Since 1797 there has been a weekly or daily newspaper in Brattleboro for all but four years. It started with Benjamin Smead's paper the "Federal Galaxy" in 1797 and goes on to include William Fessenden's "Reporter" in the early 1800s, the "Vermont Phoenix" for over 80 years, and the "Brattleboro Reformer" under the banner of Windham County and Brattleboro for over 140 years.
In 1798, Benjamin Smead also printed the first book in Brattleboro, a sermon given by Reverend William Wells. Shortly thereafter, William Fessenden came to Brattleboro and expanded the book publishing industry. During the 10 years that he was active, he produced a considerable amount of printing and made Noah Webster's American Spelling Book a best seller. The book taught children how to read and spell. Fessenden also built a paper mill near the convergence of the Whetstone Brook and the Connecticut River to supply his own presses.
(Joe Rivers, President, Brattleboro Historical Society).
Audio Production: Rolf Parker-Houghton
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