Maine Bicentennial



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Post-Revolutionary Maine: The history of newspapers in the District of Maine, from 1785 to 1820, falls into three divisions, centering respectively about the activities of Thomas Baker Wait, Peter Edes, and Nathaniel Willis, Jr. These men and the newspapers with which they were identified are the dominant agents in a somewhat chaotic development; a host of lesser men and lesser papers support them. Wait, because he was prime mover in the first paper, because he trained several younger men, because he was an energetic and progressive publisher, and because in partnership with his protege John Kelse Baker he led the way from Portland into the interior at Hallowell, was the pioneer. Peter Edes, following Wait and Baker to Hallowell, publishing there the first vigorous journal in the hinterland, and thence going on to establish at Bangor the first important paper to the eastward, served to strengthen the journalistic tradition in the District, and to render firmer the habits of controversy and discussion which were essential to early newspapers. Thus he, unconsciously, it is true, made ready a place for Willis, who, last of the three chronologically, was the first to publish a paper which became an inescapable force in the body politic, and which approximated very nearly the editorial function of the present day journal. [from p. 15]

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©1932 University of Maine Press

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University Press


Orono, Maine


Maine Newspapers, Historic Newspapers, Regional Newspapers


United States History


Digitized and posted with permission of The University Press.

A History of Newspapers in the District of Maine, 1785-1820



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