Pennsylvania’s first newspapers…

December 12, 2011 by  
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It was only in Boston where a newspaper came off a printing press prior to any in Pennsylvania.  It was 15 years after the “Boston News-Letter” of 1704 (not counting the one-issue run of Boston’s “Publick Occurrences Both Foreign & Domestick” in 1690) when, on December 22, 1719, Andrew Bradford began his “American Weekly Mercury” (see image) in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania’s first newspaper. This weekly would last until 1746.

But certainly the most successful newspaper in the colony, if not in all of colonial America, was the “Pennsylvania Gazette” begun in December, 1728 by Samuel Keimer. Within a year it was purchased by Benjamin Franklin. As Oswald notes: “…Under Franklin’s guidance, there appeared for the first time a colonial newspaper produced by a man of education who was in addition a capable printer, a versatile writer, and energetic news gatherer and an enterprising & resourceful businessman. This combination had the inevitable result of placing the “Pennsylvania Gazette” in the lead, and it thereby established a model for others to follow.” The “Gazette” would make Franklin a wealthy man and his name appeared on the imprint through 1765.

Pennsylvania has the distinction of having America’s first daily newspaper, the “Pennsylvania Evening Post & Daily Advertiser“, which started publication in 1775 as a tri-weekly and became a daily on May 30, 1783.

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