Showing posts with label Publishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Publishers. Show all posts


Jane Aitken

Thomson Bible, printed by Jane Aitken, first woman to print the Bible in the US

Businesswoman Who Printed First Bible in America

Jane Aitken (1764–1832) is a significant historical figure in the early nineteenth century. She was one of the first women printers in the early United States and the first woman in the US to print an English translation of the Bible. Aitken was also a publisher, bookbinder, bookseller and businesswoman, a time when the independence of women was actively discouraged. She published at least sixty works from 1802 to 1812.

Image: The Thomson Bible, printed by Jane Aitken

Early Years
Jane Aitken was born July 11, 1764 in Paisley, Scotland, the eldest of four children born to Robert and Janet Skeoch Aitken. Her father Robert Aitken was a stationery and book merchant in Scotland as well as a talented printer and bookbinder. The Aitken family emigrated to the American Colonies in 1771 (Jane would have been 7 years old), and settled in Philadelphia, where Robert set up a business selling stationery and books, as well as printing and binding books.


Women in Publishing

American Women Newspaper Publishers

In the eighteenth century, women often worked alongside their husbands and brothers to publish a newspaper as a family business. In some cases, the wife became the publisher after her husband took ill or died, usually until a son could take over the paper. The influence of these women in publishing as active participants in the business is an enduring feature of newspaper history to the present day.

first newspaper publisher in the colonies
Image: Elizabeth Timothy, America's first female newspaper publisher, 1738
The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, South Carolina

18th Century Women Publishers
In the 1700s, women edited approximately 16 of the 78 small, family-owned weekly newspapers circulating throughout the American colonies. Even if they did not run the printing operations, wives, mothers and sisters probably contributed significantly to many of the other publications. Because of their overwhelming duties as wives and mothers, women typically assumed control of a publication only after the death of a male relative.


Anne Royall

early 19th century author and journalist

First American Newspaperwoman

Anne Royall (1769-1854) was a professional journalist, travel writer and the first newspaperwoman in the United States. At the age of 62, Royall published her own newspapers, Paul Pry (1831-1836) and The Huntress (1836-1854), from her home in Washington, DC.

Early Years
She was born Anne Newport near Baltimore, Maryland on June 11, 1769. In 1772 her parents moved to the frontier of western Pennsylvania, where the family lived in a log cabin only eight feet broad and ten feet long. It contained a bed, a puncheon table and four stools.


Margaret Draper

loyalist women

Loyalist in the American Revolution

Not all printers, nor all women printers, were on the patriot side. As the war of words began to heat up, one who was pro-British had to flee Boston under the protection of the evacuating British troops. She was Margaret Draper, who had taken charge of the country's oldest newspaper, the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston News Letter, in mid-1774.

Margaret was the granddaughter of Bartholomew Green, an early printer and publisher of the Boston News Letter. She married her cousin, Richard Draper, whose father had apprenticed under Green and had been taken into the business.


Clementina Bird Rind

colonial woman printer

Early Newspaper Publisher and Printer

As it is for so many women in American history, there is little information about Clementina Bird Rind's early years, except that she was born in 1740. Her husband, William Rind, was born in Annapolis in 1733, and was an apprentice there to printer Jonas Green. After a seven-year partnership with Green, the two suspended publication of the Maryland Gazette in October 1765 to protest the Stamp Act.

Shortly thereafter, Clementina Rind accepted the invitation of a group of Virginians, including Thomas Jefferson, to publish a newspaper in Williamsburg. The first issue of Clementina's Virginia Gazette appeared May 16, 1766, under the motto: "Open to ALL PARTIES, but Influenced by NONE."