August 27

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

New-London Gazette (August 27, 1773).

“WATCHES are restored to their pristine vigour.”

A month had passed since Thomas Hilldrup, a “WATCH MAKER from LONDON” who recently relocated to Hartford, inserted an advertisement that originally ran for several weeks in the Connecticut Courant, published in Hartford, in the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy as well.  When he did so, he revised the dateline to “July 20, 1773,” but did not otherwise alter his advertising copy.  Near the end of August, he decided that he wished for the same notice to run in the New-London Gazette.  He once again altered the dateline, this time to “Aug. 20, 1773,” but did not make other changes.  Apparently, the watchmaker felt confident in his address to prospective customers as it appeared in the Connecticut Courant for the past two months.

By the time he placed that notice in the New-London Gazette, Hilldrup had been in Connecticut for the better part of a year.  He had been there long enough that it was not the first time that he attempted to extend his share of the market by saturating the newspapers published in the colony with his advertisements.  He initially published an advertisement in the September 15, 1772, edition of the Connecticut Courant and then revised it a month later.  Over time, he placed the revised advertisement in the Connecticut Journal on January 8, 1773, and in the New-London Gazette three weeks later.  The watchmaker established a pattern of starting with a single newspaper, the one printed in his own town, and then attempting to reach other prospective customers in the region though the same advertisement in other newspapers.

Such industriousness may have caught the attention of John Simnet, a watchmaker in New York, as newspapers published in Connecticut circulated beyond that colony.  Simnet learned his craft in London and had decades of experience working with clients there, a point of pride that he frequently highlighted in his advertisements.  Given his background, Simnet also promoted himself as the only truly skilled watchmaker in the area.  He had a long history of denigrating his competitors in his advertisements.  The cantankerous Simnet may have taken exception to Hilldrup’s arrival on the scene, considering Hartford too close for a competitor who listed similar credentials in his advertisements.  He had not previously placed notices in any of the newspapers printed in Connecticut, but decided to run an advertisement in the January 26, 1773, edition of the Connecticut Courant.  In choosing the newspaper published in Hartford, Hilldrup’s new location and a town more distant from New York than New Haven and New London, Simnet increased the chances that Hilldrup would see his advertisement.

For his part, Hilldrup did not respond directly to Simnet in the public prints, but he did follow the other watchmaker’s lead in making veiled references to competitors in an advertisement in the April 27 edition of the Connecticut Courant.  The headline for that advertisement, “WATCHES! only,” seemed to comment on a notice in which Enos Doolittle offered his services repairing clocks and watches in the previous issue.  In addition, Hilldrup included a nota bene that seemingly mocked Doolittle for hiring a journey who completed an apprenticeship in London, proclaiming that “I am capable of going through the business myself without any assistance.”  That nota bene also appeared in the original iteration of Hilldrup’s second advertisement that eventually found its way into multiple newspapers, though he removed it after several weeks in the Connecticut Courant.

As Hilldrup worked to cultivate a clientele that would secure his position in Hartford, he published advertisements in newspapers in several towns.  Achieving that kind of reach with his notices was only part of his marketing strategy.  In addition to engaging prospective customers, those advertisements put Hilldrup in conversation with competitors, directly and indirectly.  Rather than mere announcements that readers might easily dismiss, the watchmaker crafted messages that resonated beyond any single issue of a colonial newspaper.  In an advertisement that eventually appeared in all three newspapers published in Connecticut, he requested “the favour of those gentlemen who are or may be satisfied of his abilities, to assist in recommending” his services to others.

July 28

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

Pennsylvania Gazette (July 28, 1773).

“The Germantown Stage plies from said Town to Philadelphia Wednesdays and Saturdays.”

In the summer of 1773, George Zeller placed an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette to announced that he moved to a new location “where he has erected a commodious LIVERY-STABLE, and purposes taking in HORSES, at the most reasonable rates.”  In addition, he built a “large shed” for “Accommodations for Waggons and Horses.”  He hoped that prospective customers would seek out those services at that new location.  In addition, he promoted another service.  The “Sign of the “GERMANTOWN STAGE” marked the stable.  Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the stage transported passengers and freight from Germantown to Philadelphia, returning to Germantown on the same day.  Colonizers interested in engaging those services needed to “Apply to said Zeller.”

