The Virginia Gazette

The Virginia Gazette is the local newspaper of Williamsburg, Virginia. Established in 1930, it is named for the historical Virginia Gazette published between 1736 and 1780. It is published twice a week in the broadsheet format.

The Virginia Gazette
TypeTwice Weekly newspaper
FormatSmall format broadsheet
Owner(s)Daily Press (Tronc)
PublisherDavid Hill
HeadquartersWilliamsburg, Virginia, U.S.

Historical papers

Virginia Gazette 11 04 1763
Virginia Gazette, November 4, 1763

There were actually three papers published in Williamsburg under the name The Virginia Gazette between 1736 and 1780. Together, these papers serve as an important record for Virginia's colonial history. The original Virginia Gazette, the first newspaper ever published in Virginia, was established by William Parks, who printed the first four-page edition on August 6, 1736. Its motto was "Containing the freshest Advices, Foreign and Domestick." Three years earlier, Parks had founded The Maryland Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. In 1743, Parks built a paper mill in Williamsburg; he purchased the raw material to create newsprint from Benjamin Franklin. The paper was published, successively, by William Parks (1736–1750), William Hunter (1751–1761), Joseph Royle (1761–1765), Alexander Purdie and John Dixon (1766-1775), Dixon and Hunter (1775-1778), and Dixon and Thomas Nicolson (1779–1780). The last issue was published on April 8, 1780, after which point the paper relocated to Richmond, Virginia's new capital.[1]

In 1766 William Rind founded a competing newspaper also called The Virginia Gazette. This paper was published by Rind (1766–1773), then by his widow Clementina Rind (1773–1774), and finally John Pinkney (1774–1776). Its last issue was printed on February 3, 1776.[1] On February 3, 1775, Alexander Purdie, previously a publisher of the original Gazette, started a third paper of the same name. It was published by Purdie until his death in 1779; it was then published by John Clarkson and Augustine Davis until December 9, 1780.[1] Afterward, various papers were published periodically around Virginia using the Virginia Gazette banner.[2][3]

Modern paper

In 1893 W. C. Johnston brought the name Virginia Gazette back to Williamsburg in newspaper form, but unrelated to its colonial predecessors. An Ohio native and an alumnus of the College of William and Mary, Johnston served as clerk of the Williamsburg city council, member of the board of registrars and the Williamsburg Business Association, and postmaster. As editor of the Virginia Gazette, a Democratic weekly, Johnston campaigned vigorously to attract industry to the region. The Gazette, for example, described a new mill that opened in 1895 as "the morning star of the future that heralds a glorious dawn of prosperity upon this little city." Typical content included local and national news, general interest stories, advertisements, business directories, college notes, and social happenings.

L. S. Cottrell, Johnston's original printer, became owner and publisher in 1894 but sold the paper back to Johnston in March 1896. Circulation by 1900 was approximately 500, and there was no competing paper published in town during the paper's life.

Robert P. Scott became owner and publisher of the Gazette in 1917, with Johnston still serving as editor. Local news still predominated, but national issues were becoming increasingly important. In 1920, Johnston editorialized against women's suffrage as a violation of states' rights: "No one questions the ability of women. . . . No one questions that they are as capable as men to cast their ballots. But thousands question the manner in which women are to be enfranchised and honestly believe that the surrender to the general government of the powers of the state is too big a price to pay for a privilege which is chimerical and visionary in the extreme."

By 1922, the paper ceased publication. Another Virginia Gazette appeared in 1925, associated with the William Parks School of Journalism at the College of William and Mary, but it lasted only through 1927. Havilock Babcock, of the journalism faculty was editor and students served as reporters and handled all the other newspaper jobs, except printing.

In 1930, W. A. R. Goodwin, pastor of the local Bruton Parish Church and a co-founder of Colonial Williamsburg, made a push for a paper to return to Williamsburg under the banner of The Virginia Gazette. At Goodwin's urging publisher J. A. Osborne moved to town from Florida and established the modern paper. In 1961 the Osborne family sold the paper to John O. W. Gravely III.[2] Gravely died in 1975 and his widow Martha became president and publisher. The Gravely family sold the paper in 1986 to the Chesapeake Publishing Corp. of Easton, MD., a subsidiary of Whitney Communications. Later in 2001 Chesapeake sold the paper to the Daily Press, a Tribune Co. daily in Newport News, Virginia.

