1799.041: Subscriber Circular for the Press, a National Paper at Richmond.

Published: 1799

Full Title: Richmond, November, 2, 1799. Sir, Believing that far the greatest portion of that party which arrogates to itself the exclusive claim to Federalism, consists of men, moral, humane, religious and well affected to the Republican principle, but who from indolence or other motives attending little to public affairs have been content with receiving their information from men interested in keeping them in ignorance; and believing in the omnipotence of truth; we have set on foot an establishment ... Plan of a national paper, approved by the proprietors at a meeting held at the house of Colonel Parke Goodall--Richmond. Doctor William Foushee, in the chair. … [signed] William Munford, secretary.

Author: Jones, Meriwether (1766-1806), et al.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Meriwether Jones & Co.

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; (broadside).


Circular letter soliciting subscribers for a national newspaper with a Jeffersonian perspective, designed to counter the overwhelming influence of Federalist journals in the country; flyer resulted from a meeting of influential Republican leaders in Richmond that formed a share-based company to publish such a paper; those present elected Meriwether Jones (then the public printer), attorney Alexander McRae, and physician John H. Foushee to run the paper; those leaders had also invited James Lyon (son of the recently jailed Vermont congressman Matthew Lyon) to come to Virginia to edit the paper for them. The Press issued weekly from January 1 to February 7, 1800, before it was transformed into a monthly (National Magazine) that provided small, local Republican papers throughout the country with uniform content supporting Jefferson's 1800 presidential campaign. Sheet lacks printer credit; Jones had formed a self-named company in April 1799 employing reputable journeymen recommended by Richmond printer Samuel Pleasants, who was also a part of the city's Republican leadership; this title undoubtedly issued from that new office.

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