Wöchentliche Pennsylvanische Staatsbote (July 28, 1773).

The savvy Zeller supplemented his notice in the Pennsylvania Gazette with the same advertisement, though in German, in the Wöchentliche Pennsylvanische Staatsbote, the newspaper published by Henry Miller in Germantown.  Given his affiliation with the Germantown Stage, “der Germantauner Reisewagen,” as well as his surname, Zeller may not have required Miller’s assistance in translating his notice.  All the same, a nota bene in the masthead of the Wöchentliche Pennsylvanische Staatsbote stated that “All ADVERTISEMENTS to be inserted in this Paper, or printed single by HENRY MILLER, Publisher hereof, are by him translated gratis.”

By advertising in newspapers printed at both ends of the stage route, Zeller aimed to generate business for both the stagecoach and, especially, his stable.  Passengers in Germantown would have made arrangements with an operator on that end, but travelers making the journey on their own needed a place to stable their horses once they arrived in Philadelphia.  Zeller signaled to those travelers that he offered not only a “commodious” stable and low prices but also the convenience of conducting business with a provider who regularly engaged with customers who spoke German as their preferred language.

July 23

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

Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy (July 23, 1773).

WATCHES are restored to their pristine vigour, and warranted to perform well, free of any expence for one year.”

Though dated “Hartford, July 20, 1773,” Thomas Hilldrup’s advertisement in the July 23 edition of the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy had been composed much earlier.  The same copy first ran in Connecticut Courant, published in Hartford, on May 25.  It appeared in each issue of that newspaper since then, though Hilldrup dropped a short nota bene carried over from his previous advertisement after two insertions.  In this latest advertisement, Hilldrup, a “WATCH MAKER from LONDON,” declared that he had already met with so much success during his brief time in Connecticut, that he had been so “IMbolden’d by the encouragement receiv’d from the indulgent public,” that he “remov’d his shop” to a new location.  Prospective customers could find him at “the sign of the Dial” in the shop formerly occupied by Dr. Neil McLean near the courthouse in Hartford, “where Repeating, Horizontal and plain WATCHES are restored to their pristine vigour, and warranted to perform well, free of any expence for one year.”

After publishing this promotion in the Connecticut Courant for two months, Hilldrup extended that guarantee to readers of the Connecticut Journal.  It was not the first time, however, that the watchmaker took to the pages of a newspaper printed in another town in his efforts to build a large enough clientele to allow him to settle permanently in Hartford.  His advertising campaign commenced in the Connecticut Courant in the fall of 1772, but eventually expanded to the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy and the New-London Gazette during the winter months.  The newcomer ran advertisements in every newspaper published in the colony at the time, making it clear that local watchmakers who already established their reputations among prospective customers faced some new competition.  Placing an advertisement in the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy the first time may have been an experiment for a watchmaker who recently arrived in Hartford.  Opting to place another advertisement in that newspaper six months later, however, indicated that he believed the first one had been effective in generating business beyond clients served primarily by Hartford’s Connecticut Courant.  Even then, he did not consider merely announcing his presence in Hartford sufficient to draw clients to his shop.  Instead, he offered a one-year guarantee on repairs to convince prospective customers to give him a chance over his competitors.

July 18

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

Virginia Gazette (July 15, 1773).

“He hath provided every Thing for the Accommodation of Gentlemen, their Servants, and Horses.”

Daniel Grant, the proprietor of the “INN and TAVERN, at the Sign of the Fountain” in Baltimore, expanded his advertising campaign.  That city did not yet have a newspaper, though subscriptions proposals circulated in hopes of establishing one, so the proprietor of the inn and tavern resorted to advertising in newspapers published in Annapolis and Philadelphia.  Even if Baltimore did have a newspaper at the time that Grant opened his doors to “the Publick,” he likely would have placed notices in newspapers published in other cities in the region.  Colonizers in and near Baltimore would have learned of the new inn and tavern as they traversed the streets of the city and conversed with friends and acquaintances.  Advertisements in newspapers published in Annapolis and Philadelphia, on the other hand, helped to entice readers who might travel to Baltimore.  In addition, Grant previously “kept TAVERN at the Sign of the BUCK, near PHILADELPHIA.”  Advertisements in the Pennsylvania Packet likely reached former patrons familiar with his reputation.

