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London, formed for the benevolent purpose of “promoting religious knowledge among the German emigrants in Pennsylvania.” School books, and religious tracts in the German language, were printed at this press; and, in order to convey, with the greater facility, political and other information to the German citizens, a newspaper was published at the establishment. The title of the paper I have not been able to ascertain. It was printed by Anthony Armbruster;' with whom, at that time, Franklin was a silent copartner.
The Rev. Dr. William Smith, provost of the college at Philadelphia, was agent for the English society, and had the direction of the press, and of the newspaper.
Formal complaints having been made to the house of assembly respecting the official conduct of William Moore, president of the court of common pleas for the county of Chester, the assembly applied to the governor to remove him from office. Moore, in his vindication, presented “a humble address ” to the governor, which was expressed in terms that proved offensive to the assembly. It was published both in the Gazette and in the Journal; and application was made to Dr. Smith to publish a German translation of it in the German newspaper, with which he complied. The house of assembly considered this address as a high reflection on the proceedings of their body, and resolved that“ it was a libel.”
The assembly were desirous of discovering the author of the German translation. They were suspicious of Dr. Smith. The three printers of newspapers, and several other persons, were summoned to give their testimony before the assembly. Hall and Bradford, printers of the English newspapers, knew nothing of the German translation, and
Since the first edition of this work was published, I have been informed that the newspaper here mentioned was the continuation of that published in 1748, and after by Godhart Armbruster.
were dismissed. Armbruster was interrogated, and committed to the custody of the sergeant at arms, for a contempt to the house in prevaricating in his testimony, and refusing to answer a question put to him; but he was the next day discharged, on his asking pardon, giving direct answers, and paying fees.
The Rev. Dr. Smith, the editor of the German paper, and Judge Moore, were on the 6th of January, 1758, apprehended and brought before the house. Moore was charged by the assembly with mal-administration in his office as a magistrate, and with writing and publishing the address. In respect to the first charge, he denied the jurisdiction of the house; at the same time declaring his desire to obtain an impartial hearing before the governor, the usual tribunal in such cases; or, before a court of justice, where he could be acquitted or condemned by his peers. To the second charge he acknowledged that he wrote and published the address to the governor, and claimed a right to do it. He was imprisoned for refusing to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the house, and for writing the address. Dr. Smith was also committed for printing and publishing the address, although he pleaded “ that the same thing had been done four weeks before by Franklin & Hall, printers to the house, in the Pennsylvania Gazette; and, afterwards, by Bradford, printer of the Pennsylvania Journal ; neither of whom had been molested."
The house, by two resolves, fixed the nature of the crime, and their own authority to try it. Smith, before he left the house, offered to appeal to the king in council; but this was not taken notice of by the assembly. It was intimated to Smith, that he could escape confinement only by making satisfactory acknowledgement to the house; to this he replied, “that he thought it his duty to keep the Dutch press as free as any other press in the province; and, as he was conscious of no offence against the house, his lips should
never give his heart the lie; there being no punishment, which they could inflict, half so terrible to him as the thought of forfeiting his veracity and good name with the world.” He spoke more to the same purpose, which was so highly approved by a large audience that on that occasion had crowded into the hall of the assembly, as to produce a burst of applause. Some gentlemen who gave this token of their approbation, were taken into custody, examined, reprimanded and discharged. Smith and Moore determined to petition the king for redress.'
This German paper was published about the year 1759, by Weiss and Miller, conveyancers. It was printed for them about two years by Armbruster.
In 1762, Anthony Armbruster printed this German paper on his own account, and, in 1764, published it weekly in Arch street.
H. Miller's German paper was commenced also in 1762 ; and for some time there were two German and two English newspapers published in Philadelphia.
Der Wochentliche Philadelphische Staatsbote. This newspaper was first published in the German language at Philadelphia, in January, 1762; printed by Henry Miller, with German types, very similar to, though handsomer than English blacks. It was, as occasion required, printed on a whole or half sheet of foolscap; the size of the paper was afterwards enlarged to a crown sheet. The day of publication, at first, was Monday, but it was frequently changed.
In 1775, the paper was enlarged to a demy size, and published twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday; in 1776, only once a week, on Tuesdays, at 6s. per annum. In
See American Magazine for January, 1758. See also, Journals of the House of Assembly of Pennsylvania, for 1757 and 1758.
1765, a cut of a postman on horseback, was introduced into the title; the postman was on a gallop, and held in his left hand a newspaper, on which appeared the word Novæ. In 1768, the title was altered to Pennsylvanische Staatsbote. In 1775, the cut was omitted, and the paper entitled Henrich Miller’s Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote With this alteration in the title, it was printed until the British army took possession of the city in 1777; the publication of it was then spspended, but was revived soon after that army evacuated Philadelphia, and continued till May, 1779, when the publisher retired from business, and his paper was continued by Steiner & Cist, for a few months, and then by Steiner only, until 1794; and after that time by H. & J. Kammerer, and others, until 1812, when it was discontinued.
[See Philadelphia — Henry Miller.]
James Robertson, who before 1775 printed at Albany, and afterwards at Norwich and New York, published in Philadelphia, whilst the British army occupied the city, a paper entitled The Royal Gazette.
Note.—There were 14 newspapers printed in the state of Pennsylvania in 1790, and it was supposed about five times that number in the whole country. The first stage between New York and Philadelphia commenced running in 1756, and occupied three days in the transit. Newspapers were carried in the mail free of charge, until 1758, when, by reason of their great increase, they were charged with postage at 9d. a year for fifty miles, and 18d. for 100 miles.- M.
PUBLISHED IN PHILADELPHIA BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.
The General Magazine, and Historical Chronicle,
for all the British Plantations in America. This was published monthly. No. 1 appeared in January, 1741. It has for a frontispiece, the prince of Wales's coronet and feather, with the motto, Ich Dien. It was published only six months. Imprint, “ Philadelphia : Printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin.” 12s. per annum. 12mo.
The American Magazine, or a Montbly View of the
First published January, 1741. Foolscap 8vo., fortyeight pages. 128. per annum. Imprint, “ Philadelphia : Printed and sold by Andrew Bradford.”
This work was edited by, and published for, John Webbe, who having issued the prospectus from the American Mercury of November 6, 1740, gave offence to Benjamin Franklin, and produced a short, but smart paper war between Franklin, Webbe, and Bradford. Webbe had employed Bradford to print the work. Franklin asserted that it had previously been engaged to him. This was contradicted by Webbe; but he acknowledged that he had conversed with Franklin on the subject, who had given to him, in writing, the terms on which he would print and publish it. The consequence was, that Franklin began the magazine above mentioned, and published it a month sooner than Webbe could bring his forward. I cannot find that Bradford and Webbe printed more than two numbers of this work.