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BRADFORD, William (1719-1791), editor. The Pennsylvania Journal; and Weekly Advertiser. Expiring: In Hopes of a Resurrection to Life again. Philadelphia: William Bradford, 31 October 1765.
BRADFORD, William (1719-1791), editor. The Pennsylvania Journal; and Weekly Advertiser. Expiring: In Hopes of a Resurrection to Life again. Philadelphia: William Bradford, 31 October 1765.
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BRADFORD, William (1719-1791), editor. The Pennsylvania Journal; and Weekly Advertiser. Expiring: In Hopes of a Resurrection to Life again. Philadelphia: William Bradford, 31 October 1765.

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BRADFORD, William (1719-1791), editor. The Pennsylvania Journal; and Weekly Advertiser. Expiring: In Hopes of a Resurrection to Life again. Philadelphia: William Bradford, 31 October 1765.

“Adieu, Adieu to the LIBERTY of the PRESS.”

An icon of American journalism and patriotism: the renowned "Tombstone Edition" of William Bradford’s Pennsylvania Journal, issued the day before the Stamp Act took effect and announcing that he was suspending publication. The Stamp Act instituted the first direct tax on the British American colonies, causing unprecedented ire and presaging the Revolution. It affected a range of printed matter of which newspapers were the most important. William Bradford here announces that he will suspend publication due to the burden of the tax and surrounds an image of the death’s head with the legend: “An Emblem of the Effects of the Stamp. O! the fatal Stamp.” On the back page, an image of a coffin is captioned: “The last Remains of the Pennsylvania Journal, Which departed this Life, the 31st of October, 1765 of a Stamp in her Vitals, Aged 23 Years.” More seriously there is a long editorial on the blessings of liberty. The specific theme is that the “Liberty of the Press has very justly been esteemed one of the main Pillars of the Liberty of the People.” Rare.

Four pages, folio (397 x 260mm). Printed in mourning borders, woodcuts of skulls and crossbones, a coffin, shovels and pickaxes (light soiling, some wear along folds affecting several letters, with deckle edges preserved).

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