IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of the transcriptions of The Courant given here have not had the proofreading corrections completed. Use these to enjoy the flavor of the content. Please check original sources when citing these documents.
The New-England Courant, founded in 1721, was the creation of James Franklin, Benjamin's big brother. The 15-year-old Benjamin was a printer's apprentice for the Courant, Boston's third newspaper. Never content simply to set type, young Benjamin Franklin invented Silence Dogood, a fictional widow of a country minister who held strong opinions. Silence contributed 14 pieces to the Courant, which were well received.
During Benjamin's apprenticeship, he was mistreated and beaten by James. Yet, James must be recognized, too, as one of the first to suffer a jail sentence for "libel" — which in his day meant printing anything that was not popular with the government. Benjamin fled to Philadelphia to escape his brother's abuse.
Printing was Franklin's trade for life, and he prospered. In the Silence Dogood pieces you will enjoy the wit, wisdom and world view that today is so strongly associated with Benjamin Franklin.
The Independence Hall Association recognizes the Massachusetts Historical Society for their kind permission to present "The Courant" online.
- Background to the Courant
- The Anti-Courant.
- Number 1 Monday August 7, 1721
- Number 18 From Monday November 27 to Monday December 4, 1721
- Number 25 From Monday January 15 to Monday January 22, 1722
- Number 27 From Monday January 29 to Monday February 5, 1722
- Number 28 From Monday February 5 to Monday February 12, 1722
- Number 35 From Monday March 26 to Monday April 2, 1772
- Number 37 From Monday April 9 to Monday April 16, 1722
- Number 39 From Monday April 23 to Monday April 30, 1772
- Number 41 From Monday May 7 to Monday May 14, 1722
- Number 43 From Monday May 21 to Monday May 28, 1772
- Number 45 From Monday June 4 to Monday June 11, 1772
- Number 47 From Monday June 18 to Monday June 25, 1722
- Number 49 From Monday July 2 to Monday July 9, 1722
- Number 51 From Monday July 16 to Monday July 23, 1722
- Complete Silence Dogood letters
- The Anti-Courant.