Monday, February 16, 2009

Colonial Boston Newspaper Arrives in the Rare Book Room

We recently acquired a four-page issue of the Boston Chronicle, a pre-Revolutionary newspaper with Loyalist leanings. The issue is dated Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29, 1769. During this period the newspaper reported extensively on the debate between England and the American Colonies on the issue of taxation. The first page of this issue contains a lengthy response to an earlier argument by Dr. Franklin in favor of the Colonies. Here, the author argued that all of England's subjects, wherever they are situated, must pay the taxes ordered by Parliament whether or not the subjects consent to the tax. The paper also contains legal notices, including news of a Philadelphia man who was sentenced to death for rape; a report of a theft from the ship Nancy; creditors' claims against an insolvent man's estate; and a notice of divorce. Other items include announcements of a Wednesday night concert (admission: one-half dollar), news from Philadelphia and London, reports of ships arriving and departing, and notices of sales of wine, clothing, and books.

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