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[p. 22]

Medford advertising in 1776.

Two men, natives of Medford, were engaged in the editing and publication of a weekly paper at Salem, called the Essex Gazette. Soon after the battle of Lexington, they moved to Cambridge, establishing themselves in Stoughton Hall, remaining there till the evacuation of Boston by the British.

The name New England Chronicle was prefixed to its former one; these men therein styled themselves simply ‘Printers’ and the paper was issued on Thursdays. Examination of a file of the above paper for the first three months of that eventful year, reveals several advertisements and items of interest to Medford readers, some of which we notice.

On January 15, the ‘Colony of New Hampshire,’ by its ‘PaymasterSamuel Hobart, offered one hundred dollars reward ‘for the discovery of some evil minded person or persons who did steal and carry away between two and three hundred pounds lawful money, emitted’ by said colony. It was ‘taken from out the house of Benjamin Hall, Esq., in Medford,’ on the 30th of December preceding. The New Hampshire troops were on duty in the siege of Boston, and the loss of this money doubtless added to their hardship.

Some one in journeying on horse-back from Cambridge to Medford lost ‘a small pair of saddle bags.’ Possibly some squire or officer in the army, who could not appear in correct style at some social function, because of the loss of his ‘ruffled shirt and stock and pair of light blue Royal Rib Breeches,’ for which, if left with the Printer, the finder was to receive three dollars reward.

As Medford had no post office till twenty-one years later, there were advertised at Cambridge, letters for Capt. James Smithwick and Henry Parkinson, with two for Simon Tufts. No doubt but Dr. Tufts would have appreciated our present tri-daily mail delivery. [p. 23]

Benjamin Willard now of Medford watchmaker,’ advertised a farm of 70 acres in Grafton. After describing the property at length, the advertiser proceeds to say that ‘said Willard has for sale, gold and silver Watches, crystals and mainsprings, some musical and spring clocks with neat Mahogany cases.’

He was a noted clockmaker whose work has long outlived him, and had recently come to Medford, but who can tell where his shop was located?

On Jan. 11, a horse, strayed or stolen from ‘Camp on Winter Hill Dec. 31,’ was advertised by Capt. James Norris, at Mr. Samuel Brooks's in Medford.

On Mar. 14, the following, which we present verbatim,

To be sold
At the shop next to the hatter's

in Medford, A few dozen caulking irons, stock locks, brass knob locks, block tin tea-pots, brass chaise nails, six penny brads, augers plaining irons, hunting whips, large pewter barons, brass cocks, crockery ware viz, plates, butterboats, tea-pots, sugar-bowls and a large tureen dish—— A variety of beaverit and felt hats, steel spring snuffers, fluted candlesticks, large and handsome brass scales, twenty double gross yellow metal buttons, a few rich brocaded and satin shoes, paper hangings with many articles of English piece goods——Also one piece of black hair seating for chair bottoms,—&c &c &c
It will be noticed that no trader's name is given, and we may never know who opened a department store next ‘the hatter’ or what Medford belle purchased the brocaded shoes. The hatter was a manufacturer and probably looked with disfavor on his neighbor's stock. It is a far cry from the snuffers and candlesticks to the modern electrolier, but planing, though done by power, is spelled in the ‘same old way’ on a Medford sign today not far from the site of ‘the shop next to the hatter's.’ [p. 24]

No Medford marriages are mentioned, but in the issue of Feb. 29 is, died, Last week at Medford in an advanced age, Mr. Zachariah Pool of that place.

But ere this, on Jan. 15, was the following,

Last Sabbath fo'night died at Wenham Mrs. Mary Hall aged 21, Wife of Ebenezer Hall, one of the Printers of this Paper, and Daughter of Capt. Josiah Orne of Salem. Her remains were interred at Salem the Thursday following.

And again on Feb. 22,

On Wednesday evening, last week, departed this life after a short illness, Mr. Ebenezer Hall, in the 27th year of his age, for many years one of the Printers of this Paper—having survived his Wife only six weeks. His remains were respectfully interred at Medford the Saturday following.

Samuel Hall, original and surviving Publisher of this Paper, intends to continue the Publication of it as usual. His being seized with a violent sickness just after his brothers illness commenced, will, it is hoped induce his kind customers to excuse the disappointment of a paper last week and the printing of but half a sheet this.

In April, the paper was issued from new quarters in Boston ‘on School street, next below Mr. Brackets tavern,’ and later in the year sold to Powars & Willis, who changed its name to The Independent Chronicle and Universal Advertiser. [p. 25]

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