Obadiah Dogberry’s Publishing Office

Obadiah Dogberry published this paper from an office in The Reynolds Arcade. Erected in 1828 and expanded several times, this structure was one of Rochester's first major commercial buildings.

In Rochester, "Obadiah Dogberry" (a pseudonym; his real name was Abner Cole) published a weekly freethought paper, The Liberal Advocate, for almost three years. It was written against "superstition and ignorance"; in its pages Dogberry argued that ignorance, superstition, and bigotry were fighting losing battles (Liberal Advocate, March 10, 1832). This was not Obadiah Dogberry’s first foray into freethought journalism; he had previously published pioneering criticism of the Book of Mormon while editing a previous freethought paper, The Reflector, in Palmyra, New York.

Dogberry published The Liberal Advocate from an office in the Reynolds Arcade, one of Rochester’s first major commercial buildings. The original Reynolds Arcade was razed in 1932, and immediately replaced by a new building given the same name in tribute to the Reynolds Arcade’s importance to the history of Rochester.

The Reynolds Arcade stands across State Street from the Talman Block, where between 1847 and 1863 iconic abolitionist Frederick Douglass published anti-slavery newspapers and journals including the famous North Star.

Look to this site for more information about the Reynolds Arcade.