The LAD who carries The Massachusetts Spy, Wishes all his kind Customers A Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
In colonial America, newspapers were delivered to their readers in a variety of ways. In the cities, customers often picked up their papers at the printing office. In the countryside, post riders delivered newspapers. Having free access to the postal service was so valuable that newspaper publishers competed to be named postmaster in their cities. Newspaper copies destined for other cities might be sent by stagecoach or even coastal schooner. As cities grew in the second half of the eighteenth century, another feature of the local delivery system became more common: the paperboy. And along with the paperboy came the paperboy’s annual plea for a holiday tip.
This 1770 broadside “carrier’s address” is a “Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year” verse printed for the carriers of the Massachusetts Spy: “Kind Sirs! your gen’rous bounty show, / few shillings on your Lad bestow.”