Reflections from Guest Curator Aidan Griffin

With my week of curating for the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project ending today, I will reflect on it. What I think is most important is that “doing” history is fun and interesting rather than boring. History is much more enjoyable once someone looks deeper into it and discovers that connections between then and now are numerous. Although the past has passed, that does not mean that it has no effect on the present.

Looking back at the advertisements, one of the most striking changes from revolutionary America to now is the language used. I was especially struck by the long form of “s,” as I never saw it before, and it looks kind of like “f.” Additionally, I saw that advertisements have not changed that much since the eighteenth century, as big, blocky words were used to describe whatever was being advertised and then all the other information was smaller. One difference I noticed is that there was no fine print in any of the advertisements, which is different from today. I learned about revolutionary American politics by making connections with something that was advertised and an event or process. My advertisement for April 4 provides an example of this: I made a connection between English goods being advertised to the consumer revolution in colonial America before the Revolution began.

All of history is interconnected; historical events have effects on the present day. I learned that history is connected from doing research with primary sources. I also learned that even though all the people from the advertisements I chose to examine are long dead, they still felt alive when I did research about them. The advertisements made it possible to recreate part of someone’s life.

Before I started this project, I thought it would be difficult. I remember I was filled with apprehension when I first heard about it. However, actually doing the project was not as difficult as I imagined and quite interesting and enjoyable. The most difficult part of this project was working with the newspapers from 1769. This is because some of the newspapers were partially damaged before they were digitized, so now in some advertisements some letters in multiple words are missing. The worst was when at least one word was missing, as I had to guess what word would have been there. Additionally, some of the advertisements had words that were sometimes hard to read, so trying to decide what some words said was problematic.

I think making connections with things beyond the newspapers made this project more enjoyable. At first, I just had one advertisement, but then by making connections with other events and daily life in early America, I gained a larger collection of knowledge. I think making those connections was the most rewarding part of this project.

April 6

Supplement to the New-York Journal (April 6, 1769).

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

“MICHEAL POREE, SURGEON DENTIST.”

The professions of surgeon, dentist, and barber were once the same. The familiar rotating pole of red and white symbolizes their past. However, Michael Poree only advertises as a dentist in the New-York Journal.

His advertisement made me wonder about the differences between medicine, especially surgery, in early America and today. Surgeries are conducted frequently today because anesthesia is available, but that was not the case in colonial America. Another reason why surgeries were conducted infrequently was because doctors did not know as much about what was inside the human body. Giles Firmin, an English surgeon and dentist who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630 believed that better understanding was necessary. According to William C. Wigglesworth, “Firmin’s insistence on the necessity of accurate anatomic knowledge led him, in 1647, to argue that the General Court should pass a resolution providing that ‘such as studies of physic or chirugery may have liberty to reade anatomy, and to anatomize once in foure years some malefactor in case there be such, as the Court shall afford.’ Nevertheless, not until 1834 would the General Court legalize dissections of unclaimed bodies, at the urging of the Massachusetts Medical Society.”  To learn more, visit “Surgery in Massachusetts, 1620-1800.”

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Michael Poree, a surgeon dentist, offered a variety of services “to remedy the various complaints incidental to the teeth and gums” in his advertisement in the supplement that accompanied the April 6, 1769, edition of the New-York Journal. Yet those services may not have been the primary source of his income. He devoted far more space in his notice to hawking patent medicines, some of them related to dentistry but others intended for other afflictions.

One “PREPARATION” that he sold had multiple purposes, as did many other patent medicines promoted in eighteenth-century newspaper advertisements. Poree recommended it “for cleaning and preserving the teeth and gums,” but also noted that it cured scurvy. He peddled another “potion” that he trumpeted as “excellent for curing all disorders in the mouth, eradicating every degree of scurvy in the gums; preserving the teeth from decaying, and rendering them beautiful, white and sound.” The surgeon dentist had an eye for the cosmetic aspects of his occupation. In addition to helping patients maintain teeth that were white and beautiful, he promised that his artificial teeth “appear as well … as real teeth.”

