Isaiah Thomas

Turnpike Corporation stock certificates


During Thomas’s lifetime there were no train stations, superhighways, or airports.  The transportation system consisted of a network of roads that, by today’s standards, would be considered “poor” – hardly more than broad paths through the forest.  In wet areas they were deeply rutted with large...

Images of Printing


These images relate to the business and process of printing in Isaiah Thomas's time. They include pictures of Isaiah Thomas's first press, "Old No. 1," which now resides in Antiquarian Hall at the American Antiquarian Society, as well as woodcuts from nineteenth-century books. In the "View Full...

Excerpts from Isaiah Thomas's Journals

Journal Entry

Thomas continued running his printing business until 1802, when he passed it on to his son, Isaiah Thomas, Jr. In his retirement, Isaiah Sr. devoted his energies to writing A History of Printing in America, first published in?, and founding the American Antiquarian Society, established...

Boston Exchange Coffee House


The Exchange Coffee House in Boston was a hotel, exchange, coffee house, and meeting space, which included a dining room and ballroom. It was designed by the architect Asher Benjamin and was built in 1808. The first meeting of the American Antiquarian Society was held in this building before...

The American Spelling Book

Children's Literature

Noah Webster (1758-1843), best known for his compilation of the American English dictionary, was also famous in his day for The American Spelling Book. This book, first published in 1783, was a very popular textbook for young children in the nineteenth century. By the end of the century...

Halifax Gazette

Newspaper Article

At seven years old, Isaiah Thomas was placed in an apprenticeship with the printer Zechariah Fowle in Boston. Fowle was a poor printer, and it was not long before Thomas had learned the trade and conducted business better than his master.

When he was sixteen, Thomas left his...

A Narrative of the Excursion and Ravages of the King's Troops

Book Excerpt

This document was one of the first items printed in Worcester after Thomas’s arrival in April 1775. It gave a more official account of what had occurred on the day of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

On the front page, you will see that this Narrative includes “Depositions...


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