rendering an essential service to the Fair Sex, by offering them a work in which should be united at once, Amusement and Information" wrote the youthful editors of this attractive early specialty weekly. It features practical advice and quite a bit of theatrical news and reviews. There is also fiction, in the form of epistolary novels, once the staple for ladies, and short stories on homey topics. Nice paper .
Condition of the issues is very good to fine. Price, each issue, . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

A Famous Federalist Champion
N-104. THE BALANCE AND COLUMBIAN REPOSITORY, typical issue printed between 1802 and 1807. [Complete issue of 8 pages, quarto size, published at Hudson, New York, by Harry Croswell].
This classic of early American political journalism was edited by Harry Croswell (1778 - 1858), a bitter enemy of Jefferson and Democratic-Republicanism. He was indicted for libeling the President in an earlier paper he edited, and was defended by Alexander Hamilton himself, who, ironically, made one of the great pleas for liberty of the press in his defense argument, that men as well as policies must be subject to public scrutiny. From this case came the law, overturned only by the Reagan Supreme Court, that a truthful accusation of misconduct cannot be libellous. There is plenty of interesting reading in these issues, though Croswel's politics became tamer and in 1814 he abandoned journalism to become an Episcopal Minister. All the news of the day, as well as fine ads, and an attractive Masthead of a hand holding the "balance" scales of justice.
Condition of the issues is quite fine and bright. Price, each issue, . . . SOLD

The Publication of the Celebrated "Boston Anthologists"
N-106. THE MONTHLY ANTHOLOGY AND BOSTON REVIEW, typical issue printed between 1805 and 1807. [Complete issue of 48 pages, octavo size, published at Boston, Mass., by Munro and Francis].
First published in 1803, the editorial staff of this noted monthly was composed of Harvard gradates who had never married. The anthologists relied on a network of close male friendships for emotional support, political identity, and personal confidence. William Shaw Smith (1778 - 1826) and Stevens Buckingham (1784 - 1812) were at the core of this social network, whose letters reveal the death of their feelings for one another. The magazine folded in 1812 but shortly re-emerged as the great North American Review; The features are eclectic and highly sophisticated, commentary on new books, plays and poetry, and reflect the standards of the authors. Not a commonly encountered title, which I have seen priced much higher elsewhere.
Condition of the issues is fine. Price, each issue, . . . 11.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

An Early Evangelical Magazine
N-107. THE PANOPLIST, or CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY, typical issue printed between 1807 and 1808. [Complete issue of 48 pages, octavo magazine size, published at Boston, Mass., by Lincoln & Edwards].
"Conducted by an association of friends to Evangelical truth," this appealing monthly contains accounts of contemporary Ministers and their works, the state of religion in the new nation, discussions of Scripture, and more spiritual Christian content. There are also such departments as "Literary and Philosophical Intelligence [news]", Religious Intelligence", and more. "Review of New Publications" critiques new books from an evangelical perspective. Nice early magazine of earnest faith; revival movements would sweep the nation in the coming decade in reaction to the radical "Age of Enlightenment" and its wholesale rejection of traditional values .
Condition of the issues is fine. Price, each issue, . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Inspecting That Rascal Tom Jefferson
N-109. THE WEEKLY INSPECTOR, typical issue printed between 1806 and 1807. [Complete issue of 8 pages, octavo size, published at New York, by Thomas Fessenden].
Extremely uncommon little Federalist partisan weekly, edited by the great political satirist Thomas Green Fessenden (1771 - 1837). Considered the greatest verse satirist of his time, he gained fame as the author of a virulent epic ode against Jefferson called Democracy Unveiled the year before he began this venture. Here he continues his assaults on anything that smells of the Democratic-Republicanism of the chief executive. Fascinating glimpse into era politicking, which dominates its content .
Condition of the issues is generally fine, never trimmed or bound, quite uncommon. Price, each issue, . . . 19.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

"...the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." -Thomas Jefferson, on federal taxation, 1811


N-111. THE NEW-ENGLAND PALLADIUM, typical issue dated between 1807 and 1811. [Complete issue of 4 pages, tall folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
A fine full-sized newspaper of Federalist Boston, then the economic heart of America. Commentary is generally anti-government, for that government has fallen into the hands of that cowardly, atheistic, womanizing scoundrel Thomas Jefferson. Full news from across the nation and the world. Lots of fine ship ads and more.
Condition is quite fine, slight spine disbinding roughness, scattered light foxing does not detract. . . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 
The “Palladium” in the title of this newspaper is a reference to classical Roman history. As educated Anglo-American gentlemen America’s founders were very well-versed in classical history and modeled their radical new government on the checks and balances of the Roman republic. The Palladium was a cult statue of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, which occupied a central place of worship in the Temple of the Vestal Virgins in Rome. It was believed to be the very statute that Aeneas, the mythical father of the Roman people, had carried from the ruins of Troy. It was honored in public rituals as the Goddess of Wisdom's enlightened guidance of the state and its citizens, as the editors hoped their newspaper would serve as a bulwark of the people’s liberties in the new revival of Rome’s republic in America.


