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America's first successful newspaper...



Item # 609443

April 17, 1740

THE BOSTON WEEKLY NEWS-LETTER, "New England", April 10-17, 1740   This very rare title was the first successful newspaper in the colonies, having begun in 1704 and lasting until the British occupation of Boston in 1776. It was only preceded by "Public Occurrances Both Foreign and Domestick" which published just a single issue in 1690 before being suppressed & destroyed by the Royal Governor of Massachusetts Bay (the only surviving issue is in London).
This issue is among the earliest American newspapers we have offered. Not surprisingly much of the news on the front page is from London & other parts of Europe, however there are reports datelined: "Philadelphia" and "New York", the former having a noteworthy item beginning: "On Saturday...the House and stores of Andrew Hamilton, Esq., took fire & burnt with such violence that they could not be extinguish'd until the whole buildings...were entirely demolished..." with a bit more (see). Hamilton's claim to fame was successfully defending newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger in a libel suit which became the landmark case for freedom of the press in America.
Most of the reports on the back page are America-related, plus there are various "Advertisements" as well, including: "A very Healthy Negro Woman, to be sold. enquire of the Printer."
This issue is complete as a single sheet newspaper and the margins were never trimmed. The imprint: "Boston: Printed by J. Draper at his Printing-House..." appears at the bottom of the back page with a small portion of the bottom line running off the bottom. This is not damage; it was improper placement of the paper when printed. Measures 8 1/2 by 13 inches, has a few foxing spots which do not deter, and has a few minor margin tears. Generally the issue is in very nice condition (see).
A very rare opportunity for an extremely early issue of America's first successful newspaper.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's

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