August 25

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Aug 25 - 8:25:1768 Pennsylvania Gazette
Pennsylvania Gazette (August 25, 1768).

“Superior to any imported from Europe, for strength, evenness, fineness and cheapness.”

Consumers in Philadelphia had access to vast arrays of imported goods in the late 1760s, but Abraham Shelley, a “THREAD-MAKER, in Lombard-street, near the New-Market,” sought to convince readers of the Pennsylvania Gazette to purchase thread produced in his workshop. He offered a variety of merchandise: “all sorts of fine coloured threads, housewife and stocking ditto.” Prospective buyers did not need to fear that Shelley’s thread lacked in quality when compared to imported alternatives. Instead, he proclaimed, his thread was “superior to any imported from Europe” in a variety of ways: “for strength, evenness, fineness and cheapness.” This was due in part to the skill of the hands who worked in Shelley’s shop; they had been “bred to the business,” acquiring knowledge and experience of the trade over time.

As evidence of the quality of his thread, Shelley informed prospective customers that unscrupulous characters had attempted to pass off other threads as his own, an attempt to benefit from his reputation that had the potential to damage it by distributing inferior goods. He reported “that formerly some persons in this city bought threads at vendue, and sold them as [Shelley’s] manufacture.” To prevent further deceptions, he clarified that “all his sewing threads are made up 18 threads in each skane, and 65 inches round.” Those purchasing from third parties could confirm the specifications for themselves.

This was especially important since Shelley did not intend to undertake retailing the thread produced in his workshop himself. Instead, he invited “merchants and shopkeepers of this city, and towns adjacent” to purchase his thread in volume for resale in their stores and shops. His commentary on the “character of his goods” targeted not only end users but also middlemen and –women who distributed consumer goods to their own customers. Their livelihoods depended on stocking wares that those who visited their shops found satisfactory. Shelley assured them that they would not experience difficulty selling his threads or complaints after making sales. When it came to thread, retailers were accustomed to dealing in imported goods that arrived in shipments with textiles, ribbons, buttons, and other adornments for apparel, but Shelley encouraged them to invest in locally produced threads instead. The high quality of the thread from his shop minimized the risk of purchasing it for retail.

Slavery Advertisements Published August 25, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Aug 25 - Boston Weekly News-Letter Slavery 1
Boston Weekly News-Letter (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - New-York Journal Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Journal (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Pennsylvania Gazette Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the Pennsylvania Gazette (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Purdie and Dixon Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Purdie & Dixon] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 10
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

**********

Aug 25 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 11
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (August 25, 1768).

August 24

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Aug 24 - 8:24:1768 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

“He HATH OPENED A WRITING OFFICE.”

James Johnston, the printer of the Georgia Gazette, regularly inserted advertisements for the blanks (or forms) that he printed and sold to supplement the revenues from operating the colony’s only newspaper. The purposes of those blanks ranged widely, including “bonds, bills of sale, mortgages, powers of attorney, bonds of arbitration, indentures, bills of lading, articles of agreement between masters of vessels and seamen, [and] indico certificates.” Making use of printed blanks allowed colonists to enter into a variety of commercial and legal agreements on their own.

Some colonists, however, did not wish to enter into such arrangements without consulting someone with greater expertise in drawing up agreements and other legal devices, especially when the complexity of their situation exceeded the circumstances anticipated on the standardized forms. In those instances, Benjamin Prime offered his services.

In the summer of 1768, Prime inserted advertisements in the Georgia Gazette to announce that he “HATH OPENED A WRITING OFFICE” conveniently located near the Assembly House in Savannah. There he drew up a variety of “Instruments,” including “Wills, Deeds, Mortgages, Leases, Letters of Attorney, Articles of Agreement,” and much more, as indicated by “&c. &c.” (invoking the eighteenth-century abbreviation for et cetera twice). Prime’s services paralleled many of those achieved by the printed blanks sold at the printing office on Broughton Street.

Yet contracting Prime’s services conferred additional value for his clients, as he underscored in the introductory remarks in his advertisement. He explained that he “hath been bred to the Law, and hath been a practitioner for several years in the province of North Carolina.” He contributed experience and expertise to the transactions and agreements he oversaw, according greater peace of mind to clients who may have been hesitant to rely on printed blanks alone. Given that he had only recently opened his office in Savannah, he publicized his credentials as a means of assuring prospective clients that they could depend on his competence in serving them.

Slavery Advertisements Published August 24, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 8
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 9
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

**********

Aug 24 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 10
Georgia Gazette (August 24, 1768).

August 23

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Aug 23 - 8:23:1768 South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

“GOOD CUSTOMERS may depend on being constantly supplied with FRESH GOODS.”

According to their advertisement in the August 23, 1768, edition of the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, the partnership of Atkins and Weston operated two shores in the colony, one in the port of Charleston and the other about five miles to the south in Stono on James Island. They stocked “An assortment of Goods proper for the season” recently imported from London and Bristol. They also advised prospective customers that they had on hand “a good supply of RUM, WINE, SUGAR, SALT,” and other staples.

