Continuing with our “top ten events to be found in newspapers” for various periods of time, today we consider the 18th century.
What an event-filled one hundred years it was. As you can tell by the list my focal point is on the American Revolution, but there are other events or specific newspapers which made it into my top ten.
Again I offer apologies to our non-American friends as this list has a decidedly American bias, primarily because the vast majority of those who purchase from us are American.
Here we go, starting with number ten:
10) Death of George Washington, 1799 (Front page, preferably in a Virginia Gazette)
9) Hanging of Captain Kidd, 1701 (Just can’t resist a great pirate hanging, he being perhaps the most famous of all time)
8.) Any newspaper with the first installment of Paine’s “The Crisis” (“These are the times that try men’s souls…” has to be one of the more famous beginnings of all time)
7) Full text of the Stamp Act (Certainly a trigger event that would lead to the Revolution)
6) Boston Tea Party (In a Boston newspaper. An event every school kid knows about)
5) The Pennsylvania Journal, Nov. 1, 1765 “skull & crossbones” engraving (Replaced its normal masthead on this date: seen in most history books)
4) Battle of Lexington & Concord with mention of Paul Revere’s ride (The beginning of the Revolutionary War. I had one once with mention of Revere–exceedingly rare–great to have in a Boston area newspaper)
3) The Boston News-Letter, 1704 (Great to have issue #1 of America’s first successful newspaper, but any issue from 1704 would do)
2) The Pennsylvania Packet, Sept. 19, 1787 (First newspaper to print the Constitution, & done in broadside format. Need I say more?)
1) The Declaration of Independence, 1776 (Ideally the Pennsylvania Evening Post, July 6, 1776, but the Packet of July 8 would work too as it contains the Declaration entirely on the front page: better for display).