Poree also attempted to enhance his own authority as both a surgeon dentist and, especially, a purveyor of patent medicines by invoking his relationship with a doctor who had achieved some renown in the region. Dr. Forget had attracted so many patients in Philadelphia that it “prevents his visiting the different parts of North-America,” a situation that allowed Poree to serve as Forget’s surrogate in New York. The doctor had sent to him “some general medicines” to sell to patients who were not able to travel to Philadelphia. These included “an apozem” or infusion for combatting a variety of fevers, “a potion for removing all obstructions of the viscera and womb,” and “a water” or tincture for “every disorder of the eyes” that made surgery unnecessary.

When it came to surgery, Poree specialized in dentistry, but he expanded his practice by selling patent medicines for maladies beyond those that affected the teeth and gums. As he dispensed preparations, apozems, potions, and waters, he likely consulted with patients and clients on a broad range of medical concerns. The nota bene that concluded his advertisement also suggests that he referred people to Forget for situations that were too far beyond his own area of expertise. Yet he first attempted to capture as much of the market for medical attention as possible by selling patent medicines in addition to providing his services as surgeon dentist.

April 5

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

Georgia Gazette (April 5, 1769).

“A PRIME CARGO OF NEW NEGROES.”

Advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children were common in most newspapers in most colonies in 1769. In the northern colonies, the amount of such advertisements was usually less than in southern colonies. This advertisement was in the Georgia Gazette, where slave advertisements were almost everywhere. These slaves in this advertisement came from Africa, specifically from Gambia. The transatlantic slave trade was brutal as Africans were packed in slave ships with little room left unfilled. This was just the beginning of the awfulness as the unhygienic conditions on the ships allows pathogens to thrive, causing regular outbreaks of various diseases that would easily spread to the slaves as they were transported together. Once a ship arrived at a colony, the suffering continued with the Africans being sold off, usually not with their family.

This advertisement is ironic because at this time the colonists were beginning to think of becoming independent from Britain in light of all the acts by Parliament, such as the Declaratory Act. At the same time, colonists imported slaves from Africa. As the colonists thought of getting their liberty and freedom, they were taking away the freedom of the enslaved men, women, and children, like the “NEW NEGROES” in this advertisement.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

As Aidan notes, this advertisement reveals important details about the transatlantic slave trade and one voyage in particular. It includes enough information to locate this delivery of “NEW NEGROES” in the Slave Voyages database, where it is recorded as Voyage ID 77969. Considered together, the advertisement and the data compiled in Slave Voyages tell a more complete story of the captives and crew who crossed the Atlantic on the Britannia.

The voyage began in London on September 8, 1768. Stephen Deane commanded the vessel with a crew of twenty-two. The Britannia had four guns mounted to fend off any sort of attack. Deane sailed to Gambia, the principal place for purchasing Africans on this voyage. There, approximately 175 Africans boarded the Britannia before it sailed to Georgia, arriving in late March. (Slave Voyages lists April 5 as the arrival date, likely deriving the date from when the Georgia Gazette was published. The advertisement itself, however, lists March 31 as the date it was written. The Britannia likely arrived sometime in the previous week.) According to the advertisement in the Georgia Gazette, only “about one hundred and fifty” of the Africans arrived at the colony. One in seven did not survive the voyage. Many of them likely perished due to smallpox. The advertisement reported “one hundred and twenty … had the smallpox on board said vessel before they arrived here.” Although this “PRIME CARGO” was scheduled for sale in Savannah on April 11, the captives were first “performing a quarantine at Tybee” while they recovered enough to safely put them on display for colonial buyers. From the time the Britannia departed London until it arrived in Georgia, a little more than two hundred days passed. The records, however, do not provide enough information to determine the length of the Middle Passage that the survivors, “chiefly men,” endured.

According to Slave Voyages, the Britannia was one of three vessels that delivered human cargo to Georgia directly from Africa in 1769. In total, twenty-eight vessels made such voyages between Africa and mainland North America that year. The vast majority disembarked enslaved men, women, and children in Charleston, but others also arrived in New York and Virginia. This continuing trade did indeed stand in stark contrast to colonists decrying their own loss of liberty at the hands of Parliament in the late 1760s.

April 4

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

Essex Gazette (April 4, 1769).

“His usual Assortment of West-India and English GOODS.”

