Noble E. Cunningham, The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power: Party Operations,
1801-1809 ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early
American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Va., 1963), 236; S. N. D. North, History and
Present Conditions of the Newspaper and Periodical Press of the United States ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1884), 47.
Bernard A. Weisberger, The American Newspaperman ( Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1961), 66-68; Robert A. Rutland, Newsmongers: Journalism in the Life of
the Nation, 1690-1972 ( New York: Dial Press, 1973), 125.
Lawrence C. Wroth, The Colonial Printer ( Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1964), 79-80.
Weisberger, American Newspaperman, 73; Alfred McClung Lee, The Daily Newspaper in America ( New York: Macmillan, 1937), 115-16.
"Stereotyping," in American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking ( New York: Howard Lockwood, 1894), 527.
David Paul Nord, "The Evangelical Origins of Mass Media in America,
1815-1835," Journalism Monographs 88 ( May 1984): 7-12. Religious organizations were
some of the first to take advantage of these printing improvements in reaching a mass audience with religious tracts. However, newspapers and magazines soon followed, and the
industry changed drastically.
William J. Gilmore, Reading Becomes a Necessity of Life: Material and Cultural
Life in Rural New England, 1780-1835 ( Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989), 21-22; Richard D. Brown, Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early
America, 1700-1865 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 218; Rutland, Newsmongers, 124. In his study of Yankee farmers and their access to information, Richard Brown
concluded that the growth of the economy influenced the desire to know, but was not necessarily the essential element. Knowledge of the outside world was not always needed to
function on a day-to-day basis, but many rural farmers sought to know mom anyway, for
masons that went beyond just economics. "Information and Insularity: The Experiences of
Yankee Farmers, 1711-1830," in
Brown, Knowledge Is Power, 132-59.
In "The History of Literacy in America: An Introduction" (Paper presented at the White House Conference on Library Information Services. Reston, Va., 1-4 April 1979,
ERIC, ED 176241, microfiche), Carl F. Kaestle reviewed several studies on literacy rates in
the late 1700s. Using the capability of men to sign their names to wills, Kenneth Lockridge
concluded that 90 percent of the men in New England and 68 percent of the men in Virginia
and Pennsylvania were literate. Lee Soltow and Edward Stevens used army enlistment signatures, resulting in rates of 75 percent in New England and 50 to 60 percent in the South. Lawrence Cremin studied four cities ( New York, Philadelphia, Elizabeth City, Va., and Dedham, Mass.) and found rates of 82 to 97 percent for men and 67 to 78 percent for women.
Ibid., 6-8. For further information, see Kenneth A. Lockridge, Literacy in Colonial New
England ( New York: Norton, 1974); Lee Soltow and
Edward Stevens, The Rise of Literacy
and the Common School in the United States: A Socio-Economic Analysis to 1870
( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981); Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The Colonial Experience ( New York: Harper & Row, 1970).
Brown, Knowledge Is Power, 11-12.
Gilmore, Reading Becomes a Necessity of Life, 17-27; John C. Nerone, The Culture
of the Press in the Early Republic: Cincinnati, 1793-1848 ( New York: Garland, 1989), 43.