Columbian Centinel

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Columbian Centinel
TypeSemi-weekly newspaper
FoundedJune 16, 1790
Ceased publicationMay 23, 1840
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, United States

The Columbian Centinel (1790–1840) was a Boston, Massachusetts, newspaper established by Benjamin Russell. It continued its predecessor, the Massachusetts Centinel and the Republican Journal, which Russell and partner William Warden had first issued on March 24, 1784.[1] The paper was "the most influential and enterprising paper in Massachusetts after the Revolution."[2] In the Federalist Era it was aligned with Federalist sentiment. Until c. 1800 its circulation was the largest in Boston, and its closest competitor was the anti-Federalist Independent Chronicle ("the compliments that were frequently exchanged by these journalistic adversaries were more forcible than polite").[3]

Russell "can be justly characterized as the Horace Greeley of his time."[4] In 1828 Russell sold the Centinel to Joseph T. Adams and Thomas Hudson, who continued publishing it.[5] In 1840, the Centinel merged with a number of other Boston papers—the Independent Chronicle & Boston Patriot, the Boston Commercial Gazette, and the New-England Palladium—to form the Boston Semi-weekly Advertiser,[6] which eventually became the Boston Herald.

Variant titles[edit]

  • The Massachusetts Centinel: and the Republican Journal. Mar. 24 – Oct. 13, 1784.
  • The Massachusetts Centinel. Oct. 16, 1784 – June 12, 1790.
  • Columbian Centinel. June 16, 1790 – Oct. 2, 1799.
  • Columbian Centinel & Massachusetts Federalist. Oct. 5, 1799 – July 2, 1800.
  • Columbian Centinel. Massachusetts Federalist. July 5 – Dec. 31, 1800.
  • Columbian Centinel. Sept. 5, 1804 – May 23, 1840.


  1. ^ Library of Congress. "Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers".
  2. ^ Frederic Hudson. Journalism in the United States from 1690 to 1872. 1873; p.147.
  3. ^ "Boston newspapers 100 years ago." Boston Daily Globe, Dec 27, 1903; p.27.
  4. ^ "American press founded at Boston in April, 1704; spans 200 years." Boston Daily Globe, Apr 18, 1904; p.5.
  5. ^ Joseph Tinker Buckingham. Specimens of Newspaper Literature. 1852; p.99.
  6. ^ Library of Congress. "Chronicling America".

Further reading[edit]

  • A free, uninfluenced news-paper. Printing-office, Marlborough-Street, Boston, March 11, 1784. To the publick. ... Proposals for publishing, every Wednesday and Saturday, a free, uninfluenced news-paper, to be entitled, the Massachusetts centinel... [Boston : Printed by Warden and Russell, 1784].
  • Justin Winsor. Memorial History of Boston, vol.3. Boston: Ticknor & Co., 1881. p. 617+ (includes portrait of Benjamin Russell on p. 619).

External links[edit]