Philadelphia Newspaper Findings of the 1820's


The Democratic Press- January 4, 1826   This appears to have been a popular paper. It contained advertisements and news articles of the day. The advertisements were centered on commerece activity and services such as newly imported Havana oranges and winter arrangements to New York via steamboat and coach. Some notices included the opening of a Young Women's Academy at 346 Market Street and the expansion of a furniture store at 67 North 3rd Street. An example an article was entitled "Farmers Beware" and was about a coach robbery by knifepoint along Springfield Road.

Aurora Weekly- September 26, 1820  This was a political weekly. The articles were long opinion pieces on two candidates running for governor.

Union, United States Gazette and True American- September 26, 1820   The gazette was filled with several ads for all types of goods as well as advertisements or property that was for sale or for rent. Most of the advertisements were very brief and all lacked exact addresses or rental or selling prices. However, there were three ads that gave more detailed information than the others. One of these ads was for a home located at the northeast corner of Market and 13th Street. The second as was for a home for sell or “to let” located five and a half miles from Philadelphia in Germantown. The contact office for this property was at “No. 47 in North Philadelphia.” The final, and most detailed, ad was for a property to be let. It was located in the front office of the second story of 67 Dock Street on the corner of Bank Alley. The ad goes on to state that it was formerly the office for the paper, “The Union.” It is also interesting to note that the ad states that the office would be great for a shipping merchant or exchange office since it was located near the “Coffeehouse.”

Lancaster Intelligencer- September 21, 1822   The newspaper was available starting in 1822. The paper printed only a Saturday publication, seemingly, once a month. The paper before this date was August 10, and after was not until the middle of October. The beginning portion of the paper discussed local issues. On this particular date, there was a brief write-up on the anti-slave trade meeting held, and coverage of an accident. It also discussed a vote that was coming up for a political position, and where the ballots were located. Finally, sheriff sales, court cases, farmer’s almanac and classified ads followed. The most useful sections proved to be the sheriff sales and classifieds. In the particular issue it described the exact items being sold, and others included entire properties. Classified ads included mostly large tracts of land. Descriptions included acreage, timber qualities and nearby natural locations such as creeks.

Franklin Gazette September- October 1820 Generally this paper contains political information describing candidates for election from different areas of the city. One column included an announcement for the building of the penitentiary by William Strickland. The announcement was brief and was immediately followed by a detailed description of a sewer line to be installed near Walnut Street. The paper also had an advertisement announcing the public sale of the orphan court of Dublin County. It included a drawing of the façade and a description of the acreage and lot size. Of the social aspect, all comings and going of Philadelphians were recorded in this paper. Especially detailed were the arrivals and departures of ships and schooners and their cargo. This could be a mercantile and industry recording as well as social.

Eldra Walker

Fon Wang

Amanda Casper

Alexis Stephens