Page images
PDF
EPUB

forth evil Fruit. A good Tree cannot bring forth evil Fruit, neither can a corrupt Tree bring forth good Fruit."

“Printed by Benjamin Mecom, and sold at his shop under the New-Printing-Office, near the Court-House, on Corn-hill in Boston."

Each number of this Magazine contained sixty pages 12mo. Its publication was intended to have been monthly, but it came from the press irregularly, and was printed from types of various sizes. Some pieces were, both in prose and verse, on pica, and some on long primer; the pages were not in columns. Its contents were a collection of small fugitive pieces from magazines, newspapers, &c. These were not arranged under general heads, excepting poetry, which was headed “Poetical Entertainment;" and we make one more exception for a head of “ Queer Notions." The price was eight pence for each number.

Mecom, the publisher of this Magazine, gave the following poetical description of its contents in an advertisement, viz:

“Containing, and to contain,
“Old fashioned writings and Select Essays,
Queer Notions, Useful Hints, Extracts from plays ;
Relations Wonderful, and Psalm and Song,
Good Sense, Wit, Humour, Morals, all ding dong ;
Poems and Speeches, Politicks and News
What Some will like, and other Some refuse;
Births, Deaths, and Dreams, and Apparitions too;
With some Thing suited to each different Gell, i
To Humour Him, and Her, and Me, and You."

[ocr errors]

This work found very few purchasers. Three or four numbers were published in the course of six or seven months, and it was then discontinued.

Goût.

The Censor.

The Censor was altogether a political publication. The first number appeared November 23, 1771. It was printed in a small sheet, foolscap, folio, on an English type, by Ezekiel Russell, in Boston, and published on Saturdays.

It made its appearance without any formal introduction. A dissertation in the Massachusetts Spy, under the signa ture of Mucius Scævola, probably occasioned the attempt to establish this paper. Mucius Scævola had attacked Governor Hutchinson with a boldness and severity before unknown in the political disputes of this country. The piece excited great warmth among those who supported the measures of the British administration, and they immediately commenced the publication of the Censor; in which the governor and the British administration were defended. Lieutenant Governor Oliver was the reputed author of several numbers of the Censor, under the signature of A Freeman, and these were thought to be better written than any other communications to that paper. Several other politicians were engaged as writers for the Censor, but they gained no proselytes to their cause; and, although numbers of the first characters on the side of government came forward with literary and pecuniary aid, yet the circulation of the paper was confined to a few of their own party. As the Censor languished, its printer made an effort to convert it into a newspaper; and, with this view,

'Dr. Benjamin Church, a reputed whig, who when the Revolutionary war commenced was appointed surgeon general of the American army, but was soon after arrested and confined, being detected in a traitorous correspondence with the British army in Boston, I have been informed by a very respectable person, whom I have long known, was a writer for the Censor. This person, then an apprentice to Russell, was employed to convey, in a secret manner, the doctor's manuscripts to the press, and proof sheets from the press to the doctor.

some of its last numbers were accompanied with a separate half sheet, containing a few articles of news and some advertisements. But neither its writers nor its printer could give it a general circulation, and it was discontinued before the revolution of a year from its first publication.

a

The Royal American Magazine. A Prospectus of this work appeared many months before the magazine; but the disordered state of public affairs, and the difficulties which individuals experienced from them, prevented it from being sooner put to press; and after a few numbers had been published, the distress occasioned to the inhabitants of Boston by shutting up and blockading their port, obliged its editor to suspend the publication.

The first number for January, 1774, was published at the close of that month. It was printed on a large medium paper in octavo, on a new handsome type. Each number contained three sheets of letter press, and two copperplate engravings. The title was, The Royal American Magazine, or Universal Repository of Instruction and Amusement. The type metal cut in the title page, represented, by an aboriginal, America seated on the ground; at her feet lay a quiver, and near her a bow on which her right hand rested; in her left hand she held the calumet of peace, which she appeared to offer to the Genius of Knowledge standing before her dispensing instruction. Imprint,

“ Boston : Printed by and for Isaiah Thomas, near the Market.” Then follow the names of several printers on the continent who sold the work.

The editor, after having been at considerable trouble and expense in bringing the work before the public, published it six months, and then was obliged, first to suspend, and

a

afterwards to relinquish it; but Joseph Greenleaf continued the publication until April following, when the war put a period to the magazine.

This was the last periodical work established in Boston before the revolution. It had a considerable list of subscribers.

SALEM.

The Essex Gazette.

Containing the freshest Advices, both Foreign and Domestick. This was the first newspaper printed in Salem. No. 1 was published August 2, 1768; and it was continued weekly, on Tuesday, crown size, folio, from small pica and brèvier types. In the centre of the title was a cut, of which the design was taken from the official seal of the county. The principal figure a bird with its wings extended, and holding a sprig in its bill; perhaps intended to represent Noah's dove; and this device was far from beiug ill adapted to the state of our forefathers, who have ing been inhabitants of Europe, an old world, were become residents in America, to them a new one. Above the bird a fish, which seems to have been intended as a crest, emblematical of the codfishery, formerly the principal dependence of the county of Essex, of which Salem is a shire town. The whole supported by two aborigines, each holding a tomahawk, or battle axe. Imprint, “ Salem : Printed by Samuel Hall, near the Town-House, Price 6s. 8d. per annum."

It was afterwards “printed by Samuel and Ebenezer Hall.” The Gazette was well conducted, and ably supported the cause of the country.

In 1775, soon after the commencement of the war, the printers of this paper removed with their press to Cambridge, and there published the Gazette, or, as it was then entitled, The New England Chronicle : Or, the Essex Gazette. The junior partner died in 1775, and S. Hall became again the sole proprietor. When the British army left Boston Hall removed to the capital, and there printed The New England Chronicle, the words Essex Gazette being omitted. After publishing the paper a few years with this title, he sold his right to it, and the new proprietor entitled it The Independent Chronicle,' and began the alteration with No. 1.

The Salem Gazette and Newbury and Marblebead

Advertiser. A Weekly, Political, Commercial Paper - Influenced neither by COURT

or COUNTRY. This paper, the second published in the town, made its first appearance in June, 1774, printed on a crown sheet,

:

1 This being the only allusion by Mr. Thomas to that paper, a portion of a letter from the late Mr. Nathaniel Willis referring to it, dated Boston, March 20, 1861, is quoted : “When I was an apprentice in the office of the Independent Chronicle, about 1796, I found in the garret enough of these papers to make a volume, which I arranged, had them bound, and have recently presented the volume to the Boston Public Library. From this it appears in their notices to the public, that Samuel Hall transferred the paper to Nathaniel Willis and Edward E. Powars, June 13, 1776; in December, 1779, N. Willis appears as sole publisher until 1784; it was then transferred to Adams & Nourse, afterwards Adams & Rhoades; and then my father went to Virginia. I was an apprentice in the Chronicle office from 1796 to 1803. Samuel Hall was a bookseller in the same store where Gould & Lincoln so long remained, in Washington street.” The Chronicle was united with the Boston Patriot in 1819, when its title ceased. For a full account of this paper, see Buckingham's Reminiscences, 1, 248_87.- M.

I

« PreviousContinue »