DETAIL. Masthead of the INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE

In Support of Mr. Jefferson...
N-117. THE INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE, typical issue printed between 1808 and 1812. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
This bi-weekly newspaper is a rarity in Federalist Boston, a Jeffersonian Republican newspaper. It supports the beleaguered President and attempts to correct the false statements about his character and accomplishments, and continued after he left office to counter the other Federalist critiques of the Democratic-Republicans. The nation's north-south political divide was already now well under way, for Yankees generally favored Federalism, while its opposite belief held sway south of the Mason-Dixon line. That southerners earned a larger number of representatives in Congress than northern free men, because of their slaves being included as partial persons in the census, was another bone of contention that simply would not go away. Each issue is filled with news of the day domestic and international. A graceful American eagle and decorative calligraphy ornament its fine masthead. A number of illustrated ads can be seen, and more.
Condition is fine. . . 8.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-118. THE BOSTON PATRIOT, typical issue printed between 1809 and 1812. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
Another fine semi-weekly paper from the final years of Boston's pre-eminence as the center of American financial and commercial life, with an appealing title. Begun in 1809, the paper was highly regarded for the quality of its national and international news reporting, and finance and commentary. After numerous changes of ownership and mergers with other newspapers, the paper's last issue rolled off the presses in December, 1831. The content is strongly Federalist, as may be expected, and the news reports are full and detailed, from events in town, to the south and west, and the seemingly endless warfare in Europe, where France and England have been locked in combat since 1794. Many fine ads highlight the variety of goods and services available in the wealthy city of two centuries ago.
Condition is very good to fine . . . .8.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Early Issues of the Intelligencer - with Slave Ads!
N-120. THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER & WASHINGTON ADVERTISER, typical issue printed in 1810. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Washington, D.C., by Samuel Smith].
I am pleased to be able to offer early (volume 10) issues of the great Washington newspaper, still being edited by its founder, Sam Smith (the last year it will be). Smith was a confidante of Jefferson and made this paper the de facto official organ of his administration. It features full news of the deliberations of a Congress rich in famous early American leaders, plus all the news from the states and the territories. Most discordantly, perhaps, for the modern reader, each issue offered here carries one or more slave-related advertisements (see the scan to the left for a typical example) offering rewards for the return of slaves run away to find freedom, others for sale, or found without papers and arrested. Powerful documentation of "the peculiar institution" whose expansion would threaten the very survival of our experiment in liberty. Condition of the issues is fine, minor foxing. Price, each issue, . . . 15.00
Please enter your order quantity here: 

The "Second War of Independence": The War of 1812

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it compromises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few". -James Madison

     The War of 1812 was declared by the "Warhawk" Congress elected in the 1810 midterms, and proclaimed by a very reluctant President Madison on June 13, 1812. The conflict ended two and a half years later with the Treaty of Ghent, signed on Christmas Eve, 1814. The war had a profound if now largely forgotten impact on Americans who both supported and vocally opposed waging war on Great Britain, then the world's mightiest superpower. Many saw America's survival as evidence of a Divinely-inspired destiny, while other more pragmatic souls realized that lack of British political resolve and an incoherent military strategy had once again saved our freedom.

LEFT, U.S.S. Constitution, in a contemporary woodcut.

      The United States could not be said to have won the war, for its goal of annexing Canada had failed, and the treaty that ended hostilities contained no concessions to the demands the U.S. had gone to war for. The British on the other hand failed in their plan to retake most of northern New England and New York as buffer zones to forestall another invasion of Canada and to extract heavy war reparations from the belligerent party. The only true losers were the surviving eastern Americna Indian tribes, from whom the British withdrew the protection they had provided since the 1760s, and who would now face the expanding U.S. alone.
     News items, in typical period fashion, consist of letters from observers, official government documents, and items freely copied from other newspapers with which the editor "exchanged". In this era of horseback post riders and sailing vessels, all but the local news was usually weeks or months old before it appeared in print. There is full comment and every shade of opinion on the politicians of the day, not infrequently libelous by modern standards. As we approach the bicentennial of the war, these fine old papers offer excellent perspective on this dramatic fight for survival, and how the people of America responded to the challenges of the hour.      
Newspapers of this early war are all far scarcer than Civil War era papers. In the faltering economy circulations dropped off in many cases to no more than a few hundred or a few thousand copies per issue. Because of wartime shortages and manufacturing problems, the paper available to print American newspapers during the war years was often of lesser quality, so fewer have survived the passage of time.     
The papers offered here are in at least Very Good condition unless noted otherwise, and may show more foxing or browning than usual because of the lower quality wartime paper they were printed on. Note that the camera flash does tend to exaggerate browning and/or foxing.

For individually described War of 1812 newspapers, and the history of the war, please visit my catalog devoted to the conflict by clicking here.