Through the years, the paper won Virginia Press Association's award for community excellent in publishing three times, in 1969, 1980 and 1994. Long a weekly newspaper, the Gazette expanded to twice-weekly in 1984. The current publisher is W. C. "Bill" O'Donovan who has served in that capacity since 1986. beginning as an editor under Gravely.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Virginia Gazette By Date". 2009-11-05. Archived from the original on 2014-07-24. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Dictionary of United States History: 1492-1895. Four Centuries of History - John Franklin Jameson - Google Books". Retrieved 2014-05-13.


External links

1752 in poetry

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature (for instance, Irish or France).

Alexander Purdie (publisher)

Alexander Purdie (c. 1743 – 1779) was a prominent colonial American printer, publisher, and merchant in eighteenth-century Williamsburg, Virginia US.

Carter Bassett Harrison

Rep. Carter Bassett Harrison (c.1756—April 18, 1808) was a politician from the U.S. state of Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Harrison V, a member of the Continental Congress and signer of the American Declaration of Independence, and the older brother of William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States.

Harrison was born at the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia and was attending the College of William & Mary 1776, and maybe other years. He is listed as leaving the college to join the American Army during the Revolution. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1784–1786 and 1805–1808. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the Third Congress and to the two succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1793 to March 3, 1799. Harrison died in Prince George County, Virginia. On January 15, 1787, in Surry County, Carter married Mary Howell Allen of "Claremont" on the James, and had three children: William Allen, Benjamin Carter and Anna Carter (Harrison) Adams. Rep. Harrison's second wife was Jane Byrd, who died ca. 1813. There were no children by this union. Carter's burial is unknown, however, it is likely he's buried at his old plantation, "Maycox," in Prince George County.

Letter from Carter Bassett Harrison to James Madison:

Maycox April 4, 1801

Dear Sir, This will be presented by Mr. Alexander Kerr, a friend of mine, who is disposed to fill some federal office that may be vacant in the town of Alexandria. I have been, for some time, acquainted with Mr. Kerr. I have ever found him a gentleman of capacity, integrity & the man of business. These requisites added to his republican character may fit him for any appointment that the president may think proper to bestow on him. Present me most respectfully to Mrs. Madison & assure yourself of my confidence in your office & esteem I am your obedient servant.

Public Speaking at the College of William & Mary.

Spoke at the public annual exercises in Williamsburg on July 4, 1796. Bachelor of Arts degree given at this time. This was in the Virginia Gazette and General Advertiser, Richmond, VA. Wed. July 13, 1796.

Carter B. Harrison's years in office:

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Surry County from May 3, 1784 - June 30, 1784

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Surry County from October 18, 1784 - January 7, 1785

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Surry County from October 17, 1785 - January 21, 1786

United States House of Representatives: Carter was elected to the U. S. Congress from March 4, 1793 - March 3, 1799. These would be the third, fourth & fifth Congress.

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Prince George County from December 2, 1805 - February 6, 1806

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Prince George County from December 1, 1806 - January 22, 1807

Virginia House of Delegates: Representing Prince George County from December 7, 1807 - February 10, 1808

Altogether, Carter spent at least eleven years in elected office. He was called a "distinguished member of the House of Delegates."

- The General Assembly of Virginia July 30, 1619 – January 11, 1978: a Bicentennial Register of Members by, Cynthia Miller Leonard (This book is a great piece of work)

Clementina Rind

Clementina Rind (c. 1740–September 25, 1774) was a Colonial American woman who is known as being the first female newspaper printer and publisher in Virginia. Living and working in Williamsburg, Virginia, she took over the printing press after her husband's death in 1773. Clementina continued to print The Virginia Gazette and also published Thomas Jefferson's tract A Summary View of the Rights of British America.

