Boston Gazette

Last updated
The Boston Gazette
BostonGazette 1756.JPG
Type Daily Digital Newspaper
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)Boston Gazette LLC
Founded1719
LanguageEnglish
Ceased publication1798
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts Flag of the United States.svg  United States

The Boston Gazette (1719–1798) was a newspaper published in Boston, Massachusetts, in the British North American colonies. It began publication December 21, 1719 and appeared weekly. It should not be confused with the Boston Gazette (1803–16).

Contents

The Boston Gazette (published and printed by Benjamin Edes and John Gill) [1] was probably the most influential newspaper ever in American history. [2] [3]

The Boston News-Letter , the first successful newspaper in the Colonies had begun its long run in 1704. In 1741 the Boston Gazette incorporated the New-England Weekly Journal and became the Boston-Gazette, or New-England Weekly Journal. Contributors included: Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Phyllis Wheatley.

Publishers, and men acting their behalf, included: (dates are approximate) [4]

Obituary of Patrick Carr, Boston Massacre victim. Boston Gazette, 19 March 1770. Engraving by Paul Revere. Obituary of Patrick Carr 1770.jpg
Obituary of Patrick Carr, Boston Massacre victim. Boston Gazette, 19 March 1770. Engraving by Paul Revere.

The paper's masthead vignette, produced by Paul Revere shows a seated Britannia with Liberty cap on staff, freeing a bird from a cage. Motto: "Containing the freshest Advices, Foreign and Domestic" This issue is often reprinted. [5]

"After the Revolution [the paper] lost its great contributors and its tone and policy were changed. It bitterly opposed the adoption of the constitution of the United States and the administration of Washington. The paper declined in power, interest and popular favor, till, after a long struggle, in 1798, it was discontinued for want of support." [6]

Hutchinson Letters leak

Benjamin Franklin acquired a packet of about twenty letters that had been written to Thomas Whately, an assistant to Prime Minister George Grenville. [7] Upon reading them, Franklin concluded that Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson and his colonial secretary (plus brother-in-law) Andrew Oliver, had mischaracterized the situation in the colonies, and thus misled Parliament. He felt that wider knowledge of these letters would then focus colonial anger away from Parliament and at those who had written the misleading letters. [8] [9] Franklin sent the letters to Thomas Cushing, the speaker of the Massachusetts assembly, in December 1772. [8] He specifically wrote to Cushing that the letters should be seen only by a few people, and that he was not "at liberty to make the letters public." [10]

The letters arrived in Massachusetts in March 1773, and came into the hands of Samuel Adams, then serving as the clerk of the Massachusetts assembly. [11] By Franklin's instructions, only a select few people, including the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence, were to see the letters. [12] Alarmed at what they read, Cushing wrote Franklin, asking if the restrictions on their circulation could be eased. In a response received by Cushing in early June, Franklin reiterated that they were not to be copied or published, but could be shown to anyone

A longtime opponent of Hutchinson's, Samuel Adams informed the assembly of the existence of the letters, after which it designated a committee to analyze them. Strategic leaks suggestive of their content made their way into the press and political discussions, causing Hutchinson much discomfort. The assembly eventually concluded, according to John Hancock, that in the letters Hutchinson sought to "overthrow the Constitution of this Government, and to introduce arbitrary Power into the Province", and called for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver. [13] Hutchinson complained that Adams and the opposition were misrepresenting what he had written, and that nothing he had written in them on the subject of Parliamentary supremacy went beyond other statements he had made. [14] The letters were finally published in the Boston Gazette in mid-June 1773, [15] causing a political firestorm in Massachusetts and raising significant questions in England. [16]

American Revolution

For years before the first shots were fired at Lexington Green, Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, Josiah Quincy, James Otis, Edes and Gill were writing article after article in the Boston Gazette, rebelling against royal authority. Adams wrote so many articles, under so many pen names (at least 25), historians don't even know exactly how many he wrote. It was the Boston Gazette that hired Paul Revere to create his famous engraving of the Boston Massacre. [17] [18]

The British officials hated the Boston Gazette. British officers placed the paper's name on a list of enemy institutions to be captured, and if possible, laid waste. Those trumpeters of sedition, Edes and Gill, were to be put out of business once and for all. [19] [20]

The Sons of Liberty met at the Boston Gazette. It was there that they darkened their faces, disguising themselves as Mohawk Indians before setting out to dump British tea into Boston Harbor at the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams practically lived at the Boston Gazette. [21] [22] [23]

Varying Titles

In recent years, the Boston Gazette print shop of Edes & Gill has been recreated and is open to the public as a museum in Boston.

Related Research Articles

Paul Revere American silversmith and Patriot in the American Revolution

Paul Revere was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and Patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in April 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" (1861).

