This week, we’re going to talk about Isaiah Thomas. Not the NBA star, but the colonial printer and founder of the Massachusetts Spy, whose office became known by the British as the Sedition Foundry. He snuck his presses out of Boston on the eve of war, helped Paul Revere spread the news of the British march, and shared first-hand accounts of the battles at Concord and Lexington. Later, he would spread his business empire across multiple states, and become a historian, founding the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. Listen to his story!
Isaiah Thomas and the American Oracle of Liberty
- A helpful lesson plan on Isaiah Thomas
- The full text of his report on the Lexington and Concord battles from the May 3, 1775 issue of the Spy.
- The image at the top of this post is a reprint of that edition given to us by the American Antiquarian Society, which Thomas founded.
- The History of Printing in America, by Isaiah Thomas, including his dramatic tale of Pope’s Night in Boston is below. For more on Pope’s Night, listen to our first episode.
This Week in Boston History
- Read the first edition of The Boston-Newsletter, America’s first regularly published newspaper.
- The 1771 dirty jokes recorded in John Adams’ diary.
- Read about the history and theft of the Sacred Cod, and see a detective posing with the returned fish below.
- Learn more about Boston’s original Town House, which was also used as a public market, in this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast. Below, you’ll see a rendering of the original Town House, along with some pictures of the Old State House’s lion and unicorn.
- The financial plan for Boston’s completely insane plan for a bicentennial expo, and some pictures of the plan below.