July 27

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

Providence Gazette (July 27, 1771).

“Warwick Bridge Lottery.”

When readers perused the pages of the July 27, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazette, they encountered a variety of news gathered from various sources.  The first page featured editorials in the form of letters “To the PRINTER of the PROVIDENCE GAZETTE” and “To the Inhabitants of the Town of Providence” as well as news from London delivered “By the Brig Diana, Captain Perkins, arrived at Boston.”  News from London continued on the second page, eventually giving way to items from Jamaica and North Carolina.  The third page consisted of items with datelines from Quebec, New York, Cambridge, and Boston along with brief updates about Providence.  On the final page, the printer devoted most of the first column to additional news from Boston, but reserved the remainder for a list of “PRICES CURRENT inPROVIDENCE” and advertisements.  Many of those advertisements delivered news that did not appear elsewhere in the newspaper.

For instance, the “Managers of the Warwick Bridge Lottery” provided a brief update on their public works project.  They encouraged readers to fund their endeavor by purchasing tickets for a drawing slated to take place “in a very short Time.”  In a much lengthier advertisement that ran week after week for several months, Joseph Clarke, General Treasurer, reported on actions taken by the colony’s General Assembly concerning “Old Tenor Bills.”  Clarke called on “all Persons possessed of said Bills, to bring them in, and have them exchanged, agreeable to said Act of Assembly.”  Clarke supplemented that notice, dated December 31, 1770, with a shorter notice dated June 20, 1771.  In another advertisement that ran  for several months, this one in multiple newspapers, Alexander Colden informed colonists that “HIS Majesty’s Post-Master General … has been pleased to add a fifth Packet Boat to the Station between Falmouth and New-York” for the purpose of “better facilitating … Correspondence between Great Britain and America.”

Some of the advertisements promoted a variety of consumer goods and services or described real estate for sale, but a significant number of them delivered news.  In order to stay informed, readers could not dismiss advertisements out of hand but instead needed to skim them for important updates that might not appear among the articles and editorials printed on the other pages of the newspaper.

July 20

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

Providence Gazette (July 20, 1771).

“A VERY large and neat Assortment of English Goods.”

Joseph Russell and William Russell, two of the city’s most prominent merchants, regularly advertised in the Providence Gazette in the early 1770s.  They placed their notices for short periods, sometimes running more than one at a time.  Consider their marketing efforts during the summer of 1771.  On June 29, they inserted an advertisement to inform prospective customers that they now stocked “A VERY large and neat Assortment of English Goods, Ironmongery, Brasiery, Cutlery, Haberdashery, Stationary,” and other goods imported from London.  That advertisement ran for four consecutive weeks before being discontinued on July 27.  Two weeks after first placing that notice, the Russells placed another advertisement, that one for “THIRTY Barrels of choice Connecticut Pork” as well as corn and textiles.  It also ran for four weeks, appearing in the July 13 and 20 editions of the Providence Gazette with the other advertisement.  On July 27, the Russells published just one advertisement, but on August 3, the last issue for the advertisement about pork, they ran a new advertisement for imported goods.  It also appeared for four weeks.

When it came to advertising, the Russells made deliberate choices.  According to the rates that John Carter, the printer of the Providence Gazette, inserted in the colophon, “ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length (accompanied with the Pay) are inserted in this Paper three Weeks for Four Shillings.”  The Russells did not opt to have their notices run for the minimum amount of time before removing them.  Instead, they added an additional week to allow for greater exposure, but then retired their advertisements and devised new notices.  Doing so allowed them to keep their enterprise visible to prospective customers without risking readers dismissing advertisements that became too familiar.  Did advertising in eighteenth-century newspapers work?  The Russells seemed to believe that advertising was indeed effective, at least when properly managed, or else they would not have placed so many notices in the Providence Gazette and incurred the expenses of doing so.

July 13

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

Providence Gazette (July 13, 1771).

“Just arrived in the Tristram, Captain Shand, from London, a fine Assortment of Hard Ware and other GOODS.”

