For most of the twenty-year period between 1768 and 1788, when Newport was both the governmental and cultural center of Rhode Island, Solomon Southwick (1731-1797) was both printer and publisher, editing the weekly Newport Mercury, and producing a wide variety of other material. His efforts as an advocate of American independence, and as newspaper printer in the face of difficult historical circumstances, have generally been recognized, though with only a brief survey in biographical and bibliographical references. While sources cite a few key details, such as his hairsbreadth escape during the British invasion and his service as Commissary General during the War, judgments about his work and activities can be slighting and misinformed. In addition to correcting representations of his life and character, a fuller consideration can offer a vibrant picture of the printer in the life of the period, and show the real scope of his printing and the publications that so deeply reflected the cultural and political cruxes of the time.
Phelps, C. Deirdre
"Solomon Southwick, Patriotic Printer of Revolutionary Rhode Island,"
Newport History: Vol. 77
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol77/iss259/2