The paper had its origins in the American Minerva, founded in 1793 by Noah Webster. Its first edition was published on December 9, 1793. It went through a few name changes in its first few years before settling on the Commercial Advertiser in September 1797. Webster's involvement with the paper ended in 1803, and Zachariah Lewis replaced him as publisher. Under Webster and Lewis, the paper generally was a supporter of the Federalists.
Lewis retired in 1820 and the paper taken over by William Leete Stone, Sr. and Francis Hall. In 1831, Stone was physically attacked by William Cullen Bryant, editor of the rival New York Evening Post with whom he had had a few disputes. Stone remained at the paper until his death in 1844. In 1840, Stone was sued in one of the libel lawsuits brought by author James Fenimore Cooper.
John B. Hall purchased Stone's stake in the paper. Francis Hall served as editor from 1844 until he retired in 1863, and William L. Hurlbut became editor from 1863-67. Thurlow Weed then became editor briefly, followed by Hugh Hastings by 1868. In 1886, Parke Godwin purchased the paper from the estate of Hastings.
John A. Cockerill, former editor of the New York World, took over as editor of the paper in 1891, where he lasted three years. H.J. Wright took over as editor in 1897, replacing Foster Coates.
A semi-weekly paper called the New-York Spectator, intended for subscribers outside of the city, was also published by the paper for many years.
Rebranding as The Globe
On February 1, 1904, the Commercial Advertiser was revamped and renamed The Globe and Commercial Advertiser. and generally known as The New York Globe from that point forwards. In 1923, newspaper owner and consolidator Frank Munsey bought the Globe. Munsey merged the Globe into the New York Sun, thus ending what Time magazine described at the time as the "oldest daily newspaper in the United States".
Chronology of names
- American Minerva, Patroness of Peace, Commerce and the Liberal Arts
- March 1794: American Minerva and the New-York (Evening) Advertiser
- May 1795: American Minerva: An Evening Advertiser
- April 1796: Minerva & Mercantile Evening Advertiser
- September 1797: Commercial Advertiser
- January 1804: New-York Commercial Advertiser
- October 1809: Commercial Advertiser
- January 1831: New-York Commercial Advertiser
- September 1889: The Commercial Advertiser
- December 1892: New York Commercial Advertiser
- June 1895: The Commercial Advertiser
- February 1904: The Globe and Commercial Adverstiser
- Commercial Advertiser, Chronicling America, Retrieved November 19, 2010
- Snyder, K. Alan. Defining Noah Webster: a spiritual biography (2002)
- Daniel, Marcus Leonard. Scandal & civility: journalism and the birth of American democracy, p. 339 (2009)
- Brigham, Clarence S. Bibliography of American Newspapers: 1690-1820, Part VII: New York City, American Antiquarian Society, p. 392-95 (October 1917)
- Wilson, James Grant. The memorial history of the City of New-York, p.142-43 (1893)
- Hall, H.M. New York Newspapers Long Ago, The New York Times
- Muller, Gilbert H. William Cullen Bryant: author of America, p. 93-95 (2008) (ISBN 978-0791474679)
- Cyclopædia of American literature, Volume 2, p. 150-51 (1856)
- Biographical sketches of preeminent Americans, Volume 2 (1892)
- The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison, p. 27 (1975)
- (15 September 1883). Obituary: Hugh J. Hastings, The American Bookseller
- Hudson, Frederic. Journalism in the United States from 1690 to 1872, p. 192-94 (1873)
- (30 May 1886). Commercial Advertiser Stock, The New York Times
- Cockerill, Overland Monthly, p. 626 (June 1987)
- Brian, Dennis. Pulitzer: A Life, p. 159 (2001)
- Wright, Henry John (1866- ), Universities and Their Sons: New York University, Vol. II (1903)
- (2 May 1897). Editor Coates Resigns, The New York Times
- (7 August 1892). Newspaper Politics, Newark Sunday Call
- (2 February 1904) Editorial, The New York Times, Retrieved November 19, 2010
- (27 May 1923). FRANK A. MUNSEY BUYS N. Y. GLOBE, FOUNDED IN 1793, Chicago Tribune, Retrieved November 19, 2010
- (4 June 1923). The Press: Mr. Munsey Buys, Time (magazine), Retrieved November 19, 2010
- (11 June 1923). The Press: The Great Consolidator, Time (magazine), Retrieved November 19, 2010
- About New-York commercial advertiser, Chronicling America (Library of Congress), Retrieved July 8, 2011
- New York Spectator archives 1797-1845, at fultonhistory.com (semi-weekly edition published by the Commercial Advertiser)