Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fowle’s Printing Office

Fowle’s Printing Office was once located at the southeast corner of Washington, Howard, and Pleasant Streets.

Daniel Fowle became an apprentice to a Boston printer and went into business for himself in 1740. His publications during the next ten years, in partnership with another printer, included the American Magazine and a newspaper called the Independent Advertizer. In 1754, the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives had him arrested under suspicion of having published an inflammatory pamphlet, “The Monster of Monsters, by Tom Thumb, Esq.” The House unlawfully imprisoned him in the city jail for two or three days.

The persecution caused Daniel Fowle to leave Massachusetts and relocate to Portsmouth in July 1756. He moved into a wooden building on this corner and published the first edition of a newspaper called The New Hampshire Gazette on October 7, 1756.

His printing press was the first one in New Hampshire, and printers continued using the device until 1890. Daniel Fowle continued publishing until his death in 1787.

The New Hampshire Gazette is the oldest newspaper in the United States and continues to be published to this day, although not at this location.

The current editor is Steve Fowle, third cousin - five times removed - of Daniel Fowle.


  1. this is interesting stuff! Where is that first printing press in NH now located?

  2. Thank you for your kind words, alotter!

    As far as I know, the first printing press in New Hampshire is lost. It was owned by Portsmouth residents until 1890. At that time the press was sold at auction, and it ended up at a New York printing company and displayed at the Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) in 1893. After that, it disappeared from history.

    Steve Fowle, the current editor of the NH Gazette, has attempted to locate the press, but I believe he has not been successful.