Weekly Register

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Weekly Register
Stained white paper with center-aligned words printed in black ink
Cover page for the first volume
FounderHezekiah Niles
Final issue1848
Based inBaltimore, Maryland, US

The Weekly Register (also called the Niles Weekly Register and Niles' Register) was a national magazine published in Baltimore, Maryland by Hezekiah Niles from 1811 to 1848. The most widely circulated magazine of its time, the Register was the nation's first weekly newsmagazine and "exerted a powerful influence on the early national discourse."[1] Niles was Baltimore's most prominent citizen at the time.[2]

As of the time of publication of volume 36, the magazine was headquartered at "Water Street, east of South Street."[3]


Niles apprenticed as a printer in Philadelphia, eventually moving to Wilmington to start a magazine. His partner in that venture, however, ran off with the money, leaving him destitute. He moved on, establishing first a newspaper and then the Register in Baltimore. The magazine's content included coverage of the War of 1812,[4] among other offerings.

After the Register had been in publication eight years, Niles decided in 1818 to offer an index for all twelve volumes published in that period. He hired young writer and critic, John Neal to read all twelve volumes, noting the location of salient topics throughout each article.[5] Neal worked sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, for more than four months on the project, which he called “about the dreariest and heaviest drudgery mortal man was ever tried with,”[6] and that Niles claimed was "the most laborious work of the kind that ever appeared in any country."[7] For producing the 254-page index, Niles paid Neal $200 plus a $100 bound copy of the volumes he indexed.[a][5]

The magazine ceased publication in 1848.[1]


  1. ^ $300 in 1818 was approximately equal to eighteen months’ wages for a laborer at the time[8] and is approximately equal to $5,735 in present terms.[9]


  1. ^ a b Rasmussen, Frederick N. (4 September 2011). "Hezekiah Niles a patriotic newsmagazine editor in 19th century". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Appleby, Joyce (2000). Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. p. 94. ISBN 0-674-00236-9.
  3. ^ "Title page". Niles' Weekly Register. Vol. 36 (March-September, 1829). Baltimore, Maryland: Hezekiah Niles.
  4. ^ "The Weekly Register - March 1813 and Index". OurOntario. OurDigitalWorld. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Sears, Donald A. (1978). John Neal. Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers. p. 40. ISBN 080-5-7723-08.
  6. ^ Neal, John (1869). Wandering Recollections of a Somewhat Busy Life. Boston, Massachusetts: Roberts Brothers. p. 6.
  7. ^ Brooks, James (August 31, 1833). "Letters from the East—John Neal". New-York Mirror. Vol. 11 (1833–1834). New York, New York: G.P. Morris. p. 85. (A serial biography of Neal).{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  8. ^ Wright, Carroll D. (1889). Comparative Wages, Prices, and Cost of Living (reprint ed.). Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Co. p. 54.
  9. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved May 28, 2023.

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