In the summer of 1771, the partnership of Nicholas, Joseph, and Moses Brown informed retailers in Providence and surrounding towns that they carried “a fine Assortment of Hard Ware and other GOODS, which they will sell on the lowest Terms, by Wholesale.”  The merchants also indicated that they imported their inventory from London aboard the Tristram, a ship that recently arrived in port.  In so doing, they followed a custom adopted by many other purveyors of goods who placed newspaper advertisements in the eighteenth century.

The two advertisements immediately above the Browns’ notice in the July 13, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazettealso made reference to the Tristram.  Edward Thurber proclaimed that he sold “A Good Assortment of HARD WARE and PIECE GOODS” imported from London “in the Snow Tristram, Captain Shand.”  Similarly, Joseph Russell and William Russell had in stock “A VERY large and neat Assortment of English Goods, Ironmongery, Brasiery, Cutlery, Haberdashery, [and] Stationary” that they received from London “in the Ship Providence, and in the Snow Tristram.”

In their advertisement, Lovett and Greene promoted “A NEAT Assortment of English, East and West India GOODS.”  They also declared that they “Just imported” their merchandise, but they did not list the vessels that transported the goods across the Atlantic.  Neither did Robert Nesbitt, who asserted that he sold “an Assortment of Goods … immediately imported from Ireland.”  Most advertisements ran for several weeks and some for several months, making it more difficult for prospective customers to assess what “Just imported” or “immediately imported” meant when not stated in connection with vessels that arrived from other ports.  Thurber, the Russells, and the “COMPANY” formed by the Browns, on the other hand, provided valuable information that readers could compare to either the shipping news that ran elsewhere in the newspaper or general knowledge about when vessels arrived in port.  A detail that may seem quaint by modern standards revealed important context for prospective customers in the eighteenth century.

July 6

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

Providence Gazette (July 6, 1771).

“From the CAPE-FEAR MERCURY.”

Rather than examine an advertisement published in an American newspaper 250 years ago, I am devoting this entry to consideration of the many advertisements that will never appear in the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project because copies of the newspapers in which they appear have not been preserved.

Such is the case for the Cape-Fear Mercury, printed by Adam Boyd in Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1769 through 1775.  John Carter, printer of the Providence Gazette, reprinted news from the June 5, 1771, edition of the Cape-Fear Mercury on July 6.  No copies of that issue or any others published in 1771 or 1772 survive, according to Edward Connery Lathem’s Chronological Table of American Newspapers, 1690-1820.  Sporadic issues from the rest of the newspaper’s run combined with letters in the Colonial Records of North Carolina allowed Clarence Brigham to piece together a publication history for his monumental History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820.  Similarly, Lathem reports “no copies extant” for the Georgia Gazette for 1771 and “few numbers known (usually less than 25% of those issued)” for 1772 and 1773.  James Johnston printed the Georgia Gazette in Savannah from 1763 through 1776.  America’s Historical Newspapers includes digitized copies from the first issue published on April 7, 1763, through May 23, 1770, but no later issues.

That so few issues of the Cape-Fear Mercury and the Georgia Gazette survive today shapes the Adverts 250 Projectand, especially, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project.  In selecting advertisements promoting consumer goods and services, as well as those placed for a variety of other purposes, I attempt to draw from newspapers published throughout the colonies.  In his work on the consumer revolution in eighteenth-century America, T.H. Breen has argued that consumers experienced a standardization of both tastes and choices throughout the colonies.  Participation in consumer culture in Boston, for instance, closely resembled participation in consumer culture in Charleston.  The contents of newspaper advertisements, Breen asserts, did not much vary from place to place.  The Adverts 250 Project draws from two dozen newspapers published in 1771 and subsequently digitized for greater access by scholars and other readers.  The advertisements in those newspapers attest to Breen’s characterizations of the marketplace.  Still, it would be nice to include advertisements from Georgia and North Carolina alongside those from the newspapers published in South Carolina.