Boston Massacre Incident on March 5, 1770

The Boston Massacre, known to the British as the Incident on King Street, was a confrontation on March 5, 1770 in which British soldiers shot and killed several people while being harassed by a mob in Boston. The event was heavily publicized by leading Patriots such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. British troops had been stationed in the Province of Massachusetts Bay since 1768 in order to support crown-appointed officials and to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation.

Thomas Hutchinson (governor) last civilian Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, historian

Thomas Hutchinson was a businessman, historian, and a prominent Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the years before the American Revolution. He has been referred to as "the most important figure on the loyalist side in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts." He was a successful merchant and politician, and was active at high levels of the Massachusetts government for many years, serving as lieutenant governor and then governor from 1758 to 1774. He was a politically polarizing figure who came to be identified by John Adams and Samuel Adams as a proponent of hated British taxes, despite his initial opposition to Parliamentary tax laws directed at the colonies. He was blamed by Lord North for being a significant contributor to the tensions that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.

James Bowdoin American leader during the American Revolution (1726–1790)

James Bowdoin II was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution and the following decade. He initially gained fame and influence as a wealthy merchant. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court from the 1750s to the 1770s. Although he was initially supportive of the royal governors, he opposed British colonial policy and eventually became an influential advocate of independence. He authored a highly political report on the 1770 Boston Massacre that has been described by historian Francis Walett as one of the most influential pieces of writing that shaped public opinion in the colonies.

Province of Massachusetts Bay English/British possession in America (1691–1776)

The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a crown colony in British America which became one of the thirteen original states of the United States from 1776 onward. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William III and Mary II, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The charter took effect on May 14, 1692 and included the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the Province of Maine, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the direct successor. Maine has been a separate state since 1820, and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are now Canadian provinces, having been part of the colony only until 1697.

Sons of Liberty Dissident organization during the American Revolution

The Sons of Liberty was a secret revolutionary organization that was created in the Thirteen American Colonies to advance the rights of the European colonists and to fight taxation by the British government. It played a major role in most colonies in battling the Stamp Act in 1765. The group officially disbanded after the Stamp Act was repealed. However, the name was applied to other local separatist groups during the years preceding the American Revolution.

Joseph Warren American doctor

Joseph Warren was an American physician who played a leading role in Patriot organizations in Boston during the early days of the American Revolution, eventually serving as President of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Warren enlisted Paul Revere and William Dawes on April 18, 1775, to leave Boston and spread the alarm that the British garrison in Boston was setting out to raid the town of Concord and arrest rebel leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Warren participated in the Battles of Lexington and Concord the following day, which are commonly considered to be the opening engagements of the American Revolutionary War.

Thomas Cushing First Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor, briefly acting governor

Thomas Cushing III was an American lawyer, merchant, and statesman from Boston, Massachusetts. Active in Boston politics, he represented the city in the provincial assembly from 1761 to its dissolution in 1774, serving as the lower house's speaker for most of those years. Because of his role as speaker, his signature was affixed to many documents protesting British policies, leading officials in London to consider him a dangerous radical. He engaged in extended communications with Benjamin Franklin who at times lobbied on behalf of the legislature's interests in London, seeking ways to reduce the rising tensions of the American Revolution.

The Journal of Occurrences, also known as Journal of the Times and Journal of Transactions in Boston, was a series of newspaper articles published from 1768 to 1769 in the New York Journal and Packet and other newspapers, chronicling the occupation of Boston by the British Army. Authorship of the articles was anonymous, but is usually attributed to Samuel Adams, then the clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. William Cooper, Boston's town clerk, has also been named as a possible author. The articles may have been written by a group of people working in collaboration.

Hutchinson Letters Affair

The Hutchinson Letters Affair was an incident that increased tensions between the colonists of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the British government prior to the American Revolution. In June 1773 letters written several years earlier by Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver, governor and lieutenant governor of the province at the time of their publication, were published in a Boston newspaper. The content of the letters was propagandistically claimed by Massachusetts radical politicians to call for the abridgement of colonial rights, and a duel was fought in England over the matter.

The Boston Board of Selectmen was the governing board for the town of Boston from the 17th century until 1822. Selectmen were elected to six-month terms early in the history of the board, but later were elected to one-year terms.

Samuel Adams American statesman, political philosopher, governor of Massachusetts and Founding Father of the United States

Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician in colonial Massachusetts, a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to his fellow Founding Father, President John Adams.

Benjamin Edes American journalist

Benjamin Edes was a journalist and political agitator. He is best known, along with John Gill, as the publisher of the Boston Gazette, a newspaper which sparked and financed the Boston Tea Party and was influential during the American Revolutionary War.

<i>Royal American Magazine</i> Magazine

The Royal American Magazine, or Universal Repository of Instruction and Amusement was a short-lived monthly periodical published in Boston, Massachusetts, by Isaiah Thomas and later by Joseph Greenleaf. It supported patriot and revolutionary sentiment in the Colonies against the Kingdom of Great Britain, and had contributors that included John Hancock and Paul Revere.