Daily Press (Virginia)

The Daily Press Inc. is a daily morning newspaper published in Newport News, Virginia, which covers the lower and middle Peninsula of Tidewater Virginia. It was established in 1896 and bought by Tribune Company in 1986. Current owner Tribune Publishing spun off from the company in 2014. The Daily Press has a daily average readership of approximately 101,100. It has a Sunday average readership of approximately 169,200.The Daily Press is distributed to the following cities and counties: Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, James City, Newport News, Poquoson, Smithfield, Williamsburg, and York. Through its website at, The Daily Press also covers stories on the "Southside," which includes Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Monthly, currently receives nearly 7 million page views.The Daily Press also owns and publishes the Virginia Gazette, a morning newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia which publishes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It covers Williamsburg, James City County, and York County, and has an average readership of 29,324. Annually, currently receives over 5 million page views.Additionally, The Daily Press also owns and publishes The Tidewater Review, a morning newspaper in West Point, Virginia which publishes on Wednesdays. It covers King and Queen County, New Kent County, and West Point County; and has a Wednesday readership of 3,100. Monthly, currently receives over 57,300 page views.

Beyond print and web, The Daily Press and its sister products also engage people on social media.

The Daily Press employs approximately 180 people. Included in that number are reporters, editors, graphic designers, photojournalists, advertising sales reps, press operators, crews that package and deliver the paper, and employees that maintain electronic systems. The Daily Press also has an online publishing team, a marketing department, a finance department, and a human resources team.

Dunmore's Proclamation

Dunmore's Proclamation, is a historical document signed on November 7, 1775, by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, royal governor of the British Colony of Virginia. The proclamation declared martial law and promised freedom for slaves of American revolutionaries who left their owners and joined the royal forces.

Formally proclaimed on November 14, its publication prompted a flood of slaves (from both patriot and loyalist owners) to run away and enlist with Dunmore; during the course of the war, between 80,000 and 100,000 slaves escaped from the plantations. It also raised a furor among Virginia's slave-owning elites (again of both political persuasions), to whom the possibility of a slave rebellion was a major fear. The proclamation ultimately failed in meeting Dunmore's objectives; he was forced out of the colony in 1776, taking about 300 former slaves with him.

Fontville, West Virginia

Fontville, was the name of a town planned to be at the current day location of Sweet Springs, West Virginia. The town was brainchild of William Lewis, brother of Andrew Lewis and Thomas Lewis.

On December 16, 1790, Section Three of an Act of Assembly in Virginia set forth the following:

Thirty acres of land on the southeast side of Sweet Springs in Botetourt County, Virginia, which was the property of William Lewis, would be vested in James Breckinridge, Martin McFerran, Henry Bowyer, Matthew Harvey, John Beal, John Wood, John Smith, Robert Harvey, John Hawkins, Thomas Madison, and Sampson Sawyers. This land was to be laid off into lots of half an acre each with convenient streets and established into a town to be called "Fontville".

The lots were then going to be advertised in the Virginia Gazette for two months and sold at public auction. The purchaser was then expected to build within five years from the day of purchase. Houses were to be at least sixteen feet square and have stone chimneys. The trustees were responsible for settling any boundary disputes and making rules about house building. Further sections of the Act of Assembly stated that no person would be allowed to own more than two lots and that nothing in the sections authorized the trustees to sell the land on which William Lewis built his courthouse or tavern.

The reason the town never sprang into existence is unknown but that did not stop William Lewis from continuing his dreams of expansion. He ended up developing an extremely successful resort, Old Sweet Springs, and tried to entice the circuit court to relocate there by finishing a courthouse and jail on the property.

Selected images

George Johnston (burgess)

George Johnston (c. 1700 – August 29, 1766) was a lawyer in Fairfax County, Virginia while it was a British colony. He was twice elected to the House of Burgesses, in the assemblies of 1758-61 and 1761-65. On May 30, 1765 Johnston seconded Patrick Henry's speech advocating for resolutions against the Stamp Act. Johnston was elected to a third term, but died before the assembly reconvened. His death was reported in the Virginia Gazette on September 19, 1766.

Johnston married Sarah McCarty (1724 - 1785), daughter of Major Dennis McCarty from Westmoreland County, Virginia. He had three children by Sarah: George, William, and Mary Massey. His son, Lt. Col George Johnston, Jr., was Aide-de-camp and confidential military secretary to General George Washington from December 1776 until his death at Morristown, New Jersey in June 1777.

