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

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Throughout the Revolution, war news was conveyed through personal letters, as is evident by these two letters written by Timothy Bigelow (1739-90) to Stephen Salisbury (1746-1829). At this time Bigelow was a colonel in command of the Fifteenth…

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This broadside, printed in Boston in April 1773, contains the text of a letter from the Virginia House of Burgesses informing Boston of the creation of a standing Committee of Correspondence and assuring the New Englanders of Virginia’s…

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The affordability of the carte-de-visite form meant that it was used in a wide variety of ways, including to reproduce works of art and photography. During and after the Civil War, this included the work of the most famous photographers of the…

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The rapid expansion of new modes of transportation and communication technology that increasingly connected the American states is evident in this 1856 Disturnell’s New Map of the United States and Canada. Drawn by Henry A. Burr, the…

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John Burt (1716-75) was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1736. At the time he kept his diary, he was reading theology with a local minister in Boston. He later accepted a call to the pulpit in Bristol, Rhode Island, and spent his…

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Just as the temperance movement harnessed the power of the printed word in newspapers, periodicals, tracts, and almanacs to spread statistics and facts about the effects of alcohol, it also utilized printed images. Temperance images were pervasive…

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Mid-nineteenth-century visuals of African Americans were largely characterized by satire, an overexaggeration of features, and stereotypes. This lithograph is one of several in an entire Amalgamation Series created by Edward Williams Clay…

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A new sense of professional identity as journalists and writers emerged within the brotherhood of battlefield reporters during the American Civil War. More than a few newspaper correspondents imagined and then achieved careers in literature. One of…

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In New England, even in the age of newspapers, which began modestly in 1704 with the launch of the Boston News-Letter, the sermon remained a vital public communication medium for the discussion of news. Though most sermons, especially Sunday sermons,…

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From 1716 until his death in 1743, William Cooper (1694-1743) was Benjamin Colman’s colleague in ministry at Boston’s Brattle Street Church. Like Colman and like Thomas Prince at Old South Church, Cooper frequently preached on current…
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