N-129. THE BOSTON PATRIOT, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1815. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
News accounts of the struggle with England highlight this full sized newspaper, which also contains statements of the anti-war faction and provocative political analyses. New England was under a tight British naval blockade throughout most of the war (a factor which turned locals bitterly against what they deemed "Mr. Madison's War") so these issues were printed on coarse, crude paper which is usually found with some foxing due to the residues of the manufacturing process.. . . .9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-135. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, AND MASSACHUSETTS FEDERALIST, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1815. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
.
This staunch Federalist newspaper became less and less enchanted with the federal government's war policies as the war dragged on. Its news reports are quite as interesting as its editorials can be strongly worded. Full war news from all fronts, as well as the momentous events in Europe, where British successes against Napoleon will free their troops to fight America, with catastrophic results for the young republic. Nice paper with a woodcut eagle in its Masthead, fine ill. ads, etc.
Condition is fine . . . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-141. THE INDEPENDENT CHRONICLE, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1815. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
.
Complete news and information on the war's events and their political and economic impact on the region and nation may be found in this excellent bi-weekly newspaper. Splendid display Masthead features attractive calligraphy and a medallion woodcut of the American eagle.
Very good condition. . . 9.95
75 Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-147. THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1814. [printed at Washington, D.C., complete issue of 4pp, full folio size].
. Printed at the nation's Capital, this newspaper denounced English policy and supported the war effort unflinchingly. Because of its outspoken record, the offices were sacked and burned by British troops when the city was briefly occupied in the summer of 1814; though with typical Yankee ingenuity the paper was printing again, on whatever paper and equipment could be found, within ten days of the redcoat departure. THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER was one of the most significant American newspapers of its century. It was begun in 1801 by William H. Smith, and passed in 1810 to the legendary newsmen Joseph Gales and William Seaton, who continued to publish the paper in daily, tri-weekly, and weekly editions until its demise in 1868. For most of its long life this newspaper, which had been founded as the de facto spokesman of the Jefferson administration, remained in fact if not in name the official newspaper of the Federal government, recording the activities of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches in full detail.
Condition is fine; there is browning in these scarce and historic issues because of the paper used and Washington's humid climate. Fine mementos of those difficult years. . . . 15.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Scarcer Newspaper with an Appealing Title and a Moderate Stance
N-149. THE YANKEE, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1813. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass., by Benjamin True and Thomas Rowe].
Edited by David Everett (1770 - 1813), playwright, author, and lawyer, this paper survived him by seven years, finally succumbing when a fire destroyed the printing-office. It contains the latest news of the war with England, and of the titanic struggle on the Continent between Napoleon and England, which drew the United States into ill-advised conflict with the latter Empire. Editorially the paper stands for unity in the face of the war, in these early months before the blockade became effective. I note much on the land war in the west and north, and accounts of the war at sea, along with Washington dispatches and commentary. Good budget of ads. Excellent regional newspaper from a time when the "Yankee" tars were the heroes of the hour. Scarcer title; this group of Volume I issues contains the only examples of the title I have seen.
Condition of the issues is generally quite fine, never bound, simply string-tied and featuring wide untrimmed margins. Price, each issue, . . . SOLD


N-153. THE NEW-ENGLAND PALLADIUM, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1815. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
News coverage of the struggle is featured here in letters from eyewitnesses to the fighting, official government communiqués, and more. A scarcer title, with only some 25 known holdings from the war years.
Very good condition with some foxing, typical of the state of preservation of paper from the war years. . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-159. THE WEEKLY REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1815. [complete issue of 16 pages, printed at Baltimore, octavo size].

This highly detailed newspaper, in handy octavo format, is filled with some of the best coverage and commentary of the war years, by the great newsman Hezekiah Niles. Niles was one of a rare handful of newsmen who refused advertising, in order not to be swayed by the advertisers' politics, and relied solely on subscription fees to keep the paper solvent. He suspended the paper for two weeks in that dark year of 1814 - when the editor and staff were busy fending off the British attack on Fort McHenry, guarding Baltimore. Francis Scott Key immortalized the epic in what is now our national anthem. An American classic, still, renowned for its unbiased chronicle of the day's events.
Nice fine condition. . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Edited by Washington Irving
N-162. THE ANALECTIC MAGAZINE, typical issue printed between 1813 and 1814. [Complete issue of 88 pages, octavo size, published at Philadelphia, Penna., by Moses Thomas].
For a brief period, less than 24 issues, this fine eclectic review was edited by the great American author Washington Irving (1783 -1859). He contributed a number of reviews of new books and wrote the "literary and scientific intelligence" in the news columns. He celebrated the great triumphs of the U.S. navy in action against King George's warships in articles he wrote covering the war's events and the heroes. Irving started with a salary of $125 a month, which he thought "handsome pay ... [for] an amusing occupation" but by the end of 1814 he had grown tired of the demands of active editorship of an ongoing periodical and quit, to be replaced in Feb. 1815 by Thomas Wharton. I offer complete issues dating to the months of the Irving editorship, unique mementos of the early career of one of the most celebrated authors of his century at a formative period of American letters .
Condition of the issues is fine, minor light foxing, from a bound volume. Price, each issue, . . . 29.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press


N-165. THE WAR, typical issue printed between 1812 and 1814. [Complete issue of 4 pages, quarto size, published at New York, N.Y. by Woodworth & Co.]
This bi-weekly newspaper was printed specifically to report the events of the war with England, and is especially prized for its detailed accounts of the bloody land war with the British Indian allies in the western wilderness. Editor Woodworth (1784 - 1842) was an apprentice of Benjamin Russell and helped print the Columbian Centinel until 1809. Vivid coverage of the war as it unfolded, to a conclusion that could not be known at the time. It is a hard title to find, as it had a limited press run. In its Masthead is the proud motto, "Let the rallying cry, through the day, be 'Liberty or Death'"
Condition is quite fine, on better quality paper . . . . 14.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-172. THE ANALECTIC MAGAZINE, typical issue printed between 1815 and 1819. [Complete issue of 88 pages, 4to size, published at Philadelphia]
A fine early American monthly magazine, filled with interesting reading matter. There is eclectic content and reviews on all matter of events in the passing scene. Its original editor was Washington Irving who tired quickly of the labor and was succeeded by attorney Thomas Wharton, who presided over the publication of these issues. There is also a department called "The Naval Chronicle" which makes interesting reading on the U.S. Navy in those early days of "wooden ships and iron men". Nice fine, from a volume, w/o wraps or plates. . . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

By the Founder of American Party Journalism.
N-174. COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1815 and 1816. [Complete issue of 16 pages, octavo size, published at New York, by Cobbett and Oldfield].
Printed on New York's Wall Street is this classic political journal, whose content is provided by William Cobbett (1763 - 1835), the great Anglo-American journalist and founder of American party journalism. At this point he had returned to England, where this week's columns were written, after being fined for libels published in his Philadelphia newspaper, the famed Porcupine's Gazette. He would return to the U.S. in 1817 and once again find it opportune to decamp to England. Doubtless he would be pleased with the senseless invective that passes for political commentary these days, for he invented the dubious art form of attack journalism. Interesting perspectives in the immediate postwar era, as angry sectionalist factions wrestle with what the country just escaped, and where it should go next .
Condition of the issues is bright very fine. Price, each issue, . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