As a burgess, Johnston made a motion to resolve the House into a committee of the whole, seconded by Patrick Henry, at which time their coalition brought forth a shocking series of resolutions now known as the Stamp Act Resolutions. The House of Burgesses was an aristocratic company of wealthy plantation owners and gentlemen, having long operated under a relaxed rule of 24 percent constituting a quorum. With only 39 members in attendance, Johnston's motion passed, and in the absence of the House's regular leadership, all five of the offered resolutions were adopted. The first four were adopted more quickly than the fifth, which required several hours of heated debate, and even after that, passed by only one vote.

George Johnston served as George Washington's attorney, and a trustee of the town of Alexandria, Virginia. At the time of his death, Washington succeeded Johnston to both positions. His son, George Johnston, served as a captain in the 5th Company, 15th Regiment of Virginia.

Griffin (mascot)

Reveley, also known as the Griffin, is the mascot of The College of William & Mary. A mythical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, it was announced as William & Mary's mascot by President Taylor Reveley April 6, 2010. The Griffin mascot beat out the other four finalists: a King and Queen (dual mascot), a Phoenix, a Pug, and a Wren. The College had not had an official mascot since the late 1970s. It was named Reveley in 2018 to honor the Taylor Reveley upon his retirement.

History of American newspapers

The history of American newspapers begins in the early 18th century with the publication of the first colonial newspapers. American newspapers began as modest affairs—a sideline for printers. They became a political force in the campaign for American independence. Following independence the first article of U.S. Constitution guaranteed freedom of the press. The U.S. Postal Service Act of 1792 provided substantial subsidies: Newspapers were delivered up to 100 miles for a penny and beyond for 1.5 cents, when first class postage ranged from six cents to a quarter.

The American press grew rapidly during the First Party System (1790s-1810s) when both parties sponsored papers to reach their loyal partisans. From the 1830s onward, the Penny press began to play a major role in American journalism. Technological advancements such as the telegraph and faster printing presses in the 1840s also helped to expand the press of the nation as it experienced rapid economic and demographic growth. Editors typically became the local party spokesman, and hard-hitting editorials were widely reprinted.

By 1900 major newspapers had become profitable powerhouses of advocacy, muckraking and sensationalism, along with serious, and objective news-gathering. During the early 20th century, prior to rise of television, the average American read several newspapers per-day. Starting in the 1920s changes in technology again morphed the nature of American journalism as radio and later, television, began to play increasingly important competitive roles.

In the late 20th century, much of American journalism became housed in big media chains. With the coming of digital journalism in the 21st century, all newspapers faced a business crisis as readers turned to the Internet for sources and advertisers followed them.


InvadR is a wooden roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park. Built by Great Coasters International, it opened in the spring of 2017.

John Robinson estate scandal

The John Robinson estate scandal was a major financial scandal in Colonial Virginia.

After the 1766 death of John Robinson, the powerful and aristocratic Virginia planter who served as both Speaker of the House of Burgesses and the colony's treasurer, Robinson's protégé Edmund Pendleton discovered that Robinson's estate had significant debts. Robinson had been Speaker since 1738. Because of rumors concerning his handling of Treasury accounts, and because Robinson was widely considered one of the colony's richest men, the supervising judges appointed three executors and required an unprecedented bond of £250,000 (half as much as the colony had spent during the French and Indian War) from eight sureties (later shown to have been themselves indebted to the estate). Pendleton placed many notices in the Virginia Gazette and other venues, asking that all people in debt to Robinson "make immediate payment." However, the estate was not closed until 1808, and Pendleton's decision to pay debts owed the Commonwealth in depreciated currency produced a famous legal decision concerning federal/state relations.

Joseph Royle

Joseph Royle (1732 – January 26, 1766) was a colonial American newspaper publisher and printer for the colony of Virginia.

List of newspapers in Virginia

This is a list of newspapers in Virginia.

List of newspapers in the United States

This is a list of newspapers printed and distributed in the United States.

As of 2014, the United States had 1,331 daily newspapers.

Mountain Road Lottery

The Mountain Road Lottery was a project conceived in 1767 by George Washington, Captain Thomas Bullitt, and others. Captain Bullitt had served with Washington in the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War (1754–1763). The idea was to build a road through the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia and to construct a resort in the area now known as The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia.

George Washington was involved in many lotteries throughout his life. The Mountain Road Lottery failed, in part due to there being numerous other lotteries at the time, and that the King then banned all lotteries in 1769. However, Captain Bullitt eventually went ahead with the plan, and the resort became a reality without the aid of the lottery or George Washington. The lottery tickets which were signed by George Washington became collector's items. There are about 25 known tickets in various libraries, etc. The latest price of one being sold was for $13,500 in 2006.