Prospective patrons in Williamsburg and throughout the rest of Virginia may not have been familiar with the tavern at the Sign of the Buck, unless they had happened to travel to Philadelphia, but Grant likely expected that the fact that he had experience operating a tavern would resonate with colonizers in Virginia who might have cause to venture to Baltimore.  His expression of “grateful Thanks to the Gentlemen who did him the Honour to frequent his former House” doubled as a testimonial to his experience.  Noting that he had regulars at the Sign of the Buck suggested that he provided satisfactory service that convinced patrons to return.  In his new establishment, he needed to cultivate a new clientele, both locals and travelers.  To thatend, the innkeeper and tavernkeeper invested in an advertisement in Purdie and Dixon’s Virginia Gazette, extending the reach of his marketing to readers served by that newspaper.  The copy matched what already appeared in the Maryland Gazette and the Pennsylvania Packet, promising that Grant “hath provided every Thing for the Accommodation of Gentlemen, their Servants, and Horses, in the best Manner.”  Rather than seek out food and lodging when they arrived in Baltimore, Grant wanted travelers from Virginia to anticipate staying at the Sign of the Fountain.

April 14

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

Pennsylvania Chronicle (April 12, 1773).

“A VERY great Variety of plain and changeable mantuas, both ½ ell and ¾ ell wide.”

Daniel Benezet’s extensive advertisement from the March 15, 1773, edition of the Pennsylvania Chronicle continued to run in subsequent issues of that newspaper, though the compositor made modifications to the format.  The advertisement featured the same copy, but the organization better fit the page.  The original version filled two columns and overflowed into a third, in part because it appeared on the first page and the masthead occupied a significant amount of space at the top of the page.  Upon moving the advertisement to other pages, the compositor gained space to confine it to two columns.  In another modification, the headline at the top of the advertisement and the nota bene that announced “BENEZET is leaving off Business” and, as a result, “determined to sell the above Goods on very low Terms” at the bottom both ran across multiple columns.  The new format looked like a handbill that could have been printed separately as well as an advertisement integrated into the pages of the Pennsylvania Chronicle.

Pennsylvania Gazette (April 14, 1773).

When it came to the visual appeal of the advertisement, the compositor made all the difference.  Benezet placed a notice with the same copy in the April 14 edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but it did not look like the same advertisement.  The compositor for the Pennsylvania Chronicle deployed generous amounts of white space to make Benezet’s advertisement easier for readers to navigate.  He did so by dividing each column into two columns and listing only one item or category of items on each line.  In contrast, the compositor for the Pennsylvania Gazette resorted to a much more crowded format, listing hundreds of items in a single paragraph that extended more than a column.  Readers almost certainly found it more difficult to navigate the dense text in the version of the advertisement that ran in the Pennsylvania Gazette, a feature that likely made it more difficult to engage prospective customers.

The variations in the format of Benezet’s advertisement demonstrate the division of labor that usually defined advertising in early American newspapers.  Advertisers composed and submitted copy, but compositors made decisions about format and other aspects of graphic design.  On occasion, consistency in design across advertisements placed in multiple newspapers suggests that advertisers made specific requests or even consulted directly with compositors.  That did not happen when Benezet submitted the advertising copy to the Pennsylvania Gazette.  He may have even provided the notice from the Pennsylvania Chronicle as reference, leaving it to the compositor to make final decisions about format while incorporating the copy in its entirety.

March 23

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

Connecticut Courant (March 23, 1773).

“A motive to Gentlemen in Business to give orders for the Papers.”

