One of the joys of reading old newspapers is the opportunity to discover what were, in fact, very prophetic statements made long before anyone could have known they would become true. As they say, hindsight does provide 20-20 vision.
One of the best is found in “The London Chronicle” issue of Nov. 2, 1765. Some 150 years before the per-eminence of America as a world power both military and economically, a writer begins an article: “Little doubt can be entertained that America will in time become the greatest and most prosperous empire that perhaps the world has ever seen…”.
How true that statement would become, but to predict that future nearly a dozen years before America would even declare independence from the mother country was truly a stretch. It’s a neat find in an otherwise inconspicuous newspaper.
Although we would like to think we have a large number of interesting and fascinating newspapers within our inventory, there are few which float to the top when it comes to being very historically significant.
Our “American Weekly Mercury” from Philadelphia, 1735 is certainly one. The title and date alone would qualify its rarity, as American newspapers from that time are exceedingly scarce; from when Ben Franklin was just beginning his career. It is a handsome issue as well as the masthead features two wood engravings which make this a very decorative issue.
This was the first newspaper not only in Pennsylvania but also the Middle Colonies, having begun in 1719 by famed newspaper publisher Andrew Bradford, and continued until its demises in 1746. It was also just the third newspaper in all the colonies.
The content is certainly noteworthy, reporting on the very founding of the colony of Georgia. See the photos for the report and the involvement of James Oglethorpe. Its appeal as a purchase might be limited to those with a strong interest in Georgia history, but anyone could appreciate the value of having such an inconspicuous gem of a report on the front page of a newspaper.
Click on the link and enjoy.