Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15







The first newspaper was printed in Cincinnati No-

vember 9, 1793.1 At that time Cincinnati was a small

village in the wilderness. Only the hardier pioneers had

dared to face the hardships and to cross the Alleghany

Mountains in spite of the menace of the British and

Indians on the North.

Among these few was one, William     Maxwell, an

editor from New Jersey, who set up a little printing

office in a log cabin which stood on the corner of Front

and Sycamore streets. His Ramage press, a primitive

affair, was fashioned after the one first used by the

illustrious Dr. Franklin, and could have been carried in

a large canoe. It, together with the types, had been

brought from Pittsburgh by water, after having been

carried over the mountains on pack horses. Everything

being in readiness, the first number of The Centinel of

the Northwestern Territory was issued November 9,

1793, a little over one hundred and thirty years ago.2

The title of the paper was appropriate, for Fort

Washington was virtually the gateway through which


NOTE -- This paper was read before the Cincinnati Chapter of the

D. A. R. March 10, 1924. It is based on original research among the early

newspapers of Cincinnati. One of the only two files in existence of The

Centinel was consulted in the Library of The Historical and Philosophical

Society of Ohio. The Western Spy and the Liberty Hall are in the archives

of the Mercantile Library of that city.

1 S. B. Nelson and J. M. Runk, History of Cincinnati and Hamilton

County, Ohio. (Cincinnati, 1894) p. 234.

2 Ibid., p. 204.