previous next

Rivington, James 1724-

Journalist; born in London, England, about 1724; was engaged in bookselling in London, and failing, came to America in 1760, and established a book-store in Philadelphia the same year. In 1761 he opened one near the foot of Wall Street, New York, where his New York Gazeteer, a weekly newspaper, was established in April, 1773. It was soon devoted to the royal cause, and his trenchant paragraphs against the “rebels” made him detested by the Whigs. To sarcasm he added good-natured ridicule. Isaac Sears, a leader of the Sons of Liberty, was so irritated by him that. with a company of light-horsemen from Connecticut, he destroyed Rivington's printing establishment in November, 1775, after which the latter went to England.

Walnut Street front of the State-House. (from an old print of the period.)


James Rivington.

Appointed king's printer in New York, he returned late in 1776 with new printing materials, and in 1777 resumed the publication of his paper under the title of Rivington's New York loyal gazette. Late in the year he changed it to Royal gazette. Shrewd and unscrupulous, after the defeat of Cornwallis (1781), he perceived the hopelessness of the royal cause and endeavored to make his peace with the Whigs by secretly sending information to Washington concerning public affairs in the city. This treason was practised until the evacuation of the city by the British. When the loyalists fled and the American army entered the city (1783), Rivington remained unharmed, to the astonishment of those not in the secret. He changed the title of his paper to Rivington's New York gazette and universal Advertiser. But his business declined, as he had lost the confidence of both Whigs and Tories, and he lived in comparative poverty until his death in July, 1802.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
London (United Kingdom) (2)
England (United Kingdom) (2)
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (1)
America (Netherlands) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Rivington (6)
Baltimore Washington (1)
Isaac Sears (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1724 AD (2)
July, 1802 AD (1)
1783 AD (1)
1781 AD (1)
1777 AD (1)
1776 AD (1)
November, 1775 AD (1)
April, 1773 AD (1)
1761 AD (1)
1760 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: