Missolonghi (1823 – 1826)

The first attempt to establish a printing house in Missolonghi was made by none other than Alexandros Mavrokordatos. Cognizant of the role printing could play in supporting the revolutionary cause, he brought a press from Pisa in 1821 to Missolonghi, the seat of his administration, known as the Organization of Western Continental Greece (founded on 9 November 1821). In 1823 the representative of the London Philhellenic Committee lieutenant-colonel Leicester Stanhope, brought to Missolonghi four presses, two printing presses and two lithographic presses, to establish a printing house and publish a newspaper. From the outset, the printing house was closely connected with the presence in Missolonghi of the philhellene Lord Byron, who had arrived there together with the Italian philhellene Pietro Gamba. Johann Jacob Meyer was editor of the newspaper Greek Chronicles (Ελληνικά Χρονικά), with Pavlos Patrikios, and subsequently Demetrios Mestheneas, assuming printing duties. Due to the delayed arrival of the presses sent by the Philhellenic Committee, the Greek Chronicles had to be printed in Mavrokordatos’s press and the first issue was published on January 1, 1824. A better outfitted press sent by the Committee arrived soon after. In addition to the Greek Chronicles and the Telegrafo Greco, the Missolonghi printing house also published eleven books and pamphlets as well as nine broadsides, that served administrative needs, presented systems of government, and attempted to provide ideological support to the Revolution as in the case of the publication of Dionysios Solomos’s Hymn to Liberty (Ύμνος εις στην Ελευθερίαν). The Missolonghi publishing house was destroyed during the Exodus.