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Publishing the Declaration of Independence

Printed edition of the Declaration of Independence

Robin Shields, reference librarian of the Serial and Government Publications Division, discusses "Publishing the Declaration of Independence," focusing on its distribution through early American newspapers. Fifteen newspapers containing the Declaration from the Serial and Government Publication Division’s American newspaper collection are profiled. Robin highlights the importance of newspapers for the success of the American Revolution and the influence newspaper printers had on the independence movement.

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Library of Congress Web Sites of Interest

Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room
The starting point for research in the Library's vast archive of historical American newspapers.

Eighteenth-Century Newspapers in the Library of Congress
Information about Revolutionary-era newspapers in the Library's collections.

The Declaration of Independence
A gateway to multiple Library of Congress resources on the Declaration.

Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents
An online exhibition of the Library of Congress.

Link disclaimerOther Web Sites of Interest

National Archives: The Declaration of Independence
Images and resources from the Declaration's permanent home.

National Archives: Writing and Publicizing the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration in historical context.

The Declaration of Independence: First Public Readings
How the Declaration was publicized, day by day.

National Park Service: The American Revolution
Revolutionary places and historical resources, from the National Park Service.

American Antiquarian Society
Web site of the largest repository of eighteenth-century American newspapers.

National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)
A flagship project to make historical newspapers available online

U.S. Newspaper Program
A cooperative state-federal effort to locate, catalog, and microfilm newspapers published throughout U.S. history.

Connecticut State Library: History of Newspaper Publishing in Connecticut
Brief history of newspapers in one colony that became a state in 1776.

Connecticut State Library: Connecticut Newspaper Pioneers
Connecticut's early journalists.

Connecticut State Library: A Bibliography of Connecticut Newspaper Resources
A starting point for scholarship on early newspaper history in Connecticut and beyond.

History of New York State: Book 12, Chapter 21, Part 1, "The New York Press and Its Editors"
Early history of newspapers in New York State.

Independence and Its Enemies in New York
The struggle for independence in New York, including the role of newspapers.

The Virginia Gazette online
(via index) Online access to Virginia's most important eighteenth-century newspapers.

A History of the Virginia Gazette
The story of Virginia's most important eighteenth-century newspapers.

Benjamin Edes
Brief biography of the patriot who was one of the Declaration's first printers.

Maryland Women's Hall of Fame: Mary Katherine Goddard
Biography of a woman printer of the Revolution.

Other Materials of Interest

American Antiquarian Society. Old "No. 1": The Story of Isaiah Thomas and His Printing Press. Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1989.
LC call number: Z232. T4 O43 1989

Apfelbaum, Charles, and Lois Apfelbaum. Early American Newspapers and Their Printers, 1715-1783. Valley Stream, N.Y.: Appletree Press, c1980.
LC call number: PN4861 .A6

Bailyn, Bernard, and John B. Hench, eds. The Press and the American Revolution. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1981.
LC call number: PN4861 .P7 1981

Bates, Albert C. "Fighting the Revolution with Printer's Ink in Connecticut." Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society 9 (1918): 129-60.
LC call number: F98 .N5

-----. "Thomas Green, 1735-1810." Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society 8 (1914): 289-309.
LC call number: F98 .N5

Bond, Donovan H., and W. Reynolds McLeod, eds. Newsletters to Newspapers: Eighteenth-Century Journalism: Papers Presented at a Bicentennial Symposium, at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, March 31-April 2, 1976. Morgantown: School of Journalism, West Virginia University, 1977.
LC call number: PN4861 .N4

Boyd, Julian P. The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text. Rev. ed., edited by Gerard W. Gawalt. Washington: Library of Congress in association with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation; distributed by University Press of New England, 1999.
LC call number: E221 .B69 1999

Brigham, Clarence Saunders. History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820: Including Additions and Corrections, 1961. 2 vols. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1962.
LC call number: Z6951 .B86 1962

-----. Journals and Journeymen: A Contribution to the History of Early American Newspapers. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1971.
LC call number: PN4858 .B7 1971

Cappon, Lester J., and Stella F. Duff. Virginia Gazette Index, 1736-1780. 2 vols. Williamsburg, Va.: Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1950.
LC call number: AI21 .V5

Copeland, David A. Colonial American Newspapers: Character and Content. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1997.
LC call number: PN4861 .C74 1997

-----. Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers: Primary Documents on Events of the Period. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.
LC call number: E187 .C78 2000

Cutler, Charles L. Connecticut's Revolutionary Press. Connecticut Bicentennial Series No. 14. Chester, Conn.: Pequot Press, 1975.
LC call number: PN4897 .C8 C8

Fenn, Elizabeth A. Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001.
LC call number: RC183.49 .F46 2001

Franklin, John Hope, and Loren Schweninger. Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
LC call number: E447 .F7 1999

Gerber, Scott Douglas, ed. The Declaration of Independence: Origins and Impact. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, c2002.
LC call number: E221 .D35 2002