N-177. THE WEEKLY REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1815 and 1819. [complete issue of 16 pages, printed at Baltimore, octavo size]. An American classic, renowned for its impartial and accurate news coverage. Printed by the great newsman Hezekiah Niles (1777 - 1839), this paper became one of America's finest, as it strove for impartial and accurate news reporting, a comparative rarity in this period of partisan newspapering. To this end, the paper accepted no advertising. Wide variety of contents, a recommended addition to every newspaper collection. The postwar westward expansion of the eastern states is reflected in the news in these issues, as is the national growth in industry, public works, education, and more. Per issue . . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

The Paper That Gave A Name to An Era
N-182. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, issue dated 1815 to 1819. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.]
These issues are from the "Era of Good Feeling", a phrase describing this time of American history that was actually coined by Russell in an 1817 editorial. It portrays the nation healing from the wounds of the War of 1812 and the bitter political divisiveness that nearly broke up the federal union. This was a time of westward expansion, big government public works projects, and an unbounded optimism about the young nation's great destiny, all of which are here chronicled, together with nice ads, etc. . . . 6.50
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Early Issues of America's Oldest Daily Newspaper in Top Condition
N-183. THE NEW-YORK EVENING POST, issue printed between 1816 and 1818. [complete issue of 4 pages, printed at New York by Michael Burnham & Co.].
This classic of early American journalism was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton to be the spokesman of the Federalist cause. It is filled with political commentary of this rapidly fading party, and news of all kinds. The ads are quite exceptional, more than a few with large illustrations (See my scan, left), more than in papers from any other city in the nation. At this period New York was rapidly filling the vacuum left by the collapse of commerce in Boston, which had been the nation's premier city until her merchants were all but wiped out by the British blockade in the War of 1812. Thus the news found here is the latest and most reliable, as demanded by the paper's larger mercantile readership. The venerable newspaper survives (to apply the term loosely) today as the New York Post, the oldest daily newspaper published in America.
Condition is exceptional, crisp paper that still retains its original untrimmed deckled edges . . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

"The World's First Religious Newspaper"
N-185. THE RECORDER, typical issue printed between 1816 and 1818. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass. by Nathaniel Willis].
Founder and Editor Nathaniel Willis (1780 - 1870) made the claim that this Baptist weekly was "The World's First Religious Newspaper." A veteran journalist, who founded the Eastern Argus in 1803, he would achieve lasting famed for starting the hugely successful Youth's Companion which first appeared as a department in this sheet. Its contents discuss the sect and its beliefs and progress, as well as news and politics (he was an ardent Anti-Federalist) and social mores of that long-vanished American, just now recovering from the shock of war. Fair number of ads as well. The issues offered here were delivered to Rev. Benjamin Emerson, uncle of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and have his name, inked in by a subscription clerk, at the Masthead of each issue.
Condition of the issues is generally fine, with some light foxing, outer margin close on a few leaves touching some text. Priced accordingly, each just. . . 7.50
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press


N-189. THE NEW-ENGLAND PALLADIUM, typical issue printed between 1816 and 1821. [published at Boston, complete issue of 4pp, full folio]
An excellent semi-weekly newspaper in which the nation's recovery from the war with England and expansion into the west can be seen. Many attractive ads, with emphasis on shipping in the seaport city, with small woodcuts of sailing vessels, plus all the news of the day . . . . 5.75
86 Please enter your order quantity here: 

A Scarce Antebellum Southern Christian Paper
N-201. THE SUNDAY VISITANT, typical issue printed between 1818 and 1819. [Charleston, S. Carolina, 4pp quarto].
Rev. Fowler's influential weekly newspaper paints a picture of the role of the Christian faith in the culture of the antebellum South. A fine glimpse into the nation's religious heritage, and freedom of religion in practice. Content includes sermons and homilies, exhortations in dealing with life's troubles, a few news items and marriage notices and the like. It is a scarcer imprint, as Southern papers of this vintage are very hard to find. Its printer used the finest modern imported English type, evidence of the prosperity enjoyed at this hub of Southern commercial and social life.
Condition is fine with light foxing. . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-207. THE BOSTON COMMERCIAL GAZETTE, typical issue printed in 1820. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
News from all over fills pages one and two of This excellent early newspaper, with coverage ranging from the latest foreign dispatches received to the deeds of the government down in Washington. The next two pages are just packed with an incredible variety of ads, many illustrated with small sailing ships, emblems or all kinds. Many are for imports just arrived in this busy port city. Generally quite fine with a spot of occasional light foxing . . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

“She [the United States] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy, She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own... She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.” -Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Independence Day Speech, Washington, July 4, 1821.

