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Early American Newspapers: Series 1, 1690-1876

From Colonies to Nation

An Essential Record of 18th- and Early 19th-Century America
Learn what makes this product unique
  • Early American Newspapers, Series 1, includes more than 730 invaluable American newspapers
  • Published in cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society and based on authoritative bibliographies
  • Offers essential titles from 23 states and the District of Columbia

Early American Newspapers, Series 1, 1690-1876 offers 340,000 fully searchable issues from over 730 invaluable American newspapers. Focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries, this online collection is based on Clarence S. Brigham’s “History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820” and other authoritative bibliographies. Providing unprecedented access to the nation’s early periods, Early American Newspapers, Series 1, enables researchers to explore essential newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Newspapers—the first draft of history
Early American newspapers, often printed by small-town printers, documented the daily life of hundreds of diverse American communities, supported different political parties and recorded both majority and minority views. Among the hundreds of notable titles in Series 1 are the American Mercury (Hartford, Connecticut); American Minerva (New York); Arkansas Weekly Gazette (Little Rock); City Gazette (Charleston, South Carolina); Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.); Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine); Enquirer (Richmond, Virginia); Evening Post (New York City); Georgia Gazette (Savannah); Massachusetts Spy (Boston and Worcester); New-England Courant (Boston); New-Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth); Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia); Providence Patriot (Rhode Island); Vermont Gazette (Bennington), and many others.

In cooperation with the American Antiquarian Society
The core of the Readex collection consists of American Antiquarian Society (AAS) founder Isaiah Thomas’ own collection of colonial and early national period newspapers and is supplemented by issues added by Thomas’ successors at the AAS.

Numerous other institutions and historical societies have contributed to the collection, including the Boston Athenaeum, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the libraries of universities such as Brown and Harvard and private collections. This joint effort has led to the creation of a historical newspaper collection of unparalleled breadth and depth.

An Archive of Americana® collection
As part of the America’s Historical Newspapers collection, Early American Newspapers, Series 1, shares a common interface with all other newspaper series from Readex. Additionally, all America’s Historical Newspapers series are cross-searchable with all other Archive of Americana® collections.

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The Early American Newspapers series is available within America’s Historical Newspapers.

“...excellent breadth and depth…”
“…an unparalleled resource for all who pursue historical research in a great range of academic disciplines…”
Choice (Dec. 2015)
Areas of Study
This product supports the following subjects
American Studies
British & European Studies
Business History
Childhood Studies
Environmental Studies
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Immigration Studies
Literature & Theater
Native American Studies
Religion & Theology
STEM History
US History
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Title List
Reviews & Accolades
Notable Titles

Focusing on the 18th and early 19th centuries, Early American Newspapers, Series 1—an America’s Historical Newspapers collection—offers over 350,000 issues from more than 710 titles printed during the nation's early periods. Based on Clarence S. Brigham's "History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820" and other authoritative works, this online collection contains newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia. Notable titles include:

Albany Register (New York)

  • One of the most successful and influential American newspapers of the late 18th and early 19th century, the Register was edited from 1808 to 1822 by the ardent anti-Federalist Solomon Southwick. 
  • Includes 485 issues published between 1794 and 1813

American Beacon (Norfolk, Virginia)

  • Published by a ship captain in the busy 19th-century seaport of Norfolk, the Beacon focused on seafaring activities. 
  • Includes 1,669 issues published between 1815 and 1820

American Mercury (Hartford, Connecticut)

  • With a reputation for outspokenness, the Mercury was for many years Connecticut’s leading reform paper as well as a key proponent of ensuring legal equality for religious sects. 
  • Includes 2,585 issues published between 1784 and 1829

American Minerva (New York)

  • Self-described as “Patroness of Peace, Commerce, and the Liberal Arts,” Noah Webster’s federalist newspaper was established to support the policies of President George Washington. 
  • Includes 744 issues published between 1793 and 1796

American Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

  • Founded in 1719 and the first newspaper in the Colonies to be published outside of Boston, the Mercury was well known for its essays on political liberty. 
  • Includes 1,371 issues published between 1719 and 1746

Arkansas Weekly Gazette (Little Rock)

  • One of the first newspapers west of the Mississippi, the Gazette was founded 16 years before Arkansas achieved statehood. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, it remained one of the most influential newspapers in the region. 
  • Includes 337 issues published between 1819 and 1826

Boston News-Letter (Massachusetts) 

  • Established in 1704, the News-Letter was the first regularly published newspaper in the British Colonies of North America. Noted for its pro-British sympathies, the News-Letter went through a succession of printers, including Margaret Draper, one the few women printers of the 18th century. 
  • Includes 3,501 issues published between 1704 and 1776

City Gazette (Charleston, South Carolina) 

  • The City Gazette provides extensive coverage of the culture and history of Antebellum South Carolina, including the invention of the cotton gin and the rise of slavery. 
  • Includes 10,307 issues published between 1787 and 1821

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.)

