About Daniel Fowle
FOWLE, Daniel, printer, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, about 1715; died in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in June 1787. He was an apprentice with Samuel Kneeland, and began business for himself in Boston in 1740. From 1742 to 1750 he was a partner with Gamaliel Rogers, and in 1748'50 joint publisher with him of the "Independent Advertiser." In 1743'6 they published the "American Magazine." They were the first in America to print the New Testament. In 1755 he was arrested, by order of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, on suspicion of having printed a pamphlet entitled "The Monster of Monsters," severely animadverting on some members of the house. He was released in a few days, but left Boston in disgust, went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and on 7 October 1756, began the publication of the " New Hampshire Gazette."
His nephew, Robert Fowle, editor, was a partner with his uncle in the publication of the "New Hampshire Gazette," which was the only newspaper in New Hampshire at the beginning of the Revolution. As Daniel was a Whig and his nephew a loyalist, the partnership was terminated, and Robert established himself as a printer at Exeter. The paper currency of the period was printed in his office, and, as it was counterfeited soon afterward, suspicion rested on him as a participant in the crime, and he fled to the British lines in New York, and thence to England.
Daniel Fowle was born in Boston, where he maintained a printing shop for several years until he was arrested on a charge of libel against the government of Massachusetts. With the encouragement of several gentlemen in Portsmouth, he removed his printing press to New Hampshire in July 1756. In October of that same year, he began printing the first newspaper in New Hampshire, The New Hampshire Gazette which he ran from October 7, 1756-June 1785.
During the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Dearborn, who had been an apprentice under Fowle, published the newspaper and changed its name to The Freeman’s Journal. After a few years, Fowle returned as publisher of the paper and continued until 1785 when he relinquished control to Melchor & Osborne, who published it for several years.
-------- The Lost Newspaper..an article
Three out of every four issues of the paper) from late 1777 are missing from the microfilm itself -- most of the period Jones (John Paul Jones) was here in town. Possibly, a local historian told me, the Gazette wasn't published at all for those months of Revolutionary War. Paper was scarce. Ink was scarce. The weekly Gazette was often reduced from four pages to two. Printer DANIEL FOWLE used smaller type to fit more words on the page, sometimes even printing sideways to fill in the white space in the margins with added details and ads.
Newspapers were very different back then. Published once a week in 1777, the Gazette was filled mostly with world news, often weeks out of date, plus reports on Gen. George Washington's progress against the British in the American Revolution. For a short time, at the birth of the Revolution in 1776, Fowle did suspend publication altogether, possibly fearing for his safety. Then in 1777, Fowle renamed the Gazette, 'The Freeman's Journal' and moved his printing office to Exeter where he also hoped to create a paper mill.
On October 7, 1756, Fowle began publication of the New Hampshire Gazette. The Gazette become the colony's sole newspaper at the beginning of the Revolution. In addition to the Gazette, Fowle published state laws, as well as the first book published in the colony, Reverend Samuel Langdon's The Excellency of the Word of God. He published the Gazette until 1785 when he sold the paper.
As of 2010, The Gazette, America's oldest newspaper, is still published.
From About the Gazette
The Gazette was founded on October 7, 1756 by Daniel Fowle, the state’s first printer. Daniel, whose only children had died as infants, left the paper to his partner and former apprentice, John Melcher when he died on June 4, 1787. Over the next two centuries the paper changed hands two dozen times. By 1810, when Isaiah Thomas’s History of Printing was published, The New Hampshire Gazette had become “the oldest newspaper printed in New England.” In 1839 The New Hampshire Gazette became The Nation’s Oldest Newspaper,™ when The Maryland Gazette, founded in 1745, expired.
In this video the current editor, Steve Fowle, who is Daniel Fowle’s third cousin, five times removed, explains how he acquired The New Hampshire Gazette in 1989.
- https://archive.org/details/documentsrecords00newhrich:Documents and Records relating to the State of New Hampshire. pp.24, 114, 150, 347, 544.