Categories: Business and Industry, Everyday Life, Hartford, Revolution and the New Nation

The Oldest Continuously Published Newspaper – Today in History: October 29

Illustration of "The Connecticut Courant", Oct. 29, 1764
Illustration of “The Connecticut Courant”, Oct. 29, 1764

On October 29, 1764, New Haven printer Thomas Green established a weekly newspaper, the Connecticut Courant, in Hartford. Only the third newspaper to be published in the colony—and now known as the Hartford Courant—it is also recognized as the nation’s oldest continuously published paper. A few slight interruptions to its publication did happen, including those caused in 1765 by the British Stamp Act, which placed a tax on printed materials including newspapers, and a paper shortage in 1776 that was so severe some issues had to be printed on wrapping paper. The publisher at the time, Ebenezer Watson, handily solved this problem by building his own paper mill. After Watson’s death from smallpox in 1777 his widow Hannah Bunce Watson assumed control of the paper and took on her husband’s apprentice George Goodwin as a partner. Notably, they kept the paper going through the upheaval and uncertainty of the American Revolution.

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