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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of the Maryland Press, 1777-1790

past and present. When William Goddard was fifteen years old he was
apprenticed to James Parker and was probably employed in the publi-
cation of the Connecticut Gazette. He may have gone to New York later
to help James Parker and his partner, John Holt, in the publication of
the New-York Gazette and Weekly Post-Boy. If so, his stay there did not
last long, for his apprenticeship expired and he went to Providence with
his mother in the late Spring of 1762.

The first printing press in Providence was established by him, financed
in a large measure by his devoted mother, and on October 20, 1762,
the first number of the Providence Gazette and Country Journal appeared.
But Providence was not yet ready for a newspaper and the venture was
a failure. After nearly three years of effort to attract sufficient support
it was discontinued. A futile attempt to revive the paper convinced him
that Providence had little to offer him, so he left the printing office
there in the care of his mother and went to New York. After a year's
work with John Holt, acting as an assistant in the editing and printing
of the New-York Gazette and Weekly Post-Boy and of the Constitutional
Courant,2 he went to Philadelphia where he joined Joseph Galloway and
Thomas Wharton in partnership. On January 6, 1767, the first number
of The Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser appeared, begin-
ning its career as an anti-Proprietary journal, representing the opinions
of a group of prominent men, including Benjamin Franklin.3 The un-
fortunate partnership between men of differing views and violent
tempers broke up in 1769 and Goddard became associated with Benja-
min Towne, whom he later came to hate almost as bitterly as he did his
former partners. With the withdrawal of financial help and the pressure
from his creditors, Goddard was forced to move once more. Sometime
early in the year 1772 he arrived at Baltimore where he was encouraged
to found a paper and to start his career anew.


On October 20, 1772, Goddard published in the Maryland Gazette
at Annapolis an advertisement indicating his intention to establish a
printing press in Baltimore. He proposed "to publish by subscription,
with all possible expedition, a weekly newspaper, under the title of the

2 Sec Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, pages 121-123, for a full discussion of Goddard's career in
New York.

3 See A. M. Schlesinger, Polities, Propaganda, and the Philadelphia Press, 1767-1770 in Pennsylvania Magazine of His-
tory and Biography, Vol. LX (1936), pp. 309-322 for Goddard's Philadelphia career.


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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 2   View pdf image (33K)
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