It was on this day in 1851 that the first edition of the New York Times was published in a dirty, candlelit office just off Wall Street. It cost one cent. It was founded as the New-York Daily Times by Henry J. Raymond and George Jones. They wanted a serious paper, not another popular sensationalist tabloid.
On the first page, there was an article about mail ships arriving from Europe. There were articles about political affairs being quiet in England, the upcoming presidential election in France, hostility against the government in Austria, and a fugitive slave riot in rural Pennsylvania.
On the second page was printed: “We publish today the first issue of the New-York Daily Times, and we intend to issue it every morning (Sundays excepted) for an indefinite number of years to come […] Upon all topics, — Political, Social, Moral, and Religious, — we intend that the paper shall speak for itself […] We do not believe that everything in society is either exactly right, or exactly wrong; — what is good we desire to preserve and improve; — what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.”