North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Historical Publications Section The Colonial Records Project
Jan-Michael Poff, Editor
Historical Publications Section
4622 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4622
Phone: (919) 733-7442
Fax: (919) 733-1439

  Newspapers  

Last Updated 5/06/11


“It Says in the Papers . . .”


Newspapers constitute an important and frequently overlooked source for colonial American history. Indeed, the information in their accounts very often is found nowhere else. It is therefore much to be regretted that the known extant issues of North Carolina newspapers to 1776 number a mere 71-- this despite the fact that the North Carolina Gazette began publication in New Bern in 1751 and (with several interruptions in publication) continued until 1778; and further, that three other titles appeared in the colony during the colonial era. -- The North Carolina Magazine (New Bern, 1764-1768), The North Carolina Gazette (Wilmington, 1764-1766), and The Cape Fear Mercury (Wilmington, 1769-1775).

Only two issues of any North Carolina newspapers survive for the entire period of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The 67 for the years between the end of that conflict and the Declaration of Independence represent only a handful of those published in the colony during that momentous time, and there are none at all for 1776. For the remainder of the Revolutionary War only 42 issues are extant, all of them for the years 1777 and 1778. Beginning in 1788, substantial numbers survive, but individual titles frequently have lengthy gaps in coverage.

Fortunately, other newspapers both in the colonies and in Britain sometimes carried items about North Carolina, many of them reprinted from North Carolina newspapers no longer extant. As our search progresses, the Colonial Records Project will post at this site entries from various titles. The ones being searched at the present time are listed below, and others will be added. Since newspapers often appropriated articles verbatim from other newspapers, the appearance of the same item in different titles will usually be noted, but only one of them will be included here.

The editor has attempted to avoid including items readily available from another source. An example of this would be the numerous military dispatches of the Revolutionary War printed not only in newspapers, but also in William L. Saunders's Colonial Records of North Carolina and elsewhere.

Items are arranged both topically and chronologically, and will come from the Pennsylvania Gazette, Boston Gazette, Virginia Gazette, South Carolina Gazette, Belfast Newsletter, Scots Magazine, Caledonian Mercury, Connecticut Courant, Gentleman's Magazine and other newspapers.



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