Some of the most noteworthy events in history have humble beginnings. Such is the case with the announcing of the passage of The Stamp Act in The Gentleman’s Magazine, March, 1765. Under the Historical Chronicle section is the rather inconspicuous note, “Lord Mansfield, as speaker, and the Earls Gower and Marchmont, by virtue of a commission from his majesty, gave the royal assent to the following bills: …for laying a stamp duty in the British colonies in America.” While this official notification of the Stamp Act most likely flew under the radar of most readers of the day, there is no doubt regarding its significance. I wonder which one-liners which go unnoticed today will prove similar ten years from now?
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.