The first newspaper in Delaware, and others that followed…

February 1, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

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.