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Famous title with the Revere engraving, and much great content...



Item # 687285

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December 25, 1775

THE BOSTON GAZETTE & COUNTRY JOURNAL, Watertown, Massachusetts, December 25, 1775  

* Famous Paul Revere masthead engraving
* American Revolutionary War


The woodcut in the masthead was engraved by the famed Paul Revere, showing the Liberty figure setting the bird of peace free from its cage with the Boston skyline in the background--a strong political statement.
Also noteworthy is that this "Boston" newspaper was printed in "Watertown" at the time (see dateline). Due to the stresses of the Revolutionary War the publisher, Benjamin Edes, removed the newspaper from Boston & went to Watertown with the issue of June 5, 1775. He then returned the newspaper to Boston in early November, 1776, ending a 17 month existence in exile.
Nearly half of the front page is taken up with a report from the "London Association, Liberty of the Press" concerning that very subject.
The balance of the front page is taken up with an address: "To the Electors of Great Britain" concerning the tenuous situation in America. A few bits include: "...take into consideration these dangerous proceedings against our fellow subjects in America...These are the immediate & unavoidable consequences of this war...Neither can it be to settle a due subordination of the colonies upon the parent line, since they have repeatedly & solemnly acknowledged their subordination and submitted to our control...The people of the colonies have appealed to their fellow subjects in Great Britain for the justice & necessity of their conduct. We are convinced of their having been injured & oppressed. We sympathise in their griefs..." and much more. Great content.
Page 2 has a lengthy report from "Williamsburg" which reports on his offer to set free any of the slaves who take up arms against the rebellious colonists. A few bits include: "...to obstruct Dunmore's progress of calling men in the lower county...Lord Dunmore's proclamation made its appearance here...he has recruited his army...to the amount of 2000 men, including his black regiment which is thought to be a considerable part with this inscription on their breasts--'Liberty to Slaves'...Lord Dunmore's cruel policy begins at length to be discovered by the blacks who have lately deserted from him...he gave great encouragement to unwary Negroes..." and so much more.
Page 3 has a report from "Newport" concerning military action in Connecticut. Then from Watertown: "...both houses of 
Assembly came to the choice of five delegates to represent this colony in American Congress for the year 1776...John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, and Eldridge Gerry."

The top of page 3 has a nice Resolve concerning compensation to soldiers for the loss of arms at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The back page has: "A Proclamation" declaring that: "...I do require every person capable of bearing arms to resort to his Majesty's Standard or be looked upon as traitors to his Majesty's crown....thereby become liable to the penalty the law inflicts...do hereby father declare all indented servants, negroes...free that are able & willing to bear arms, they joining his Majesty's troops as soon as may be..." and more.
Simply a wonderful issue on many counts.
Four pages, never bound nor trimmed with original deckle margins, very nice condition. The subscriber's name is inked at the top of the spine.

As for the significance of this title the famed Isaiah Thomas, a contemporary newspaper printer, founder of the American Antiquarian Society, and author of "The History of Printing in America" stated: "No publisher of a newspaper felt a greater interest in the establishment of the independence of the United States than Benjamin Edes; and no newspaper was more instrumental in bringing forward this important event than the Boston Gazette".

Category: American