1772–4 Feb. 1831
Allmand Hall, printer, of Scottish ancestry, was the son of Sarah Hall Burney who had been widowed and married William Burney of New Bern. In 1795, Hall moved to Wilmington where he operated a book and stationery shop on Market Street and is said to have established a circulating library. However, Hall is best known for publishing Hall's Wilmington Gazette, which he began on 5 Jan. 1797. He later changed the name of the paper to the Wilmington Gazette which, in 1807, had a yearly subscription rate of three dollars and was published each Tuesday. In 1808, Hall sold the Wilmington Gazette to William S. Hasell and was no longer involved in printing.
During his days as a Wilmington printer, Hall found himself in the midst of a feud between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. Each group wanted a man who shared their beliefs to serve as public printer. In 1798 Hall was elected public printer, displacing Abraham Hodge who had backed the Federalists. Federalist leader Samuel Johnston's statement that Hall's election "mortified" him is evidence that the Federalists opposed Hall. Hall remained neutral, a move that apparently pleased neither the Federalists nor the Anti-Federalists, and he only served one term.
Between 1811 and 1817 Hall moved to Rowan County, where he was active in the Episcopal church. On 28 Apr. 1821, he represented Christ Church at the third convention of the Episcopal Diocese in Raleigh, when Christ Church was admitted to union with the diocese.
Hall married Ann Howard at Wilmington on 23 Jan. 1800; she died in 1810. They had six children: Sarah (b. 24 May 1801); Thomas (b. 14 Aug. 1802); Ann (b. 23 Dec. 1803), who married William McKoy of Clinton; Isabella (b. 25 July 1805), who married Richard C. Holmes; Caroline (b. 31 Aug. 1807), who married Chambers McConnaughey; and Maria (b. 12 July 1809).
In 1811, Hall married Rebecca Howard, his first wife's sister; she died in 1817 in Rowan County. He then married Mrs. Margaret Cowan Pennington. There were no children of his second and third marriages. Hall died in Rowan County at age fifty-nine and was buried at Thyatira Presbyterian Church.
Clarence S. Brigham, History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, vol. 2 (1947).
Hall's Wilmington Gazette, 16 Feb. 1797.
Elizabeth F. McCoy, Early New Hanover County Records (1973).
Henry B. McCoy, The McKoy Family of North Carolina (1955).
Jethro Rumple, A History of Rowan County, North Carolina (1881).
Mary L. Thornton, "Public Printing in North Carolina," North Carolina Historical Review 21 (1944).
Hall's Wilmington Gazette, NC Digital Collections: http://cdm16062.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15016coll1/id/12657/rec/7
About Hall's Wilmington gazette. ([Wilmington, N.C.) 1797-1798, Library of Congress: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025831/
1 January 1988 | Stephens, H. K., II