Thomas Jefferson Papers

Advice of Council respecting James Hayes’ Newspaper, [9 April 1781]

Advice of Council respecting James Hayes’ Newspaper

[9 April 1781]

The Board being informed that Mr. Hayes, agent for Mr. Dunlap, is nearly ready to begin the publication of his weekly gazette, which by Contract with the executive was to consist always of a full sheet of the size and type of Dunlaps Philadelphia paper containing intelligence, useful essays and public notifications on the part of government, publishing a separate lief for private advertisements, and it being represented that it must frequently happen that there will not be a sufficiency of Intelligence useful essays and public advertisements to fill a sheet, do consent that the vacant space in the principal sheet may be filled up with private advertisements until the board may otherwise order.

Printed from Virginia Council Journal, ii, 330–1, under the date here assigned.

TJ’s Account Book for 1781, under date of 19 Apr., contains the following: “pd Mr. Hayes a year’s gazette to commence now £120.” On 7 Apr. 1781 Davies wrote Steuben: “The new press will be ready for printing soon. The present printers are employed so fully that your proclamation will not be ready for dispersion before tomorrow” (Davies to Steuben, 7 Apr. 1781; Steuben’s “proclamation” may have been a broadside containing his general orders of 1 Apr. 1781 ordering all brigadiers to return to the quartermasters every horse, wagon, and “anything else” that had been impressed since 1 Jan. 1781 and declaring that any officer neglecting this order would be “considered acting unjustly towards the public and citizens of Virginia” and would be “treated accordingly”; Davies’ letter and a draft of Steuben’s general orders are in NHi and Weedon’s brigade orders concerning impressed horses are in Va. Gaz. description begins Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg, 1751–1780, and Richmond, 1780–1781). Abbreviations for publishers of the several newspapers of this name, frequently published concurrently, include the following: C & D (Clarkson & Davis), D & H (Dixon & Hunter), D & N (Dixon & Nicolson), P & D (Purdie & Dixon). In all other cases the publisher’s name is not abbreviated description ends [d & n], 7 Apr. 1781). The arrival of the new press led Davies again to recur to his plan of publishing lists of deserters: “As there is a new printing press set up by Authority, I shall be able to have them [lists of deserters] printed and perhaps dispersed before the new recruits are assembled” (Davies to Steuben, 10 Apr. 1781, NHi).

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