British goods were popular in the colonies because Britain was the mother country. Colonists often preferred British products over American ones as they were better quality. British products became so popular that the colonists became British in a process that T.H. Breen calls the Anglicization of consumer culture. However, something happened that made British goods fall out of favor. “Parliament managed to politicize these consumer goods,” Breen states, “and when it did so, manufactured items suddenly took on a radical, new symbolic function.”[1] When this happened, no patriotic American would admit to buying any British goods because buying British goods was seen as unpatriotic at best and traitorous at worst. By watching who bought which goods, the colonists could find other patriots and determine who were loyalists. Colonists who were neutral could not remain neutral, as they were almost always forced to pick a side when making decisions about what to buy. The consumer revolution came before the American Revolution and became part of that movement. Breen argues that it was important for the Revolution to succeed since it gave the colonists common concerns about the politics of buying consumer goods.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

In addition to promoting the “usual Assortment of West-India and English GOODS” in this advertisement, Francis Symonds also invited “both Gentlemen and Ladies” to enjoy the entertainment at “the BELL, near SALEM.” The Bell, named for the wooden sign in the shape of a bell that Symonds used to identify his establishment, was one of the most popular taverns in the vicinity, according to D. Hamilton Hurd’s History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men.

Published in 1888, Hurd’s History of Essex County identifies several events from the era of the American Revolution associated with the Bell. “Here was the appointed rallying place of the minute-men of the Revolution,” Hurd proclaims, “and from this corner they started out across the fields on their hurried march to Lexington.” Not long after, “the regiment commanded by Col. Timothy Pickering halted for refreshment” at the Bell “on the way to Bunker Hill.”

As notable as Hurd considered these events, one other captured my interest: “It was at the Bell tavern that the heroine of the novel, ‘Eliza Wharton, or the Coquette,’ … spent her last days and gathered about the tragic ending of her unfortunate life a veil of mystery and romance which long gave her a place among the memories of the simple and kindly villagers.” Hurd referred to Hannah Foster’s The Coquette (1797), one of the most popular American novels of the eighteenth century. In the late nineteenth century, Hurd claimed Foster’s novel was “a work almost forgotten, but of great interest to a former generation.”[2] The Coquette is anything but “almost forgotten” today. This morality tale is standard reading for anyone interested in early American literature or the history of the early republic, especially the histories of women, gender, and sexuality during the era. Scholars in these fields have recovered Foster’s work in the time since Hurd compiled his History of Essex County in 1888.

This provides an excellent example for students in my Revolutionary America class, the same students currently serving as guest curators, of the sort of primary source that may have been overlooked at one time but now, as the result of asking new kinds of questions and expanding the scope of our study of the past, provides valuable insights into life in early America. This is especially important to me as I strive to achieve one of my goals for my Revolutionary America course. I crosslist the course with the Women’s Studies Program and make a commitment to incorporating the experiences and perspectives of women from diverse backgrounds. It just so happens that Aidan selected an advertisement featuring the Bell Tavern on the same day we are discussing Linda Kerber’s classic “Republic Mother”[3] and Mary Beth Sievens’s “Female Consumerism and Household Authority in Early National New England,”[4] drawing lines both historical and historiographical from one to the other. In preparation for the class, I prepared primary sources and an overview of The Coquette to enrich our conversations. It was serendipity indeed that Aidan selected an advertisement related to The Coquette to examine today.

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[1] T.H. Breen, “‘Baubles of Britain’: The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 119 (May 1988): 76.

[2] D. Hamilton Hurd, History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, vol. 2 (Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis and Company, 1888), 1021.

[3] Linda Kerber, “The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment – An American Perspective,” American Quarterly 28, no. 2 (Summer 1976): 187-205.

[4] Mary Beth Sievens, “Female Consumerism and Household Authority in Early National New England,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 4, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 353-371.

April 3

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

Boston Chronicle (April 3, 1769).

“A GRAND CONCERT of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC.”

