May 18

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

Essex Gazette (May 18, 1773).

“DR. Baker’s Seaman’s Balsam … proves a most powerful Restorative.”

Nathaniel Dabney and Philip Godfrid Kast had a new competitor in the pages of the Essex GazetteBoth apothecaries regularly ran advertisements in Salem’s only newspaper, Dabney for his shop “at the Head of Hippocrates” and Kast for his shop “at the Sign of the LION and MORTAR.”  On May 18, 1773, Josiah Lord commenced advertising a “general Assortment of DRUG, MEDICINES & GROCERIES” available at his “APOTHECARY-SHOP … Near the Sign of Grapes” in Ipswich.  He advised that “Those who will send their Orders shall be as well used as if present themselves.”  Lord likely hoped that prospective customers who previously did business with Dabney and Kast would instead visit his shop or take advantage of the convenience of sending orders through the post.  He operated the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mail order pharmacy.

The apothecary devoted most of his advertisement to describing several of the patent medicines among his inventory.  A few of them would have been widely familiar among colonizers, including “Dr. Anderson’s true Scots Pills … for Diseases of the Stomach, Head, Belly and for Worms,” “Dr. James’s Powder for Fevers,” and “Dr. Stoughton’s great Cordial Elixir for the Stomach.”  These medicines were so popular that apothecaries, shopkeepers, and even printers stocked them and promoted them in their newspaper notices, usually referring to them only as Anderson’s Pills, James’s Powder, and Stoughton’s Elixir.  Still, Lord gave more details in hopes of wooing customers.  For instance, he explained that a “few Doses of [James’s] Powder will remove any continual acute Fever in a few Hours, though attended with Convulsions, Light-Headedness, and the worst of Symptoms.”

Lord gave even more attention to lesser-known patent medicines, marketing them as alternatives to familiar nostrums.  “DR. Baker’s Seaman’s Balsam” did not appear in advertisements for drugs and medicines nearly as often as certain other patent medicines, so Lord educated prospective customers about its uses.  He declared that this balsam “assuredly cures and prevents Putrefaction in the Gums, Kidneys, Liver and Lungs, and other noble Parts of the Body” and it “proves a most powerful Restorative in weak and lax Habits of Body, helping enfeebled Nature.”  Similarly, he dedicated a paragraph to directions for using the “celebrated Volatile Essence” to relieve a variety of symptoms.  “By only being smelt,” Lord declared, “it revives the Spirits to a Miracle, and recovers immediately from either Fainting or Hysterick Fits.  It is likewise a most admirable Medicine in the Head-Ach, Lowness of Spirits, and Nervous Disorders; in all which Cases being taken in the Quantity of a few Drops only, it gives immediate and surprising Relief.”  As an added bonus, “In the Heart-burn, a few Drops instantly removes it.”

Such descriptions of each medicine were extensive compared to the lists that appeared in many advertisements placed by apothecaries and others who sold patent medicines.  Given that Lord “Just OPENED” his “APOTHECARY-SHOP” in Ipswich, he may have wished to demonstrate his knowledge of a variety of medicines, both familiar and obscure, to prospective customers.  Doing so may have reassured them that Lord’s expertise rivaled that of Dabney, Kast, and other competitors in the area.

April 13

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

Essex Gazette (April 13, 1773).

“Said Hooks, also Cod-Lines, to be sold by WILLIAM VANS, in Salem.”

In the early 1770s, Abraham Cornish made “New-England Cod & Mackrell FISH-HOOKS … At his Manufactory” in Boston’s North End.  To promote his product, he placed advertisements in the Massachusetts Spy, printed in Boston, and in the Essex Gazette, printed in Salem in March and April 1773, hoping to capture the attention of fishermen in both maritime communities.  He presented his hooks as an alternative to those imported to the colonies, describing them as “the best Cod and Mackrell Hooks,” yet he did not ask prospective buyers to take his word for it.  Instead, he declared that “Fishermen who made Trial of his Hooks last Season, found them to correspond with his former Advertisement” in which he presented his hooks as “much superior to those imported from England.”

