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

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  • Tags: Manuscript

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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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By the beginning of the Civil War, photography had been around for over twenty years, but in many ways it was still a new technology. Only recently had the new albumen process, in the form of cartes-de-visites and stereographs, made photography…

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The royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage (1719-87), responded to the flurry of news reports of the Battles of Lexington and Concord by sending official accounts of the confrontation to high officials in the adjoining colonies. He…

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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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Samuel Salisbury (1739-1818) and his brother Stephen Salisbury (1746-1829) were in business together importing and selling merchandise from England and the West Indies. Samuel was located in Boston while Stephen came to the central Massachusetts…

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Almanacs, diaries, and newspapers shared a basic structure. Each organized events by the calendar: by day, by week, by month, by year. Each was a kind of annals or chronology, and in New England there was an underlying belief that chronology, whether…

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Nathaniel Paine (1832-1917) was a prominent Worcester banker and civic leader who counted among his friends and mentors Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) and Senator George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904). An avid lifelong collector, he was a member of the…

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This set of letters was written by Daniel E. Burbank (1841-1920), a soldier from Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire.Burbank enlisted in the Second New Hampshire infantry, Company A, in the spring of 1861. His letters, mainly to his family, talk about camp…

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Diary and journal keeping was a common practice during the Victorian era and particularly during the Civil War, by both men and women, North and South. Unlike the generally terse and dispassionate diaries of the eighteenth century, nineteenth-century…

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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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