Low Rate for Newspapers

It was not a coincidence that Postmaster General Franklin waited until 1758, after he had made his fortune, to order that all the newspapers the post riders agreed to carry could travel in the mail for the same uniformly low rate. This egalitarian change encouraged the fledgling field of journalism, made it more competitive, and motivated ambitious publishers to expand their readership by offering, along with the still dominant foreign news, a less provincial, more broadly American perspective that transcended colonial boundaries. Few newspapers traveled all the way from Boston to Baltimore, but by the early 1760s, the New-York Mercury could claim readers in Connecticut, New Jersey, and even Rhode Island as well as its home colony.