The Nation’s First Successful Newspaper

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 — The following item ran in our “Admiral Fowle’s Piscataqua River Tidal Guide (Not for Navigational Purposes)” for this date:

1704 — The Boston News-Letter, the first successful newspaper in the colonies, begins publication under John Campbell who insists on publishing all the old news he had before going on to the more recent. By 1718 his news is a full year behind. The paper eventually adopts Tory politics and perishes during the Revolution.”

The nation’s first newspaper was Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, but it was published only once, on September 25, 1690, then shuttered immediately by the authorities.

John Campbell (1653-1728), who was Boston’s postmaster, gets the credit for the News-Letter, but it was printed for him by Bartholomew Green (1666-1732). Among Green’s apprentices was one Samuel Kneeland (1696-1769). And, among Kneeland’s apprentices, from 1734 to 1740, was Daniel Fowle (1715-1787), founder of this newspaper.

Leave a Comment