N-219. THE WEEKLY REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1820 and 1829. [complete issue of 16 pages, printed at Baltimore, octavo size]. An American classic, renowned for its impartial and accurate news coverage. Printed by the great newsman Hezekiah Niles (1777 - 1839), this paper became one of America's finest, as it strove for impartial and accurate news reporting, a comparative rarity in this period of partisan newspapering. To this end, the paper accepted no advertising. Wide variety of contents, a recommended addition to every newspaper collection. fine examples of this decade of unprecedented national expansion, earliest emergence of the U.S. as a player on the world stage, clashes with native Americans, westward travel, etc. Per issue . . . 5.75
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-222. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, typical issue dated 1821 to 1825. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.] These issues are from the Presidency of James Monroe and mirror the times, the nation's phenomenal growth and development, and there is now a handsome woodcut of an American eagle in the Masthead. The news coverage is quite detailed and the ads are many in number, as Boston returns to prosperity through her sea voyaging sons.
Condition is fine . . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

With A Frontpage Act of Congress Signed in Type by the President!
N-223. THE COLUMBIAN CENTINEL, issue dated between 1821 and 1825. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.] A handful of issues from the Presidency of James Monroe feature frontpage printings of the new laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. They are published here, as the Constitution mandates, and appear over the "type signature" of the President, boldly printed as JAMES MONROE. Issues with this early 19th century convention are much prized as collectors' items, being far less costly than the original Presidential handwritten signature!
Condition is quite fine with minor edge foxing on heavy sound paper. . . 9.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

A Famous Title Reviv'd, From Old Philadelphia
N-224. THE NATIONAL GAZETTE, typical issue printed between 1821 and 1822. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Philadelphia, Penna., by William Fry].
From the Quaker city comes this fine newspaper, the latest to use that famous name. This is the bi-weekly edition; a daily edition also ran concurrently using the same title. Its content is a collection of news briefs and items taken from papers from across the country, reporting petty crimes, severe weather, public executions, political anecdotes, and the like. It also features an interesting "Prices of Stocks" column, and the exchange rates of various paper currencies issued by state and local banks. Nice paper . Condition of the issues is fine with light foxing. Price, each issue, . . . 7.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press


N-225. THE MINERVA, typical issue printed in 1822. [Complete issue of 4 pages, quarto size, published at New York by George Houston and James G. Brooks].
Sub-headed a "Literary, Entertaining, and Scientific Journal", a fine weekly with a wide range of reading material on the stated topics, and inclusive of reviews, popular tales, criticism and some poetry. Nice addition to an unusual title collection. Minerva was the Roman Goddess of Wisdom, which that Classically educated generation readers would have recognized immediately. Good example of this popular genre of early American reading material, from the start of the expansion of the weekly miscellany, as urban Americans found more leisure time.
Condition is fine with light normal foxing. . . 4.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-231. THE NEW-ENGLAND GALAXY, typical issue printed between 1822 - 1827. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
This excellent weekly newspaper seeks to enlighten rather than to inform. It was published on Friday, in time to provide a weekend's worth of reading. Rather than hard news it contains feature stores of all kinds gathered form many different sources., They were selected to illustrated the human condition, courage and cowardice, joy and war, all manner of items gleaned from other papers, spoofing the fads and fashions of the day, commenting on what might be of lasting value. A fine glimpse into the manner of a less hurried and perhaps more thoughtful time, lots of pleasing reading here.
Condition is fine with a bit of light foxing . . . 5.75
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Most Unusual Format Newspaper from the Nation's Capital
N-234. THE WASHINGTON GAZETTE, typical issue printed between 1823 and 1824. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Washington, D.C., by Jonathan Elliot].
This remarkable tri-weekly newspaper does not have a traditional page one Masthead. Rather, at the top of each page, in decorative type, is the title and date of the newspaper. This is the semi-weekly "country edition", which contains the news content of the two previous editions. The editor ingeniously printed extra copies of one day's news pages on one side of the sheet, then added the content from the next edition on the outer pages, and the subscription issue was created! They are filled with the doings of the national government and its members. Political coverage is quite in-depth. The nation was facing a major change, in this difficult time, and politics were at fever pitch, with the race already on to replace the outgoing James Monroe, last of the Founders to serve. Some nice ads also. Condition of the issues is quite fine. Price, each issue, . . . 10.00
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Many Fine Ads
N-237. THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRER, typical issue printed between 1823 - 1826. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Providence, R.I.].
This paper is distinguished by many fine illustrated ads, which reflect the developing technology of the art of printing, together with all the news and the political and social commentary that makes old newspapers such fascinating reading today. Very fine, bright condition. . . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Volume I Issues of Plymouth's First Successful Newspaper!
N-242. THE OLD COLONY MEMORIAL, typical issue printed between 1822 and 1823. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Plymouth, Mass.].
I am pleased to be able to offer Volume I issues of this fine newspaper from America's "home town." It was the first successful newspaper in this quintessentially American town, and is still comes out weekly there, one of the nation's oldest continuously published newspapers. A weekly Plymouth Journal had printed only 65 issues in 1785 - 1786. Plymouth was founded in 1620 on the site of the Indian town of Patuxet, all of whose inhabitants had perished in 1617 in what is now believed to be an epidemic of Hepatitis A, introduced by European traders. The "Pilgrims" (not their name for themselves; the term first appears to describe them in 1870's history books) were just 35 of the Mayflower's 102 passengers. They moved into the empty Indian homes and so survived that first winter.
The issues featured here were printed in the town's newer location closer to the harbor and contain full news, many fine ads, and often articles about the town's storied past. The November holiday we know as Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth for over a century as "Founder's Day" and was made a national holidy by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Quite a scarce find!
Condition is fine, with unimportant very small binding pinholes along the spine. . . 12.50
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Uncommon Precursor of the Congressional Record
EA-244. [Journalism]. THE NATIONAL JOURNAL EXTRA, typical issue printed between 1823 and 1824. [Washington, D.C.].
D.C. journalist Peter Force produced this special "EXTRA" edition of his daily newspaper to chronicle the doings of the federal Congress. It contains the debates in the House and Senate, where many illustrious American statesmen are serving, with the bills they introduce, the discussions and votes, and other government business. Force's venture failed, the task of recording Congress' activities being eventually taken over by the Congressional Register. Quite scarce, very few issues have survived. 8 pages, quarto size; very fine . . . 7.75
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-248. THE ESSEX REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1825 - 28. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Salem, Mass., by Warwick Palfray].
A good early newspaper from the old town of Salem, the old Patriot Essex Register, which had been founded in 1802, named after Essex County, where Salem is located. The issues offer emphasis on commercial news, for Salem was an important early center of American maritime commerce, with her Yankee-captained ships criscrossing the globe. There is also full national and world reporting, and plenty of political commentary in this exciting era of expanding American horizons. Many ads appear on its last two pages, for ships' passage and freight, and the fancy goods that comprise their cargoes, as well as the homey necessities and luxuries of that bygone era.
Condition is generally fine, in the original state, never bound or trimmed, hence light fold browning or edge wear as is typical in papers that were not kept in bindings. . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Most Affordable 180 Year Old Manuscript Americana
N-250. THE [EPHEMERA.] LEDGER SHEET, typical example dated between 1824 and 1826. [singlesheet, 2 pages, tall 8vo size, 6½" x 17", n.p., (Boston, Mass.)].
These are sheets from a dry goods merchant's day book ledger, recording the day's sales. Each has detailed listings of commodities, supplies, and foodstuffs purchased or charged to customers. These humble documents offer a most revealing portrait of early American tastes - and the once enormous buying power of the dollar - we encounter such things as molasses (42c the gallon), rum (25c a quart) butter, lots of teas, nails, buttons, etc. Each page is entirely handwritten in a flourishing era hand, and dated at the top of the page. Unique souvenirs of a long lost world.
Condition of the papers is nice fine. Price, each, . . . 5.00
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

