or A Monthly View of  The Political State of the British Colonies. January to March 1741.


     This was the publication considered by most to be the first magazine in America. It was published monthly from January 1741 to March 1741 by Andrew Bradford  in Philadelphia, and edited by John Webbe. The magazine began as a test of wills between Bradford, its publisher, and Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was working on publishing a magazine, the General Magazine. Bradford, it seems, was dedicated to publishing something before Franklin, in order to be the official FIRST AMERICAN MAGAZINE. As  stated in Mott’s A History of American Magazines, “...the Bradford Magazine did not actually appear until  February 13, 1741, when a number dated January,1740/1,was placed on sale.” It preceded by three days the issue of Franklin’s ‘General Magazine’, thus winning the right to be called the first magazine in America.” Bradford’s American Magazine was based on British magazines of the time. In its short history, the magazine printed articles on government, current events in the War of Austrian Secession, Philadelphia history, the nature of money, religion, etc. Bradford’s American Magazine lasted three issues.

THE GENERAL MAGAZINE                            

And Historical Chronicle, For all the British Plantations in America.January to June 1741.

Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine should have been the first magazine published in America. It was conceived first, and would have been printed first, save for the self- serving  strategies of  Andrew Bradford to publish his American Magazine before Franklin’s. The General Magazine was a well printed monthly publication. It is not known who did the editing, although it is assumed that Franklin did much of the editing himself. The General Magazine was not sold by subscription, but sold by each issue. The subject matter consisted of articles on current events, government, business. Although The General Magazine lasted only six issues, its significance lies in the fact that it marks the beginning of the magazine in America.

source 1: A History of American Magazine. 1741-1850. volume one. Frank Luther Mott. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1957.

source 2: A History of Early American Magazines.1741-1789. Lyon N. Richardson. Thomas Nelson and Sons.

New York. 1931.

source 3: Magazines in the United States.

James Playsted Wood. The Ronald Press Company.

New York. Third Edition. 1949. 1956. 1971


THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE                            


                           LIBRARY 13. 1700-1799


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