Yet a significant portion of their advertisement did not focus on goods they already offered for sale but instead anticipated merchandise that they planned to make available to consumers in the near future. Atkins and Weston announced that they expected to receive a new shipment of goods from London via the Carolina Packet within two months. This shipment consisted of “two compleat assortments of GOODS, one for each store.”

The partners underscored their commitment to serving their customers. They did not place their advertisement merely out of self-interest, hoping to generate revenues by reducing their current inventory. They also wanted their “GOOD CUSTOMERS” to know that they “may depend on being constantly supplied with FRESH GOODS” rather than being forced to choose from among whatever wares lingered on the shelves. Furthermore, this was the case at both stores. The shop in Charleston did not make room for new goods by transporting remainders to the shop in the smaller settlement at Stono. Instead, each store received its own shipment of goods. Those residing in the country did not need to worry that they were presented with different options than the colonists who resided in the bustling urban port. Atkins and Weston did not attempt to pass off to customers in Stono what had been passed over in Charleston.

By promoting a shipment of goods that had not yet arrived, Atkins and Weston sought to create a sense of anticipation among consumers in both locations. They currently stocked “Goods proper for the season,” but the season would soon change and the partners attempted to incite desire for other goods. They encouraged potential customers to imagine consumption as an ongoing process, one of acquiring goods now and planning to acquire “FRESH GOODS” later. Providing details about a shipment they expected to receive “in less than two months” prompted consumers to keep their eyes on Atkins and Weston’s stores when they contemplated purchases in the future.

Slavery Advertisements Published August 23, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

**********

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

**********

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

**********

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

**********

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

**********

Aug 23 - South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal (August 23, 1768).

August 22

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Aug 22 - 8:22:1768 Massachusetts Gazette Green and Russell
Massachusetts Gazette [Green & Russell] (August 22, 1768).
Norwich Stage-Coach.”

As the summer of 1768 drew to a close, David Greenleaf established a new “Stage-Coach” line between Norwich, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island. The stagecoach made one trip each week, covering a distance of almost fifty miles in each direction. Passengers could depart “from the House of Mr. AZARIAH LOTHROP, in Norwich” on Wednesday mornings and arrive at “the House of Dr. SAMUEL CAREW, at the Sign of the Traveller, in Providence” later in the day. The stagecoach made the return trip on Thursdays. Greenleaf saw to the comfort of the travelers who availed themselves of this new service, providing an “elegant STAGE-COACH” drawn by “four good Horses.” To make the trip as speedy as possible, Greenleaf also arranged for “four spare ones … to exchange on the Road.” In addition, he carefully selected the terminals for this new stagecoach line. Lothrop and Carew both offered “the best Entertainment” for passengers while they waited to make the journey. Greenleaf made the entire journey an experience, promising that “Ladies and Gentlemen will be treated in the kindest Manner.”

Greenleaf made a significant investment in this venture. He implicitly said as much in his description of the new stagecoach and the many horses. He more explicitly made the point when he argued that since “this new and useful Undertaking has been attended with a great Expence” that he hoped “it will meet with proper Encouragement from the Publick.” Advertising in the Massachusetts Gazette added to his Greenleaf’s expenses, but he certainly expected a return on that investment. To increase the effectiveness of his advertisement, he needed to increase the likelihood that readers would notice it. To that end, he incurred the extra expense of commissioning a woodcut that depicted a stagecoach drawn by four horses. The image also included a driver with a whip guiding the horses and a passenger peering out from the stagecoach. Compared to other woodcuts that accompanied advertisements, Greenleaf’s image was detailed and well executed. The vignette would have been difficult for readers of the Massachusetts Gazette to overlook. The quality of his coach and service did not matter if prospective customers did not know that the “Norwich Stage-Coach” existed. Enhancing the advertisement with a notable woodcut helped to bring Greenleaf’s new venture to the attention of colonists who planned to travel between Norwich and Providence and beyond.

Slavery Advertisements Published August 22, 1768

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Aug 22 - Boston Evening-Post Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the Boston Evening-Post (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Boston Post-Boy Slavery 1
Boston Post-Boy (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Boston Post-Boy Slavery 2
Boston Post-Boy (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 1
Boston-Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 2
Boston-Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Boston-Gazette Slavery 3
Boston-Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Massachusetts Gazette Green and Russell Slavery 1
Massachusetts Gazette [Green & Russell] (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - New-York Gazette Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - New-York Gazette Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette: Or, the Weekly Post-Boy (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Newport Mercury Slavery 1
Newport Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Newport Mercury Slavery 2
Newport Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Newport Mercury Slavery 3
Newport Mercury (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - Pennsylvania Chronicle Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Chronicle (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 9
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 10
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 11
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

**********

Aug 22 - South-Carolina Gazette Slavery 12
South-Carolina Gazette (August 22, 1768).

August 21

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago this week?

Aug 21 - 8:15:1768 Newport Mercury
Newport Mercury (August 15, 1768).

“A likely new Negro Boy … just got clear of the Small-Pox.”