Music was popular in colonial America, just like it is today. In April 1769 “A GENTLEMAN from LONDON” performed a “GRAND CONCERT” in Boston. What kind of music did colonists hear? David K. Hildebrand lists four categories: theater music, dance music, church music, and military music. In early America, colonists heard “ballads, dance tunes, folk songs and parodies, comic opera arias, drum signals, psalms, minuets, and sonatas.” Which instruments were present in eighteenth-century America? Hilbebrand says that violins (fiddles) and flutes were the most popular, “[d]rums and trumpets, trombones and French horns, cellos, violas da gamba, clarinets, oboes and bassoons, glass armonicas, hammered dulcimers, [and] organs” were all played in the colonies, “in varying numbers. Women did not usually play these instruments. Hildebrand states, “A very tight self-regulation of activity in the name of ‘maintaining reputation’ limited musical options for women.” Wealthy women played harpsichords and English guitars. To learn more, visit “What was Colonial or ‘Early American’ Music?”

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Boston Evening-Post (April 3, 1769).

The promoters of a “GRAND CONCERT of VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC” scheduled for April 14, 1769, did not confine their marketing efforts to the pages of the Boston Chronicle. On the same day, that this advertisement ran in that newspaper it also appeared in the Boston Evening-Post and the Boston-Gazette, increasing the number of readers and prospective patrons that would encounter it and consider attending.

Boston-Gazette (April 3, 1769).

These advertisements demonstrate an important aspect of the division of labor and creative input in early American advertising: advertisers generated copy and compositors determined the design elements. The copy in each iteration of the “GRAND CONCERT” advertisement remained constant, suggesting that the advertiser wrote the text, copied it several times, and submitted those copies to the various printing offices around Boston. The compositors then exercised their own discretion concerning how the advertisement looked on the page when they set the type. The version in the Boston Chronicle, for instance, announced a “GRAND CONCERT,” putting those words in all capitals and a font larger than almost everything else in the advertisement. “MUSIC” appeared in the largest font, making it the focal point of the advertisement. In contrast, “Grand Concert,” this time not in all capitals, was in the smallest font used in the advertisement in the Boston-Gazette. There, “Mr. HARTLEY” and “Vocal and Instrumental Musick” appeared in the largest font. The compositor for the Boston Evening-Post adopted yet another strategy, making “A grand CONCERT” the most prominent words in the advertisement. Other variations included different uses of italics and capitalization elsewhere in the advertisements as well as a manicule that appeared in the Boston Chronicle but not in the other two newspapers.

This division was not a hard and fast rule. On occasion, similarities in graphic design in multiple newspapers suggested that advertisers provided instructions or negotiated for particular design elements, but generally they did not. Much more often, compositors made copy submitted by advertisers conform to their own graphic design preferences, creating advertisements from multiple advertisers within a single publication that looked more similar to each other than advertisements from a single advertiser in multiple newspapers. In other words, the visual qualities of an advertisement depended greatly on which compositor set the type and which newspaper published that advertisement.

April 2

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

Boston Chronicle (March 30, 1769).

“Several BARRELS of SOAP.”

Elias Dupee advertised “several BARRELS of SOAP” and other goods for auction in the spring of 1769. This made me think about cleanliness shortly before the start of the Revolutionary War Pretty much everyone smelled. Deprived of our modern cleaning methods, like showering, people in colonial and revolutionary America used much simpler cleaning methods. According to Edward Park, “In America’s colonial days, getting clean meant sponging off, usually with just face and hands.” Bathhouses existed in the colonies, but they were not used for cleaning the body. They were used to cool down from the sweltering hot summers of the southern colonies. Also, washing in the northern colonies during the winter was more or less impossible because there was no heat to keep the cold out, so the cold could freeze the water or make it extremely cold. To learn more about the colonists’ cleanliness, visit “To Bathe or Not to Bathe: Coming Clean in Colonial America.”

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Serving as guest curators for the Adverts 250 Project has given Aidan and the other students enrolled in my Revolutionary America class opportunities to examine consumer culture in eighteenth-century in greater detail. In readings, research projects, and discussions we have learned about the proliferation of goods during the consumer revolution, the social and political meanings colonists associated with those goods, and acts of political resistance undertaken through nonimportation agreements. Throughout most of our consideration of the many valences of consumer culture, we have taken into account the experiences of consumers on the one hand and shopkeepers, merchants, and artisans on the other, but we sometimes overlook other purveyors of goods, auctioneers like Elias Dupee.

