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Original or Reprint? A Guide to Noteworthy Newspaper Issues

New-Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth)

October 7, 1756

The New-Hampshire Gazette, With the Freshest Advices Foreign and Domestick, Numb. 1, Thursday, October 7, 1756, was the first newspaper published in New Hampshire. The Gazette was established by Daniel Fowle, who went to Portsmouth after a brief imprisonment at Boston where he was charged with printing and selling a pamphlet severely criticizing some members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The Library of Congress has a photostat of the original and four reprints which seem to be from a single typesetting, although no two are on the same quality paper. On October 6, 1856, The Gazette held a centennial celebration, and reprints of its first issue were made and distributed from the original press, which was set up in a hayrack and operated during the parade. This reprint was probably copied by those produced later since all examined have the same variances from the original. One reprint carries below its imprint this line: "Stereotyped by H. 0. Houghton & Co., Riverside, Cambridge, 1856."

A fifth reprint, made from plates borrowed from the New Hampshire Historical Society, appears in The New-England Historical & Genealogical Register and Antiquarian Journal, volume 26, April 1872, as an illustration for "The New-Hampshire Gazette, the Oldest Newspaper in America," communicated by Frank W. Miller, Esq. The separate printing of the same article, Boston, 1872, also has the reproduction.

The Portsmouth Athenaeum and the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston) have the only known original copies. A comparison of the several reprints in the Library of Congress with a photostat of the original in the Massachusetts Historical Society shows that they differ in various details.

The original reads as follows:

  • Title uses a hyphen in "New-Hampshire"
  • Page 1, paragraph 4, line 3, "Knowlege" is spelled without the "d"
  • Page 1, last line, "Complaint on that Score."
  • Page 2, line 5, "gence, provided they be sent free from Charge."
  • Page 2, column 1, paragraph 4, last line, "French between 4 & 5000."
  • Page 2, column 2, paragraph 6, last line, "ries eight Guns, besides Swivels, and is a good Sailer."

Copies differing from these details are reprints and of little monetary value.

Source: Information Circular 11 (Revised 1957).

Library Holdings

The Library of Congress has facsimiles but no original issue. The facsimiles are noted in our 18th Century Checklist: New Hampshire.