Relocated Printers, 1775-1783

The Revolutionary War forced dozens of printers to flee from their offices as one or the other army occupied seaport towns during the eight years of fighting.

The below map displays the printers forced to evacuate. Each pin represents one printer, and includes information on where he or she went during the war and after.

Pin Color Key

Blue = Patriot
Red = Loyalist
Yellow = Neutral
Purple = Shifting loyalty

The location of printing offices is not precise within a town or city. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

Comments, suggestions, and corrections are welcome, either in comments below or by e-mail.

The map was originally produced to accompany a paper presented at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, “‘Extracts from some Rebel Papers’: Patriots, Loyalists, and the Perils of Wartime Printing.” For more information, see the McNeil Center’s Seminars page.

Aggregate data for this map comes from a database of 700 printers, editors, and publishers active between the years 1756 and 1796. I constructed the database using several sources. First among these is the Printers’ Card File at the American Antiquarian Society. I would like in particular to thank Ashley Cataldo, who has helped me enormously in locating the files of additional printers held separately from the main catalog. To supplement those files, I consulted several works on bibliography and the history of printing, including: Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America, with a Biography of Printers & an Account of Newspapers, ed. Marcus McCorison from the 2d ed. (New York: Weathervane Books, 1970); Leona M. Hudak, Early American Women Printers and Publishers, 1639-1820 (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978); Marie Tremaine, A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952); Benjamin Franklin V, ed., Boston Printers, Publishers, and Booksellers: 1640-1800 (Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1980); Frank Cundall, A History of Printing in Jamaica from 1717 to 1834 (Kingston: Institute of Jamaica, 1935); Howard S. Pactor, Colonial British Caribbean Newspapers: A Bibliography and Directory (New York: Greenwood, 1990). I have also consulted numerous monographs and articles on individual printers.

Note: data current as of February 15, 2012.

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