A Philadelphia newspaper that predates the Revolutionary War and features the iconic “Unite or Die” snake in its masthead was discovered recently at a Goodwill processing center in New Jersey.
Heather Randall, e-commerce manager for Goodwill of Southern New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia, told NJpen.com that the Dec. 28, 1774, edition of The Pennsylvania Journal and the Weekly Advertiser came into its facility recently, framed and under a protective glass.
She said that the previous owner is unknown and that they don’t know more about the 244-year-old paper, other than that “it was donated.”
The artifact features three items by John Hancock, who pleads for the colonies to fight back against "enemies" who would divide them. The iconic "Unite or Die" snake design on the masthead can also be seen.
Advertised rewards for a lost horse or runaway apprentice provide insight into the historical time period, as does a pledge by one man to no longer pay his wife’s debts.
Bob Snyder, of the New York auction house Cohasco, says the "rebel" paper shows how "everyone was good and mad" just months before the Revolutionary War began.
He estimates the paper is worth $6,000-$16,000. Goodwill Industries hopes to sell it to help fund its educational and job training services.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.