Charles Apthorp British-born merchant

Charles Apthorp (1698–1758) was an English-born merchant and slave trader in 18th-century Boston, in the colonial Province of Massachusetts Bay. He ran his import business from Merchants Row, and "in his day he was called the richest man in Boston." He acted for the British government, and supported King's Chapel.

John Gill (printer) American printer and publisher

John Gill (1732-1785) was a printer in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 18th century. With Benjamin Edes he issued the Boston Gazette newspaper. He later published the Continental Journal, 1776-1785.

Thaddeus Bowman was the last scout sent out by Capt. John Parker at Lexington, MA, but the only one to find the approaching British troops and get back to warn the militia, on the first day of the American Revolution.

<i>Boston Atlas</i> newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Atlas (1832-1857) newspaper of Boston, Massachusetts, was published in daily and semi-weekly editions in the mid-19th century. John H. Eastburn established the paper in 1832. Editors included Richard Hildreth, Richard Haughton, William Hayden, Thomas M. Brewer, William Schouler, R. Carter. Among the contributors: Joseph Carter Abbott, Benjamin Perley Poore, Samuel F. Tappan. Its office stood at no.18 State Street and later in the Old State House. The paper supported the Whig Party. Its Democratic rival, with which it sparred constantly, was the Boston Post. In 1857 the Boston Traveller absorbed The Atlas.

Loyal Nine

The Loyal Nine were nine American patriots from Boston who met in secret to plan protests against the Stamp Act of 1765. Mostly middle-class businessmen, the Loyal Nine enlisted Ebenezer Mackintosh to rally large crowds of commoners to their cause and provided the protesters with food, drink, and supplies. A precursor to the Sons of Liberty, the group is credited with establishing the Liberty Tree as a central gathering place for Boston patriots.

Ezekiel Goldthwait American businessman and landowner

Ezekiel Goldthwait (1710-1782) was a wealthy businessman and landowner in colonial Boston, Massachusetts. He was one of the foremost citizens and prominent in the town's affairs in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

References

  1. "Boston Gazette April 10, 1775". Walking Tours of Historic Boston. 2004–2006. Archived from the original on 5 April 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2019.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  2. Burns, Eric. Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism, pp 220-1, 136-7, Public Affairs, New York, New York, 2006. ISBN   978-1-58648-334-0.
  3. Copeland, David A. Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers: Primary Documents on Events of the Period, pp 3, 10, 195-7, 200, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 2000. ISBN   0-313-30982-5.
  4. "Massachusetts - Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers in the Library of Congress (Serial and Government Publications Division)". Loc.gov. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  5. "HistoryBuff.com". HistoryBuff.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  6. Isaiah Thomas. The History of Printing in America: With a Biography of Printers, and an Account of Newspapers. From the press of Isaiah Thomas, 1874; p.lx.
  7. Penegar, p. 27. Penegar notes that there are varying interpretations on how many letters constitute the set at issue.
  8. 1 2 Morgan, p. 187
  9. Bailyn, p. 236
  10. Wright, p. 225
  11. Alexander, p. 150
  12. Bailyn, p. 239
  13. Alexander, p. 151
  14. Alexander, p. 152
  15. Bailyn, p. 240
  16. Penegar, p. 29
  17. Burns, Eric. Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism, pp 141, 144, 145, 148, 152, 166-7, Public Affairs, New York, New York, 2006. ISBN   978-1-58648-334-0.
  18. Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride, pp 20-25, Oxford University Press, New York, New York and Oxford, England, 1994. ISBN   0-19-508847-6.
  19. Burns, Eric. Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism, pp 136-7, Public Affairs, New York, New York, 2006. ISBN   978-1-58648-334-0.
  20. Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride, pp 271-3, Oxford University Press, New York, New York and Oxford, England, 1994. ISBN   0-19-508847-6.
  21. Burns, Eric. Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism, pp 159-60, Public Affairs, New York, New York, 2006. ISBN   978-1-58648-334-0.
  22. Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride, pp 20-25, 302, Oxford University Press, New York, New York and Oxford, England, 1994. ISBN   0-19-508847-6.
  23. Copeland, David A. Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers: Primary Documents on Events of the Period, pp 216-7, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 2000. ISBN   0-313-30982-5.
  24. Bowen, Abel; Smith, Jerome Van Crowninsfield (1826). The Boston News-letter: And City Record. 2.
  25. Stuart, Nancy Rubin (1 July 2008). The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation . Beacon Press. p.  148. ISBN   9780807097366.
  26. Moore, Frank. Diary of the American Revolution. From Newspapers and Original Documents (PDF). II. Sampson Low, Son & Company. Cornell University Library. p. 279 via Forgotten Books.

Further reading