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I cannot determine the year when printing was introduced to Antigua, but believe it was about 1748.
I have not discovered that any press was erected on this island prior to the time when BENJAMIN MEcom opened a printing house, about 1748. He has been taken notice of in the course of this work, as a printer in Boston, New Haven and Philadelphia. It was at St. John that he first began business, and published a newspaper, entitled
The Antigua Gazette. Mecom continued this publication six or seven years, and then removed to Boston, Massachusetts, his native place.
ALEXANDER SHIPTON, published the Gazette, before and after 1767, which was by him printed weekly, on Wednesday, on a crown sheet, folio, chiefly with small pica types; and had, in the title, a small cut of a basket of flowers.
The Antigua Mercury. A newspaper with this title was published in 1769; but
A how long it was printed before or after that time, I am not able to say.'
1 John Mears printed a well conducted newspaper in St. Johns in 1779, and I am inclined to believe it was the Mercury.
The Freeport Gazette ; or, the Dominica Ad
Was first published in 1765, at Roseau, by William Smith. It had the king's arms in the title; and was printed weekly, on Saturday, on a fools-cap sheet, and with new long primer and small pica types.
In 1767, Smith printed The Shipwreck, “a poem in three parts: By a Sailor, addressed to his Royal Highness the Duke of York. Price Two Dollars."
In 1775, a newspaper was published in English and French, by Jones.
The Royal Granada Gazette. This paper first appeared at Georgetown in January, 1765, on a crown sheet, folio, printed with new small pica and long primer types, by William Weyland,“ at the New Printing-Office.” It was published on Saturday and had a cut of the king's arms in the title.
There were two printing houses on this island, and one of them was established some years before Weyland's.
The Royal Danish American Gazette. Was issued from the press at Christiansted before 1770. Printing was not introduced into this island long before the publication of the paper.
The Bermuda Gazette.
Was not published until July 1784; but a printing house had a short time before been established at St. George, by J. Stockdale.
The Royal Bahama Gazette. I have introduced this paper, although it was not established till after peace took place on the American continent, in 1783, in order to conclude the account of John Wells, the editor of it, who has been mentioned as a printer in South Carolina, who fled from Charleston when the British army evacuated that city.
This paper was printed at Nassau, New Providence.
Wells was not contented to remain on the island; but had a strong desire to return to the continent, and had attempted several schemes to effect that purpose which proved unsuccessful. He was still endeavoring to arrange his business in such a manner as to permit him to revisit his native country, which he had left with great reluctance, when he was summoned to the world of spirits.
He married at Nassau, and was highly esteemed for his many amiable qualities.
[See South Carolina.]
PORT AU PRINCE.
A commercial Gazette was published here by permission, before the revolution in France. or that on the island. In 1790, the paper was published by Bourdon, Printer to
Note. In 1804, the prefect of Guadaloupe forbade all American captain under the penalty of $200, to introduce into that colony, any newspapers, gazettes, or proclamations, from any part of the world whatsoever.- M.
A public paper, containing marine intelligence, the orders of government, etc., was published at the royal press at the Cape. When its publication commenced I cannot say, but it was continued in 1790, by permission of the municipality
“ Gazette de la Martinique,” commenced its publication in December, 1784. It was printed at St. Pierre, by Pierre Richard, by the permission of government.
At the commencement of the revolution in France, presses under no control were set up, not only in the mother country, but in her colonies, from which were issued public journals of various kinds. The following appeared at Martinico, viz:
The Friend of Liberty and the Enemy of Licentiousness, published by Thounens & Vauchet in 1791.
Gazette National and Political, from the press of J. B. Thounens, in Saint Pierre, Printer to the People. In 1793, Thounens called himself Printer to the Committee of Safety, and to the Patriotic Society.
Literary and Political Advertiser of Martinique, printed in Port Royal by P. Richard & La Cadie. These printers then published the Gazette de Martinique in Saint Pierre.
In Trinity, on this island, in 1792, appeared a public journal from the press of X. Y. Z."
Part of the above is extracted from the minutes of the Rev. Mr. Bentley.