America's First Scientific Magazine
N-251. THE AMERICAN MECHANICS' MUSEUM, typical issue printed between 1825 and 1826. [Complete issue of 16 pages, octavo size, published at New York, printed by William van Norden].
Produced by Thomas P. Jones (1774 -1848), mechanics professor of the Franklin Institute, this title is the earliest American weekly devoted entirely to technological advancement. Modeled on the London Mechanics' Magazine, it survived barely a year before merging with the Franklin Institute's newly launched Journal and moving to Philadelphia. It is an amazing digest of mechanical and scientific progress printed at the dawn of the Industrial Era in America, and is supplied with illustrations, a great rarity in era publications. Quite uncommon and a significant addition to any collection.
Condition of the issues is generally fine with some foxing. Price, each issue, . . . 24.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

A High Quality Unitarian Weekly With A Full News Department
N-253. THE CHRISTIAN REGISTER, typical issue printed between 1825 and 1829. [complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, printed at Boston, Mass., by Rev. David Reed].
This newspaper was a prominent spokesman of the controversial new Christian sect, the Unitarian Universalists, founded and published by David Reed (1790 - 1870), who edited the paper for 45 years, until 1866. On its pages are reported the progress of the new reformed faith and the allied progressive causes it espoused, including the crusade against slavery. There are such departments as "Religious Intelligence [News}", "History of Unitarianism", "Original Communications" from many writers, and finally a section entitled "Summary" being one or two columns of good news items condensed from the week's newspapers. A fine early edition from the seventh year of publication, printed on an old style wooden press with ancient type, charming.
Condition is very good to fine with some foxing along the edges . . . . 4.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

A Reprise of a Famous Name, in the 50th Anniversary Year of American Freedom
N-258. THE BOSTON NEWS-LETTER AND CITY REGISTER, typical issue printed in 1826. [Complete issue of 16 pages, octavo size, published at Boston, Mass., by Munroe & Francis].
This uncommon weekly, which survived barely a year, reprised the name of the first American newspaper, which appeared 122 years earlier. Its content is primary miscellany of all sorts, from the doings of the Boston Board of Aldermen, to news briefs from across the nation, articles on the latest internal improvements and prominent personages of the day. As befits the title, several pieces on Boston's long history appear in each issue. The backpage is devoted to city statistics, births, deaths, marriages, ships entered and cleared the busy harbor, etc. In all a charming portrait of an America coming of age, in this year of the 50 year anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Condition of the issues is fine. Price, each issue, . . . 8.95
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Early Issues of a Very Long-lived American Newspaper
N-259. THE AMERICAN TRAVELLER, typical issue printed in 1826. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Boston, Mass.].
A fine bi-weekly newspaper filled with all the latest events and news. There are feature articles on topics ranging from travel and exploration to the latest luminaries of the stage theater and popular authors. God amount of commercial news, prices current, legal items, and more. Much of the European news is brand-new, fresh from merchant sailing ships just arrived at Boston harbor; those was the main way that news was obtained then! Through mergers, the paper lived on until the 1960's.
Condition is fine with some foxing. . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


N-264. THE NEW-ENGLAND FARMER, typical issue printed in 1826. [Complete issue of 8 pages, quarto size, published at Boston, Mass.].
One of the earliest successful weekly newspapers for the farmer, each issue carries the latest in agricultural techniques and advances, with seasonal advice, plus recipes, anecdotes, and more domestic content. Such papers reflect that long-ago time in our history when the great majority of Americans were independent farmers, self-sustaining freemen in the world's only democracy. And for most Americans the genre w3as their chief glimpse of the large world beyond their fields and pastures.
Condition is very good to fine with foxing. . . 5.75
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Edited by a Future Advisor to the President!
N-270. THE NEW-HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT AND STATE GAZETTE, typical issue printed between 1826 and 1828. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Portsmouth, N.H. by Isaac Hill].
This paper was edited by the great newsman Isaac Hill (1789 - 1851). Hill founded this newspaper and edited it from 1809 through 1829. He later served as U.S. Senator and New Hampshire Governor. His most remembered service to the country is, perhaps, as an influential member of President Jackson's informal "kitchen cabinet" whose opinions guided the progress of the nation in this exciting time when federalism was crumbling and genuine popular democracy was beginning to emerge on a mass scale for the first time. The newspaper is filled with commentary on politics, as you might imagine, along with all the latest news and features, plus quite a few nice illustrated advertisements from the New Hampshire city's merchants and traders. Condition is fine, with some minor foxing . . . SOLD