  • As the official publication for Congressional reports, the Intelligencer’s government news was shipped to editors across the country.
  • Includes 2,113 issues published between 1813 and 1820

Eastern Argus (Portland, Maine)

  • This long-running weekly argued for Maine’s independence from Massachusetts. 
  • Includes 2,582 issues published between 1803 and 1833

Enquirer (Richmond, Virginia)

  • This influential southern newspaper was edited and published for 41 years by leading American journalist Thomas Ritchie. Of the Enquirer, Thomas Jefferson wrote:" I read but a single newspaper, Ritchie's Enquirer, the best that is published or ever has been published in America." Later issues of the Enquirer offer perspectives on the Confederacy’s reaction to Reconstruction. 
  • Includes 4,404 issues published between 1804 and 1837

Evening Post (New York City) 

  • First published by Alexander Hamilton in 1801 as a broadside, the Post remains today the oldest continuously published daily in the country. It gained national fame under the editorship of poet and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant. 
  • Includes 6,090 issues published between 1801 and 1821

Farmer’s Cabinet (Amherst, New Hampshire)

  • The Cabinet is especially noteworthy for remaining neutral when many newspapers of its time were openly influenced by political controversy. 
  • Includes 4,943 issues published between 1802 and 1879

Georgia Gazette (Savannah) 

  • Georgia’s first newspaper, the Gazette provides a rich record of southern colonial life. 
  • Includes 346 issues published between 1763 and 1770

Massachusetts Spy (Boston and Worcester) 

  • Initially neutral but soon openly supporting the Patriots, the Massachusetts Spy was arguably the most important newspaper in America leading up to the Revolution. It was co-founded by Isaiah Thomas, one of the most successful and colorful journalists of the 18th century and founder of the American Antiquarian Society. 
  • Includes 283 issues published in Boston between 1770 and 1775, and 2,371 issues published in Worcester between 1775 and 1820. 

National Aegis (Worcester, Massachusetts) 

  • Offering a political counterpoint to Worcester’s Federalist paper, the Massachusetts Spy, the Aegis defended Jeffersonian Republicanism throughout its run. 
  • Includes 989 issues published between 1801 and 1820

New-England Courant (Boston)

  • Shortly after founding the Courant in 1721, James Franklin was imprisoned and his paper suppressed for its radical views against the General Court. Franklin’s younger brother, Benjamin, who had been serving his apprenticeship at the Courant, assumed control of the paper in 1723. Benjamin Franklin’s early writings, under the name Silence Dogood, appear in this paper. 
  • Includes 245 issues published between 1721 and 1726

New-Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth) 

  • The first newspaper in the state of New Hampshire, the Gazette is also one the nation’s oldest existing papers. 
  • Includes 4,155 issues published between 1756 and 1833

Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia) 

  • Published by Benjamin Franklin, this prominent 18th-century newspaper contains not only in-depth articles on every aspect of Colonial America but also the full text of many seminal government documents, including the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers. 
  • Includes 635 issues published between 1742 and 1757

Providence Patriot (Rhode Island)

  • The Patriot, an influential and often eloquent paper, provides a local look at two early race riots: the 1824 Hardscrabble Riot and the 1831 Snow Town Riot in which working class whites attacked African American residents. Unable to control the violent mob, Providence officials requested that the Governor send in military troops. 
  • Includes 1,507 issues published between 1814 and 1829

Publick Occurrences (Boston) 

  • The first newspaper in North America, Publick Occurrences: Both Forreign and Domestick was published for the first and last time on September 26, 1690 before being shut down for printing “sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports” without royal consent. 
  • Includes the single issue published in 1690

Vermont Gazette (Bennington) 

  • Publisher Anthony Haswell, who brought the first printing press to Vermont, was jailed for publishing articles in the Gazette that criticized the United States’ newly established government.
  • Includes 2,199 issues published between 1783 and 1832
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