Stonington, today a town without an independent newspaper of its own, for a long time had one paper after another. The first of these, the Impartial Journal (1798-1804), espoused the radical idea of universal suffrage. And the editor included women in the word “universal.” How did this sort of thing come about in a conventional New England town?
James Boylan, a leading journalism historian, will discuss the Stonington press in an illustrated talk, “Getting the News in Stonington, 1798 to 2008.” The event will be at 7pm on Wednesday, December 17, at the Woolworth Library of the Stonington Historical Society.
James will cover the succession of newspapers, editors and owners in Stonington. The longest lasting of these papers, The Mirror, reported local activities and gossip for more than 85 years but the selection of gossip was rather biased. James’ slides show a high level of complexity in publications where every word had to be created for press by placing one single metal letter at a time into a hand-held stick and then transferring the type to a page frame.
Currently an editor of the Society’s publication Historical Footnotes, James holds a Ph.D in American history from Columbia University and is an emeritus professor of journalism and history at the University of MA. He was the founder of the Columbia Journalism Review.
Admission to the talk and exhibition is free to members of the Society; $5 a person for nonmembers. Refreshments will be served after the talk at the Captain Nathaniel Palmer House, a national historic landmark adjoining the library. Both are at 40 Palmer Street. For information, 860.535.8445.