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Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Bay Psalm Book work by Ravenscroft. See Article History. You can learn more about this topic in the related articles below. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. There was some poetry, at least, of a higher order. A shrewd bibliophile, Rosenbach came to be the most formidable bidder of his time at auctions in the U. History at your fingertips.

Bay : a book of poems

Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Typically the Privy Council sent handwritten notices to the colonies ordering any required changes in the law.

This item is the only known printed notice of disallowance. Boston: Bartholomew Green and John Allen, Law Library , Library of Congress Together the couple set off to Philadelphia in to begin life as a Quaker family. A later pamphlet printing further inflamed the issue. The text was found seditious, and Bradford was tried and jailed for printing without identifying himself in the imprint.

With his release, he accepted an offer from the Provincial Council to become the first printer in New York. With his recent imprisonment fresh in his memory, William Bradford relocated from Philadelphia to New York, where he was promised the freedom to print whatever work he might procure. The move to New York proved to be the beginning of an auspicious fifty-year career as royal printer to the colony and the official printer for New Jersey, as well as the beginning of a long line of Bradford family printers.

The copy shown here is believed to be one of only five extant volumes of this publication. Keith George and Thomas Budd. New York: William Bradford, Colonial assemblies often failed to effectively publish the laws they enacted in seventeenth-century America.


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Most assemblies did not begin printing their session laws until after , some began much later. Massachusetts, an outlier in this regard, began printing its session laws, albeit intermittently, in the s. New York printed the laws passed by its legislative assembly beginning in the s.

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Printing was very slow to spread throughout neighboring colonies after it was introduced in Massachusetts Bay. It was almost exclusively an urban activity, and only then in cities with sizable populations. Twenty years later—a century after the Bay Psalm Book came to press—printing had spread to nine cities. The harsh reality of the colonial economy was that larger book publications were more cheaply produced in England and shipped to the colonies. These colonial printing staples included government forms and proclamations, religious pamphlets, sermons, primers, chapbooks, and posters.


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  7. Newspapers would later be counted on as a source of revenue, but before many failed. After , with the reduction in government and church oversight, the establishment of profitable newspapers, and the larger role printing played in broadcasting information, printing emerged as a powerful and viable business. The independent political newspaper was founded largely to challenge the authority of William Cosby, the governor of New York.

    Zenger won his widely-publicized case, which planted a seed for freedom of the press.

    Young Franklin was pulled out of school and, at age twelve, apprenticed to his older brother James, a printer. In James Franklin published one of the earliest newspapers in America, The New-England Courant , the first to include literary pieces and essays in a newspaper format. Finally, at age sixteen, under the pen name of Silence Dogood, Benjamin Franklin developed a character whose commentary appealed to James, which resulted in the publication of fifteen of Mrs. When James Franklin finally learned of the true authorship of the letters, his anger separated the brothers.

    Benjamin left Boston and settled in Philadelphia. During a six-month period in , Benjamin penned fifteen letters from this clever, sharp-tongued widow who held a satiric view of the world and cast a critical eye on the pretentions of Bostonians. Commenting on love and courtship as well as the travails of aging, Mrs. Dogood soon gained a devoted following, as well as a few marriage proposals.

    Franklin continued writing under pseudonyms throughout his life, creating full characters for his pen-names Harry Meanwell, Alice Addertongue, Timothy Turnstone, and of course, poor Richard Saunders. Benjamin Franklin. General Collections , Library of Congress After several false starts with businesses and a near-fatal bout with pleurisy, he traveled to London in to carry out business that never transpired.

    Unable to afford a return trip on his own, Franklin spent the next year and a half working as a printer.

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    As it had for William Bradford, training in the English craft of printing bolstered his skills and design aesthetic. By the time Franklin retired in , he had established the largest printing business in colonial America and was considered its most accomplished printer. He built his business on the profitable formats of printing at the time—job printing, government forms and currency, almanacs, pamphlets, and newspapers. He rescued a Philadelphia newspaper from bankruptcy and in rebuilt it as the Pennsylvania Gazette later published as the Saturday Evening Post , the most successful colonial American newspaper.

