Sunday, April 6, 1997

Isaac Collins

Royal Printer

Isaac Collins was born in Delaware in 1746. He moved to Burlington in 1770, and was appointed Royal Printer. Taking up residence in the building now known as the Burlington Pharmacy, he printed six-shilling notes and almanacs in a print shop at 206 High Street. Historians are uncertain whether this was the same print shop where currency was printed in 1728 by Benjamin Franklin.

Collins was a Quaker, but in 1777, he began publishing The New Jersey Gazette, a newspaper which supported the revolutionary movement, and was expelled from the Friends Meeting for warlike behavior. The next year, he moved his printing press to Trenton.

In the early 1800s, Collins published a quarto Bible far more error-free than most of its contemporary editions. In 1808, he moved back to a house in Burlington, apologized to the Friends for his support of the war, and was welcomed back into the Meeting.

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