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Gazeta de Puerto-Rico. [volume] : ([San Juan, P.R.) 1806-19??
Alternative Titles:
  • Gaceta de Puerto-Rico
  • Gaceta del Gobierno Constitucional de Puerto-Rico
  • Gaceta del Gobierno de Puerto-Rico
Place of publication:
[San Juan, P.R.
Geographic coverage:
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico  |  View more titles from this: City State
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1806?
Three times a week <2 de enero de 1836>-
  • Spanish
  • Puerto Rico--San Juan.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214595
  • San Juan (P.R.)--Newspapers.
  • After the change of sovereignty in 1898, briefly published by the government of the United States.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 6, N.o 53 (23 de Octubre de 1811) (surrogate); title from caption.
  • Latest issue consulted: Año 1858, núm. 156 (30 de Diciembre).
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Gazeta de Puerto-Rico. [volume] January 2, 1836 , Image 1


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Gazeta de Puerto-Rico

The earliest Latin American prints date back to 1539, long before the printing press arrived in Puerto Rico. It is widely agreed that La Gaceta ("The Gazette") in San Juan marked the beginning of the printing press in the island. Even though its first issues are not available, the origin of La Gaceta can be traced back to 1806 during the governorship of Toribio Montes. La Gaceta was the official newspaper of the Spanish government in Puerto Rico, and therefore is a primary research source for studying the colonial Spanish regime through the 19th century.

The first issue consisted of four pages, published on Wednesdays and Saturdays, under the title La Gazeta de PuertoRico. By 1810, the spelling was changed to La Gaceta. With the advent of a liberal government in Spain, it adopted in 1820 the title la Gaceta del gobierno constitucional de Puerto-Rico. "After 1826, it was renamed la Gaceta del gobierno de Puerto-Rico, and publication moved to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In 1859, the title was shortened yet again to la Gaceta de Puerto-Rico, which remained the title used during its remaining years. In 1897, the paper began daily publication with the exception of Sundays, but this changed in 1898 to daily except Mondays, the way it remained until La Gaceta ceased in 1902.

La Gaceta offers detailed information about the colonial government in Puerto Rico including reports from the governor, treasury, customs, commerce, internal revenues, postal services, royal decrees, and political appointments. It contains unique and valuable data collected through diverse population censuses held in the island, such as the race censuses from 1876 and 1881. Education was another important topic frequently covered in the newspaper. La Gaceta published a census with the number of public and private schools and teachers by municipalities. By-laws and other official documents were provided including information about students' gender, social and economic level, type of schools, and other statistical data.

La Gaceta also provides general news which portray daily and cultural life, for example, speeches, arrival of vessels in San Juan, people arrested for illicit gambling, the lottery, and the escape and capture of fugitives. Major disasters that affected the Island were fully accounted for, such as the 1847 drought and the 1855-56 cholera outbreaks. Significant events which reflected opposition to the colonial regime were covered more superficially, accounting for only government perspectives--- such as the 1887 conspiracy against Spaniards.

La Gaceta carried countless commercial advertisements and announcements regarding bids and sales of houses, slaves, land properties, utensils, books received in bookstores, and vacancies for teachers and physicians. In 1897, the paper also began publishing information concerning the banking industry.

As an official government publication, La Gaceta survived all other newspapers published in the 19th century eventually becoming a daily (except for Mondays) and continued publication until the early 20th century when the U.S. military began governing the island. On October 20, 1898, two days after the change of sovereignty, La Gaceta published, in Spanish, a statement from the appointed military governor, John Brooke, regarding the military and civil administration of the island and the U.S. Constitution. It continued to publish all sorts of government affairs, many of them translated into English, including ordinances, memorandums, reports from the state and treasury offices, government appointments, as well as news from the municipalities until its final issue on September 30, 1902. The exact reasons for the disappearance of La Gaceta are uncertain.

Provided by: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, Library System