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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 120   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland

gave him its protection and restored him to his home and occupation. A
knowledge of the facts of his life shows that the misunderstanding of his
political character which existed among many of his contemporaries may
well be traced to his own tactlessness and to his lack of that higher form of
humor whereby a man is enabled to see his own actions in just perspective;
a characteristic which in positive terms may be described as the possession
of that mental and spiritual defect known as obstinacy. It does not com-
mend him to us any the less, however, when we learn that these character-
istics of tactlessness and obstinacy were brought out chiefly in situations
into which he had been drawn by loyalty to his friends, by refusal to pay
homage to popular idols and by a willingness to fight and to suffer for the
liberty of the press.

William Goddard was born in New London, Connecticut, in the year
1740,1 the son of Giles Goddard, physician and postmaster in that town,
and his wife, Sarah Updike, who was the daughter of Lodowick Updike and
the representative of an old Rhode Island family.2 It was probably in 1755,
two years before the death of his father, that young William Goddard was
apprenticed to James Parker, who in this year, in partnership with John
Holt, had established at New Haven a newspaper known as the Connecticut
Gazette. In this place, it is significant to notice, the two printers acted for
some years as postmaster and deputy postmaster respectively. Parker soon
returned to New York whither in 1760 Holt followed him. As James Parker
and Company they established on July 31, 1760, the New-York Gazette and
Weekly Post-Boy * It is probable that young William Goddard served with
these eminent printers in both New Haven and New York. Their partner-
ship was dissolved on May 2, 1762, and at about the same time Goddard's
articles of apprenticeship expired. Not much more than a month after this
date he appeared in Providence, Rhode Island, as the proprietor of the first
printing office to be set up in that city.

In his venture as the inaugurator of printing in Providence in the month
of July 1762, as in all of his ventures while she lived, Goddard had the sup-
port of that excellent woman, his mother, who in this instance advanced
from her own purse three hundred pounds for the establishment of his office.
He began hisoperations in the usual humble fashion of the colonial printer;
his earliest recorded publications were a broadside in which was proclaimed

1 The Op Dyck Genealogy, by C. W. Opdyke. N. Y. 1889.


3Paltsits, V. H., "John Holt, Printer and Postmaster," in Bulletin of the New York Public Library, September
20, 1920, gives a concise statement of the relations of Parker and Holt and prints a number of interesting letters
and documents relating to Holt and his public and private life.



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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 120   View pdf image (33K)
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