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OTHER PERIODICAL WORKS
PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK BEFORE 1775.
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
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 1772.1 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. ($1.6272) 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 beg an Almanac in 1784, for the year following, entitled Webster's Calendar, or the Albany Almanac, which is still published, and is the oldest almanac extant in the United States. - M.
The Albany Post-Boy." The publication of it ended in 1775. The Robertsons, as has been observed under the head Connecticut, &c., were, in 1773, concerned in printing The Norwich Packet; and it is not improbable that, at the same time, one of them resided in Albany and conducted the Post-Boy. In 1776, they joined the royalists in the city of New York.
The copies of this paper are entitled The Albany Gazette as far as they can be found. The publication seems to have begun in November, 1771. The earliest copy that has been discovered after a search of many years, is No. 8, dated Jan. 20, 1772, and there are a few copies of about that date preserved in the collection of the Albany Institute. In one of these the publisher, “from motives of gratitude and duty,” apologized to the public for the omission of one week's publication, and hoped that the irregularity of the mail from New York, since the first great fall of snow, and the severe cold preceding Christmas, which froze the paper prepared for press, so as to put a stop to its operation, would sufficiently account for it. Alexander Robertson died at Port Roseway, Nova Scotia, Nov. 1784, aged 42. James returned to Edinburgh, and was in business there in 1810, and although I have endeavored to trace him since, all effort has failed. — M. NEW JERSEY.
Newspapers were not published in this colony before the declaration of independence.
The New Jersey Gazette, Was published at Burlington, December 3, 1777. It was printed weekly, on Wednesday, with a good, long primer type, and on a sheet of crown paper, folio. Imprint, “Burlington: Printed by Isaac Collins. All Persons may be supplied with this Gazette for Twenty-Six Shillings per Annum. Advertisements of a moderate Length are inserted for Seven Shillings and Six Pence the first Week, and Two Shillings and Six Pence for every continuance; and long Ones in proportion.” This paper was neatly printed, and well conducted. Its publisher, although of the society of Friends, was a firm supporter of the rights of his country; and he carefully avoided publishing any thing which tended to injure the religious, civil, or political interests of his fellow citizens. It was discontinued in 1786.1
The New Jersey Journal was printed on a cap sheet by Shepard Kolloch at Chatham, of which No. 71 is dated June 21, 1780.-M.
PUBLISHED IN NEW JERSEY BEFORE 1775.
New American Magazine.
This work was begun at Woodbridge by James Parker, in January, 1758, and was continued monthly more than two years. Each number contained forty pages, octavo. Although this was a valuable literary work, and but one of the kind was then published in the colonies,' there was not a sufficient number of copies sold to defray the expense of printing, &c. It was, therefore, discontinued, after being published twenty-seven months. Ten years after, a large number of the copies were sold by the printer for waste paper.
The editor was the honorable Samuel Nevil, under the signature of Sylvanus Americanus. Judge Nevil was from England, and had been editor of The London Evening Post. He had received a liberal education, his knowledge was extensive, and his writings commanded considerable attention. He was a judge of the supreme court of New Jersey, speaker of the house of assembly, and mayor of the city of Amboy. He died at Perth Amboy, in November, 1764, aged sixty-seven years.
1 The American Magazine or Monthly Chronicle, printed at Philadelphia ; but which was discontinued soon after the appearance of this from the press at Woodbridge.