American Business: Agricultural Newspapers
An America’s Historical Newspapers Collection
America’s Historical Newspapers is a fabulous tool for research...and it will also be rewarding for…teachers and students who want to use old newspapers as part of their study of the American story.
Bruce Chadwick, Professor of History, Rutgers University in Journal of American History

Quick Facts

  • The only historical newspaper collection with an exclusive focus on agriculture, agricultural technology and the economics of farming
  • More than 200 newspapers from every region of the U.S., published between 1788 and 1894
  • American history cannot be fully understood without studying its agrarian heritage


Agriculture was the dominant American business in the 18th and 19th centuries. It fueled the social and economic engine that built the United States and generated its state and local governments. Farming also stimulated and regulated pioneering, land tenure and commodities trading. In addition, the country’s agrarian history was crucial in defining the national character and the cultural values and mores of Americans.

American Business: Agricultural Newspapers captures the central role of farming in the growth of the United States. Economic, social and cultural historians, as well as science, technology and environmental specialists, will find the published record of farming and rural life critical to teaching and researching America in the 19th century.

Sustainability focus timely today
This collection is particularly relevant as the United States enters another agricultural transformation. Agricultural newspapers taught rural farmers to improve their practices and technologies using what now is called alternative agriculture—application of sustainable, or organic, farming methods geared to a region’s soil and climate. Examples included crop rotation and prudent use of natural minerals and fertilizers.  

Deep local news coverage, regional and national news coverage
Beyond chronicling agriculture and farming, the collection offers deep overall local news coverage, along with general regional and national news. For instance, the papers shed light on such topics as the environment, technology, manufacturing, immigration, labor, politics, slavery, the Civil War, Native American history, invention and the 19th-century global economy.

Published in more than 30 states, the 200-plus titles in this collection include California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (Sacramento, CA), Grand Valley Star (Grand Junction, CO), Florida Agriculturalist (Jacksonville, FL), Maine Farmer (Augusta, ME), Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture (Boston, MA), Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Advocate (St. Louis, MO), Miners’ and Farmers’ Journal (Charlotte, NC), Long Island Farmer and Queens County Advertiser (Jamaica, NY), Western Stock Journal (Pleasonton, TX) and many others.

Other subject-specific newspaper collections
American Business: Agricultural Newspapers ideally complements American Business: Mercantile Newspapers—part of a new group of subject-specific collections designed to meet targeted teaching and research needs. The other collections are American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record, American Politics: Campaign Newspapers and American Religion: Denominational Newspapers.



“Readex has just released two new collections—Agricultural Newspapers and Mercantile Newspapers—forming part of the American Business component of America's Historical Newspapers….Newspapers are an important primary source, and both of these collections provide content relevant to a variety of scholars. Superficially, the collections' main topics (agriculture and commerce) might not seem relevant to scholars interested in social history, for instance; however this is not the case.”
— S. E. Morris, University of Kansas in Choice (November 2017)

“Contains over 200 titles from more than 30 states published between 1788 and 1894.  Its focus is on publications that capture U.S. agrarian heritage, covering technological and economic aspects of farming, along with rural life and agricultural perspectives on larger news stories….highly recommended for academic libraries seeking to expand their primary source coverage in history…”
Library Journal, reviewing subject-specific collections of America’s Historical Newspapers (June 2016)

For more information, contact a Readex representative by calling 800.762.8182 or by using our easy contact form.
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