Front page of the New-York Gazette issue for April 7-14, 1729.
|Founded||November 8, 1725|
|Ceased publication||November 19, 1744 (continued as New-York Evening Post)|
The New-York Gazette (1725-1744) was the first newspaper published in the Province of New York.
The paper was founded by printer William Bradford in 1725. Though it was first, it was not distinguished. Historian Frank Luther Mott has described the paper as a "small two-page paper, poorly printed, and containing chiefly foreign news from three to six months old, state papers, lists of ships entered and cleared, and a few advertisements."
Bradford had been a printer in Philadelphia, and he was induced to move to New York in 1693 to become the public printer. He was in his 60s when he first issued the weekly Gazette in early November 1725, and he supported the provincial governor William Cosby upon which his livelihood depended. Public discontent with some of Cosby's actions (which the Gazette would not touch) led to the founding of a second newspaper in the province in 1733, The New York Weekly Journal. The printer of that paper was Bradford's former apprenctice John Peter Zenger, who the governor sued for libel, but was acquitted at trial. This was a critical incident in the development of the American conception of the freedom of the press. Bradford remained neutral over the case, and defended himself in a statement in the Gazette in 1736, though acknowledging that he had felt compelled at times to print observations favorable to the Governor, which had caused anger from Zenger and others.
Subscriptions to the paper do not seem to have been plentiful. In the June 17, 1728 issue, Bradford appealed for more subscribers, and for delinquent accounts to pay up, reporting that he had lost 35 pounds on the paper in the two and half-years since starting the venture.
Over its history the paper varied in length, rising from an initial two pages to four pages, and occassionally running as high as six pages. The Gazette ceased publication November 1744 upon Bradford's retirement. Henry De Forest had been co-publishing the paper in its later years with Bradford, and he continued a paper under the title New-York Evening Post, which likely lasted until late 1752 or early 1753 (and is no relation to the current New York Post founded in 1801).
After De Forest dropped the Gazette title, others took it on, though without any official connection. This can cause confusion in newspaper bibliographies. The first to take the name was James Parker, another former Bradford apprentice, although he had fled his indenture early. In 1743 he had founded the Weekly Post Boy with backing from Benjamin Franklin, to compete with Bradford. In 1747, he renamed his paper The New-York Gazette, revived in the Weekly Post-Boy. William Weyman joined Parker as a partner in 1753.
- Lee, James Melvin. History of American Journalism, pp. 36-39 (1917) (some sources claim the Gazette began publication in October 1725, and although there are no extant copies of the earliest issues, Lee points to later references in the paper which reflect that it began publishing in November 1725)
- The Early History of Newspaper Publishing in New York State, NYSED.gov, Retrrieved 9 October 2018
- Crown v. John Peter Zenger, Historial Society of the New York Court, Retrieved 9 October 2018
- Hudson, Frederic. Journalism in the United States, from 1690-1872, pp. 72-73 (1873)
- Wall, Alexander J., Jr. William Bradford, Colonial Printer: A Tercentenary Review, in American Antiquarian Society (October 1963)
- Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers in the Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Retrieved 9 October 2018 (the U.S. Library of Congress records state: "The last issue located is that of Dec. 18, 1752, soon after which the paper probably ceased publication.")
- Brigham, Clarence S. Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820, in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Volume 27, pp. 417-430 (1917)
- New-York Gazette archives at NYSHistoricNewspapers.org