The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States’ most prominent newspapers from before the American Revolution all the way through to 1815.
The paper was first published by Samuel Keimer under the name The Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences: and Pennsylvania Gazette, reflecting Keimer’s plans to print out a page of Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences in each and every edition of the paper.
In 1729, Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meredith bought the paper and shortened its name to simply The Pennsylvania Gazette and dropped Keimer’s plan to print out the Cyclopaedia. Franklin not only printed the paper but also often contributed pieces to the paper under various aliases. The Gazette rapidly grew to be the most popular newspaper in the colonies.
The Pennsylvania Gazette articles available to Accessible Archives subscribers are divided into four separate folios. The periods covered by these folios include:
- Folio I – (1728 – 1750) “Benjamin Franklin`s Newspaper”
- Folio II – (1751 – 1765) “The French & Indian War”
- Folio III – (1766 – 1783) “The American Revolution”
- Folio IV – (1784 – 1800) “The New Republic”
In 1752, Franklin published a third-person account of his pioneering kite experiment in the The Pennsylvania Gazette, without mentioning that he himself had performed it.
Franklin and Meredith took the work of keeping the colonies informed about what was going on in the East Coast colonies seriously as you can see in this report from Boston from 1763.
News from Boston – August 25, 1763
Thursday last the Province Sloop Massachusetts, Captain Saunders, arrived here from the Eastward, in which came Meserwanderomet, Ectambuit, and Sawro Woraromogasa, Indians of Penobscot. And on Monday and Tuesday last his Excellency the Governor, in Council, had a Conference with them at the Council Chamber.
The Conference related chiefly to the proper Methods of Trade to be carried on between the English and the Indians.
The above Indians informed his Excellency, that they were impowered by the Penobscot, Passamaquoda and Machias Tribes, to declare their Willingness to submit to King George, and this Government, and be governed by English Laws; and that they were desirous of renewing their ancient Treaties, to live in Peace, and never be at War again with the English.
The Governor in Answer to their Declaration, told them, that as his Majesty King GEORGE had subdued all the Country which the French used to hold, He was not become Sovereign of the Whole: That the French who remain here were now become Subjects to King GEORGE; and both French and Indians would be treated as Children, as long as they behaved dutifully to Him.
His Excellency ordered that some small Present should be delivered them before they went away; and inform them, that if they should be desirous to make Submission to this Government, and renew the Treaties heretofore made with it, in a formal Manner, they might signify their Desire to him.
The Indians upon the whole expressed themselves well satisfied.
They say, that the Norridgewalk Tribe consisted of about Ten, who were with the Weweenocks, and live among them at Becacour.
It is reported a Mast ship is arrived at Casco Bay from England.
We hear from Barnstable, that about 10 Days ago a young Man, belonging to that Place, named Sturgis, was kicked in the lower Part of his Stomach by a Horse, as he was putting on a Pillion behind, which wounded him in such a Manner that he died before next Morning.
Friday last a Boy about 18 Months old accidentally fell into a Cellar at the South End, which had Water and Mud in it, where he was suffocated.
We hear from Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, That last Wednesday, about 2 o’Clock in the Afternoon, they had there very severe Thunder, attended with smart Lightning, which struck a Man dumb, that had taken Shelter in a Warehouse, and thought he cannot live long.— Likewise from Kittery Point we hear, that a young Woman, about 20 Years of Age, was struck instantly dead, and four other Persons struck dumb.
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