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Benedict Arnold responds... Nice war reports...
Item # 687315
March 25, 1779
THOMAS'S MASSACHUSETTS SPY OR, AMERICAN ORACLE OF LIBERTY, Worcester, March 25, 1779
* 18th century American publication
* Revolutionary War - Benedict Arnold
This newspaper published by the famed Isaiah Thomas is undoubtedly one of the more significant & notable titles of the Revolutionary War era.
It is worth noting that the famed printer Isaiah Thomas was the publisher, having begun this newspaper in 1770. An ardent patriotic, as the extended title to his newspaper would suggest: "...Or American Oracle of Liberty", Thomas was a constant target of the Royalist government. He began his newspaper in Boston but upon British occupation of the city in 1775, rather than cease publication he moved his press further west and continued printing in Worcester. This issue is one that was printed in Worcester.
Also, the handsomely engraved masthead was created by none other than Paul Revere, who did masthead engravings for but a few New England newspapers of the 18th century, this arguably being his most famous.
The front page begins with a report from Philadelphia newspapers that relates to Benedict Arnold's mismanagement of the recently-occupied city. One bit mentions: "...General Arnold has returned to the city of Philadelphia, and seems determined publicly to vindicate his own character and conduct against the charges that have been published against him." More on this is on page 2.
Half of the front page is taken up with a speech in the House of Commons which--not surprisingly--has much concerning the situation in America. It carries over to take more than half of page 2 as well.
Page 2 contains a rarely-printed letter signed in type by Benedict Arnold, in fact this is the first American newspaper we have found containing it.
It is dated from Camp Rariton & addressed: "To the Public" and his his defense of the charges logged against him for his incompetent administration of the city of Philadelphia after the British departed, as post assigned to him by Washington. And also of interest is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek letter which some believe would be a more accurate letter (see the photos).
War-related reports are found on page 3 with news from South Carolina, and also a report from Trenton and another on the celebration of the anniversary of France aligning with the colonies with mention of General & Mrs. Washington among others.
Then a report that: "...the Hon. Major-General Sullivan has received letters of recall & will set off for General Washington's Head-Quarters...And that the Hon. Major-General Gates, now at Boston, is to go to Providence to take the command there."
This is followed by a great "Proclamation, by his excellency George Washington..." in which he offers: "...full pardon to all those who shall rejoin their respective corps by the first of May next..." with details, signed in type: G. Washington.
And fine war content is found on the back page as well, too much to note here but which can be seen in the photos.
Four pages, never bound nor trimmed, some rubbing at folds with a few professional mends affecting about 6 words on pages 1 & 2, some scattered foxing, generally good condition.
Category: Revolutionary War