Front page 1805

On June 18, 2019, LNP will celebrate its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 

Dueling druggists

This front page features notices from not one but two competing Philadelphia druggists who were seeking customers in Lancaster County. Both offered a long list of herbs and medicines available over the counter, including chamomile, castor oil, camphor, sarsaparilla, arrowroot and, of course, opium. Additionally, Robert Harris listed several of the many “patent medicines” he sold, including Lee’s Patent Antibilious Pills, Worm Destroying Lozenges, Jesuit’s Drops, Gout Cordial, Gowland’s Lotion and Rawson’s Bitters and Pills. On the other hand, Stephen North listed fewer of his wares but did suggest an alternative method of payment: “To accommodate his country friends, he is willing to receive country produce at the market price, in payment for articles in his line.”

A new motto?

Astute readers might notice that with a new century came a new motto at the top of this front page. The space formerly occupied by the newspaper’s motto, which was something of a mission statement for the paper (“Not too rash – yet not fearful – open to all parties, but not influenced by any”), is changed to contain slogans taken from Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address. The line “We are all Republicans – we are all Federalists” is widely regarded as a call for unity in the wake of the bitter partisanship of the 1800 election.

A new tavern

Among the many notices on this page of new businesses opening is this one for a tavern owner: “Gustavus Stoy respectfully informs his friends and the public that he has commenced the TAVERN KEEPING BUSINESS at the house lately occupied by Mr. John Whiteside, now the sign of the Pennsylvania Arms, in Queen Street, a few doors north of the Court-house, where he hopes by keeping good entertainment, both for man and horse, to merit and receive a share of the public patronage. He also carries on, at said place, his business of clock & watchmaking in all its various branches. Clocks and watches repaired at the shortest notice, and warranted.”

The 1800s

What was going on in the world at the time of this edition?

• In 1800, Congress held its first session in the new capital of the United States, Washington, D.C.

• In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson paid $15 million to Napoleon Bonaparte for the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States.

• In 1809, Nicolas Appert developed the earliest method for canning food, in order to provide stable rations for soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars.

• Over the course of the decade, Ludwig van Beethoven composed most of his symphonic works.

Sources: LNP archives; Yale University Library