The Inquirer and Mirror: An Abbreviated History of 200 Years.

Celebrating The Inquirer and Mirror’s 200th Anniversary 

Portrait of Samuel Haynes Jenks, Dominic W. Boudet, 1839. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Carrie Bartlett Nicholson and Mr. Robert E. Bartlett, 1901.58.1)

Continuously in publication since 1821, one year after the Essex disaster, this exhibit chronicles island life over time.

On June 23, 1821, the first issue of The Nantucket Inquirer was printed in a small office above the post office. The newspaper’s masthead listed the publisher as Joseph Melcher. A little over a year later, in November of 1822, Samuel H. Jenks was added to the masthead.

Over the next 200 years, the paper would chronicle the island, and provide a connection to the main-land. The newspaper recorded the highs and lows, the joy and heart-break, that make up the daily fabric of everyday life.

On Saturday, April 1, 1865, the Inquirer merged with the Nantucket Weekly Mirror, to take on the name it still carries today – The Inquirer and Mirror.

Over two centuries the pages of this newspaper carried news from whaling voyages in the 19th century and the rise of tourism in the 20th century, presidential visits and high-school graduations, landmark preservation efforts and racial-equity issues.




The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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