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NEWSPAPERING IN RENSSELAER COUNTY

An exhibit at The Rensselaer County Historical Society, “Black and White and Read All over: Newspapering in Rensselaer County, 1790 to the Present” was held from September 1994 to June 1995.

As a result of that exhibit, a pamphlet was developed which chronicled the 240 different

newspapers that were published in Rensselaer County starting in 1787 and continuing up to the present day.

These various newspapers are one of the best ways to document any given community overtime and serve as a valuable resource for genealogy researchers to track down information on deaths, marriages and other family events that are available nowhere else. The newspapers prior to 1880 are especially valuable to researchers as they predate the New York State Law on centralized reporting of death and marriage records.

This TIGS resource developed from the RCHS pamphlet shows an alphabetical listing of the 240 Rensselaer County Newspapers and a chronological list of the papers with information on the dates of publication, successor newspapers, names of publishers, editors, etc.

To make this resource more useful to researchers, the TIGS data base identifies those newspapers that are available on microfilm or hard copy at the Troy Library.

In addition to the microfilm holdings of the Troy Library, copies of these Rensselaer County newspapers may be available throughout New York State at various libraries, colleges/universities, historical associations and societies, museums, town halls and town historians. The New York State Newspaper Project run by the State Library in Albany from 1987 to 2007 spent almost twenty years locating, cataloging and preserving New York State newspapers on microfilm.

The following link will take you to the State Library site where you can click on Rensselaer County and identify what newspapers are available and who has microfilm or hard copies available. Microfilm newspaper records from the State Library may be obtained through an inter-library loan:

http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/all/county4.htm

Note 1: While the pamphlet mentions the 1790 date, there were two newspapers listed prior to that date.

Troy's Historic Newspapers

wdt_ID YEAR NAME OF PAPER COMMENTS TROY LIBRARY HOLDINGS
1 5/1787 Northern Centinel & Lansingburgh Advertiser A weekly paper by Claxton & Babcock (to Jan. 1788). Moved to Albany On Microfilm - May 21, 1787-January 1, 1788
2 1788 Federal Herald A weekly paper that ran at least from May 1788 to May 1790 by Babcock & Hickok. On Microfilm - May 5, 1788-May 17, 1790
3 9/1791 Tiffany's Recorder Sylvester Tiffany, sold to George Gardner and James Hill who published it as The Lansingburgh Recorder from Jan. 1792 to Aug. 1795 when they moved to Troy.
4 1/1792 American Spy Silvester Tiffany, took on partner William W. Wands in Aug. 1792 to form Tiffany & Wands. After 1795 only Wands involved, paper ran to 1797. It was continued by the Lansingburgh Gazette. Weise (1877) notes that this paper was started in April 1791 as a weekly by Silvester Tiffany. He says William W Wands joined Tiffany in August 1792 and took over in Dec. 1792. In Bound Books - April 8, 1791-June 6, 1797
5 5/1795 The Recorder Started by George Gardner and James Hill. Hill was succeeded by Nathaniel Billings. Paper stopped publication by the end of 1795 and the publishers left the state.
6 1796 Farmer's Oracle Published at Troy for a short time by Luther Pratt. Weise (1877) notes that Luther Pratt & Co started this as the first Troy paper Jan. 31, 1797 on River (Water) Street.
7 1798 Farmer's Register Published at Lansingburgh by Francis Adancourt . Politically, " Clintonian Democrat". Later (in 1807) removed to Troy and suspended in 1832. Hayner notes this as an "anti-Federal" paper.
8 1798 Lansingburgh Gazette Various publishers through 1883. In early 19th c. was ultra Federal politically. Continued until 1883. Followed the American Spy and was variously called the Rensselaer County Gazette, State Gazette, Lansingburgh State Gazette. Listed in the 1880 Census Special Report. On Microfilm - December 4, 1798-1883 (some years missing)
9 1798 Northern Budget First published in 1797 in Albany by Robert Moffitt who had served his apprenticeship in Lansingburgh . Moved to Lansingburgh in 1797 and then to Troy in 1798 where Moffitt was in partnership with Jesse Buel and with Col. Wells (1880 Census report notes still published). Later a partner was Oliver Lyons who marries Moffitt's widow after his death in 1807. Lyon left in 1815 and later publishers were Ebenezer Hill, Zephaniah Clark. Continues as Troy Observer Budget. On Microfilm - 1798-May 1854, 1884-1931, (missing 1854-1883) George Butler and John C. Kemble. In 1840 it became a daily paper and publication was discontinued in 1862 to be revived in 1867 as a Sunday paper by Col. Charles L. MacArthur until 1927. Over i
10 1802 Troy Gazette Established by Thomas Collier from Bennington, VT. 1804 succeeded by John Crafts Wright from Litchfield, CT. Other partners with Wright - Solomon Wilbur, Sterling Goodenow , Henry Stockwell . Continued until 1812. A Federal paper politically. Lasted until "federalism itself gave up the ghost." (suspended before 1818) In Bound Books - September 5, 1802-May 1810