When he wished to sell an enslaved youth in the summer of 1768, James Roach turned to the pages of the Newport Gazette. He placed a brief advertisement that announced: “To be SOLD A likely new Negro Boy, about 13 Years of Age, fit to be put to a Trade, or any other Employment, just got clear of the Small-Pox.” Roach squeezed a significant amount of information into this short advertisement. In addition to identifying the approximate age of the unnamed youth he also revealed that the “new Negro Boy” did not yet possess any particular skills or training that might make him suitable for purchase by a particular master. Instead, he was “fit to be put to a Trade, or any other Employment.” With some instruction, a prospective buyer could put the enslaved youth to work on a farm, in a household, or in a workshop. Roach also made a nod towards the slave’s origins. That he was a “new Negro Boy” meant that he was an African who had survived the Middle Passage and transshipment within the colonies rather than an African American born in the colonies.

Furthermore, the reference to surviving smallpox was not inconsequential. It was a standard element in advertisements for enslaved men, women, and children, operating as a guarantee of sorts when it came to the health of those offered for sale. Smallpox, one of the most deadly diseases of the eighteenth century, could only be contracted once. It did not discriminate; having survived smallpox then made people – whether enslaved or free – immune. In advising prospective buyers that the youth offered for sale “just got clear of the Small-Pox,” Roach assured them that this particular slave was a safe investment. Choosing to purchase the unnamed youth did not involve the risk that he might soon afterward become ill with smallpox and perhaps not survive. This small bit of medical knowledge served an important purpose, providing a safeguard on the buyer’s investment.

August 20

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Aug 20 - 8:20:1768 Providence Gazette
Providence Gazette (August 20, 1768).

“JUST PUBLISHED … THE Power and Grandeur of GREAT-BRITAIN founded nt he Liberty of the COLONIES.”

Colonial newspapers usually carried very little local news. As they were distributed only once a week, often news of local events carried by word of mouth before they had a chance to appear in print. Accordingly, editors privileged news from faraway places, news that readers had not seen for themselves or already heard about in the course of their daily activities.

Such was the case in the August 20, 1768, edition of the Providence Gazette. Even the scant amount of news published under the header “PROVIDENCE, August 20” relayed a description of events that recently occurred in Boston. “Sunday last being the 14th of August,” the short article began, “the Sons of Liberty at Boston, in order to perpetuate the Anniversary of the first Opposition to the Stamp-Act. Met under Liberty-Tree, when many patriotic and loyal To[a]sts were drank, under the Discharge of 45 Cannon.” The article included details about a procession through town, a bonfire, and fireworks, all in commemoration of resistance to the Stamp Act.

The news from “BOSTON, August 15” summarized a new nonimportation agreement devised by the merchants and traders of Boston. They were concerned about an imbalance of trade that made it difficult to “pay the debts due the merchants in Great-Britain,” prompting them to vote unanimously “not to send any further orders for goods to be shipped this fall; and that from the first of January, 1769, to the first of January, 1770, they will not send for or import … any kind of goods or merchandizes from Great-Britain, except Coal, Salt, and some articles necessary to carry on the fishery.” This decision was not merely about economics. Politics played a role as well: “They likewise agreed not to import any Tea, Glass, Paper, or Painters colours, until the acts imposing duties on those articles are repealed.”

The news from Boston also included a copy of a letter “To the Honourable THOMAS CUSHING, Esq; Speaker of the Honourable House of Representatives of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay” from “P. MANIGAULT, Speaker of the Common House of Assembly of the Province of South-Carolina.” That letter included the instructions sent to South Carolina’s agent in Great Britain, directing him to “join with the Agents of the other provinces in America, in obtaining a repeal of the several acts of Parliament which have lately been passed, laying duties in America, and to endeavour to prevent the clause for billeting soldiers in America from being inserted in the next mutiny act which shall be passed.” These instructions touched on some of the most significant issues that eventually sparked the American Revolution.

The following page of Providence Gazette featured “A SONG” reprinted from the August 4 edition of the Pennsylvania Journal. Written by “A SON of LIBERTY,” the song was “Addressed to the SONS OF LIBERTY on the Continent of America.” Like the toasts and other festivities that recently took place in Boston, the song celebrated acts of resistance that preserved liberty and freedom in the face of Parliament attempting to impose slavery on the colonies.

Yet news and entertainment did not comprise the entire August 20 issue of the Providence Gazette. More than a dozen advertisements ran in that issue, including one for a pamphlet on sale at the printing office. The title explained its purpose: “THE Power and Grandeur of GREAT-BRITAIN founded on the Liberty of the COLONIES, and the Mischiefs attending the taxing them by Act of Parliament demonstrated.” The compositor placed this advertisement between the politically charged news items from Boston and the patriotic song from Philadelphia. It was a continuation of the news, but also an encouragement for readers to become even better informed about current events. In this instance, news, entertainment, and advertising worked together to form a cohesive narrative about Parliament overstepping its authority to commit various abuses against the colonies.