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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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North-Carolina Magazine; or, Universal Intelligencer

by Edwin H. Mammen, 2006; Revised November 2022.

Volume 1, number 7 of The North Carolina Magazine; or, Universal IntelligencerThe North-Carolina Magazine; or, Universal Intelligencer, was the first magazine in North Carolina. It was published by printer James Davis in New Bern during a period when his North-Carolina Gazette, the state's first newspaper, was suspended. The first issue, dated 1-8 June 1764, was eight pages, printed without column rules and two columns to the page. The magazine was meant to be bound annually; pages were numbered consecutively from the first issue until the last, four years later.

The lack of regular mail greatly limited the amount of news in the North-Carolina Magazine. Instead, it was filled with long extracts from the works of religious writers and historians or selections from British magazines. In the fifth issue, dated 6-13 July 1764, a long history of the Roman Empire was begun and continued through several succeeding installments. A page and a half was given to advertisements, including several offering rewards for the return of freedom-seeking enslaved people and one from Davis presenting for sale a "Collection of All the Acts of Assembly of the Province of North Carolina." A notice to the freeholders of Christ-Church Parish of an election to be held for new vestrymen advised: "There is a fine of Twenty Shillings on every Freeholder in the Parish who fails to attend, and give his vote."

Initially, the price for the magazine was four pence; with the issue of 28 Dec. 1764, the size was reduced to four pages without any change in price. On 27 May 1768 the North-Carolina Magazine was succeeded by another version of the North-Carolina Gazette, James Davis's original imprint.


Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820, vol. 2 (1947).

Thad Stem Jr., The Tar Heel Press (1973).

Stephen B. Weeks, The Press of North Carolina (1891).

Additional Resources:

"About The North-Carolina magazine, or, Universal intelligencer" Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress.

The North-Carolina Magazine; or, Universal Intelligencer, at the North Carolina State Archives.

Image Credits:

The North-Carolina Magazine; or, Universal Intelligencer, New Bern, N.C.: James Davis, July 13-July 20, 1764.