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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of the Maryland Press, 1777-1790

Goddard met his wife's brother, James Angell,24 who became his partner
and finally bought up his share in the business by exchanging for it
property which he had inherited in Rhode Island.

Goddard published his valedictory address to his fellow citizens on
August 14, 1792, almost twenty years after he had arrived at Baltimore
with "a single solitary Guinea" and founded the first newspaper. His
name was not removed from the imprint of the paper until February
19, 1793, but in the meantime he had moved to a farm at Johnston,
Rhode Island where he hoped to live out his days in quiet and content-
ment. His growing family, and the problem of insuring their proper
education led him to move to Providence in 1803. His expectations of
a retirement free from the burdens of financial troubles were unfor-
tunately not realized, even after this removal, for he became entangled
in a "choice of difficulties" including a mortgage to Moses Brown, of
Providence. It should be counted to the credit of the thrifty Quaker
merchant that he canceled the mortgage and by so doing rectified a
financial error which Goddard had made twenty-six years before.25

William Goddard died in Providence on December 23, 1817 and was
buried in the North Burial Ground. His son, William Giles Goddard,
had already begun his distinguished career as a lawyer, newspaper
editor and professor at Brown University and it was he who wrote the
obituary notice which appeared in the Providence papers. Goddard
had at least five children, all daughters except William Giles. His widow
died at 88 years of age on December 31, 1845.

His achievements may be best summed up in the words of his con-
temporary, Isaiah Thomas, who wrote the following description of
his career.

"As a printer he was ingenious and enterprising. He made several strong efforts to acquire prop-
erty, as well as reputation; but by some means his plans of business frequently failed of success....
Few could conduct a newspaper better than Goddard. He was a capable editor, and his talents
were often drawn into requisition. He, like many others, was a laborious agent in the cause of his
country, and in many instances where he had neither honor nor profit for his reward. When the
loaves and fishes were to be divided, aspiring, interested, nominal patriots, crowded him into the
background, and his services were in a great measure forgotten."26

24 See biographical sketch of him.

25 Moses Brown Papers, in Rhode Island Historical Society, Vol. XII, 46.

26 I. Thomas, The History of Printing in America ..... Second edition, 1874, Vol. I, pages 202-203.


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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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