George Washington Papers

John Fenno to Tobias Lear, 24 July 1790

John Fenno to Tobias Lear

[New York] 24 July 1790. Sends two bound volumes of the Gazette of the United States1 after a delay of two months because of problems at the bindery and notes that one volume is a complimentary copy for GW’s library and the other is to replace issues earlier loaned by Lear.2


1John Fenno established the semiweekly Gazette of the United States in April 1789 at the seat of the new federal government to record its laws and proceedings and otherwise support the new Constitution. When the federal government removed to Philadelphia, Fenno and the Gazette accompanied it. The last issue printed in New York was that of 13 Oct. 1790, and the first in Philadelphia, 3 Nov. 1790. Printing was suspended for three months in the autumn of 1793 because of a yellow fever epidemic, and the newspaper was resumed as a daily in December 1793. Fenno himself died during the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, after which his son John Ward Fenno carried on publication of the Gazette until 1800, when he sold it to Caleb P. Wayne. GW owned ten bound volumes of the Gazette at his death (Brigham, American Newspapers, description begins Clarence S. Brigham. History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690–1820. 2 vols. Worcester, Mass., 1947. description ends 1:645; 2:912–13; Griffin, Boston Athenæum Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 492).

2The next day Lear sent Fenno GW’s polite and grateful acknowledgment of the editor’s “mark of attention” (Lear to Fenno, 25 July 1790, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

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