As he prepared to launch a new newspaper, “RIVINGTON’s NEW-YORK GAZETTEER; OR THE CONNECTICUT, NEW-JERSEY, HUDSON’s-RIVER, AND QUEBEC WEEKLY ADVERTISER,” James Rivington continued to expand his advertising campaign in newspapers in New York, New England, and Pennsylvania.  He placed a notice in the Connecticut Courant on March 23, 1773, a full month after his first notices appeared in the Newport Mercury and the Pennsylvania Chronicle on February 22.  Except for the brief advertisement in the Newport Mercury, the much more extensive subscription proposals in the other newspapers all provided an overview about how Rivington envisioned that his newspaper would include content that distinguished it from others.  In many ways, he proposed a hybrid of a newspaper and a magazine, a publication that “will communicate the most important Events, Foreign and Domestic” as well as the “State of Learning” with the “best modern Essays,” a “Review of New Books,” and coverage of “new Inventions in Arts and Sciences, Mechanics and Manufactories.”

For readers of the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy, Rivington also attempted to incite interest through noting that “the Merchants and Traders of New-York, have universally patronized this Design, and their Advertisements will constantly appear in the Gazetteer.”  Given New Haven’s proximity to New York, Rivington apparently believed that consumers and retailers there would find such advertisements by merchants and shopkeepers in the bustling port as interesting and as useful as the rest of the content.  He made a similar pitch to residents of Hartford in his notice in the Connecticut Courant.  Following the paragraph describing the news and essays he planned to include in the newspaper, the printer expressed his hope that the “general support and promise of Mr. Rivington’s Friends, to Advertise in his Gazetteer … may be a motive to Gentlemen in Business to give orders for the Papers, which will be very regularly sent to the Subscribers.”  Rivington envisioned that advertising, in addition to coverage of “the Mercantile Interest in America, Departures and Prices Current, at Home and Abroad,” would facilitate commerce between New York and smaller towns in neighboring Connecticut.  He suggested to prospective subscribers in Hartford and New Haven that they consider advertisements placed by “Merchants and Traders” in New York as valuable sources of information, as newsworthy and practical in their own right as reports about current events.

March 21

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

Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter (March 18, 1773).

“PROPOSES to publish a Weekly NEWS-PAPER.”

James Rivington continued to expand his marketing campaign to gain subscribers for his new newspaper, “RIVINGTON’s NEW-YORK GAZETTEER; OR THE CONNECTICUT, NEW-JERSEY, HUDSON’s-RIVER, AND QUEBEC WEEKLY ADVERTISER,” with an advertisement in the March 18, 1773, edition of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly Mercury.  Nearly a month earlier, he commenced advertising in newspapers with a brief notice in the Newport Mercury on February 22.  That same day, he placed a longer notice in the Pennsylvania Chronicle.  That version became the standard that Rivington published, with minor variations, in other newspapers, including the Pennsylvania Gazette and the Pennsylvania Journal on February 24, the Connecticut Journal on February 26, and the Pennsylvania Packet on March 1.  On March 8, he informed readers of the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury that the “first Number” of Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer “shall make its Appearance in the month of April” and requested that “Gentlemen who may be inclined to promote the Establishment of this Undertaking” send their names “as soon as convenient, which will determine the Number he shall print of the first Paper.”

For prospective subscribers in Massachusetts, Rivington provided directions for contacting local agents.  “Subscriptions taken,” he declared, “by Messrs. Cox and Berry and Dr. M.B. Goldthwait, at Boston.”  Otherwise, the proposal in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly Mercury replicated those that ran in the newspapers published in Philadelphia.  For some reason, that initial notice in the Newport Mercury differed significantly from those that ran in half a dozen other newspapers in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.  The overall consistency of those subscription proposals amounted to a regional advertising campaign that delivered the same content to prospective subscribers in several colonies.  Members of the book trade – printers, booksellers, and publishers – devised the vast majority of advertising campaigns that extended beyond a single town in the eighteenth century.  Merchants and shopkeepers frequently placed advertisements in multiple newspapers published in their town; the purveyors of goods, rather than the products they sold, defined the geographic scope of their markets since most producers did not advertise the items they made.  Even when merchants and shopkeepers in several towns sold the same items, such as patent medicines, they did not participate in centralized advertising campaigns coordinated by the producers of those items.  Markets confined to colonial cities and their hinterlands, however, often could not support printed items, such as books and pamphlets, so printers, booksellers, and publishers developed advertising campaigns that placed the same notices in newspapers throughout a region or even throughout the colonies.  Rivington adopted that model in marketing a newspaper that he also intended would serve readers far beyond his printing office in New York.

