From the May 14, 1846 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

We present to our readers this morning, the first number of “The Vineyard Gazette,” and are happy to state that our subscription list is well filled, our advertising patronage respectable, and that we have every hope of being enabled, by industry and perseverance, to put forth a paper which shall meet the expectations of the community.

In conformity with usage, we give a brief outline of the general character of the Gazette, taking care to make no promises which may not be realized. The Gazette will be strictly neutral on politics and religious subjects, being tied to no party, nor bound to any man’s opinion. We shall furnish such original matters as we think will most interest the general reader; and take pleasure in saying that we have the promise of many valuable contributions, from friends at home and at a distance, some of whom we expect to number among our regular correspondents. A portion of the paper will generally be devoted to moral and religious reading.

We shall furnish the latest news, both foreign and domestic, and in our selections we shall endeavor to unite the agreeable with the useful, and if possible to please the taste of the business man and the man of leisure.

We shall be happy to receive communications on all subjects of interest; it being unnecessary to say that none will be admitted to our columns which are not strictly moral in their tendency.

Of its form and dress, the present number of the Gazette is offered as a specimen. We solicit patronage, it shall be our study to merit it.

[For the Vineyard Gazette]

Mr. Editor - In my past rambles “off the Island,” I have had it frequently said to me, by gentlemen of my acquaintance, that they should like very much to visit the Vineyard and spend a few days away from their cares and business, to recreate in the pure air, and enjoy the sport of gunning and fishing, which so much abounds in the pleasant season around our shores; but they almost invariably file in this excuse - “the uncertainty of navigation to and from the Island.” This is, however, no longer valid, as we have now plying between this place and New Bedford, regularly four times a week, one of the fastest and best steamers, the “Naushon,” that “graces the waters of New England,” thereby rendering it certain to any who may wish to visit us, of a ready and sure conveyance to and from the Vineyard. Another item I will add, and that a very important one, too, especially to business men, and that is the recent change of the U.S. Mail route (which formerly came and went by the way of Falmouth) direct to New Bedford, by steamboat, by which arrangement letters mailed here in the morning, arrived in Boston the same day, and in New York the next morning and vice versa; thus giving visitors an opportunity of corresponding with their agents or friends at home, without the delay experienced by the former route.

[Capt. Smith, so long and favorably known as master of one of the Vineyard packets, commands the Naushon, and to gentlemanly and engaging manners, adds the merit of being a skilful and experienced pilot; and all who may put themselves under his care, we doubt not, will meet with that attention so desirable to the traveller.]

To civilized man, trees are considered the most important production of the vegetable kingdom. They not only furnish the material on which the most useful and the most elegant arts depend for their very existence, but of all the ornaments which give variety and beauty to the surface of the earth, they are the most conspicuous.

One cannot pass the venerable majestic clan, without an involuntary emotion of reverence. Nor stand amid our fine forests without feeling them to be full of the mysteries of past ages, and that the rustling wind among their bough are whispering traditions of the ancient people. Trees are mute companions that have known us in all our moods and have almost shared them with us. Beautiful are they amidst the odors, and the gentle showers, and the young blossoms of spring; glorious are they in the gorgeous apparel of the blue-skied summer, with the wood-pigeons and many-colored birds cooing and singing; touching are they in autumn, and hallowed with a thousand moral meanings, in the decaying magnificence of their rainbow foliage; and venerable; ay, and beautiful are they in winter, stiff and motionless as coral, in the clear frosty air, and glittering in a white covering of snow.

We have been much gratified to learn that some of our citizens are about planting pine-seed upon our plains. The soil of this Island is naturally inclined to the growth of this tree, and the experiment will undoubtedly succeed well. The pine is a tree of great value, as well as beauty, and the property in that part of the Island will be greatly enhanced in prices, should a vigorous growth of these trees shoot up and take the place of the barrenness which has so long prevailed in that neighborhood.

Compiled by Hilary Wall