Page images

Royal Gazette was numbered as a continuation of the Gazetteer, and Loyal Gazette, and was published on Wednesdays and Saturdays; printed on a sheet of royal size, with the royal arms in the title.

Rivington could not consistently have given the Royal Gazette the motto selected by our brethren, the printers of the (Boston) Independent Chronicle — Truth its Guide, and Liberty its Object.This Gazette was, by some, called The Brussels Gazette of America ; but it commonly went by the name of Rivington's lying Gazette. Even the royalists censured Rivington for his disregard to truth. During the war, a captain of militia at Horseneck, with about thirty men, marched to Kingsbridge, and there attacked a house within the British lines, which was garrisoned by refugees, and took most of them prisoners. Rivington published an account of this transaction which greatly exaggerated the affair in favor of the refugees; he observed that a large detachment of rebels attacked the house, which was bravely defended by a refugee colonel, a major, a quartermaster, and fifteen privates; and that after they were taken and carried off, another party of refugee dra- . goons, seventy-three in number, pursued the rebels, killed twenty-three of them, took forty prisoners, and would have taken the whole rebel force, had not the refugee horsebeen jaded to a stand still.Several times did Rivington apologize for mistakes made in paragraphs which he himself had manufactured for his Gazette.

The following appeared in the Royal Gazette of July 10, 1782, when there was a prospect of peace.

To the Public.- The publisher of this paper, sensible that his zeal for the success of his Majesty's arms, his sanguine wishes for the good of his country, and his friendship for individuals, have at times led him to credit and circu


? A paper published at Brussels many years since, which was notorious for falsehood.

late paragraphs without investigating the facts so closely as his duty to the Public demanded; trusting to their feelings, and depending on their generosity, he begs them to look over past errors, and depend on future correctness. From henceforth he will neither expect nor solicit their favors longer than his endeavors shall stamp the same degree of authenticity and credit on the Royal Gazette (of New York) as all Europe allow to the Royal Gazette of London.” See Appendix K.

During the war, a newspaper was published daily in the city of New York under the following arrangement: Rivington's Royal Gazette on Wednesday and Saturday, Gaine's Gazette or Mercury on Monday, Robertson’s, Mills & Hick's Royal American Gazette, on Thursday — and Lewis's New York Mercury and General Advertiser on Friday. These papers were all published under the sanction of the British commander in chief; but none of the printers assumed the title of “ Printers to the King” except Rivington, who had an appointment.

When the war ended, Rivington discarded from his paper the appendages of royalty. The arms of Great Britain no longer appeared. It was no more The Royal, or a Loyal Gazette, but a plain republican newspaper, entitled Rivington's New York Gazette and Universal Advertiser. It was, however, considered as a wolf in sheep's clothing, and, not meeting with support, the publication of it terminated, and the editorial labors of Rivington ended, in the year 1783. Few men, perhaps, were better qualified than the editor of the Royal Gazette to publish a newspaper.

It has been remarked (page 309, vol. 1), that for some time Rivington conducted his paper with as much impartiality as most of the editors of that period; and it may be added, that no newspaper in the colonies was better printed, or was more copiously furnished with foreign intelligence. In October, 1773, Rivington informed his readers that each impression of his weekly Gazetteer, amounted to 3,600 copies.

The Constitutional Gazette,

Was first issued from the press of John Anderson, in August, 1775; the publication of which was on Mondays and Thursdays, and continued but a few months. It was printed on a half sheet, quarto, of crown paper. It seems to have borrowed its title from a political paper published in New Jersey ten years before; but it resembled that paper in the name only.

The New York Packet, and the American Advertiser.

The publication of this paper commenced the first week in January, 1776. It was printed Thursdays, on a sheet of royal folio, with a new long primer type. Imprint: “Printed by Samuel Loudon, in Water-Street, between the Coffee-IIouse and the Old Slip.”

I take notice of this paper, although it originated after the war began, because it was the last established in the city before the declaration of independence. Loudon died at Middletown Point, New Jersey, February 24, 1813, in the ninetieth year of his age.

During the war it was published at Fishkill; after the return of peace it was again printed in the city; it was finally changed to a daily paper, and continued several years.



The Independent Reflector.

This was a neatly printed paper, published weekly on Thursday, on a sheet of foolscap writing, folio, by James Parker. It contained moral and political essays, but no news. It first appeared on November 30, 1752, and the publication of it was supported two years. The pieces in it were written by a society of literary gentlemen, in and near New York; several of whom were afterwards highly distinguished in public life. The late Governor Livingston, the Rev. Aaron Burr, president of New Jersey College, John Morin Scott, Gen. William Alexander, known afterwards as Lord Stirling, and William Smith, who died chief justice of Canada, were reputed to be writers for the Reflector.

This work, it has been said, ultimately gave much offence to men in power, by whom the writers for it were silenced. Parker appeared to be intimidated, and declined being further concerned in the publication. “ The authors applied to him to publish, by way of supplement, a vindication of the work, with an account of its origin and design, and the cause of its being discontinued. He refused, and some suspected that he was drawn off by those in office, instead of being alarmed into a relinquishment of the work. After Parker declined, De Foreest was applied to, who consented to print the supplement; and in an advertisement said, or was made to say, that the writers of the Reflector, on this occasion, were obliged to employ the worst printer in the city.?” These were not, I believe, the identical words used on the occasion, but it is the import of them.

John Englishman, in Defence of the English Con

stitution :

Printed on a half sheet, foolscap, and published weekly, on Friday, by Parker and Weyman. It was continued about three months.


A newspaper was first published in this city in 1772." Alexander and James Robertson were its publishers.

* This paper was begun in 1771 ; hence Albany was the second city in the State of New York, into which printing was introduced. It is inferred that these printers were not established here till late in the season, from the fact that the city charter was printed this year in New York by Hugh Gaine. The only work that I have seen of their printing is the city ordinances of 1773, which is better executed than the charter by Gaine. A book store was kept before the revolution by Stuart Wilson, in a Dutch house on the upper corner of North Pearl and State streets.

The next paper here was the New York Gazetteer and Northern Intelligencer, which was first published in May, 1782, by Balentine & Webster. It was printed on a sheet of short demy, with pica and long primer types, at 138. ($1.6242) a year. Advertisements of subscribers were to be inserted three weeks gratis. Balentine was addicted to intemperance, and Webster separated from him at the end of a year. The former then enlarged the size of his paper, but abandoned it after one year, when Webster returned from New York, and began the publication of the Albany Gazette, which was continued until 1845. The only works printed by Balentine & Webster, that have come to light, are a pamphlet, by the Rev. Thomas Clarke, of Cambridge, Washington county, entitled Plain Reasons, being a dissuasive from the use of Watts's version of the Psalms, in worship, and an Almanac for 1783. The only work known of Balantine's press, is an Almanac of 1784. Mr. Webster began an Almanac in 1784, for the year following, entitled Webster'8 Calendar, or the Albany Almanac, which is still published, and is the oldest almanac extant in the United States. - M.

« PreviousContinue »