One of my favorite Library resources has just gotten better now that the Gazette of the United States has been added to Chronicling America.
The Gazette was the leading Federalist newspaper. The paper was friendly to the administration of George Washington and had as one of its biggest supporters, the first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Many of the articles were about politics and government. For instance, it reported on events chronicling the creation of the government such as the establishment of the Bank of the United States and the creation of the Mint with the passage of the Coinage Act. The image to the right comes from the first issue on April 15, 1789, and it laid out the paper’s full objectives.
Given its partisan nature, using articles for research can be a bit challenging, but there is still a lot of content to offer those doing historical business research. The advertisements about businesses, what they sold, what they imported, and the services they provided are good information that cover a period where “modern day” directories may not be available.
I have used the paper several times to research prices and information about the stock of the Bank of the United States by using charts similar to two of the images featured in this post. I particularly like “Philadelphia Prices Current” which lists many items including feathers, salt, brimstone, lemons, etc. Items such as beer, bacon, beef, salt, sugar, etc. would be a familiar sight to anyone comparing it to the supermarket advertisements of today, but I smiled at items like hair powder, timothy, sail cloth, salt peter, and staves which wouldn’t be on my shopping list.
This isn’t the only news source that the Library has recently digitized and added to their online collections. They also announced images from two other publications that were added to Chronicling America – the National Gazette (Philadelphia, PA) and the National Intelligencer (Washington, DC). They also recently added content from William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal – a publication that epitomizes what is known as “Yellow Journalism.”
If you want to spend time reading articles when the names in the news were George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton, head over to Chronicling America.