Cornish did not address solely the fisherman who would use his hooks.  He also called on those who supplied them to stock his hooks made in Boston in addition to those they acquired from England.  He set prices “as cheap by Wholesale for Cash on delivery” as imported hooks, hoping that the combination of price and quality would prompt retailers to add them to their inventory.  Cornish believed that various members of the community should demonstrate their interest in supporting the production of fish hooks in Boston, calling on “all Importers, and those concerned in the Fishery” to purchase his product.  To cultivate brand recognition, he noted that his hooks “are all marked A.C. on the Flat of the Stem of each Hook.”  In an earlier advertisement, he also noted that he packaged them in “paper … marked ABRHAM CORNISH” and called attention to his initials on each hook in order to “prevent deception” or counterfeit products.

To aid in distributing his wares, Cornish recruited a local agent in Salem.  His advertisement in the Essex Gazette stated that William Vans, a merchant who frequently placed his own advertisements, sold “Said Hooks.”  Vans, however, did not generate the copy for the notice about Cornish’s hooks.  The text replicated what appeared in the advertisement in the Massachusetts Spy, with the addition of a nota bene about the marks on each hook and an additional sentence identifying Vans as the local distributor.  The version in the Essex Gazette lacked the characteristic woodcut depicting a fish that adorned Cornish’s advertisements in the Massachusetts Spy.  Like most other advertisers who incorporated visuals images, Cornish apparently invested in only one woodcut.  He depended on the strength of the advertising copy when hawking his hooks in a second market.

April 6

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

Essex Gazette (April 6, 1773).


On the occasion of the third anniversary of the Boston Massacre, Dr. Benjamin Church delivered an address “upon the dangerous Tendency of Standing Armies, and in Commemoration of the horrid Massacre perpetrated by a Party of the 29th Regiment on the Fifth of March 1770.”  According to coverage in the Boston Evening-Post and the Boston-Gazette on March 8 and reprinted in the Essex Gazette the next day, Church “had the universal Applause of his Audience; and his Fellow Citizens voted him their Thanks, and unanimously requested a Copy of his Oration for the Press.”  John Greenleaf quickly printed Church’s Oration, followed by Benjamin Edes and John Gill, printers of the Boston-Gazette, promoting a “THIRD EDITION, corrected by the AUTHOR.”  Commodification of the Boston Massacre occurred simultaneously with commemoration of it, as had been the case with the first and second anniversaries.

Samuel Hall and Ebenezer Hall, printers of the Essex Gazette in Salem, participated in both the commemoration and the commodification of the Boston Massacre.  In addition to reprinting coverage of the events that marked the anniversary in Boston, they ran an editorial from Marblehead in the March 23 edition.  “THE respectable metropolis of this province,” the anonymous author began, “has certainly acted worthy of itself in establishing, as a monument against ‘the foul oppression of quartering troops in populous cities, in times of peace,’ the MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY.  It must ever do it honour, and serve to convince relentless oppressors, that such measures will produce disgrace to themselves, as well as distress to an injured people.”  The author concluded with a call for colonizers beyond Boston to commemorate the Boston Massacre and remember its significance.  “And while the city solemnizes the fifth of Marchwith its yearly oration,” the author asserted, “may every town in the province observe it in some suitable way; and by keeping up a memento of measures the most cruel and oppressive, be ever guarding its inhabitants against the intriguing designs of Pensioners, Despots, and Tyrants.”

Elsewhere on the same page, the Halls presented an opportunity for consumers to do their part in guarding against “cruel and oppressive” measures by doing their part to commemorate the Boston Massacre through purchasing Church’s Oration.  They apparently sold the correct edition printed by Edes and Gill, declaring that “To-Morrow Morning will be published, and sold by the Printers hereof, An ORATION … to COMMEMORATE THE BLODDY TRAGEDY of the FIFTH of MARCH, 1770.  By DR. BENJAMIN CHURCH.”  The anonymous author from Marblehead gave an endorsement for Church’s Oration as well as the addresses delivered in 1771 and 1772 in the editorial.  “The Gentlemen who exhibited on the two first of these anniversaries,” the author noted, “gave great satisfaction to their hearers, as was evident from the applause they received; and the last performance [by Church] expresses so much true sense, and this conceived in such a delicate stile, that no one can read it without respect for the celebrated author.”  The editorialist from Marblehead likely had a copy of Church’s Oration printed by Greenleaf, allowing for extensive quotations and reflections on how they accurately described the crisis the colonies faced.

