First newspapers in Florida…

February 8, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

Florida (“land of flowers”) was first settled at St. Augustine in 1565 but it would be over 200 years later before a newspaper would be printed within its boundaries.

In 1783 when Spain still ruled over Florida, William Charles Wells began the “East Florida Gazette”, the colony’s first newspaper, at St. Augustine. The first number was probably dated February 1. There are no known copies in America, but from a few numbers preserved in London it is evident that although published in English in a Spanish speaking community, the  “Gazette” was a credible newspaper.

Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1821. In July of that year Richard Edes, of Augusta, Maine, arrived in St. Augustine & began publication of the “Florida Gazette“. He died just three months after he began to print in Florida, after which the name of the newspaper was changed to the “East Florida Herald” and it continued for many years.

Later the same year two Virginians arrived in Pensacola and established the “Floridian” on August 18, 1821, with the title later changing to “Pensacola Gazette and West Florida Advertiser“.