Mary Katherine Goddard to George Washington
23 December 1789, Baltimore«back | home
Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) was born in Connecticut and was the sister of the well-known printer and newspaper publisher William Goddard (1740-1817). The Goddards were the children of Dr. Giles Goddard of New London, Conn., and his wife Sarah Goddard (d. 1770), the daughter of Ludowick Updike of Rhode Island. After her husband's death, Sarah aided her son William in his Providence, R.I., printing business for two years, and managed his printing house and newspaper--the Providence Gazette--after he moved to Philadelphia.
She established her own firm, Sarah Goddard & Company, aided by Mary Katherine. In 1768 the two women moved to Philadelphia to join William who was now publishing the Pennsylvania Chronicle. Sarah died in 1770, and William moved to Baltimore in 1773, accompanied by his sister. While her brother was involved in other business and political pursuits, including publication of the Maryland Journal, Mary Katherine managed his printing house, and for over eight years--from 1775 to 1784--the Maryland Journal appeared under her name. She also ran the Baltimore post office and kept this position when her brother resumed publication of the Journal in 1784.
When Samuel Osgood took charge of the post office in September 1789 he appointed John White of Baltimore to replace Goddard. She appealed directly to President George Washington to intercede on her behalf, but he refused to interfere. In the spring of 1790 Goddard unsuccessfully pressed her plea for reinstatement and for payment of a claim against the United States in both the Senate and House of Representatives. For the remainder of her life she operated a bookstore in Baltimore.