That editorial bolstered the advertisement for Church’s Oration that the Halls inserted in that issue and subsequent advertisements that appeared in the next three issues of the Essex Gazette.  More than a month after the anniversary, the Halls continued to hawk the pamphlet, extending the commemoration and helping to keep the dangers of quartering soldiers in Boston visible to their readers who resided outside that city.

March 16

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

Essex Gazette (March 16, 1773).

“At his APOTHECARY SHOP, at the Sign of the LION and MORTAR, in SALEM.”

Several advertisements in the March 16, 1773, edition of the Essex Gazette included references to visual devices that aided customers in identifying businesses as well as residents and visitors in navigating the streets of Salem.  Abraham Safford, for instance, advised readers that he recently opened a tavern “rendered conspicuous by an elegant Sign of KING GEORGE THE THIRD.”  Philip Godfrid Kast promoted medicines available at his apothecary shop “at the Sign of the LION and MORTAR.”  An advertisement for Jacob Hemet’s Essence of Peral and Pearl Dentifrice listed Nathaniel Dabney’s apothecary shop “at the Head of Hippocrates” as the local vendor for those products.  Even entrepreneurs who did not have their own signs made reference to well-known devices, as Stephen Higginson did when he directed prospective customers to his shop “opposite the King’s Arms Tavern.”  Newspapers published in other towns also carried advertisements that incorporated signs for the purposes of both marketing businesses and marking locations.

Most such visual markers disappeared long ago.  In many instances, newspaper advertisements provide the sole testimony to their presence in eighteenth-century cityscapes.  Some of those advertisements, however, also included depictions of the signs and other devices that marked the locations of shops and stores.  Dabney, for example, ran several advertisements that featured the Head of Hippocrates, a bust of the ancient Greek physician atop a column, that identified his shop.  Kast distributed another kind of advertisement, a trade card engraved by Nathaniel Hurd, that prominently displayed his shop sign, a lion grasping a large mortar, hanging from an ornate signpost.  Those images hint at some of the sights seen in Salem in the eighteenth century.  Given the number of signs and other devices mentioned in newspapers and depicted on trade cards, billheads, handbills, and other marketing materials, colonizers encountered a rich environment of visual images as they traversed the streets of their towns, especially in busy ports.

March 9

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

Essex Gazette (March 9, 1773).

“Rendered conspicuous by an elegant Sign of KING GEORGE THE THIRD.”

In March 1773, Abraham Safford took to the pages of the Essex Gazette to inform the public that he recently opened a tavern in a “commodious House” in Salem.  He pledged that “Gentlemen and Ladies may be entertained in the best Manner, and on the most reasonable Terms.”  To aid patrons in making their way to his new establishment, Safford advised that it was “rendered conspicuous by an elegant Sign of KING GEORGE THE THIRD.”  In another advertisement in the Essex Gazette, Stephen Higginson gave his location as the “Shop opposite the King’s Arms Tavern, in SALEM.”  Both advertisements appeared in the same issue that reprinted a lengthy account of commemorations that took place in Boston on the third anniversary of the “horrid Massacre perpetrated by a Party of the 29th Regiment,” including an oration on the danger of standing armies in cities by Dr. Benjamin Church, the lighting of a lantern with panes painted to depict the Boston Massacre, and the tolling of bells.

How did Safford happen to choose the “Sign of KING GEORGE THE THIRD” to mark his location and represent his business?  Why did the proprietor of the King’s Arms Tavern continue to use that device?  Did deploying those images suggest loyalist sympathies?  Would colonizers who considered themselves patriots hesitate or even refuse to gather at those taverns?  Not necessarily.  As the imperial crisis unfolded, colonizers tended to critique Parliament and the soldiers that Parliament stationed in American cities while simultaneously embracing their British identity and the benefits of being part of such a powerful empire.  That identify included participating in a transatlantic consumer revolution and adopting fashions popular in London.  Many looked to the king to correct the excesses of Parliament, such as the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts.  As late as July 1775, the Second Continental Congress sent the Olive Branch Petition to George III in hopes of avoiding war, though by that time John Adams and others considered it a futile gesture.  The king rejected the petition, demonstrating to colonizers that he had little interest in addressing their grievances.  In January 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a political pamphlet that advocated for independence.  His arguments included critiques “Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession.”

