FRANKLIN, Benjamin, Printer. The Pennsylvania Gazette Containing the Freshest Advices Foreign and Domestick. Philadelphia: Printed by B. Franklin Post-Master, at the New Printing-Office, near the Market [latter 26 issues with imprint of Franklin and David Hall], 13 January 1742 -- 2 August 1750, plus a single issue for 4 January 1759.
Together 148 issues (no.735 through no.1129, with gaps), together 578 pages, small folio, printed on varied paper stocks, most 308 x 235mm. (12 x 9¼ in) or 335 x 215 mm. (13. 1/4 in x 8.3/8 in.), large masthead woodcut (coat of arms with motto banner below reading "Mercy Justice"), some small woodcuts of sailing ships in the advertisements, disbound, small marginal punctures where originally stabbed and sewn, UNCUT, WITH ALL DECKLE EDGES PRESERVED, 23 issues are without the extra half-sheet of advertisements (present, though, in 4 issues), no.783 mangled at left-hand edge slightly affecting text, no.1129 with first leaf only present, browning, scattered spotting, otherwise in excellent original condition. Provenance: Mary Sandwith, contemporary ink signature on several issues. A list of issues is available upon request.
FRANKLIN'S PENNSYLVANIA GAZETTE: A FINE EARLY RUN
The Pennsylvania Gazette, destined to become one of the most influential American colonial weeklies, was first issued in 1728 (the same year Franklin opened his Philadelphia printing office) by Samuel Keimer, with whom Franklin had earlier served as shop foreman. When the Gazette failed to prosper, Franklin and Hugh Meredith, a partner, purchased it the following year. Under Franklin's careful editorship, it became increasingly influential and in 1730, with borrowed funds, Franklin bought out Meredith, to become "at the age of only twenty-four...the most active master printer and publisher in the most thriving city in North America. As it [the Gazette] prospered, so did he" (E. Wright, Franklin of Philadelphia, 37).
The papers' contents consist largely of European and Parliamentary news (reprinted from London sources), reports from other colonies, acts of the colonial assemblies, addresses and messages of colonial Governors, news regarding Indian affairs, commercial notices of the arrival of various ships and advertisments (legal, commercial and other). Franklin himself was a frequent contributor and commentator, usually pseudonymously; the extent of his writings in the Gazette is still the subject of active investigation. In 1748, with the paper flourishing, Franklin retired from an active role, and brought his shop foreman, David Hall, into partnership, as reflected in the new imprint "Franklin & Hall," on the final 26 issues of this run. While single issues of the Gazette are occasionally seen, an extensive early run such as the present is a rarity. (148)