BRINGING A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Clementina Rind (ca. 1740-1774) arrived in Williamsburg in 1765 with her husband, who had been coaxed from Maryland by members of the House of Burgesses unhappy with the existing Virginia Gazette, which they considered too friendly to the royalist perspective. The Rinds set up a competing edition of the Gazette from the home they rented on Duke of Gloucester Street, in what is now known as the Ludwell-Paradise house.
“I cannot think of myself authorized to publish an anonymous piece, which, notwithstanding its merit, points at private characters, and will probably give a mortal stab to the peace of some respectable persons.”
AT THE EDITORIAL HELM
After her husband’s untimely death in 1773, Rind took up the role of printer and editor, staying true to the paper’s masthead, “Open to All Parties but Influenced by None.” Rind skillfully handled her unique opportunity as a woman positioned to deliver the news and shape public perceptions of the brewing crisis, winning the contract as public printer of the colony’s laws and with it, the trust of the ruling class. In 1774, she was the first to print Thomas Jefferson’s A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which was a key document on the road to Revolution and proposed instructions for the Virginia delegates who were preparing to ride to Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress.
Rind ran the newspaper while raising five children but died in late 1774 “after a tedious and painful illness.” Purdie & Dixon’s rival edition of the Virginia Gazette memorialized her as “a lady of singular merit, and universally esteemed.”