Chester County-born Hezekiah Niles was one of the nation’s most influential journalists in the years between the American Revolution and Civil War, writes Erika Quesenbery Sturgill for the Cecil (Md.) Whig.
Niles was an early editor and publisher of Niles’ Weekly Register. Published in Baltimore, the weekly magazine detailed the most nationally significant events that occurred in Maryland.
Niles was born in 1777. For three years when he was young, he was apprenticed to a Philadelphia printer. He eventually carried his trade to Wilmington, where he tried to set up a printing business that failed in 1801. After a time with the literary magazine The Apollo, he moved to Baltimore and was editing the Baltimore Evening Post by 1811.
That same year, he issued the prospectus for the Weekly Register and amassed 1,500 subscribers before the first issue was even published. Over the next 25 years, he edited and published the Register, making it one of the most widely circulated magazines in the nation.
Niles also gave significant coverage to issues of interest to himself and fellow Americans, such as economy, science, and art.
He died in Wilmington in 1839.
Read more about Hezekiah Niles in the Cecil (Md.) Whig here.