Failed as a merchant in Virginia. Learned printing trade from his brother-in-law William Hunter, who was Franklin’s associate as deputy postmaster general; traveled to New York to study further with James Parker (1754). Deputy postmaster and manager of Parker’s printshop at New Haven, Connecticut (1755-60). Printed The New-York Gazette; or the Weekly Post-Boy (1762-66), The New- York Journal, or General Advertiser (1766-76; intermittently, at various locations, 1776-83), and The Independent New-York Gazette (1783-84). Strongly supported Revolution and developed close ties to Sons of Liberty. Also sold books, printed numerous political pamphlets, and proposed postal reforms.
Born in Williamsburg, Virginia. Married Elizabeth Hunter (1749); had issue.