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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Carlson, Marybeth (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Virginia (1)
8 (1988)

Note on sources,   pp. xl-xlvii


Page xliii

NOTE ON SOURCES                                               xliii
Newspapers
Ten weekly newspapers were published in Virginia between Septem-
ber 1787 and July 1788. Nine of the ten appeared during this entire
period. A complete file does not exist for any of the ten newspapers,
although nearly complete runs are available for the Virginia Independent
Chronicle, the Virginia Gazette, and Winchester Advertiser, and the Ken-
tucky Gazette (actually Kentucke Gazette). The file for the Virginia Gazette,
and Weekly Advertiser of Richmond is relatively complete, too. The least
complete files are for the Virginia Gazette and Independent Chronicle of
Richmond and the Virginia Gazette, and Petersburg Intelligencer, which
have only five and seven extant issues, respectively. Because so many
issues are missing for a number of the newspapers, it is difficult to
determine if they were Federalist, Antifederalist, or impartial. Never-
theless, the majority of the extant newspaper items are Federalist. At
least six newspapers printed the Constitution.
Three newspapers were printed in the James River town of Rich-
mond, the state capital. Augustine Davis owned the Virginia Independent
Chronicle, and he probably published more original substantial essays
than any other newspaper printer in the state, as well as important
items from outside the state. Davis printed both Federalist and Anti-
federalist material, with the former exceeding the latter. The Virginia
Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser, owned by Thomas Nicolson, printed very
few substantial original essays, or major items from outside the state.
Nicolson's politics are uncertain, although he published a broadside
version of George Mason's objections to the Constitution and he re-
printed the complete pamphlet version of Governor Edmund Ran-
dolph's letter to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, explaining
why he had refused to sign the Constitution. The third Richmond
newspaper, the Virginia Gazette and Independent Chronicle, owned by
John Dixon, reprinted several numbers of The Federalist. In the nearby
town of Petersburg, Miles Hunter and William Prentis printed the
Virginia Gazette, and Petersburg Intelligencer. The Gazette was the first
Virginia newspaper to print Richard Henry Lee's letter of 16 October
1787 to Governor Randolph, expressing his opposition to the Con-
stitution and enclosing his amendments to it. The Norfolk and Ports-
mouth Journal, printed in Norfolk at the mouth of the James River,
was owned by a Federalist printer from New York City, John M'Lean.
M'Lean, who published The Federalist in his New York Independent
Journal and in a two-volume edition, was the first Virginia printer to
reprint The Federalist.
Two Federalist-oriented newspapers were published in northern Vir-
ginia: the Virginia Journal, and Alexandria Advertiser, owned by George


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