Oil on canvas; 91.6 x 76.4 cm (36 1/16 x 30 1/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Joshua Reynolds, 1784
The press was the mass medium of the eighteenth century, the only way to bring both news and commentary to a broad public audience. The popularity of newspapers soared in Revolutionary America: By the late 1780s, the United States had about ninety-five newspapers, over twice the number at the time of independence. Moreover, the newspapers of 1776 were weeklies, but those of 1787 we often published two or three times a week. There were even a few that appeared daily to satisfy the hungry reading public.