    He was the first printer to propose a monthly magazine. Although Franklin would go on to distinguish himself as a scientist, diplomat, politician, and writer, his success was built on the foundation of his work as a printer. It brought him wealth as well as a public platform.


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    This work by the Roman philosopher statesman Cicero is also the first classical work translated and printed in North America. Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin, In , Philadelphia was facing an unexpected crisis. Spanish, French, and Indian privateers were raiding properties along the Delaware River and capturing vessels en route to Philadelphia. In his pamphlet Plain Truth , Benjamin Franklin urged the Pennsylvania Assembly to unite and establish a defensive voluntary military force to protect property and vet the incoming vessels.

    Benjamin Franklin — As a writer, Benjamin Franklin is best known for the wit and wisdom he shared with the readers of his popular almanac, Poor Richard , which he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. In his autobiography, Franklin notes that he began publishing his almanac in and continued to do so for twenty-five years:.

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    After the British Parliament passed the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act , many colonists sought means to break from the tyranny of British rule and expand individual rights. The dramatic political and social shift played out in the pamphlet wars that fueled the American Revolution and shaped the early republic. Pamphlet literature informed the political conversation, and it is estimated that more than 1, titles were published between and Easily printed and distributed, pamphlets played a dramatic role in fomenting and spreading rebellion.

    Many went through multiple editions; others were republished in their entirety in newspapers. Patriots created loosely organized circulating societies as a means to gather, read, and forward important publications. At the core of the printed arguments were the notions of the right to self-government and the value of a republic over a monarchy. Thomas Paine soon followed with his pamphlet that stated the American people, by their own virtue, were entitled to their own republic. The revolution in American thought, captured in print, was underway; and the rebellion was soon to follow.

    Boston printer John Gill published this broadside as an extra in his newspaper, the Continental Journal.

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    It is among the few appearances of The American Crisis as a separate text and the only one issued as a broadside intended for public posting. Thomas Paine — The American Crisis No. Boston: John Gill, In this strong opening volley of the Revolution, Jefferson complained about the punitive aftermath of the Boston Tea Party and asserted that the king and Parliament had no right to govern the colonies. The pamphlet was printed in Williamsburg by Clementina Rind ca.

    Thomas Jefferson — Williamsburg: Clementina Rind, Nowhere is the impact of the printed page on the American Revolution more evident than in the printing and distribution of Common Sense. Published anonymously in Philadelphia in January , Common Sense appeared at a time when separation from Great Britain was being fiercely debated. With more than half a million copies in twenty-five editions appearing throughout the colonies within the first year, this popular pamphlet helped to turn the tide of sentiment toward revolution. Because of its treasonable content, the pamphlet was published anonymously, but the printer Robert Bell ca.

    Thomas Paine. Philadelphia: R. Bell, Throughout the Revolution pamphlets, posters, and newspapers fueled revolutionary zeal. Printers risked their property, and in some cases their lives, to continue a stream of pro-revolutionary rhetoric and information. Isaiah Thomas was no stranger to this notion. As the title suggests, Thomas hoped to borrow the best of the style of the British press while advancing the patriot cause.

    Paul Revere supplied engraved plates for some of the illustrations, such as the one shown here. Boston: Isaiah Thomas, — Paul Revere — , engraver. It is fitting that the means by which the colonies declared their separation from British rule was that of a one-page printed broadside. In fact much of the American Revolution was reported through pamphlets, posters, and newspapers. When actions demanded rapid distribution, the colonies turned to the power of the press to further the revolutionary cause.

    Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson was formed to draft a statement. Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the declaration. Between June 11 and June 28, , Jefferson penned the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, which firmly stated it was just and right that the colonies separate themselves from a rule that had so violated their contract. On July 4, , a draft of the Declaration, with key changes by Franklin, Adams, and the Continental Congress, was delivered to John Dunlap — , owner of a print shop located near the Philadelphia State House.

    News spread quickly through the colonies; twenty-nine newspapers printed the text of the Declaration of Independence and colonial presses printed nineteen additional broadside editions. Irish-born John Dunlap, who had served with Washington in earlier revolutionary conflicts, emerged as one of the most successful American printers of the period.

    Declaration of Independence.