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

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This 1851 lithograph, after an 1848 painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-55), encapsulates the central role the newspaper played in American politics. In the image, two men sit across the table from each other in an oyster house, an…

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With the ubiquity and voracious appetite for news throughout the country, it is no surprise that the publication of amateur newspapers became a popular hobby in the nineteenth century. Though the first amateur newspaper in the United States is…

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The British version of the events leading to and including the Battles of Lexington and Concord is presented in this broadside. The calm tone of the language and the lack of any graphic images is an intentional attempt to downplay the significance of…

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An important category of newspapers in antebellum America was the organizational paper. Every religious or reform movement seemed to have its national and state associations and every association its newspaper. That certainly was true of the…

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Cincinnati had a powerful pro-slavery faction that published the Cincinnati Post and Anti-Abolitionist, edited by L. Greely Curtiss, from 1841 to 1842. By 1842 the paper boasted that it had the largest circulation of any newspaper in the West.…

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While most colonial newspapers had circulations of between 300 and 600, theMassachusetts Spyhad a circulation of 3,500 from subscribers throughout the thirteen colonies, making it the most popular American newspaper at the time. Designed specifically…

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The American account of the events at Lexington and Concord is recounted in this dramatic broadside. Note the heavy black borders and the coffins that adorn the top of the broadside. Both the graphics and the inflammatory prose are designed to incite…

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This 1853 engraving by Alfred Jones (1819-1900), called Mexican News, is based on a popular 1848 painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-55) titled War News from Mexico. The image places the newspaper at center stage and illustrates how ingrained…

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Thomas Prince (1687-1758), born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, was a leading public figure in Boston as senior minister of Old South Church from 1718 until his death. During that forty-year career, Prince was an avid news consumer as well as an…

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This book, commissioned by the new Provincial Congress, was one of the first items printed in Worcester, Massachusetts, after printer Isaiah Thomas’s arrival in April 1775. As the title explains, it is A Narrative, of the Excursion and Ravages…
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