This gap has a much more significant impact on the Slavery Adverts 250 Project and its mission to chronicle the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution.  From September 2016 through May 2020, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project incorporated advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children that ran in the Georgia Gazette.  Those advertisements often accounted for a sizable portion of all paid notices that appeared in the Georgia Gazette and funded the production and circulation of the news in that colony.  The Slavery Adverts 250 Project has never included advertisements from North Carolina newspapers since none from the period under consideration survive.  In terms of advertisements about enslaved people, the pages of the Cape-Fear Mercurypresumably resembled the pages of the South-Carolina Gazette, the South-Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, the South-Carolina and American General Gazette, and the Georgia Gazette.  That those newspapers and advertisements are missing from the Slavery Adverts 250 Project skews the results and the intended reckoning with the role the early American press played in perpetuating slavery by considerably undercounting advertisements about enslaved men, women, and children published in the late 1760s and early 1770s.  Given how many advertisements offering rewards for the capture and return of enslaved people who liberated themselves ran in other newspapers, this also means that many stories of Black resistance in the Cape-Fear Mercury and the Georgia Gazette remain obscured.

John Carter selected highlights from the Cape-Fear Mercury to reprint in the Providence Gazette, only a small portion of the news and none of the advertising from that publication.  The eighteenth-century newspapers that have been preserved in research libraries and historical societies and then digitized for greater access collectively comprise a vast archive, but it is an incomplete archive shaped by countless decisions made by printers, archivists, librarian, collectors, and others over the course of more than two centuries.  In addition to asking what eighteenth-century newspapers tell us about the founding of the nation we also need to interrogate what might be missing as a result of those decisions.

June 29

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

Providence Gazette (June 29, 1771).

Too many to enumerate in the Compass of an Advertisement.”

Edward Thurber stocked a variety of commodities at his store in Providence.  In an advertisement in the June 29, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazette, he listed several grocery items, including “Loaf and brown Sugar,” “Choice Cyder Vinegar,” “Coffee and Chocolate,” “Figs and Raisins,” and “Flour, Rice.”  He did not attempt, however, to provide even an abbreviated list of the “Good Assortment of HARD WARE and PIECE GOODS” he recently imported from London.  Instead, he proclaimed that they were “too many to enumerate in the Compass of an Advertisement.”  Such a statement challenged readers accustomed to encountering extensive lists of merchandise to imagine the range of choices the merchant offered.  Thurber was no stranger to publishing advertisements that cataloged his wares in detail; like many other colonial merchants and shopkeepers, he deployed lengthy lists as a marketing strategy to attract attention and demonstrate the options he made available to consumers.  In this instance, he experimented with another means of communicating choice without taking up as much space (and incurring as much expense) in the newspaper.

In the same issue of the Providence Gazette, other advertisers promised choices to prospective customers.  Joseph and William Russell, for instance, promoted their “VERY large and neat Assortment of English Goods, Ironmongery, Brasiery, Cutlery, Haberdashery, [and] Stationary.”  They adopted their own less-is-more marketing strategy by listing categories of goods but not any particular items, except for a “great Assortment of Irish Linens, Lawns and Cambricks” in a nota bene.  Lovett and Greene advertised a “NEAT Assortment of English, East and West-India GOODS,” but did not insert further commentary about the range of choices.  Similarly, Nicholas, Joseph, and Moses Brown hawked a “fine Assortment of Hard Ware and other GOODS,” but did not list which items prospective customers could expect to find in their store.  Among the wholesalers and retailers who published notices in that edition of the Providence Gazette, Thurber alone commented on the absence of any sort of catalog of his merchandise, increasing the likelihood that readers would envision a lengthy advertisement and credit him with providing many choices even though they did not see those choices visibly represented on the page.  A clever turn of phrase distinguished Thurber’s advertisement from the several others that ran alongside it.

June 22

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

Providence Gazette (June 22, 1771).

“ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length (accompanied with the Pay) are inserted in this Paper three Weeks for Four Shillings Lawful Money.”

Today marks two thousand days of production for the Adverts 250 Project.  Every day for two thousand consecutive days, I have examined an advertisement originally published in an eighteenth-century newspaper.  Students enrolled in my Colonial America, Revolutionary America, Public History, and Research Methods classes at Assumption University have also contributed to the Adverts 250 Project as guest curators.

