The first newspaper in Delaware, and others that followed…

February 1, 2010 by  
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

As to what was the very first newspaper printed in Delaware, the answer is a bit foggy. Isaiah Thomas notes that in 1762 James Adams began the publication of the Wilmington “Courant“, which was discontinued within six months for lack of support. No copy of it is known and doubt has been expressed as to the accuracy of Thomas’ statement.
Evald Rink, in his “Printing in Delaware, 1761-1800”, notes that on June 14, 1785, Jacob Killen started the “Delaware Gazette” in Wilmington. This is the first authenticated newspaper issued in Delaware. With some changes in title, Killen published this weekly for almost two years. He then sold it and the new owners continued the newspaper with the issue for April 11, 1787.
Altogether seven newspapers were published in Delaware during the eighteenth century, all except one were printed in Wilmington. There is a reference to a “Dover Herald“, reputedly published at Dover in 1800, but no copy of it has been located. The others in order of their appearance were: the “Delaware Gazette“, established in 1785 and continued through 1799; the “Delaware Courant and Wilmington Advertiser“, issued in 1786 and 1787; the “Delaware and Eastern-Shore Advertiser“, 1794 through 1799; the “Wilmington Mercury“, printed occasionally in 1798; the “Friend of the People“, published at Dover in 1799; the “Mirror of the Times“, started in 1799 and issued until 1806; and the “Monitor; or Wilmington Weekly Repository“, published from 1800 to 1802.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...


3 Responses to “The first newspaper in Delaware, and others that followed…”

  1. Dennis Dutterer on December 5th, 2011 10:44 pm

    Was not the Aurora also a newspaper published in Wilmngton in 1796. I think it is often described as a Jeffersonian Republican paper. Hezekiah Niles, the to be editor of Niles Weekly Register wrote some articles for the Aurora.

  2. Tim Hughes on December 6th, 2011 8:11 am

    Dennis – I am aware of an Aurora newspaper from Philadelphia, but neither Oswald’s “Printing IN the Americas” nor Brigham’s “History & Bibliography of American Newspapers” makes any reference to an Aurora from Delaware. If you have information concerning such a newspaper I would be interested in reading about it. Thanks much!

  3. Sean Kulesa on November 19th, 2013 11:53 am

    Do you have any extra information on the Delaware Gazette or Jacob Killen?

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!