George Washington's diaries contain several entries concerning Captain Bullitt and the sale and distribution of the Warm Springs Mountain Road Lottery tickets. One notable credit entry dated January 1, 1770, remarks "Tickets that it is presumed will not be sold - but are not yet returned."

Advertisements for the lottery were placed in The Virginia Gazette that offered 6,000 tickets to be sold at one pound each. 85% of the money was to be paid out in the form of prizes, and the remainder kept for the project. Unlike today's lotteries, people would not accept the lottery sponsors making large profits.

On February 21, 1771, Captain Bullitt placed a notice in The Virginia Gazette that notified Washington and others that the "Hot Springs, Augusta County" project agreement between them was rescinded. The road was never built with this lottery endeavor. However, the Mountain Road was built in 1772 when the Virginia legislature voted a sum of 300 pounds for the purpose of "clearing a safe and good road from the Warm Springs in Augusta County to Jennings Gap." That road is now part of Virginia Routes 629 and 39 from Jennings Gap into Warm Springs Valley, site of the famous Homestead Hotel. Bullett went on alone and later built the road and spa in Hot Springs.

The general idea behind the project was to build a resort similar to that with hot springs in Bath, England. Augusta County in Virginia eventually was renamed Bath County, and is the home to a magnificent resort and numerous hot springs.

The historical reference to the Mountain Road Lottery as being a project to head west by Washington is incorrect. This was a commercial lottery venture that never got off the ground. When Eric Bender (Tickets To Fortune, 1938) made the incorrect statement that George Washington's Mountain Road Lottery "was to build a road over the Cumberland Mountains," he had no idea that his unsubstantiated conclusion would find its way into the Encyclopædia Britannica, and thus become an erroneous reference source for lottery historians.

A complete history and research article written by Ron Shelley appeared in Lottery Players Magazine in 1989. Part of that research appears in the promotional book and brochure issued by The Homestead Resort and Hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia.

A lottery ticket from the Mountain Road Lottery was featured on History's Pawn Stars at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, NV. The item appeared in Episode 19 of Season 2, "Chopper Gamble."

Museum De Cruquius

The Museum De Cruquius (or Cruquiusmuseum) occupies the old Cruquius steam pumping station in Cruquius, the Netherlands. It derives its name from Nicolaas Kruik (1678–1754), a Dutch land-surveyor and one of many promotors of a plan to pump the Haarlemmermeer (Haarlem lake) dry. Like many well-educated men of his time, he latinized his name to Nicolaus Samuel Cruquius. During his lifetime the issue of the Haarlem Lake and how to pump it dry was international news, as the following excerpt from the Virginia Gazette on 31 May 1751 illustrates:

"By a private letter from Rotterdam, we are told, that the Dutch Engineers, in their Plan for draining the lake of Haerlem, proposed to employ 150 mills for three Years, and had computed the Expence at a Million and Half of Florins, but that a German, who had been long employed in the Mines of Hungary and Hartz, had proposed to drain it with 50 machines, in 15 months, at a far less Expence; and that he has been ordered to erect one of those Machines, which, if it shall be found to execute what he has asserted, his Proposal will be immediately accepted."Even 50 machines proved too expensive, so it was not until successful experiments with steam pumping stations, such as at nearby Groenendaal park in 1781, that serious plans resulted in three steam-driven pumping stations, including the one at Cruquius. As a tribute to former planners, the pumping stations of the Haarlemmermeer were named after them. The one at the mouth of the Spaarne river, near Heemstede, was called Cruquius. To service the mill, the workers who lived there founded the town of the same name. The dike was built in the 1840s, the pump started work in 1850 and in the three years that had been predicted a century before, the Haarlem lake was pumped dry. The pumping station Cruquius continued to work on and off until 1933, when it was made into a museum. The foreman's house was made into a café which it still is today.

William Hunter (publisher)

William Hunter (died August 14, 1761) was a colonial American newspaper publisher, book publisher, and printer for the colony of Virginia.

William Parks (publisher)

William Parks (1699–1750) was a printer and journalist in England and Colonial America.

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