This milestone seems like a good opportunity to address two of the questions I most commonly encounter.  How much did a subscription to an eighteenth-century newspaper cost?  How much did an advertisement cost?  Most printers did not regularly publish subscription rates or advertising rates in their newspapers, but some did include that information in the colophon at the bottom of the final page.  Of the twenty-two newspapers published during the week of Sunday, June 16 through Saturday, June 22, 1771, that have been digitized and made available for scholars and other readers, seven listed subscription rates and six indicated advertising rates.  Four of those, the Essex Gazette, the Maryland Gazette, Purdie and Dixon’s Virginia Gazette, and Rind’s Virginia Gazette, included both subscription rates and advertising rates in the colophon. That nearly as many identified advertising rates as the cost of subscriptions testifies to the importance of advertising for generating revenue.

Here is an overview of subscription rates and advertising rates inserted in the colophons of colonial newspapers during the last week of spring in 1771.

SUBSCRIPTION RATES:

  • Essex Gazette (June 18): “THIS GAZETTE may be had for Six Shillings and Eight Pence per Annum, (exclusive of Postage) 3s. 4d. (or 3s. 6d. if sent by Post) to be paid at Entrance.”
  • Maryland Gazette (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this GAZETTE, at 12s. 6d. a Year.”
  • Massachusetts Spy (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this paper at Six Shillings and Eight Pence, Lawful Money, per Annum.”
  • Pennsylvania Chronicle (June 17): “Subscriptions, (at TEN SHILLINGS per Annum) Advertisements, Articles and Letters of Intelligence are gratefully received for this Paper.”
  • Pennsylvania Journal (June 20): “Persons may be supplied with this Paper at Ten Shillings a Year.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20): “ALL Persons may be supplied with this PAPER at 12s. 6d. a Year.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20): “All Persons may be supplied with this GAZETTE at 12s6 per Year.”

ADVERTISING RATES:

  • Essex Gazette (June 18): “ADVERTISEMENTS not exceeding eight or ten Lines are inserted for Three Shillings.”
  • Maryland Gazette (June 20): “ADVERTISEMENTS, of a moderate Length, are inserted for the First Time, for 5s. and 1s. for each Week’s Continuance.  Long Ones in Proportion to their Number of Lines.”
  • New-York Journal (June 20): “Advertisements of no more Length than Breadth are inserted for Five Shillings, four Weeks, and One Shilling for each Week after, and larger Advertisements in the same Proportion.”
  • Providence Gazette (June 22): “ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length (accompanied with the Pay) are inserted in this Paper three Weeks for Four Shillings Lawful Money.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (June 20): “ALL Persons may … have ADVERTISEMENTS (of a moderate Length) inserted in it for 3s. the first Week, and 2s. each Week after.”
  • Virginia Gazette [Rind] (June 20): “ADVERTISEMENTS of a moderate Length are inserted for 3s. the First Week, and 2s. each Time after; and long ones in Proportion.”

Those newspapers that specified both subscription rates and advertising rates demonstrate the potential for generating significant revenue by publishing advertisements.  The competing newspapers in Williamsburg, Virginia, each charged twelve shillings and six pence per year for a subscription and collected three shillings for the first insertion of an advertisement and two shillings for every subsequent insertion.  William Rind declared that he set rates “in Proportion” for longer advertisements.  An advertisement that ran for six weeks cost more than an annual subscription.  Anne Catherine Green set the same price, twelve shillings and six pence, for a subscription to the Maryland Gazette, but charged five shillings the first time an advertisement ran.  Samuel Hall charged six shillings and eight pence for a subscription to the Essex Gazette and three shillings for each appearance of an advertisement of “eight or ten Lines.”  Some significantly exceeded that length, costing as much as a subscription for a single insertion.  Other printers presumable set similar rates, a pricing structure that meant that advertising played a substantial role in funding the dissemination of the news even in the colonial era.

June 15

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

Providence Gazette (June 15, 1771).

“He will sell as cheap … as can be purchased anywhere on the Continent.”

