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Dissertation Information for Wallace J. Bonk

NAME:
- Wallace J. Bonk
- (Alias) Wallace John Bonk

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1956)

ADVISORS:
- Rudolph H. Gjelsness

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Frederick Clever Bald
- Raymond L. Kilgour
- Russell E. Bidlack

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The printing, publishing, and bookselling activities of John P. Sheldon and his associates in Detroit, 1817-1830: A study of the "Detroit Gazette," the official and general publishing of the "Gazette" press, and the Detroit book store

Abstract: This study is concerned with the Detroit Gazette, established in 1817 by John P. Sheldon and Ebenezer Reed, with the non-newspaper publishing of the Gazette press, and with the Detroit Book Store, which Sheldon and Reed established when they founded the Gazette.

The first issue of the Gazette appeared July 25, 1817, and the last May 26, 1830. It was destroyed in a fire set by Ulysses G. Smith, a journeyman printer for the Gazette. The paper was never a profitable venture: income from job and official printing enabled Sheldon to support it. Sheldon and Reed believed that a newspaper ought to be a free organ for expressing public opinion, that it was an editor's duty to ferret out official misconduct, and that t hey ought to encourage the literary talent of Michigan. The paper also assumed an official function in its publishing of the Territorial and United States laws.

The Gazette began its career as a non-partisan paper. The editors, however, became personally involved in political affairs, and, after 1825, they devoted their efforts to attacks upon the Whig officials of the Territorial government. Reed's criticism of Charles Larned, Territorial Attorney General, led Larned to sue for libel, and Reed was adjudged guilty by default for failure to file a proper plea. Sheldon was fined and imprisoned by the Territorial Supreme Court because of an editorial critical of one of its decisions. The court's action was considered tyrannical, Sheldon became a hero in Detroit, and his case was the subject of sympathetic editorials in newspapers throughout the country.

In addition to publishing the Gazette, the press also printed official Territorial publications, and these constituted over one-third of the total number of items published. A better picture of the actual bulk of the official printing is given if one uses the total number of pages printed as a basis for calculation. According to this method, over eighty-six per cent was Territorial material. The Territorial printing included the laws and bills of the Councils, the journals of the sessions, and a number of lesser items-- the Governor's speeches, memorials to Congress, and bills intended for public distribution.

There are forty-four non-official items extant, consisting of twenty pamphlets, twenty-three broadsides, and one map. One newspaper was printed briefly in addition to the Detroit Gazette; it was the Gazette Francaise, no copies of which have survived. Interest in this material must devolve largely from the fact that it represents the period of early Michigan printing and from occasional association values, rather than from any intrinsic merit of the individual publications themselves. A list of both the official and general publications of the press is appended to the thesis.

Five hundred and ninety-three titles were advertised for sale in the Detroit Book Store in the period 1817-1828. The most striking fact about the collection is the predominance of literature: fifty-one per cent of the titles fall into that category. The books which were advertised in all categories were largely very popular and successful ones, many having long records of successive editions. Most of the titles were published in American editions, many were intended for school use, and the stock shows many correlations with the ideas and activities current in Detroit at that time. It seems reasonable to conclude that the list of books for sale which is appended to the thesis furnishes an excellent picture of the contents of the average bookstore in the small but aspiring community at some distance from the metropolitan centers.

MPACT Scores for Wallace J. Bonk

A = 11
C = 34
A+C = 45
T = 20
G = 3
W = 11
TD = 14.5
TA = 4
calculated 2010-04-17 19:28:04

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Wallace J. Bonk

ADVISEES:
- Raymond Earl Oliver Kilpela - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1961)
- Wiley Julian Williams - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Norma L. Jones - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1965)
- Eugenia Evangeline Schmitz - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1966)
- Irene Andrea Braden - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- James Will Liesener - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- Penelope Laconia Bullock - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1971)
- Marta Leszlei Dosa - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1971)
- Juan Rothschild Freudenthal - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1972)
- Pauline Christine Wilson - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1972)
- Donald Edward Perry Vincent - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1974)

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Patrick R. Penland - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1960)
- John Taisto Niemi - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1960)
- Paul Wasserman - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1961)
- Danny Travis Bedsole - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1961)
- Ronald Albert Hagler - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1961)
- Samuel Joseph Marino - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1962)
- Budd Leslie Gambee - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1963)
- Lester Ronald de Koster - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Donald Charles Dickinson - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Mohamed Amin El-Benhawy - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Marylouise Dunham Meder - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Michael M. Reynolds - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Amos Robert Rogers - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1964)
- Neal Lowndes Edgar - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1965)
- Muhammad Maher Hamadeh - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1965)
- Layton B. Murphy - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1965)
- Thomas P. Slavens - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1965)
- George Sylvan Bobinski - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1966)
- Daniel Francis McGrath - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1966)
- Hide Ikehara Inada - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- John Christian Larsen - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- Necia Ann Musser - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- Claude Glenn Sparks - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1967)
- John Phillip Comaromi - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1969)
- Edwin Charles Strohecker - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1969)
- Richard Phillips Palmer - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1970)
- Frederick Charles Pfister - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1970)
- Margaret Nadine Finlayson Maxwell - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1971)
- Carl Franz Orgren - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1971)
- Onva K. Boshears Jr. - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1972)
- Karlis Lotars Ozolins - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1972)
- Joan Mary Braun - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1973)
- Yukihasa Suzuki - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1974)
- Mildred Vannorsdall - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1974)