(1697–1735), Boston printer, issued The Boston Gazette from his press (1719–21), until the contract was taken from him to be given to another printer. He then founded The New England Courant (1721–26), a Yankee version of the Spectator, which, after his imprisonment for libelous remarks, appeared (1723–26) under the name of his half-brother and apprentice, Benjamin Franklin. In 1726 he moved to Rhode Island, taking with him the first press to be used in that colony, and printing on it The Rhode Island Almanack and the Rhode Island Gazette (1732–33). While associated with the Courant, he was the founder of the Hell-Fire Club. His son James Franklin, Jr., founded the Newport Mercury.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.