Purveyors of goods and services frequently made appeals to price to entice prospective customers, but some made much bolder claims than others.  Consider how advertisers sought to leverage price to their advantage in the June 15, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazette.

William Eliot stocked a variety of textiles “to be sold cheap.”  Similarly, John Fitton sold flour, pork, and peas by the barrel, “all cheap for Cash” (or in trade for “good Melasses”).  In addition to promising low prices, other advertisers insisted that they set the lowest prices for their wares.  The partnership of Nicholas, Joseph, and Moses Brown, for instance, carried “a fine Assortment of Hard Ware and other GOODS, which they will sell on the lowest Terms.”  Coy and Waterman specialized in painting supplies, having “furnished themselves with a compleat Assortment of Painters Colours, which they will sell at the lowest Prices.”

Other advertisers made even more colorful proclamations about prices.  At his shop at the Sign of the Turk’s Head, Paul Allen supposedly offered some of the best bargains anywhere in the colonies.  He trumpeted that “he will sell on as low Terms … as can be purchased anywhere on the Continent.”  Allen informed prospective customers that his prices matched the best deals available in Boston, Charleston, New York, Philadelphia, and other towns and cities.  Joseph Nash made the same comparison, declaring that he sold his “neat Assortment of GOODS … as cheap … as can be purchased anywhere on the Continent.”  Allen and Nash echoed an appeal John Morton and James Morton made in the Connecticut Journal and New-Haven Post-Boy the previous day.  The Mortons promised prospective customers that they could acquire their merchandise “as cheap as in New York or Boston.”

The vast majority of merchants and shopkeepers mentioned low prices in their newspaper advertisements, though some were more creative than others in doing so.  Advertisers like Allen and Nash attempted to attract customers with reassurances that they had the best deals anywhere, not just prices that were low enough to compete in the local marketplace.  In the process, they prompted readers to imagine themselves participating in a consumer revolution taking place throughout the colonies and beyond.  Acquiring goods connected readers of the Providence Gazette to colonists in faraway places, giving them common experiences through their experiences in the marketplace.

June 8

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

Providence Gazette (June 8, 1771).

“Choice Cyder Vinegar.”

As summer approached in 1771, the number of advertisements in the Providence Gazette increased, due in part to the arrival of ships from England delivering imported goods to merchants and shopkeepers after winter ended.  Advertising accounted for nearly half of the content in the June 8, 1771, edition, many of the paid notices seeking to entice consumers to purchase textiles, garments, housewares, and hardware.

Many of those advertisements followed a similar format.  Headlines consisted of the names of the advertisers while the body of the notices provided lists of goods, alerting prospective customers to the many choices available, in dense paragraphs of text.  In terms of graphic design, those advertisements resembled other paid notices, including advertisements about runaway indentured servants, legal notices, estate notices, and even advertisements about strayed or stolen horses.  Some advertisements did not much different than news accounts.  Determining the purpose of an advertisement and navigating its contents required careful reading.

Some purveyors of consumer goods adopted a different strategy when enumerating their merchandise.  Instead of a single paragraph, Edward Thurber used two columns with only one item on most lines.  This introduced a greater amount of white space into the advertisement while simultaneously making it easier to skim the notice and determine whether it included specific items of interest.  This format increased the amount of space an advertisement filled, which meant that advertisers paid more for it.  Thurber may have considered it well worth the investment if the graphic design distinguished his notice from the many others placed by his competitors.

Only one other advertisement in the June 8 edition featured merchandise listed in columns.  Amos Throop, an apothecary, used columns for listing the various patent medicines available at his shop.  He then reverted to the standard paragraph format for listing other items, producing a hybrid format for describing his inventory.  Both Thurber and Throop competed with other advertisers who sold the same goods, as well as many others who did not resort to the public prints to hawk their wares.  Thurber and Throop made appeals to consumer choice, customer service, and low prices, but they did not depend on advertising copy alone in reaching out to prospective customers.  Graphic design likely also helped them to capture and keep the attention of consumers perusing the Providence Gazette.

June 1

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

Providence Gazette (June 1, 1771).

