Boston Overtook Cambridge in Early Colonial Printing

face of a prisoner

The first book printed in British North America is known as the Bay Psalm Book. Stephen Daye printed it in Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1640. Book printing began in Boston twenty-five years later. The first book printed in Boston was Increase Mather’s execution sermon, A Wicked Man’s Portion (1675). It followed the first execution sermon printed in Cambridge less than a year earlier.

By 1700, Boston had eclipsed Cambridge to become the leading colonial center for printing. The first regularly published newspaper printed in British North America was the Boston News-Letter, first issued in 1704. Increase Mather with his execution sermons contributed significantly to the rise of printing in Boston.^

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