When we take some time in class today to discuss the work that Aidan has completed so far during his week as guest curator, we will spend a few moments discussing the prevalence of vendues (or auctions) in eighteenth-century America. Retailers not always purchase their wares from merchants. Consumers did not always make their purchases from shopkeepers. Instead, as advertisements and other sources readily make apparent, auctions provided an alternate means of acquiring goods and participating in the consumer revolution (as did theft, another frequent subject of notices in the public prints). Dupee’s “New AUCTION-ROOM” was not the only such establishment in Boston in 1769. During the same week that Dupee placed his advertisement, “J. RUSSELL, Auctioneer” ran his own for “the Auction Room, in Queen Street.” John Gerrish also advertised an upcoming auction at “the VENDUE-OFFICE, NORTH END.” Both advertisements appeared in the Boston Evening-Post.

Residents of Boston had many options when it came to auctions. Dupee, Gerrish, and Russell were prolific advertisers in the local newspapers. In the late 1760s their notices appeared more frequently than advertisements placed by most merchants and shopkeepers, in part because conducting auctions allowed them to move merchandise quickly. No sooner did one auction end than these industrious vendue masters placed new advertisements listing the goods available at the next auction. Advertisements for goods incited interest and awareness of consumer culture among colonists. Auctioneers played a vital role in that process, their notices often achieving as much visibility as those placed by merchants and shopkeepers.

April 1

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

Providence Gazette (April 1, 1769).

“Joseph Belcher … will take in Pay … old Pewter.”

“Pewter is an alloy of two metals, tin and lead,” explains Robert P. Rich. Pewter goods like plates, cups, and pitchers were common in colonial America, but there was a problem with pewtersmith’s supplies. The colonies lacked tin, one of the elements needed for making pewter, so it needed to be imported from Britain. However, not much tin was imported, which was designed to give British pewtersmiths an advantage over American pewtersmiths. This takes us back to the advertisement where Joseph Belcher said he would take old pewter as payment. Lacking one of the metals needed to make pewter, American pewtersmiths wanted old pieces of pewterware that they could use to make new pewterware. Rich notes that “due to the low metaling point of pewter metal, it could easily be melted down and re-cast into new forms with little loss of material.” To learn more visit “Recycling in Colonial America.”

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

The “(69)” on the final line of Joseph Belcher’s advertisement was not part of the copy submitted to the printing office by the pewtersmith. Instead, it was a notation inserted by the compositor. It indicated that Belcher’s advertisement first ran in issue “NUMB. 269” published on March 4, 1769. Other paid notices in the Providence Gazette included similar numbers on the final line, including “(71)” at the conclusion of an advertisement for an iron forge for lease and “(72)” alongside “STEPHEN ARNOLD, Proprietors Clerk” in a legal notice. These numbers helped the compositor and others keep track of how many times advertisements appeared so they could be discontinued at the end of the period specified by the advertiser. Other advertisements included “(T.b.c.)” rather than an issue number, perhaps indicating “to be continued” until such time that the advertiser sent instructions to discontinue those notices. Like many other printers throughout the colonies, John Carter had a portion of his bookkeeping practices on display within the pages of his newspaper.

In most cases the compositor could have simply compared the current issue number to the issue number listed in the advertisement to count how many times it had appeared. That system, however, had been disrupted in the Providence Gazette in the March 25 edition. Carter published more news than usual, squeezing out advertising. He acknowledged as much in a brief notice that assured readers and, especially, advertisers that “Advertisements omitted, for Want of Room, shall be in out next.” Belcher’s advertisement was one of those omitted. After its initial insertion on March 4, it ran in the next two issues before its brief hiatus and then returned for one last time in the April 1 edition.

This example raises questions about common practices related to advertisements in printing offices throughout the colonies. The issue numbers that appeared at the conclusion of so many advertisements were certainly a helpful tool for bookkeeping and other purposes or else compositors would not have expended the time and energy to include them. Yet they had to be used in combination with other records, such as ledgers and previous issues, in order to tell the whole story. Did printers and compositors generate other sorts of documents, such as weekly checklists, to aid in keeping track of which advertisements needed to be inserted in new issues or discontinued because advertisers agreed to pay for only a certain number of insertions? How closely did printers or others who kept the account books coordinate with the compositors that set the type and transferred (or not) advertisements from one issue to the next? Answering these questions would reveal more about the hierarchies and distribution of responsibilities in early American printing offices.

