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[219]

Why, for instance, should it have been left to the ‘Boston News Letter’ of September 19, 1754, to describe the exciting ‘chase of a Bear’ from Lieutenant-Governor Phips' farm in Cambridge down to the Charles River, and his subsequent capture; or that far more exciting scene in September, 1774, when the British troops from Boston carried off the powder from the Somerville powder-house. And fancy the wealth of display headlines which a Cambridge newspaper would have deemed necessary to set forth properly the story of that eventful visit of ‘about four thousand people’ to LieutenantGov-ernor Thomas Oliver's mansion on Tory Row, which resulted in his resignation and subsequent flight into Boston.

Quiet country towns like Greenfield, Worcester, Salem, Newburyport, and Portsmouth, where life moved on in an endless monotony of pastoral simplicity, all had excellent weekly newspapers, founded a century or more ago. Yet Cambridge, a university town of vastly more importance and with far greater facilities for producing a newspaper than any of these places, had no home paper until 1846.

This is the more remarkable in that for years she had counted among her highly respected citizens a number of well-known journalists who rode into Boston each morning in the hourlies to aid in making the daily papers of our neighboring city, and rode out again in the evening to take their well-earned repose at their homes hard by the banks of the placid Charles.

Among these were Joseph Tinker Buckingham (ne Tinker),1 who commenced his career in 1795 at the age of sixteen as a printer in the office of the ‘Greenfield Gazette.’ In 1800 he came to Boston, and after some journalistic experience, which was not successful, in that city, he removed to Cambridge. Later he built a house on Quincy Street where Mrs. James

1 The father of Mr. Buckingham was Nehemiah Tinker, but the son took his mother's name by permission of the Massachusetts legislature, in 1806. He has been immortalized by Mr. Lowell, in the first series of the Biglow Papers, which was published in the Courier, in 1846-1848, when Mr. Buckingham was its editor. ‘his Folks gin the letter to me and i shew it to parson Wilbur and he ses it oughter Bee printed, send it to mister Buckinum, ses he, i don't allers agree with him, ses he, but by Time, ses he, I du like a feller that ain't a Feared.’

It was in the New England Magazine, then under the editorial care of Mr. Buckingham, that Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes published his first ‘Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table’ paper, mentioned many years afterwards in the first number of The Atlantic Monthly.—editor.

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