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Only one newspaper was published in Canada before 1775. In 1791, this territory was divided, and another province formed, distinguished by the name of Upper Canada. There are now (1810) several newspapers printed in that part which is called Lower Canada, and one or more in the new province.
The Quebec Gazette, La Gazette de Quebec, Was first published in January, 1765, printed in English and French, on a sheet of foolscap, folio, but afterwards enlarged to a crown size, two columns to a page, the first in English, the second, containing the same matter, in French. A very handsome cut of the king's arms appeared in the title. It was published weekly, on Thursday. Imprint, “ Quebec; Printed by Brown & Gilmore, at the Printing-Office in Parlour-Street, in the Upper Town, a little above the Bishop's Palace. Advertisements of a moderate Length (in one Language) inserted at five Shillings, Halifax, the first Week, and one Shilling each Week after; if in both Languages, Seven Shillings and Six Pence, Halifax,' the first Week, and half a Dollar each Week after.” Then followed an imprint in French of the same import.
The Gazette was discontinued a short time on account of the stamp act, in 1765.
In 1774, this paper was published by William Brown only, the senior partner, at his printing house “ behind the Cathedral Church.” After the death of Brown, it was continued by his nephew Samuel Neilson, who died, and was succeeded by John Neilson, “ in Mountain-street,” who now (1810), continues the Gazette.
A newspaper in the French language entitled Gazette du Commerce et Litteraire, Pour la Ville et District de Montreal, was first published in that city, June 3, 1778, by Fleury Mesplet & Charles Berger. It was printed on half a sheet of crown, quarto, with a new bourgeois type. Imprint,
Montreal, Chas. F. Mesplet & C. Berger, Imprimeurs et Libraires.” The partnership did not long exist; in September following, the title was altered to “ Gazette Litteraire, pour la Ville, fc.," and published by Mesplet only, who continued it until he died. Le Roi succeeded Mesplet, and published the paper a short time. Edward Edwards, after the death of Le Roi, conducted it until the year 1808, when it was discontinued.
Other newspapers have been published since 1775, in Quebec and in Montreal; some of which have attained a permanent establishment.
A Gazette has lately been established at York, in Upper Canada.
i The Canadian Antiquarian & Numismatic Journal of October, 1872, has an article on “The first printing establishment of Montreal,” in which the first newspaper is called La Gazette de Montreal.” – H.
Newspapers were not printed in this province until the year 1783; two or three then issued from the presses of those printers who, during the war, were with the British army in New York, &c., but who, when peace was established, left the United States and settled at St. John, the chief town of New Brunswick. I do not know of more than one Gazette now (1810) published in the province.
A printing press was established on this island about 1720; and within one or two years after a newspaper was published at Kingston.
The Weekly Jamaica Courant. This paper was published at Kingston as early as August, 1722, and as late as 1755, on a sheet of demy, folio; but the exact time at which the publication commenced or closed, I cannot ascertain.
The Kingston Journal. The Journal was published weekly, on Saturday. In 1756, it was printed on a sheet of medium, folio, by Woolhead; and, in 1761, by Woolhead, Gad and Bennett, “Printers to the Hon. Council in Harbour-Street.”
The Jamaica Gazette. This Gazette made its appearance as early as 1745. In 1760, it was printed weekly, on Saturday, on medium, folio. John Walker, one of the proprietors, died in 1786.
C. S. Woodham had a printing house in Kingston in 1756, and published an Almanac and Register annually.
The St. Jago Intelligencer. The Intelligencer was first “printed at St. Jago de la Vega,” about 1756, and was published weekly on Saturday. In 1768, Lawry and Sherlock were the printers of it, the size medium, folio. “ Price per annum Thirty Shillings, currency, and Two Pistoles sent by post to any part of the island."
The Cornwall Chronicle, and Jamaica General
Advertiser. The Chronicle first issued from the press May 29, 1773; and was published weekly, on Saturday," at Montego-Bay,” by Sherlock & Co. The size was medium, folio. In 1781, and from that time to 1806, it was printed by James Fannin; who died in England in 1808.
The Royal Gazette. This paper first came before the public in 1778. It was published by Douglas & Aikman until 1784, when it was “Printed by Alexander Aikman, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, at the King's Printing-Office in Harbour-Street, Kingston.” The royal arms were in the centre of the title, and it was very handsomely printed on a medium sheet, quarto.
I have mentioned this paper although the publication commenced after 1775, in order to mark the devotion of it to royalty ; the printer was no republican. In May, 1786, he advertised in The Royal Gazette, The Royal Almanack, The Royal Register, and The Royal Sheet Almanack; “ all
Columbus was created duke of St. Jago, and marquis of the island of Jamaica.- St. Mery's Hist. of St. Domingo.