In the beginning…

June 8, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

american-weekly-mercurySome collectors like to pursue a newspaper from each of the original thirteen colonies, and ideally one dated as close as possible to the beginning of that colony’s first newspaper. For those active in this pursuit, we offer this list of the earliest in each.

Although the first newspaper in America was published in Boston in 1690, Benjamin Harris’ “Publick Occurrences Both Forreign & Domestick” lasted by a single issue before being suppressed by the Royal authorities. The first successful Massachusetts newspaper–and the first in all of the colonies–started 14 years later in 1704, also in Boston, titled “The Boston News-Letter” which continued until the British occupation of the city in 1776.

Here are the remaining colonies and the newspaper titles. As you see, originally in titles was not a strength among the newspaper publishers:

American Weekly Mercury (Penna.), 1719
The New York Gazette, 1726
The Maryland Gazette, 1728
The Rhode Island Gazette, 1732
The South Carolina Gazette 1732
The Virginia Gazette, 1736
The North Carolina Gazette, 1751
The Connecticut Gazette, 1755
The New Hampshire Gazette, 1756
The Newport Mercury (Rhode Is.), 1758
The Georgia Gazette, 1763
The New Jersey Gazette, 1777

It may seem curious that New Jersey was the last of the colonies to have its own newspaper, however given its location between the major metro areas of New York and Philadelphia there likely wasn’t an incentive to create its own until much later than the others.