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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 123   View pdf image (33K)
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William and Mary Goddard, Printers and Pub lic Servants

"It was entitled The Constitutional Courant, Containing Matters interesting to Liberty—
but no wise repugnant to Loyalty. Imprint, Printed by Andrew Marvel, at the Sign of the
Bribe refused, on Constitution-Hill, North America. In the center of the title was a device
of a snake, cut into parts, to represent the colonies. Motto—Join or die. After the title fol-
lowed an address to the public from the fictitious publisher Andrew Marvel. This paper was
without date but was printed in September I765.1..... A large edition was printed, .....
It excited some commotion in New York, and was taken notice of by government. A coun-
cil was called, ..... but as no discovery was made of the author or printer, nothing was
done....... Only one number of the Constitutional Courant was published; a continuance
of it was never intended. It was printed by William Goddard."2

In his first edition Mr. Thomas asserted that the Constitutional Courant,
or the Constitutional Gazette, as he incorrectly called it, had been printed by
Goddard, with the connivance of Parker, in Parker's shop in Burlington,
New Jersey. The editors of his second edition changed the word Burlington
to Woodbridge, and later bibliographers have accepted the correction.

It does not seem as if, in these years of journalistic apprenticeship, Wil-
liam Goddard were training for Toryism.


Goddard has related that he was moved to leave New York by hearing of
the dissolution of the old partnership of Franklin and Hall, of Philadelphia.
He persuaded himself that from this occurrence there should arise in that
city an opportunity for a young printer of journalistic ambitions.3 Accord-
ingly he went to the Pennsylvania city in June 1766, bearing a letter, which
he had obtained on the way, from William Franklin, then Governor of New
Jersey, to Joseph Galloway, Esq., a Maryland Quaker who had been for
many years resident in Philadelphia and active in its politics. In his turn,
Galloway introduced him to Mr. Thomas Wharton, a prominent Quaker
politician and merchant. If it were possible to accept unreservedly God-
dard's account in The Partnership of the agreement which these three now
entered into, one would be convinced that here had been reenacted the old
nursery rhyme, wherein the Spider invited the Fly into her parlor with a

1This is a mistake; the paper is dated September 21, 1765. See title as given by Evans, note No. 2, below.

2 Thomas, 2d ed., 2:130. Evans, No. 9941, gives the full title as follows: The Constitutional Courant. Containing
Matters Interesting to Liberty—But No Wise Repugnant to Loyalty. Numb. I, Saturday, September 21, 1765.
[Woodbridge, New-Jersey:] Printed by Andrew Marvel [William Goddard] at the Sign of the bribe refused, on
Constitution-Hill, North America. [1765.] pp. (2). fol.

Buckingham, J. T., Specimens of Newspaper Literature, etc., 2 v., Boston 1850,1: 246, describes the publica-
tion, and in i: 236, in speaking of an issue of the Massachusetts Spy, which also bore a cut of the disjointed
snake, states that the first use in the colonies of this celebrated symbol had been in the heading of The Constitu-
tional Courant. Franklin, however, had used this emblem and motto on the Pennsylvania Gazette of May 9, 1754.
See Hildeburn, No. 1378.

3 The Partnership.



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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 123   View pdf image (33K)
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