Colonizers eventually identified George III as responsible for the problems within the empire, but they did not do so throughout the imperial crisis.  Instead, shifting blame from Parliament to the king was a process that occurred over a decade.  That Safford opened a tavern at the “Sign of KING GEORGE THE THIRD” in 1773 may have been a signal that he hoped the monarch would protect the liberties of the colonizers against the abuses perpetrated by Parliament, not necessarily an indication that the proprietor (or his patrons) supported loyalists over patriots.

February 23

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

Essex Gazette (February 23, 1773).

“Also at NATHANIEL DABNEY’s Apothecary-Shop, at the Head of Hippocrates, Salem, New-England.”

Advertisements for Essence of Pearl and Pearl Dentifrice regularly appeared in newspapers printed in Boston in the early 1770s.  According to the notice, Jacob Hemet, “DENTIST to her Majesty, and the Princess Amelia,” manufactured these products to “preserve the Teeth in a perfect sound State, even to old Age” as well as “render them white and beautiful,” “fasten such as are loose,” and prevent the Tooth-Ach.”  Hemet’s products also helped with the gums.  Supposedly they could “perfectly cure the Scurvy of the Gums,” “make them grow firm and close to the Teeth,” and “remedy almost all those Disorders that are the Consequence of scorbutic Gums.”  Like many patent medicines, Essence of Pearl and Pearl Dentifrice had many uses for a variety of maladies.

Advertisements bearing Hemet’s name in capital letters as the primary headline and his occupation and service to royalty as the secondary headline appeared in several newspapers in Boston, including the February 18, 1773, edition of the Massachusetts Spy.  Advertisements with identical copy also ran in the New-Hampshire Gazette, published in Portsmouth.  Those notices indicated that Hemet appointed a select few agents to sell his products, “W. Bayley, Perfumer, in Cockspur-street, near the Bottom of the Hay-Market, London,” and William Scott at the “Irish Linen-Store, near the Draw-Bridge, Boston, New-England.”  Those may not have been all of the associates that Hemet authorized to sell his products.  Other advertisers included his Essence of Pearl and Pearl Dentifrice among lists of patent medicines and other merchandise, though they did not go into detail about the products.  They may have expected that consumers were already familiar with them.

One advertiser, however, did attempt to establish a connection to Hemet and encourage readers to purchase the dentist’s products from him.  For many months, Nathaniel Dabney took to the pages of the Essex Gazette, published in Salem, Massachusetts, with an advertisement that featured copy nearly identical to those in the New-Hampshire Gazette and the Boston newspapers … except he added himself to the list of authorized dealers: “also at NATHANIEL DABNEY’s Apothecary-Shop, at the Head of Hippocrates, Salem, New-England.”  Residents of the town and readers of the only newspaper published there in the early 1770s likely would have been familiar with Dabney’s shop and the device that marked its location.  The apothecary sometimes included images of “the Head of HIPPOCRATES” in his advertisements that listed a variety of patent medicines and other goods available at his shop.  He did not publish advertisements for specific products, making the advertisement for Hemet’s Essence of Pearl and Pearl Dentifrice an exception.  Had he entered into some sort of agreement with Hemet?  Or had he acquired the products wholesale, perhaps from William Scott, and decided to take advantage of advertising copy already in circulation?  Printers generated much of the news content by reprinting generously from one newspaper to another.  Perhaps Dabney adopted a similar method in his efforts to market Hemet’s products.  He likely would not have been the only advertiser to borrow copy from notices placed by others during the era of the American Revolution.

February 16

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

Essex Gazette (February 16, 1773).

“Any who favour him with their Custom, may depend upon being well served.”

The decorative border that enclosed Stephen Higginson’s advertisement for a “large & general Assortment of English and India GOODS” in the February 16, 1773, edition of the Essex Gazette distinguished it from all of the other advertisements … except for one.  John Appleton’s advertisement for “as large an Assortment of English Goods as any in this Town” also featured a border made of ornamental type.

