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The first newspaper printed in British America was established in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1704, and in 1719, the second was issued in the same city. In 1725, a newspaper was first printed in New York, and from this time they were gradually extended throughout the colonies. In 1671, Sir William Berkeley expressed himself thus: "Thank God! there are not free schools or printing [in Virginia], and I hope we shall not have them for hundreds of years to come." The first printing press in Virginia, in 1682, was, after a brief existence, suppressed.
Sixty-five years after this benign expression issued from Sir
William, on August 6, 1736, the "Virginia Gazette" (the
first newspaper published in Virignia) was started, at Williamsburg,
then the capital of the colony. It was first printed on a sheet
twelve inches by six, and published weekly by W. Parks, at 15s,
per annum. In 1729, W. Parks had published "Stith's History
of Virginia," and the "Laws of Virginia," at this
office. His paper was under the influence of the government, and
was temporarily discontinued at the date of his death, in 1750.
It was renewed in February, 1751, by William Hunter, who died
in 1761, when it was enlarged and published by Joseph Royle, after
who death it was carried on by Purdie and Dixon, who continued
it until the opening of the Revolutionary war, and Purdie published
it alone during a portion of the war. In May, 1766, through the
influence of Thomas Jefferson, a second paper was established,
(also called the "Virginia Gazette,") by William Rind,
"published by authority, open to all parties, but influenced
by none." Still another "Virginia Gazette" was
started in Williamsburg in 1775, by John Clarkson and Augustine
Davis, and continued, weekly, for several years.
Among the old newspapers of Loudoun county was the "Genius
of Liberty," established by Samuel B. T. Caldwell, January
11th, 1817. During the time he was connected with the paper, he
published a number of valuable works, among which was "Flowers
of Ancient History," which, for a long time, was used in
the schools of Leesburg. After continuing its publication for
about three years, he was succeeded by B. W. Sower, who abdicated
in favor of George Richards. This paper was followed by the "Chronicle,"
published by Mr. Connelly, succeeded by W. S. Hough. The material
of the office was purchased of Mr. Hough, and the "Loudoun
Democrat" established by Charles H. Stuart, in July, 1853.
This paper was continued for about eighteen months, when it was
abandoned, and the "American Sentinel," a Know Nothing
paper, sprance into existence, and its light went out after a
continuance of a little over a year. The "Democratic Mirror"
was established in 1855, a sketch of which follows. The "Bull's
Eye," was opened in Leesburg, about the year 1800, by Mr.
Patterson, and was eclipsed by the "Washingtonian,"
"The Leesburg Washingtonian" was established in 1808,
by Patrick McIntyre; he was succeeded by his son, C. C. McIntyre,
who published the paper until September 10, 1851, when it was
published by W. B. Lynch, who still continues editor and proprietor.
"The Leesburg Mirror" was established in 1855, by J. B. Taylor and B. F. Sheets. In 1860, Mr. Taylor's interest in the establishment was purchased by Mr. Sheets, who has edited and published the paper ever since, and still continues.