A Charming Reminder of Paul Revere
N-275. THE RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN & PROVIDENCE GAZETTE, typical issue printed between 1825 and 1827. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Providence, R.I.].
In larger format (on machine made paper) This finely printed newspaper from the commercial city contains all the news and ads of the day and is in exceptionally bright, crisp condition. Its title illustrates the media consolidation that was ongoing even then, as the two famed and once rival papers became one. There is full news coverage from this period of expansion and political turbulence (John Q. Adams had just succeeded to the Presidency, though Andrew Jackson had won a majority of the votes. It was widely believed that Henry Clay had conspired with Adams to found a hereditary political dynasty, and the people were not amused.)
The highlight of these issues, I think, is the fine illustrated ad in each issue (see scan right) for William Revere's Boston bell foundry. He was Paul Revere's son, proudly carrying on the family metalworking business after his father's passing in 1818. Fate would see the younger Revere lose two of his own sons in the war to preserve the Union. I have never seen ads of his in Boston or other newspapers. Quite a few other illustrated ads, with stagecoaches (the only means of travel between cities!) and more
Condition is a nice fine. . . 8.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Edited by a Washington Resident "Outsider"
N-281. THE NATIONAL JOURNAL, typical issue printed between 1827 and 1828. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Washington, D.C.].
Washington newsman Peter Force produced this short-lived newspaper. It was a credible effort in reporting the doings of the government but failed due to the fierce competition with the established D.C. papers, which were the beneficiaries of lucrative and highly coveted federal printing contracts. The government form the earliest times was able to influence the content of the press by these pork barrel deals, and to ruin newspapers which would not cooperate. Abandoning the corruption of national politics, Force was later elected Mayor of D.C. and is know for his work in preserving the documents of earliest American history. Full news and opinion in this great era of transition.
Condition is VG, some light creasing, disbinding pinholes in the gutter, scarcer paper . . . 6.00
Please enter your order quantity here: 

The Church in Connecticut
N-286. THE EPISCOPAL WATCHMAN, typical issue printed in 1828. [Complete issue of 8 pages, quarto size, published at Hartford, Connecticut].
This weekly newspaper reports the doings of the Episcopal Church, telling of prayer meetings, printing notable sermons, publishing letters on various aspects of doctrine, and carrying a modest amount of news and ads. Nice early example of American Christian journalism. Interestingly, just ten years earlier, in 1818, the state legislature abolished the taxation of its citizens to support the rival Congregationalist denomination
Condition is nice very fine . . . 4.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Unique Issues of A North Shore Mass. Newspaper
N-297. THE LYNN MIRROR, typical issue printed between 1826 and 1828. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Lynn, Mass.].
Attractive early newspaper printed with an old set of type that gives it the appearance of an earlier era. Lots of large type is used in the ads and for emphasis. Content is news of all kinds, such as a gentleman would need to know to make informed business and political decisions. Newspapers were still part of the world of the elite, as their price was too high for working men to afford, and most Americans were illiterate. Possibly unique, as, just a handful of single 1820's issues survive in all U.S. libraries, according to the Union List.
Original state, fine, never bound, therefore some minor wrinkling or creasing . . . 7.75
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Toward Anglo-American Understanding
N-300. THE ALBION, typical issue printed between 1827 and 1828. [Complete issue of 8 pages, small folio size, published at New York, by John S. Bartlett].
Dr. John S. Bartlett (1790 - 1863) founded this weekly newspaper for British residents of the U.S. and edited it for over a quarter-century. In its columns can be found all the latest from the mother country in the cultural, financial, literary, political, and military realms. There is also good coverage of the doings of New York's social elite and a full news summary of the week's news, "fashionable," and theatrical events. The editorials strive to heal relations with England, for even now half a century after the War of Independence old animosities ran very deep in the American psyche. "British" was a term used in derision by Americans of the day to describe anything suspicious or untrustworthy, such as the dangerous new ideas of women's rights and abolition. The Masthead tells us that the paper was printed on Wall Street, directly across the street from the Stock Exchange, with modern (and probably English made) type and has a fine decorative Masthead depicting the floral emblems of the United Kingdom. .
Condition of the issues is fine. Price, each issue, . . . 5.00
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Rivalry in Rhode-Island
N-308. THE LITERARY SUBALTERN, typical issue printed in 1829. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Providence, R.I.]
Despite the eccentric title (another Providence journal of the era was entitled The Literary Cadet, and one may assume a certain rivalry), this weekly is a standard newspaper, filled with news of the day, politics, opinion, advice, and so on, and a good budget of advertising. I offer Volume I issues, first year of publication; the paper survived a mere four years before merging with the old Providence Gazette
Condition is fine with light scattered foxing . . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 


DETAIL factory workers in the Masthead of the LYNN MIRROR

A Magnificent Early Decorative Masthead
N-309. THE LYNN MIRROR AND MECHANIC'S MAGAZINE, typical issue printed in 1829. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Lynn, Mass. by Charles F. Lummus].
For this final year of the 1820's, the editor commissioned a fine metal nameplate for his prosperous newspaper. Simple mastheads were the rule throughout the first years of American journalism, with few exceptions. This is one of the first to depict the broad vistas of the American scene in 19th, rather than 18th century style. The shoe in the central motif, flanked by a male and female factory worker (also called "mechanics" in era jargon), is potent symbolism of the new industrial age, which had its beginnings at this time in Lynn and other Massachusetts mill towns. Full news and opinion and lots of ads. These issues are quite possibly unique, as just a handful of single 1820's issues survive in all U.S. libraries, according to the Union List.
Original state, good to fine, never bound, therefore some minor wrinkling or creasing . . . 11.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