Such borders did not appear in the Essex Gazette with the same frequency that they did in several of the newspapers published in Boston.  In the summer and fall of 1772, several advertisers took an interest in enhancing their advertisements in the Boston Evening-Post, the Boston-Gazette, the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Post-Boy, and the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter with borders.  Among the newspapers published in the city, only the Massachusetts Spy seemed to reject that design element.

Given the proximity of Boston to Salem as well as the circulation of newspapers far beyond their places of publication during the era of the American Revolution, Higginson and, especially, Appleton may have noticed advertisements with borders in newspapers they read and then decided to incorporate that feature into their own advertisements.  Appleton did so first, commencing his advertisement in the January 19 edition of the Essex Gazette.  (His advertisement in the October 27, 1772, issue did not have a border.)  It already ran for four consecutive weeks before Higginson placed his own advertisement enclosed in a decorative border.  While Higginson may have also seen similar advertisements in newspapers published in Boston, it seems even more likely that he was familiar with Appleton’s advertisement that ran in the newspaper in his own town for the past month.

Whatever their inspirations, Appleton and Higginson continued experiments with type and format already underway among advertisers, compositors, and printers in the 1760s and 1770s.  The borders added visual aspects to their advertisement, drawing the attention of readers.  They likely also cost less than woodcuts that advertisers commissioned to adorn their notices.  After all, printers had a variety of decorative type in their cases.  Borders may have been a means of upgrading the visual appeal without significantly increasing the costs of advertising.

February 2

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

Essex Gazette (February 2, 1773).

“An ORATION on the Beauties of LIBERTY.”

For the third consecutive week, an advertisement for “An ORATION on the Beauties of LIBERTY, from Mic. vii. 3. Delivered at the Second Baptist Church in Boston, on the last Thanksgiving Day” ran in the February 2, 1773, edition of the Essex Gazette.  That notice also informed readers that the printers of the newspaper, Samuel Hall and Ebenezer Hall, also sold “Fleeming’s REGISTER for New-England and Nova-Scotia, with an Almanack for 1773.”  Some of the contents of the almanac became obsolete with each passing day, but the principles expressed in the Oration endured long after John Allen, known as a “British Bostonian,” gave the address in December 1772.

John M. Bumsted and Charles E. Clark described the Oration as “one of the best-selling pamphlets of the pre-Revolutionary crisis, passing through seven editions in four cities between 1773 and 1775.”[1]  In addition to printers producing the pamphlet in Boston, Hartford and New London in Connecticut, and Wilmington in Delaware, printers and booksellers advertised the Oration in other cities and towns.  The Halls encouraged the popularity and dissemination of the pamphlet by advertising it in Salem as soon David Kneeland and Nathaniel Davis, the printers, took it to press and made it available for purchase.  On January 14, Kneeland and Davis placed notices in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter and the Massachusetts Spy to announce that the pamphlet was “Now in the press, and will be published in a few days.”  Just five days later, the Halls advertised that they sold the pamphlet.

The Halls almost certainly stocked and sold other books that they did not advertise in their newspaper.  They chose to devote space to promoting two items they considered timely, an almanac for 1773 and a pamphlet that critiqued the appointment of Commissioners of Inquiry concerning the Gaspee incident.  Advertisements in multiple newspapers published in multiple cities and distributed to even more cities and towns likely helped Allen’s Oration become such a popular pamphlet during the era of the American Revolution.


[1] John M. Bumsted and Charles E. Clark, “New England’s Tom Paine: John Allen and the Spirit of Liberty,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 21, no. 4 (October 1964): 561.

January 5

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

Essex Gazette (January 5, 1773).

“Strangers among us who import and sell English Plate, to the great Hurt and Prejudice of the Townsmen who have been bred to the Business.”

During the first week of 1773, Daniel Henchman, a silversmith, launched an advertising campaign intended to encourage consumers to support what colonizers called domestic manufactures.  In other words, he wanted them to purchase goods made in the colonies rather than items imported from England.  To disseminate his message to prospective customers “in Town & Country,” he placed a notice in the January 4 edition of the Boston Evening-Post and the January 5 edition of the Essex Gazette, published in Salem.

