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

Horseneck Truth-Teller and Gossip Journal




This is the first volume of the Horseneck Truth-Teller, and Gossip’s Journal, an example of a popular genre of newspaper new in the antebellum era: the gossip and moral-exposure paper. The publisher was given as Diedrich van Tod, but it was actually published by Whitman Mead. According to the prospectus, the paper would contain, “1st, truth; 2d, politics; 3d, anti-masonry; 4th, the spleenful or old maidship; 5th, a list of the public gossips, or women of the town; 6th, a general directory of the inhabitants of the town, with references as to character, occupation &c., for the benefit of strangers, (black-coated beggars will find in this department much valuable instruction); 7th shipping list, price current, and bank note table, with a regular account of the exports, imports, and general trade of the town, and lastly, advertisements.”

The paper lasted only three issues before Mead was arrested for libel. During the trial it came out that while the paper claimed to be published in Greenwich, Connecticut, the paper was actually printed in New York and quietly shipped to Greenwich for distribution.

Click the image below to browse the full issue. 


Horseneck Truth-Teller and Gossip Journal




August 9, 1830


Diedrich Van Tod


Horseneck [i.e., Greenwich, Conn.]


41 cm.



“Horseneck Truth-Teller and Gossip Journal,” The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865, accessed September 26, 2023,