Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 28

Price Realized: $ 750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--PRELUDE.) Two issues of the Boston Gazette issued in the month before Lexington and Concord. Each 4 pages, 15½ x 10 inches, on a folding sheet; first issue with crude stitch holes slightly affecting text and mount remnants to inner margin of back page; second issue with moderate dampstaining and wear and early repairs to bottom edge slightly affecting text. Boston, 6 and 13 March 1775

Additional Details

Most of the 6 March issue and nearly half of the 13 March issue are filled with letters "To the Inhabitants of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay" signed in type by Novanglus, the pseudonym of patriot John Adams, which he used for sparring with the Loyalist "Massachusettensis" (Daniel Leonard). Adams still professes loyalty to the crown: "The patriots of this province desire nothing new--they wish only to keep their old privileges. They were for 150 years allowed to tax themselves, and govern their internal concerns, as they tho't best."

The 6 March issue also includes three slave sale ads: for the sale of "a healthy Negro Girl, about 20 Years of Age,"; "a likely, healthy, industrious Negro Woman, about 29 Years of Age"; and "a very healthy strong Negro Man, that understands all Branches of the Leather Dresser's Business." One of these is repeated on 13 March.

The 13 March issue notes the fifth anniversary of "the horrid Massacre in King-Street . . . perpetrated by a party of Soldiers," with an oration by Joseph Warren "in commemoration of that bloody tragedy." It also recounts the story of Thomas Ditson of Billerica, who was tarred and feathered by British troops for attempting to buy arms for the patriot cause.

The masthead illustration is by Paul Revere, who charged 12 shillings for the work; they began using the engraving on 1 January 1770 (see Brigham, Paul Revere's Engravings, pages 199 and 201). The lead alloy plate grew gradually blurrier with weekly use until it was replaced in late 1776.