Henry, Susan. "Work, Widowhood, and War: Hannah Bunce Watson, Connecticut Printer." Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin 48, no. 1 (Winter 1983): 25-39
LC call number: F91 .C67

Hudak, Leona M. Early American Women Printers and Publishers, 1639-1820. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
LC call number: Z231 .H83

Humphrey, Carol Sue. The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.
LC call number: PN4855 .H57 1994 no. 2

-----. "This Popular Engine": New England Newspapers during the American Revolution, 1775-1789. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1992.
LC call number: PN4891 .H86 1992

Leonard, Thomas C. The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
LC call number: PN4888 .P6 L46 1986

Library of Congress. Periodicals Division. A Check List of American Eighteenth Century Newspapers in the Library of Congress, Originally Compiled by John Van Ness Ingram. Rev. ed. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968.
LC call number: Z6951 .U47 1968

Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. New York: Knopf: Distributed by Random House, Inc., 1997.
LC call number: E221 .M24 1997

Malone, Dumas. The Story of the Declaration of Independence. Pictures by Hirst Milhollen and Milton Kaplan. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.
LC call number: JK128 .M3 1975

Marble, Annie Russell. From 'Prentice to Patron: The Life Story of Isaiah Thomas. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1935.
LC call number: Z232 .T4 M3

McCorison, Marcus A. "John Mycall: The Ingenious Typographer of Newburyport." Printing History 17, no. 1 (1995): 24-40.
LC call number: Z124 .A2 P74

McCullough, David G. 1776. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
LC call number: E208 .M396 2005

Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
LC call number: E173 .O94 2005

Morgan, Kenneth. Slavery and Servitude in Colonial North America: A Short History.
Washington Square, N.Y.: New York University Press, 2001.
LC call number: E446 .M67 2001

Mott, Frank Luther. American Journalism: A History, 1690-1960. 3d ed. New York: Macmillan, 1962.
LC call number: PN4855 .M63 1962

Murphy, Layton Barnes. "John Holt, Patriot Printer and Publisher." Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1965.

Paltsits, Victor Hugo. "John Holt--Printer and Postmaster: Some Facts and Documents Relating to His Career." Bulletin of the New York Public Library 24 (1920): 483-99.
LC call number: Z881 .N6B

Pasley, Jeffrey L. "The Tyranny of Printers": Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001.
LC call number: PN4861 .P37 2001

Schlesinger, Arthur M. Prelude to Independence: The Newspaper War on Britain, 1764-1776. 1958; rpt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979.
LC call number: PN4861 .S3 1979

Silver, Rollo G. "Benjamin Edes, Trumpeter of Sedition." Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 47 (1953): 248-68.
LC call number: Z1008 .B51 P

Shipton, Clifford K. Isaiah Thomas: Printer, Patriot and Philanthropist, 1749-1831. Rochester, N.Y.: Hart, 1948.
LC call number: Z232 .T4 S5

Sloan, William David, comp. American Journalism History: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989.
LC call number: Z6951 .S54 1989

-----, and Julie Hedgepeth Williams. The Early American Press, 1690-1783. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
LC call number: PN4855 .H57 1994 no. 1

Spaulding, E. Wilder. "The Connecticut Courant: A Representative Newspaper in the Eighteenth Century." New England Quarterly 3 (1930): 443-63.
LC call number: F1 .N62

Schwarzlose, Richard A. Newspapers, a Reference Guide. Westwood, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987.
LC call number: Z6951 .S35 1987

Teeter, Dwight L. "Benjamin Towne: The Precarious Career of a Persistent Printer." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 89 (1965): 316-30.
LC call number: F146 .P65

-----. "John Dunlap: The Political Economy of a Printer's Success." Journalism Quarterly 52 (Spring 1975): 3-8, 55.
LC call number: PN4700 .J7

Thomas, Isaiah. The History of Printing in America, with a Biography of Printers and an Account of Newspapers. 2 vols. 1810; rev. ed., 1874; 3d ed., edited by Marcus A. McCorison. New York: Weathervane Books; distributed by Crown, 1970.
LC call number: Z205 .T56 1970b

Vail, R.W.G. "A Patriotic Pair of Peripatetic Printers: The Up-State Imprints of John Holt and Samuel Loudon, 1776-1783." In Essays Honoring Lawrence C. Wroth. Portland, Me.: n.p., 1951.
LC call number: Z1009 .Z3 W7

Wall, A.J. "Samuel Loudon (1727-1813): (Merchant, Printer and Patriot) With Some of His Letters." New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin 6 (1922): 75-92.
LC call number: F116 .N638

Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History. New York: Modern Library, 2002.
LC call number: E208 .W85 2002

Wroth, Lawrence C. A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, 1686-1776. Baltimore: Typothetae of Baltimore, 1922.
LC call number: Z209 .M39 W9

Yarrington, Hollis Roger. "Isaiah Thomas, Printer." Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, 1970.

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  January 19, 2016
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