March 31

GUEST CURATOR: Aidan Griffin

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

New-London Gazette (March 31, 1769).

“Mulberry Trees, to the Number of Three-Thousand, to be sold at a reasonable Rate.”

If you know anything about the weather in New England, it might seem not that strange that William Hanks advertised mulberry trees in late March 1769. However, what surprised me was that these trees were used for silk production because silkworms love mulberry leaves. Attempts at silk production in America goes back really far. According to Bob Wyss, “Silkworms were first imported to Virginia as early as 1613.” Producing silk in Virginia makes sense as it is warmer there, but why in Connecticut? “In 1734 the Connecticut Colonial Assembly passed legislation offering financial incentives for silk growers.” Now this might seem difficult, but two people actually succeeded. “One was Nathaniel Aspinwall, a horticulturalist. In the 1750s Aspinwall planted mulberry trees at a nursery he owned in Long Island and later in Mansfield and New Haven, Connecticut. Aspinwall also raised and distributed to customers the silkworm eggs needed to produce the caterpillars and cocoons. The second individual was Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, who kept a diary of his silk-raising activities from 1763 to 1790.” Soon, this interest in silk production turned into full-blown mania when prices for mulberry trees kept rising and rising. The mania ended in the early nineteenth century when the prices crashed. In such bitter irony, the crash hurt Connecticut the most. “No place was struck harder than Connecticut,” Wyss explains.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

William Hanks’s advertisement for “Mulberry Trees … sold cheap for the speedy promoting the Culture of SILK” in Connecticut appeared on the same page as the “COUNTRY NEWS,” snippets of news from around the colony that supplemented letters to the editor and news from other places in North America and beyond. The “COUNTRY NEWS” also promoted silk production, noting the recent efforts of Hanks and others. In the previous year, the New-London Gazette reported, Hanks “raised Silk sufficient to make Three Women’s Gowns.” In addition, “Sundry Gentlemen in Windham and Lebanon have large Nurseries, and others Orchards of Mulberry Trees, which have been cultivated to bring on a Silk Manufactory.” Furthermore, “One Silk House is already erected in Lebanon.”

The “COUNTRY NEWS” did not, however, focus exclusively on silk. The printer inserted updates about vineyards as well, briefly noting that a “Gentleman in Windham is also cultivating a large Vineyard.” This section of the newspaper included an even longer overview of another colonist’s attempt to establish a local vineyard. That colonist was none other than William Hanks. “We are informed,” the New-London Gazette proclaimed, “that Mr. William Hanks of Mansfield, in this Colony, is now cultivating a large Vineyard; and as the Vines at present look very Promising, he hopes to be able in Two or Three Years to furnish the Public with Wines unadulterated with any Duties.”

The newspaper’s correspondent for that bit of news was probably none other than William Hanks himself. He likely submitted that information to the printing office at the same time as the copy for his advertisement. He then benefited from its appearance (along with the assertion that he had produced enough silk for three gowns) as a news item, one that simultaneously served as a puff piece that promoted the mulberry trees he advertised elsewhere in the newspaper. The final phrase in the report about his vineyard further enhanced Hanks’s marketing by giving it a political valence. In stressing that Hanks’s wine would be “unadulterated with any Duties,” the newspaper advanced “Buy American” sentiments consistent with calls to produce more goods in the colonies in order to correct a trade imbalance with Britain and to consume those goods as acts of resistance to the Townshend Acts and other abuses by Parliament. Readers of the New-London Gazette encountered this message in both the news and the advertisements as they moved from “Wines unadulterated with any Duties” in the “COUNTRY NEWS” to “Mulberry Trees … for the speedy promoting the Culture of SILK” among the paid notices.

Welcome, Guest Curator Aidan Griffin!

Aidan Griffin is a junior at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is majoring in History and minoring in Sociology. He enjoys studying history because history is much more than the study of the past and of dead people. History is very much alive, looking for the effects of actions that, even if done long ago, still greatly affect the present and the future. He is fairly knowledgeable about a range of topics, ranging from future population estimates to facts about cannibalism. He also can speak Spanish, German, and Russian, but only for one word, which is “no.” He will be a guest curator for the Adverts 250 Project from March 31, 2019, to April 6, 2019.

Welcome, Aidan Griffin!