The Press: George Washington Read Here

The night before his death in 1799, George Washington sent one of his slaves from Mount Vernon to fetch the latest copy of his favorite daily newspaper—the Alexandria (Va.) Gazette. When he died, the Gazette ran black, reversed-ruled borders on its columns and a poem which began: "What means the solemn dirge that strikes my ear?" "Light Horse Harry" Lee subscribed to the Gazette; his son Robert E. Lee, was reared on it, and Henry Clay wrote for it.

Down through the years, from the Constitutional Convention to the Dixiecrat revolt, the Gazette has...

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