Journalism Evolution in the Economic Powerhouse
N-314. THE NEW-YORK AMERICAN, typical issue printed between 1829 - 1830. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at New York City]
This handsome six-column wide sheet daily represents the new journalism, printed on a modern iron press on machine made paper, and it marks the end of the earliest period of American printing history. Vast amount of reading in its tightly-spaced columns, from news of the Washington government and the international scene to national and local reports. Many ads.
Condition is generally fine with lightest occasional foxing. . . 5.95
Please enter your order quantity here: 

The Voice of the Federal Administration
N-319. THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER, typical issue printed between 1829 and 1838. [Washington, D.C., 4pp large folio].
One of America's great early newspapers, the quasi-official spokesman of the federal government, with very lengthy reporting on the activities of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, plus full national and international news, economic and commercial coverage, and more. There is local Washington news, gossip, and social events and political commentary. The paper survived until 1868, quite a remarkable record of longevity . . . . 5.95

America's First Sports Magazine!
N-324. THE AMERICAN TURF REGISTER AND SPORTING MAGAZINE, 1829 - 1835. [Complete issue of 56 pages, octavo size, published at Baltimore, Md. by John Skinner]
This humble monthly has the distinction of being the first sports magazine printed in America. Of it editor John S. Skinner (1788 - 1851) later reminisced "It was the first of its race ever bred in the United States. It had but one sire and no dam; when it was foaled it was not certain whether it would find food or pasture." Its content is primarily about horses and horse racing, with much on breeding blooded stock, the nation's race tracks, results of the month's races, and so on. I also note accounts of other sporting pastimes, such as fox and deer hunting, among the Virginia gentry, and the great old sport of fishing. At this period America was still rigidly class structured and the self-appointed elite, in conscious imitation of British aristocracy, embraced these sports as the only ones truly worthy of a "gentleman." Editor Skinner was also a close friend of Francis Scott Key, standing at his side during the 1814 attack on Fort McHenry, and he subsequently arranged the first printing of Key's Star-Spangled Banner. Skinner has another "first" to his credit, that of creating the first U.S. farming newspaper, in 1819, a project much esteemed by Thomas Jefferson.
Condition is fine with moderate scattered foxing. An extremely hard to find title of great journalistic significance. Price per issue. . . 19.95
My order quantity: 

A Fine Modern-Style Newspaper
N-325. THE RHODE ISLAND AMERICAN AND GAZETTE, typical issue printed in 1831. [Complete issue of 4 pages, folio size, published at Providence, R.I., by Mowry and Hallett].
The study of our subject period comes to an appropriate close with this fine large folio newspaper, for it bears witness to the dramatically improving technology of the infant Industrial Age that will radically alter American journalism. It was printed from the new-style metal type on an English-built steam press, and is on a larger sized sheet, made possible by the new papermaking machines. Filled with news and opinion of the day, as the nation begins to change, through industrial growth, westward expansion, mass immigration, and a deepening rivalry between northern and southern commercial interests for control of the economic destiny of the nation. More ads, with larger illustrations than have been the norm 'til now . Condition of the issues is generally bright fine but having an area of light old damp discoloration, price adjusted accordingly. Price, each issue, . . . 5.00
Please enter your order quantity here:  then press

Select Here to go to our full Early Americana catalog, for newspapers individually described and catalogued for their historic significance, plus a further selection of "atmosphere" titles and selected ephemera.

Reference Books
Some references consulted in the preparation of this catalog, and suggested for further reading on the subject period, include the following:

  • Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820. American Antiquarian Soc., 1947. Very important 2 vol. set, extensive historical data on these earlier newspapers is included.
  • Brown, E.T., Union List Of Serials in Libraries of the U.S. and Canada, 1965. Superb 5 vol. set lists magazines, periodicals of all kinds, U.S. and foreign, incl. some foreign newspapers; 156,499 titles in all.
  • Emery, The Press and America, Prentiss Hall, 1972. A college level journalism text; fairly available, a detailed introduction to the subject, with very useful bibliography listing most important titles on the history of U.S. journalism.
  • Mott, Frank L., American Journalism, Macmillan, 1941. The most detailed general reference book on the topic, a one volume library.
  • Mott, F.L., A History of American Magazines, Harvard, 1957. Extremely detailed 4 volume set, a marvel of scholarship.,
  • Thomas, Isaiah, The History of Printing in America. 1810, since reprinted many times. Classic, first work on the subject, by the famed publisher. Some inaccuracies but fascinating reading.


I hope you have enjoyed this catalog, and have found its contents useful and informative. Please feel free to e-mail your questions and comments to our address below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Click here to view your shopping cart    Click here to get a printable catalog order form     Click here to send me a catalog order by email.

To continue browsing my introductory catalogs of historic newspapers, please click on the banners listed below.

Click here to go to my catalog of Antebellum Americana, 1830 and 1860

Click here to go to my catalog of Civil War Newspapers and Memorabilia

Click here to go to my catalog of 1865 - 1910 U.S. newspapers and ephemera

Click here to go to my catalog of our British heritage and world journalism.

Click here to go to my catalog of modern journalism.

Navigate my Website:

Click here to send Phil an e-mail

Contents ©:2016 Phil Barber.