Value for an “Ulster County Gazette”…

July 12, 2010 by  
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If there is any one newspaper about which we receive the most calls as to value, it would have to be the “Ulster County Gazette” issue of January 4, 1800. This Kingston, New York, newspaper documents the death of George Washington, hence the appeal.

Anyone who has been collecting newspapers for more than a few years has likely encountered at least one of the more than 60 varieties of reprints which have been documented and which exist by the hundreds of thousands. The Library of Congress has an informative sheet which will allow one to distinguish a reprint edition from the original.

As of this date, only two genuine issues have been discovered, now in the hands of the American Antiquarian Society and the Library of Congress. Although the history of the reprints, going back to 1825, is an interesting subject in itself, my thoughts with this blog post are on the value of a genuine issue should a third one surface.

Keeping in mind that historical significance is perhaps the single most important determinant for value, The report of Washington’s death does not rank–in my opinion–on the “top shelf”. The “Ulster County Gazette” issue is a relatively late report with a Jan. 4, 1800  date (he died Dec. 14, 1799), and there is no particular significance to the city in regard to Washington; he wasn’t born there, didn’t die there, perhaps never even visited there (although during the Revolutionary War he was in that vicinity). The Declaration of Independence & Constitution rank high on the “top shelf”, and these documents in Philadelphia newspapers would be premier issues for such reports commanding values well above $100,000 each.  As such, the “Ulster County Gazette” issue is famous for being a reprint and not much more.

So, the question is, should a third genuine issue surface, how much should it  be worth? Yes, it is a rare newspaper as only two are known to exist, but I’m sure there are other small town newspapers from the era which are equally as rare. In our catalog 177 we will be offering a Providence, R.I. issue of January 1 for less than $2000, it being a first report also with front page mention and much inside page text regarding Washington’s death. But six institutions have this issue with perhaps a few more in private hands. I think some collectors believe the U.C.G. would be worth $100,000 or more, but I would disagree. Yes, it is “famous” as a reprint, and finding a 3rd issue would be neat, but how does this affect value? It’s a late report of Washington’s death in a small town, upstate New York newspaper which has no significance to the life of Washington. Perhaps add some  premium for the notoriety of the issue, but I’m not sure I’d want to pay more than $3000 or $4000 for the issue.  Step beyond the small circle of serious newspaper collectors and attempts to legitimize a hefty value would fall on deaf ears. Better reports, closer to Virginia, with earlier dates can be purchased for less.

So what are your thoughts? Feel free to share.

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Comments

15 Responses to “Value for an “Ulster County Gazette”…”

  1. Bill Agee on July 14th, 2010 6:27 am

    I have always thought mine was original. It came from my great grandfather and is framed with confederate bills surrounding it.

  2. john olson on December 16th, 2011 12:49 pm

    i have one need to no what its worth…..

  3. Tim Hughes on December 16th, 2011 12:58 pm

    The reprint editions have no collector value. Some people might pay $10 or $20 just to have a sample of such a famous reprint, but no value as an historical piece.

    Tim Hughes

  4. Argentina Moore on November 19th, 2012 2:39 am

    i have one my friend gave to me after find it in a old house after clean it up. i wonder what it was worth ,kind of sad that its a reprint , then i thought about it never had to in up in my hands but since it did iam thankful for the history and this is something that my friend dont have . so all been said iam glad it chose me to keep it.
    .

  5. charles worden on October 6th, 2014 6:03 pm

    I HAVE A COPY OF THE ULTSER MY GRANDFATHER ASSURED ME THAT IT IS AN ORIGINAL. I AM MAKING AN HONESTGAZETTE. MY GRANDFATHER HAS THIS PAPER AND PASSED IT TO ME. I AM 67 YEARS OLD AND IT HAS SHOWED AGE SINCE THE FIRST TIME I SAW IT. IT IS BETWEEN GLASS LOOKS LIKE THE SAMPLE OF THE PAPER SHOWN ON THW WEBSITE. THE PAPER SHOWS AGE BY DISCOLORING. IT HAS THE SIGNS OF ORIGINAL FOLDING. THERE IS AN ADDRESS STAMP AT THE TOP OF THE FRONT PAGE. I CAN SEND DIGITAL COPY OF IT. CAN YOU GIVE ME ANYOTHER MARKS THAT WILL VALIDATE THE PAPER. THIS IS A SINCERE ATTEMPT TO VALIDATE THE PAPER AS BEING AUTHENTIC. PLEASE TAKE THIS INQUIRY SEROUSLY.

  6. GuyHeilenman on October 20th, 2014 6:23 am

    Hello Charles,

    Please go to the Library of Congress’ link (http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/circulars/ulster.txt) which enables you to definitively determine if the issue is an original, and not one of the 200 year-old reprints. If after using their criteria you still believe it to be an original, please contact Timothy Hughes at timothy@rarenewspapers.com. Good luck!

  7. Jon Farr on December 2nd, 2014 5:46 pm

    Hi Tim,

    My problem is a little different. I have 2 of the 4 printing blocks that the Ulster County Gazette was printed from. The other two are available, but not in my possession. I’m guessing these are reprint wood blocks, but I think they date back to the mid 1800s. The two that I have are the front page and the *classified* page. They are metal skins attached to wood (I think the wood is walnut, but not sure) by small nails. I could send you a picture but would like your permission and an address where to send it. Thanks for your time

    Jon

  8. steve huckins on March 8th, 2015 5:12 pm

    i bought one of these papers at a auction in 1983 and i have not ben able to find out much about it it is made out of cloth not wood pulp the paper is 95% complete and readable i have digital pictures of it if any body would like to take a look at them ph# i can be reached at is 1 541 816 1141

  9. GuyHeilenman on May 5th, 2015 1:04 pm

    Sorry, but this issue does not have value.

  10. william grundemann on December 10th, 2015 12:34 pm

    A close friend of mine inherited the Ulster County Gazette-a well aristocratic lineage from back east. She has taken some photos and would like to send them to you. I have viewed your link to Library Of Congress-but it is a little complicated for us. What address can I email several of these photos?

    602 525 9966

  11. GuyHeilenman on January 11th, 2016 2:48 pm

    Send the info to guy@rarenewspapers.com

  12. Ronald L Miller on February 13th, 2017 9:18 pm

    I’ve got a newspaper in front of Me that says it is the HERALD; A GAZETTE for the country New york,Wednesday January 13th 1796 volume 11 is this worth anything

  13. GuyHeilenman on February 21st, 2017 10:44 am

    Hello Ronald: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible – exact dates, photos, etc.. Thanks.

  14. Jerry Booth on October 26th, 2017 7:03 pm

    I have one that is framed with General Washington obit, I was wondering the price of it

  15. GuyHeilenman on October 30th, 2017 7:25 am

    Hello Jerry: If it in the Ulster County Gazette, it has no collector value. Sorry.

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