The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865

Browse Items (116 total)

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Harper’s Weekly became such a mainstay of popular news culture during the Civil War, that the newspaper could make references to its own popularity within its illustrations. Copies of Harper’s are among the presents Santa Claus is…

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This illustration depicts an American Tract Society (ATS) colporteur at work. The term “colporteur” was coined in eighteenth-century France as a name for itinerant peddlers of books, especially religious books. In America, the term came…

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In 1774 and 1775, lawyer and devoted loyalist Daniel Leonard (1740-1829) wrote a series of seventeen articles, published in the Boston Tory newspaper Massachusetts Gazette; and the Boston Post-Boy and Advertiser, under the pseudonym…

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Daniel Leonard (1740-1829) was a lawyer and devoted loyalist. He lived in Taunton, Massachusetts, and was a member of one of the leading and wealthiest families in the commonwealth. In 1774, he was forced to flee his home by his Whig neighbors. He…

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Public readings of the newly minted Declaration of Independence took place in taverns, churches, town greens, or anywhere else people could gather. This July 27, 1776, issue of the Virginia Gazette records a public reading of the Declaration that…

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This issue of the Virginia Gazette includes a summary of a meeting held to discuss resolutions with the representatives from Richmond County who would be attending the First Virginia Convention on August 1, 1774. (There would eventually be five…

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Public readings of the newly minted Declaration of Independence took place in taverns, churches, town greens, or anywhere else people could gather. In New England, the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence is believed to have taken…

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While most colonial newspapers had circulations of between 300 and 600, theMassachusetts Spyhad a circulation of 3,500 from subscribers throughout the thirteen colonies, making it the most popular American newspaper at the time. Designed specifically…

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The British version of the events leading to and including the Battles of Lexington and Concord is presented in this broadside. The calm tone of the language and the lack of any graphic images is an intentional attempt to downplay the significance of…

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This book, commissioned by the new Provincial Congress, was one of the first items printed in Worcester, Massachusetts, after printer Isaiah Thomas’s arrival in April 1775. As the title explains, it is A Narrative, of the Excursion and Ravages of the…
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