Spreading the News
The story of the explosion spread across the British North American colonies within just weeks. By 20 June 1766, the Virginia Gazette had printed the news for its readers. People from Boston to Williamsburg read about the disaster that had taken place in Hartford.
Interestingly, the stories changed as they made their way south. The Gazette, citing a letter from Burlington, New Jersey, called the explosion a "tragical accident." While the originally newspaper story in Connecticut blamed a group of boys for the incident, the Gazette argued that "a Negro boy seeing some powder scattered on the ground, scraped some of it together and set fire to it." What might explain this alteration? Does it surprise you that this version of events appears to have begun in the North?