Henchman explained that he “makes with his own Hands all Kinds of large and small Plate Work, in the genteelest Taste and newest Fashion.”  By invoking both taste and fashion, the silversmith primed readers to think of his work as equivalent to imported goods before he even mentioned “English Plate.”  He also underscored the quality of his work, stating that it “has hitherto met with the Approbation of the most Curious.”  Furthermore, Henchman challenged others to compare his work to imported items, proclaiming his confidence that “he shall have the preference, by those who are Judges of Work, to those Strangers among us who import and sell English Plate.”  Only then did he cast aspersions on the importers, asserting that their actions caused “great Hurt and Prejudice [to] the Townsmen who have been bred to the Business.”  Consumers had a duty, Henchman suggested, to support their neighbors and to bolster the local economy through the choices they made in the marketplace.

To that end, the silversmith pledged to do his part if given the opportunity.  He declared that “he will make any Kind of Plate [his customers] may want, equal in Goodness and cheaper than any they can import from London.”  If his other appeals did not sway them, Henchman hoped that low prices would seal the deal with prospective customers.  He deployed some of the most common marketing strategies in use during the era of the American Revolution, making appeals to price, quality, and fashion, while also enhancing them within the context of supporting domestic manufactures.

December 29

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

Essex Gazette (December 29, 1772).

The Publick would only laugh … at so many flashy Advertisements as weekly present themselves to their View.”

The introduction to Nathaniel Sparhawk’s advertisement listing an array of goods available at his shop in Salem was typical of those that appeared in the Essex Gazette and other newspapers in the early 1770s: “Just imported in the last Ships, Captains Scott and Lyde from London, and Smith from Bristol, A great Variety of English and India GOODS, suitable for the Season, All or any of which will be sold extremely cheap for Cash or short Credit.”  Sparhawk had good reason for including each detail, all of them standard elements of marketing consumer goods in the eighteenth century.  In a nota bene, he made additional appeals concerning price: “As said Sparhawk proposes to quit his present Business (as soon as he can without Loss) to pursue some other Brach; all his good Customers, and others, may depend on being served with good Pennyworths, determining to sell at a very low Advance, or for very small Profits.”

Samuel Flagg did not think much of any of those methods, or so he claimed.  In contrast to the kinds of introductions offered by Sparhawk and others, Flagg simply stated that he “has the following Articles, which he would be glad to sell.”  After an extensive catalog of his merchandise, the shopkeeper inserted a lengthy diatribe about advertising practices then in fashion.  “The said FLAGG,” he proclaimed, “don’t mean to make such a Parade, nor furnish the Publick with so many pompous Promises (as have lately been exhibited) of Goods being so amazingly cheap, but would rather convince them of the Cheapness of his Goods and of his Integrity in dealing, whenever they may please to call and favour him with their Custom.”  Flagg managed to make his own appeal to low prices while also mocking the pronouncements so often published by his competitors.  He confided to readers that they all knew proclamations about offering the lowest prices or not being undersold were hyperbole.  Rather than perpetuate that kind of marketing, he promised prospective customers that he would be an honest broker.

To that end, Flagg acknowledged that “he could very easily tell them a Story, about where his Goods were made, who shipped them, what Ship brought them, who trucked them, how much they cost, how much cheaper they were than ever imported before, and how much he held himself obliged to the good People for looking at them, without buying.”  While composing his advertisement, Flagg could have gone through Sparhawk’s notice to identify and address each detail to denigrate.  He considered all those details and insinuations about why one shopkeeper’s prices and inventory were supposedly the best rather foolish … and he believed that readers shared his view.  Flagg concluded his tirade with an assertion that “the Publick would only laugh at” such stories,” as they must do, at so many flashy Advertisements as weekly present themselves to their View, with no more true Meaning than the above recited Story would contain.”

His disdain for such stories did not prevent Flagg from resorting to one very popular marketing strategy.  He listed scores of goods, demonstrating to consumers how many choices he made available to them at his shop.  Several of his competitors also listed dozens of items, but none named as many as Flagg did in his notice.  In addition, that notice occupied more space on the page than any other advertisement in the December 29, 1772, edition of the Essex Gazette, even without the jeremiad about marketing that concluded it.  Flagg certainly had some views about what he considered negative developments in advertising, but he was not immune to adopting one of the most prevalent strategies for attempting to entice readers to become consumers.