Anne Catherine Green: Printer of Colonial Maryland Currency

Anne Catherine Green, by Charles Wilson Peale, 1769

Happy #MarylandDay and #WomensHistoryMonth: Born Anne Hoof in the Netherlands around 1720, Anne Catherine Green was one of America’s first female printers and publishers. On April 25, 1738, Anne married Jonas Green at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, and the couple relocated to Annapolis later that year. By 1745, after adding a print shop to their rented home in Annapolis, the Greens revive the dormant Maryland Gazette newspaper, one of the first of its kind in America and the primary source of news for Maryland colonists. The Maryland Gazette was critical of colonial rule, especially of the 1765 Stamp Act that directly taxed the paper. Infuriated by the direct taxing of his business, Jonas Green publishes the headline, “The Maryland Gazette Expiring: in Uncertain Hopes of Resurrection to Life Again,” printing skull and crossbones where the tax stamp should have appeared. April 11, 1767, Jonas Green dies, leaving Anne with serious financial debts. On April 16, Anne announces her husband’s death and her intentions to continue operating the printing business and publishing the Maryland Gazette. In only a few short years, Anne was able to buy the printing business and the house at 124 Charles Street in Annapolis. Charles Wilson Peale paints Anne Green’s portrait in 1769; she holds a paper with the words, “Annapolis printer to…” a nod to her contract with the Maryland General Assembly. Assisted by her son William until his death in August 1770, and after that by her son Frederick, Anne maintained the business with great success. The newspaper masthead read Anne Catherine Green & Son. The almanacs, pamphlets, and books issued from her press were typographically distinguished examples of her craft. Anne Catherine Green was a sympathetic supporter of the Revolution and died (March 30, 1775) a year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In her obituary, her son wrote: “She was of a mild and benevolent disposition, and for Conjugal Affection, and Parental Tenderness, an Example to her Sex.” In 1984, Anne Green was inducted into the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Anne Catherine Green printed these two pieces of colonial Maryland currency from her Annapolis printing business on April 10, 1774. Collection of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, MU1937.9.1 & 2.

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