The North Carolina Minute: the first newspapers in NC

Published June 2, 2022

By J. C. Knowles

The first newspaper in Colonial America hit the streets in Boston on September 25, 1690. Benjamin Harris, former bookseller and publisher in England moved to Boston about six months earlier. The newspaper was called, "Publick Occurrences both Foreign and Domestic." The size of the newspaper was 6 inches by nine and one-half inches. The newspaper consisted of four pages of which only three of them had newsprint on them. The fourth page was blank and the publisher encourages his readers to write their on news and send it to friends.

The first issue carried stories on Indians and Indian Wars; a suicide in a nearby town; and an affair involving the Royal family in France. The local authorities suspended the newspaper after the first issue. It is believe because of the Royal family story.

John Campbell, postmaster of Boston started his newspaper on April 24, 1704. The newsletter consisted of only one page 8" x 12". It did not last long, as Campbell did not last long as the Boston postmaster.

North Carolina first attempt at newspapers was the "North Carolina Gazette' published in New Bern in 1751 and stopped in 1759. The second attempt was a paper published in Wilmington in 1764. The first newspaper in Raleigh began in 1799.

The largest single issues of a newspaper in North Carolina was the July 14 and 21, 1985 issue of the Raleigh News & Observer. The two issues were made up of 312 pages. Publication was 220,000 copies, 390 tons of newsprint and was delivered across North Carolina in 34 trucks and vans.