RARE ISSUE OF JAMES RIVINGTON’S “ROYAL GAZETTE” THE FAMOUS TORY NEWSPAPER
The Royal Gazette, New York
Saturday, February 22, 1783
Very seldom do I manage to find a Tory newspaper from the Revolutionary War, much less the almost-legendary Royal Gazette, published by James Rivington. The masthead includes the motto: “TO THE KING’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.” New York City was the last major city stronghold of the British forces at the end of the War. The Patriots throughout new country referred to the newspaper as “Rivington’s Lying Gazette,” owing to its skewed battle reports, false reports of quarrels between Continental leaders, supposed “financial collapse” of the American rebels, and the great strength of the British forces.
This rare issue published during the Revolution’s final days reports news from various sources that peace had broken out in Europe, although talks in Spain had ceased. The whole city of New York was anxiously awaiting news that the Revolutionary War was over and England would recognize the American independence. Many of the Tory inhabitants of New York were making plans to go back to Europe or head for Nova Scotia and Canada fearing for their lives of being accused of treason against the new United States. The front page contains “ORDERS,” regarding people who had houses or land within the (British) lines which have been withheld from them for offenses against the English Crown to make their claims to the New York Police (see scan).
There is also a notice playing up Nova Scotia as an excellent place to resettle for those Loyalists and their families who wish to flee the city (see remarkable scan).
4 pp., complete, and in very fine condition. The Royal woodcut illustration in the masthead is especially nice. A very rare opportunity to own an original of the most sought-after Tory newspaper in history! It’s also the only one we have in stock or may ever see again.