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Martinsburgh gazette. [volume] : (Martinsburgh, Va. [W. Va.]) 1810-1825
Alternative Titles:
  • Martinsburg gazette
Place of publication:
Martinsburgh, Va. [W. Va.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Martinsburg, Berkeley, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
John Alburtis
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 27, no. 52 (Dec. 29, 1825) = whole no. 1403.
  • Began in July, 1810.
  • English
  • Martinsburg (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Martinsburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224867
  • Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, and West Virginia University Library Photoduplication section.
  • Description based on: Vol. 12, no. 10 (Jul. 27, 1810)= Whole no. 582.
  • Title varies slightly.
sn 84038455
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
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Martinsburgh gazette. [volume] July 27, 1810 , Image 1


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Martinsburgh Gazette, Martinsburg Gazette and Public Advertiser, and Martinsburg Gazette

The Martinsburgh Gazette and its subsequent iterations were the product of John Alburtis. A Baltimore native, Alburtis moved to Berkeley County, Virginia as a young man and entered the printing trade as an apprentice to Nathaniel Willis, Sr., owner and editor of The Potomak Guardian. Political differences ultimately drove the two men apart as Alburtis embraced the Federalist Party, and in 1799, Alburtis established The Berkeley Intelligencer in Martinsburg. The Intelligencer drove the Potomak Guardian out of business, leaving Alburtis' newspaper as the only one in Martinsburg. In 1810, he renamed the Intelligencer the Martinsburgh Gazette.

In 1822, John Alburtis retired and sold the Gazette to Washington Evans. Alburtis later established The Journal in nearby Shepherstown, whose planned relocation to Martinsburg was ended by Alburtis' untimely death. Evans continued the paper's issue and volume numeration, but in 1826, he rechristened the paper the Martinsburg Gazette and Public Advertiser. With the Federalist Party defunct, Evans embraced the emerging Whig Party, and indeed, the Gazette's columns offer a window into local Whig politics throughout the antebellum era.

In 1833, Evans sold the newspaper to Edmund P. Hunter, who returned the paper's title to the Martinsburg Gazette. A local lawyer, militia officer, and aspiring politician, Hunter used the Gazette to elevate his public profile and further his political ambitions. He secured election to the Virginia House of Delegates as a Whig in 1834, 1835, 1839, and 1841 and held the office of county attorney. Edmund Hunter's son David Hunter Strother—a writer, artist, and future U.S. general—published some of his earliest articles ("Pen and Ink Sketches of an Artist") in his father's Gazette. Aside from Strother's travelogues, the paper provided readers with political commentary, literary articles, as well as local, national, and international news for an annual $2.00 subscription.

In 1845, political reversals convinced Hunter to sell the Gazette to James E. Stewart, and this sale marked the first in a series of ownership changes over the ensuing decade. The Gazette's final owner was Norman Miller, a Whig who embraced the anti-immigrant, "Know Nothing" nativism of the era. Miller's politics were reflected in his decision to change the paper's title to The Berkeley American in March 1855. The paper endured further owner and name changes—including The Berkeley American and Martinsburg Gazette and The American and Gazette—until it finally ceased publication at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Provided by: West Virginia University