March 19

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

New-Hampshire Gazette (March 19, 1773).

“Gentlemen in the Country … may depend upon Care being taken in the Packing of the WARE.”

Half a dozen women and two men advertised garden seeds in newspapers published in Boston in the middle of March 1773.  In the week from the 13th through the 19th, Elizabeth Clark and Nowell, Lydia Dyar, Elizabeth Greenleaf, Anna Johnson, Susanna Renken, Rebeckah Walker, John Adams, and Ebenezer Oliver each placed notices in at least one newspaper.  Greenleaf and Renken ran advertisements in all five newspapers in Boston.  Elsewhere in New England, other entrepreneurs inserted similar notices in other newspapers.  Walter Price Bartlett advised residents of Salem and nearby towns that he sold seeds in an advertisement in the Essex Gazette.  In Connecticut, Nathan Beers promoted garden seeds in Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy.  In Rhode Island, Charles Dunbar advertised seeds in the Newport Mercury and James Green did the same in the Providence Gazette.

The New-Hampshire Gazette also carried an advertisement for seeds, but not one placed by a local vendor.  Instead, John Adams extended his advertising campaign beyond the Boston Evening-Post, Boston-Gazette, and Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter in an effort to capture the market in the neighboring colony.  His advertisement in the New-Hampshire Gazette included a feature that helped distinguish it from those placed by his female competitors in the public prints in Boston, a headline that proclaimed “GARDEN SEEDS” in capital letters.  For some reason, both Adams and Oliver deployed such headlines, but women who sold seeds in Boston did not.  The headline increased the visibility of Adams’s advertisement in the New-Hampshire Gazette and likely had other benefits since Adams did not enjoy the same name recognition in Portsmouth as in Boston.

His advertisement included another feature that not only distinguished it from those of his female competitors in Boston but also engaged prospective customers beyond the city.  Adams included a note addressed to “Gentlemen in the Country” at the end of his notice, assuring those “that will please to favour him with their Custom” that they “may depend upon Care being taken in the Packing of the WARE.”  In addition, he promised that those customers “shall be supplied as cheap as can be bought in Boston.”  Adams asserted that he would not be undersold by any of his competitors.

In writing the copy, Adams devised an advertisement appropriate for multiple markets.  The headline enhanced its visibility when it appeared alongside notices placed by competitors in Boston’s newspapers.  That same headline provided a quick summary to prospective customers beyond Boston who were less familiar with his business, whether they encountered his advertisement in a newspaper published in Boston or in the New-Hampshire Gazette.  The note about carefully packaging any orders shipped outside the city addressed potential concerns among readers “in the Country” in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Adams thought ambitiously about the markets he could serve and crafted an advertisement with distinguishing features to achieve those ambitions.

March 1

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

Pennsylvania Packet (March 1, 1773).

“Every particular that may contribute to the improvement, information, and entertainment of the public, shall be constantly conveyed through the channel of the NEW-YORK GAZETTEER.”

A week after James Rivington’s proposal for publishing a newspaper, Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer; or the Connecticut, New-Jersey, Hudson’s River, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser, first appeared in the Newport Mercury and the Pennsylvania Chronicle, it ran in the Pennsylvania Packet.  During that week, Rivington also inserted the proposal, with variations, in the Connecticut Journal, the Pennsylvania Gazette, and the Pennsylvania Journal.  In advance of publishing a newspaper intended to serve an expansive region, the bookseller, printer, and stationer launched an advertising campaign in multiple newspapers throughout that region.  Once his notice appeared in the Pennsylvania Packet on March 1, 1773, all four English-language newspapers in Philadelphia carried it to readers dispersed far beyond that busy urban port.