“At the Sign of the Turk’s Head.”

In an era before standardized street numbers, merchants, shopkeepers, artisans, and others devised a variety of methods for denoting their locations in their newspaper advertisements.  William Eliot, for instance, kept shop at “the South End of Col. Knight Dexter’s House, opposite the Printing-Office” in Providence.  Jabez Bowen sold “ENGLISH GOODS” and medicines “at his Store on the Wharff of Samuel Chace.”  Beyond Providence, Nathaniel Greene “opened a Shop in … East-Greenwich, in the House where Captain Benjamin Green formerly dwelt.”

The directions in each of these advertisements depended on some level of knowledge of local people and landmarks.  Other advertisers in Providence and the surrounding towns supplemented the directions they gave to prospective customers with shop signs that definitively marked their locations.  Clark and Nightingale advised prospective customers that they could find their store “near the Court House, at the Sign of the Fish and Frying Pan.”  Thurber and Cahoon operated their business “At the Sign of the Bunch of Grapes, North End.”  Paul Allen invited “Ladies and Gentlemen both in Town and Country” to visit his shop “at the Corner of the Great Bridge in Providence, at the Sign of the Turk’s Head.” Along with all of these advertisements in the June 1, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazette, printer John Carter listed the location of his printing office, including a shop sign, in the colophon.  Anyone seeking to do business with him needed to look for “Shakespear’s Head, in King-Street, near the Court-House.”

These many and varied shop signs testify to a visual landscape of urban spaces that has transformed over the years.  The use of distinctive devices featuring words and images to mark locations continues today.  Although the Sign of the Fish and Frying Pan and the Sign of the Bunch of Grapes are no longer on display in Providence, residents and visitors encounter many other signs that aid them in finding specific locations and navigating the streets of the city.  In that regard, their experiences are similar to those of colonists who traveled the same streets more than two centuries earlier, even though the visual culture of urban spaces has evolved in that time.

May 25

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

Providence Gazette (May 25, 1771).

“A SERMON on the Death of the Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD.”

George Whitefield’s afterlife in American newspapers continued in an advertisement published in the May 25, 1771, edition of the Providence Gazette.  Whitefield, one of the most prominent ministers associated with the eighteenth-century religious revivals now known as the Great Awakening, died in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1770.  The news appeared in several newspapers printed in Boston the following day.  It did not take long for printers in other towns to reprint accounts of the minister’s death.  Almost as quickly, printers, booksellers, and others advertised sermons preached in Whitefield’s memory and other commemorative items.  Half a year later, a second round of marketing Whitefield memorabilia commenced when ships from England arrived with word of how his death had been received there.  Those ships also carried items published in London, including Whitefield’s last will and testament and a sermon by John Wesley.  Colonial printers then produced and advertised American editions.

John Carter, printer of the Providence Gazette, participated in the commodification of George Whitefield.  Carter advertised several books as well as assorted stationery for sale at his printing office, deploying Whitefield’s name to draw attention to the notice he ran in his own newspaper.  John Wesley’s “SERMON on the Death of the Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD” appeared first in the advertisement, under the headline “JUST PUBLISHED (in Boston).”  Carter apparently stocked John Fleeming’s edition, first advertised in the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter on April 19.  John Holt, printer of the New-York Journal, previously advertised the first American edition on March 21.  Both printers distributed copies to associates in other towns, expanding the prospective market for the sermon and increasing the number of advertisements in the colonial press.  John Dunlap advertised Holt’s edition of Wesley’s sermon in the Pennsylvania Chronicle on April 22.  On April 26, Daniel Fowle and Robert Fowle, printers of the New-Hampshire Gazette, advertised Fleeming’s edition of the sermon.  As advertisements for Wesley’s sermon appeared in newspapers in several colonies, advertisements for other items commemorating Whitefield, including a medal, continued to present consumers with opportunities to honor the minister by acquiring memorabilia.  Carter’s advertisement for Fleeming’s edition of Wesley’s sermon further intensified the commodification of Whitefield that took place in the colonies in 1770 and continued well into the following year.