Andrew Bradford

Andrew Bradford

Bradford, Andrew, 1686-1742, colonial printer of Pennsylvania, b. Philadelphia; son of William Bradford (1663-1752). Andrew learned the trade in his father's shop in New York City and in 1712 went to Philadelphia, where he established his own press and became a bookseller. In 1719 he began publication of the American Weekly Mercury, the first newspaper in Pennsylvania and the third in the colonies. He was imprisoned for publishing political criticism but defended his own case for freedom of the press, establishing a precedent for the defense of John Peter Zenger. In 1741 he began publication of the short-lived (three issues) American Magazine, the first colonial magazine.

Andrew Bradford (1686 – November 24 1742) was an early American printer in colonial Philadelphia. He published the first newspaper in Pennsylvania in 1729.

He was the son of a printer, and grandson of two others. He was born to William and Elizabeth Sowle Bradford in Philadelphia. In 1692 the family moved to New York, and there he learned the printing trade from his father.

He returned to Philadelphia in 1712 and opened his own print shop. On December 22 1719 he began publication of The American Weekly Mercury. This was the first newspaper in the middle colonies, and he continued it until his death. He also taught the print business to his nephew William Bradford, and for a time employed Benjamin Franklin when Franklin first came to Philadelphia.

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