Excerpt from History of Somerville Journalism: With a List of Members, Officers, and Committees of the Somerville Historical Society, June, 1901
The first regular publication in Somerville of which I can find any copy or information was The Gem, a monthly paper of four pages, published by Alfred L. Elliot on Webster avenue, Somerville. The first number was issued January 1, 1861, and was an illustrated one, having the cut of an American eagle in the heading and a picture of General Washington on the second page. The editorial in this tiny paper is worth reading to you, to show how high an ambition the boy editor had, and what he expected to do with forty-eight inches of space. The editor said: In presenting to the public the first number of 'the Gem, ' I hope it will be considered as such. I intend to devote a portion of it to history, another portion to biography, 3 part of its col umns to poetry, anecdotes, enigmas, etc. Each number will contain a record of the events of the past month. Thus I will endeavor to make it interesting to all. My only solicitude is that it will not be remunerative, but I shall publish it as long as I have one subscriber. The terms of payment were strictly in advance: Two cents for a single copy, six cents for six months, or ten copies for that time for fifty cents.
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