James Franklin, Jr.
|Also Known As:||"Jammy"|
|Birthplace:||Newport, Newport , Rhode Island|
|Death:||Died in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island|
|Occupation:||Printer and Publisher of the Rhode Island Gazette|
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About James Franklin, Jr.
Ann and James' son, James, Jr. also entered the business. He had apprenticed in Philadelphia with his uncle, Benjamin. In June 1758, James, Jr. brought out the first issue of the Newport Mercury which became one of colonial America’s important newspapers. When James, Jr. died in 1762, his mother once again took over the management of her printing business which she carried on for another year. The Franklins of Newport were pioneers in American publishing.
The Mercury was published regularly up to the time the British landed in Newport, when the press and types were buried. (The press, also used by Solomon Southwick to print copies of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, can be seen in the Museum of Newport History in downtown Newport.) After the Revolutionary War, the Mercury was issued again. It continued as a subscription weekly published by The Newport Daily News until March 2005.
Franklin, James, 1697-1735 and Franklin, Ann 1695?-1763
James Franklin (1696-1735) was the older brother of Benjamin Franklin. Born in Boston, James learned the printing trade in England and then returned to America. In 1721, he began publication of the controversial New England Courant, which was disrespectful of civil and ecclesiastical policies. Young Benjamin Franklin also worked on this paper until 1723 as an apprentice to his brother. Like many Rhode Islanders, James was jailed for his opinions (a one month stay) so he left Boston in 1726 for Newport. In 1727 James and his wife, the former Ann Smith (1696-1763) set up Rhode Island’s first printing press. In 1732 he issued the Rhode Island Gazette, Rhode Island’s first newspaper, but it was discontinued on May 24, 1733. Franklin also printed books and pamphlets.
When James died in February, 1735, the printing shop was continued under the auspices of Ann Franklin, whose imprint appeared as “The Widow Franklin.” She printed books, almanacs, and pamphlets. Most importantly she printed the colony’s acts and resolves. Ann and James’ son, James, Jr. also entered the business. He had apprenticed in Philadelphia with his uncle, Benjamin. In June 1758, James, Jr. brought out the first issue of the Newport Mercury which became one of colonial America’s important newspapers. When James, Jr. died in 1762, his mother once again took over the management of her printing business which she carried on for another year.
The Franklins of Newport were pioneers in American publishing.
- Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899 Birth, Marriage & Death Name: James Franklin Birth: abt 1732 Death: 21 Apr 1762 - Rhode Island, USA
- Rhode Island, Vital Extracts, 1636-1899 Birth, Marriage & Death Name: James Franklin Spouse Name: Eunice Barnes Residence Date: 1 May 1742 Residence Place: Rhode Island, USA Page Number: 10
- The Papers of Benjamin Franklin Franklin, James, Jr. (1730-1762) Franklin’s nephew and apprentice. Apprenticed to Franklin to attend school and learn the printer’s trade (1740). As an apprentice, James was “always dissatisfied [with the clothes he was allowed] and grumbling.” On completing his apprenticeship, joined his mother as a printer in Newport, Rhode Island (1748). Published Poor Job’s Almanack. Established Newport Mercury (1758). Son of James and Ann (Smith) Franklin of Newport. Probably unmarried.
- "Sevier County, Tennessee and Its Heritage", 1994, p 204.