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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 27   View pdf image (33K)
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Eleazer Oswald, Printer and Patriot
Lee felt under obligations to his two loyal friends, and in October of
the following year he drew upon one of his acquaintances in Baltimore
for one hundred pounds sterling in their favor.31 He also showed his
gratitude to them by giving in his will a one-third share in his estate in
Berkeley, Virginia, to be divided equally between Oswald and Goddard.32
It is difficult to follow the activities of these two men during the
period of their partnership. Their names did not appear as owners or
editors of the Maryland Journal nor did they issue any publication
with their imprint on it. Everything that was printed appeared under
the name of Mary Katherine Goddard. But the fact that they were
closely connected with the printing and editorial work of the paper is
shown by the "Queries" affair and also by the item in the paper on
April 10, 1781 which stated that they renounced all connection with
Miss Goddard's business.
The partnership probably came to an end in the late fall or winter of
1781, for on April 13, 1782 Oswald published the first number of the
Independent Gazateer; or, the Chronicle of Freedom, in Philadelphia. It
must have taken two or three months for him to assemble the materials
for his new printing shop and to make the necessary arrangements for
the newspaper so that it may be safely said that he left Baltimore late
in 1781.
Oswald's paper immediately entered zestfully into the political con-
troversies of Philadelphia, which involved the characters of a number
of prominent citizens. Charges and counter charges appeared in the
rival papers and the editors themselves became embroiled in the dis-
cussions. His career as a newspaper publisher was marked by a series of
"paper battles" with his political opponents which on two occasions
ended in court proceedings against him for libel and in another case
caused a duel. The first controversy began in 1782 with Francis Bailey,
the editor of The Freeman s 'Journal: or, the North-American Intelligencer.
In a letter to Lamb on November 26, 1782 he bitterly complained of
his enemies:
"I have lately been involved in a Newspaper Controversy with a Knot of vile Scoundrels in this
City—Arthur Lee, Esqr their principal Scribe, and Bailey the Printer, their tool and vehicle for
31 Letter to ———— from Charles Lee, dated Baltimore October ye 17th 1780. In Lee Papers, Vol. Ill, pp. 448-449.
His will is printed in the Lee Papers, Vol. IV, 29-32.
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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 27   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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