About The Kentucky Gazette Part of Kentucky’s History – Then & Now
Now a public affairs journal, The Kentucky Gazette was founded in 1787 by John Bradford, a Lexington printer who later published some of the first Acts of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Almanac (1788-1807). Original editions of the Gazette have been digitized and are available through the University of Kentucky Libraries, National Digital Newspaper Program.
The Kentucky Gazette is considered the first newspaper published in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains and was established to support Kentucky’s break from Virginia to form the young nation’s 15th state in 1792. Original copies of the paper and references to it are included in the Library of Congress, including in the collection of George Washington.
John Bradford printed the first issues on animal skin parchment on a printing press that could produce only 50 to 60 sheets an hour.
The Kentucky Gazette started out as a weekly, but soon started publishing as a tri-weekly and was delivered to subscribers by a post rider.
The paper originally did not print a lot of local news, but rather advertised local goods and reprinted articles of national and international importance. As the paper progressed, it started printing letters from the citizens on various issues (and people) of the day (such as this 1828 diatribe against “damd infernal lolift” scoundrel Sam Devers) and congressional debates and proceedings of the Kentucky General Assembly. Some of Bradford’s most notable articles were published as a book, “The Voice of the Frontier: John Bradford’s Notes on Kentucky,” which was edited by Kentucky historian laureate Thomas D. Clark in 1993.
Bradford and his family published The Kentucky Gazette until 1848, and another Lexington paper used the name from 1866 to 1910. The official archives of the original Gazette, including original print copies, is housed at the downtown branch of the Lexington Public Library.
A New Life for The Gazette
Lowell Reese, a Pikeville, Ky. native and publisher of Kentucky Roll Call, revived The Kentucky Gazette in 1995 and operated the newspaper until he sold it to Laura Cullen Glasscock, owner of Gravel Switch Publishing Inc., in February 2007.
The award-winning publication is the only one of its kind in the state, and it enjoys distribution and a wide readership in political, business and education communities throughout the commonwealth.
Laura Cullen Glasscock is the editor and publisher of The Kentucky Gazette. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Eastern Kentucky University, with a double major in English and public relations, and a master’s degree in English education from the University of Kentucky.
Glasscock also holds a master’s degree from the prestigious Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is an assistant professor of journalism at Kentucky State University, where she began teaching as an adjunct faculty member in 2008. She served for a number of years as secretary of the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is an occasional panelist on KET’s public affairs program, “Comment on Kentucky.” She is a political analyst for WUKY’s “Capitol Chat,” and she is the 2001 recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ national First Amendment Award. She has won several awards for editorial writing from the Kentucky Press Association.
The Kentucky Gazette is a nonpartisan, independent journal that covers state government, politics and public affairs. We hold ourselves to a high ethical standard and subscribe to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.