These advertisements likely helped Rivington attract subscribers.  In his History of Printing in America (1810), Isaiah Thomas notes that Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer “was patronized in all the principal towns by the advocates of the British administration who approved the measures adopted toward the colonies” and “obtained an extensive circulation.”  Furthermore, the newspaper “undoubtedly had some support from ‘his Majesty’s government.’”  Patriots found Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer “obnoxious.”  On November 27, 1775, “a number of armed men from Connecticut entered the city, on horseback, and beset his habitation, broke into his printing house, destroyed his press, threw his types into heaps, and carried away a large quantity of them, which they melted and formed into bullets.”  Rivington departed for England soon after that encounter, but he returned to New York once the British occupied the city.  In October 1777, he began publishing Rivington’s New-York Gazette; or the Connecticut, Hudson’s River, New-Jersey, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser once again.  That title lasted for two issues before he changed it to Rivington’s New-York Loyal Gazette and, not long after that, the Royal Gazette.[1]

Although Thomas did not care for Rivington’s politics, he did give him credit for his skills as an editor, a printer, and an entrepreneur who disseminated his newspaper widely.  Thomas acknowledged that “for some time Rivington conducted his paper with as much impartiality as most of the editors of that period; and it may be added, that no newspaper in the colonies was better printed, or was more copiously furnished with foreign intelligence.”  In addition, Thomas reported that Rivington claimed that “each impression of his week Gazetteer, amounted to 3,600 copies” in October 1773.[2]  For the period, that was an extensive circulation indeed.


[1] Isaiah Thomas, History of Printing in America: With a Biography of Printers and an Account of Newspapers (1810; New York: Weathervane Books, 1970), 508-9.

[2] Thomas, History of Printing, 511.

February 26

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

Connecticut Journal (February 26, 1773).

“Their Advertisements will constantly appear in the Gazetteer.”

Four days after James Rivington first published advertisements promoting a new newspaper, Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer; or the Connecticut, New-Jersey, Hudson’s-River, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser, a new notice appeared in yet another newspaper.  The bookseller, printer, and stationer commenced advertising in the Newport Mercury and the Pennsylvania Chronicle on February 22, 1773.  Two days later, he inserted advertisements in the Pennsylvania Gazette and the Pennsylvania Journal.  His next notice ran in the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy on February 26.

That advertisement replicated, for the most part, the notices that ran in the Philadelphia newspapers.  Rivington included lengthy copy explaining how his newspaper differed “in its Plan from most others now extant,” describing how the “State of Learning shall be constantly reported” in addition to “the most important Events, Foreign and Domestic, the Mercantile Interest in Arrivals, Departures and Prices Current, at Home and Abroad.”  He also included a list of three local agents who accepted subscriptions in New Haven.  As he had in most other notices, Rivington stated that the “first Number shall make its Appearance when the Season will permit the several Post-Riders to perform their Stages regularly.”  The printer wanted subscribers to know when they could expect to receive the first issue.

Rivington added one short paragraph to his advertisement in the Connecticut Journal that did not appear in any of the other newspapers.  “The Gentlemen, the Merchants and Traders of New-York,” he asserted, “have universally patronized this Design, and their Advertisements will constantly appear in the Gazetteer.”  That reiterated what he said elsewhere in the advertisement about receiving “Encouragement from the first Personages in this Country” to publish the newspaper, but it also added a detail about the advertisements the newspaper would carry.  Rivington expected that readers in New Haven and nearby towns would be interested in advertisements for consumer goods as well as legal notices concerning New York, more interested than readers in Newport and Philadelphia.  That made sense since New Haven was much more within the commercial orbit of New York than the other two towns where he previously promoted his newspaper.  After all, Newport and Philadelphia were both thriving ports.  Residents of New Haven, on the other hand, had closer connections to New York, especially given the proximity.  Advertisements relevant to New York and nearby towns may not have been of much interest to most prospective subscribers in Newport and Philadelphia, but Rivington considered them a selling point when marketing his newspaper to readers in New Haven.