The Aurora

Getting the news first and printing it first, on the lookout for rumors, trends, stories about to break, even helping the news to break - the Aurora offered vivid, fresh, and accurate reporting. Printed daily, even people in the hinterlands subscribed to the newspaper, and were susceptible to its influence. The Aurora emerged as the single most influential newspaper of its day during the time that Philadelphia served as the nation's capital, even as it became more politically charged. The driving force behind the Aurora was its founder and editor, Benjamin Franklin Bache - the favorite grandson of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Although Bache died at the age of 29, his friend William Duane and his widow Margaret Hartman Markoe continued to ably run the paper into the 19th century.
Image showing a detail from the masthead of the Aurora newspaper.

Benjamin Franklin Bache

Read more about the driving force behind the Aurora.

Color photo of a printer's composing stick with the words "Margaret Markoe" spelled out in type.

Margaret Hartman Markoe

Explore the story of the woman who assumed ownership of the Aurora after her husband's death.

Sepia toned image of man with wavy brown hair, wearing a jacket.

William Duane

Learn how this Aurora editor influenced Thomas Jefferson.

Color photo showing two reproduction 18th century printing presses.

Research Resources

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Last updated: February 6, 2017

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Philadelphia , PA 19106



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