Michigan’s First Newspaper, 1809
Michigan has (and had) some of the best newspapers in the country: Detroit Free Press, Kalamazoo Gazette, Flint Journal, Lansing State Journal, Jackson Citizen Patriot...all of which have been around for over 100 years. But what was Michigan's first newspaper?
Michigan’s very first newspaper was called The Michigan Essay: or the Impartial Observer.
The first issue came out in Detroit on August 31, 1809. It was a very crude, small publication and didn’t last very long, possibly because a lot of the language was printed in French.
Michigan’s second newspaper was The Detroit Gazette which appeared in 1817. This one lasted longer than the Impartial Observer, but it too contained the French language along with English.
Beginning in 1825, Michigan’s lower region sprouted a slew of newspapers. Before Michigan became a state in 1837, papers popped up in Monroe (1825), Ann Arbor (1829), Pontiac (1830), White Pigeon (1833), Adrian(1834), Tecumseh (1834), St. Clair (1834), Kalamazoo (1835), Niles (1835), Mount Clemens (1835), Centreville (1836), Constantine (1836), St. Joseph (1836), and Marshall (1836).
By 1850 Michigan had 58 newspapers, most of them being little cheapies that were printed by a store owner, or some guy in his house or barn using an old second-hand press.
Nowadays, after over 210 years, Michigan’s newspapers are slowly becoming extinct.
Scroll below to see what Michigan's first newspaper looked like!