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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 138   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland

stationery business in Baltimore, which was to be conducted neither in op-
position to nor in conjunction with Mary K. Goddard. It was not so stated
in the advertisement, but one acquires the impression from reading it that
Miss Goddard was to retain the newspaper, while the new firm should take
over the job work and bookselling of the old establishment. It is certain
that Goddard and Oswald took over the Elkridge paper mill, in which Mary
Goddard had been interested for some time past.1

Goddard and Oswald had been brought together doubtless through their
possession of a common friend in the person of John Holt, the former em-
ployer of the one and the father-in-law of the other. One understands also
the tie between Oswald and his unfortunate military leader, General Charles
Lee, but when and where had been formed an intimacy between Lee and
Goddard has never been made clear. It is known, however, that when he
had left the army in indignation at the result of Lee's court-martial,Oswald
had come straightway to Baltimore and attached himself to one in whom
he probably knew that he should find a doughty supporter of his old General.
Cashiered for his conduct at Monmouth, Lee was now preparing to vin-
dicate his reputation, and in the process, to blacken the character and at-
tainments of Washington. In his need for a medium of publicity, he turned
first of all to his friend Goddard, unaware it seems that assistance to his
cause from that personage had been rendered doubly sure by the recently
formed partnership between the Baltimore printer and his other friend and
partisan Colonel Eleazer Oswald. On June 9, 1779, he wrote to Goddard2
asking him to publish an article entitled "Some Queries, Political and Mil-
itary, Humbly Offered to the Consideration of the Public." Goddard was
quick to consent. The ill-natured piece appeared in the Maryland Journal
on July 6, 1779, and once more, following its publication, Goddard had the

Holt's daughter, entered the Continental Army, and become one of the favorite officers of Gen. Charles Lee. He
distinguished himself in several campaigns, and was promoted to Colonel. Indignantly he resigned from the army
when Charles Lee was court-martialed and now at the age of twenty-four was in business in Baltimore with God-
dard. Afterwards he became a printer of Philadelphia and still later led a romantic, soldier-of-fortune career. He
fought several duels. Died in New York on September 30, 1795. For a very interesting account of his early life
and army career see a letter from John Holt to Samuel Adams in "John Holt, Printer and Postmaster," by V. H.
Paltsits in Bulletin of New York Public Library, v. 24, No. 9, pp. 483-499; also Scharf and Westcott, History of
Philadelphia, note, 1:425.

1On May 25, 1776, the Convention had granted James Dorsett four hundred pounds common money for the
establishment of a mill at which was to be made paper "as cheap as the same can or shall be sold at any mill in
the Province of Pennsylvania." It was probably this mill which Mary Goddard had been fostering in the columns
of the Maryland Journal for some years past, and the operation of which Goddard and Oswald now undertook.
As early as November 8, 1775, Miss Goddard had advertised in the Maryland Journal that she would pay cash
for linen rags for the paper mill now erecting near this town, that is, Baltimore.

2 Contemporary copies of the letters from Lee to Goddard are in the Red Book, 3: 43, in the Maryland His-
torical Society. Lee concludes one letter with these words: "You have and ought to have the first reputation for
impartiality as a printer on the Continent"



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A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776 by Lawrence C. Wroth
Volume 435, Page 138   View pdf image (33K)
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