Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Political Attacks on Presidents - Nothing New in Politics and Punditry - 1810


                For writing the "Prospect before us" Jefferson paid and praised Callendar [sic];[1] and unconstitutionally returned his fine after it had been paid.  When, therefore, such numbsculls as Niles and Mitchell the former admirers of Callendar and the present worshippers of his suborner Jefferson, affect to speak reverendly of the memory of Washington, it is arrant dissimulation.   It is impossible for the same heart to contain both sentiments; one must jostle with and displace the other.

               Among other fiend-like aspersions and outrages upon the dead hero, paid for by the infamous Jefferson, take the following as a sample:

From the "Prospect before us"

               "The REPUBLICANS[2] were extremely well satisfied with the demise of the general!!!!  They felt and feared his weight in the scale of aristocracy but they found it necessary to preserve appearances with the multitude, by presenting an appearance of sorrow -  With regard to the mausoleum, the man who shall vote one shilling for it must outgo the guilt of the robber and the house-breaker without their personal temptation.  A plain tablet may perhaps be found expedient as a sacrifice to popular ignorance and enthusiasm."[3]

Callender's Pamphlet
image: Wikipedia


[1] The Sedition Act Trials — Historical Background and Documents.
History of the Federal Judiciary. [accessed April 2, 2013] http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_sedition_hd_jc_indictment.html
"James Callender was the author of some of the most extreme and provocative language penned by any of the Republican newspaper writers during the Adams administration. After gaining notoriety for newspaper editorials in Philadelphia and Richmond, Callender was indicted in the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Virginia for writing a lengthy pamphlet in favor of Thomas Jefferson’s election as President. The Prospect Before Us took the form of a political history of the 1790s, with special emphasis on the supposed corruption and monarchical principles of John Adams and his administration. Jefferson reviewed a draft of the pamphlet and predicted, in an intentionally unsigned letter to Callender, that “such papers cannot fail to produce the best effect.” Callender made sure that his pamphlet was reprinted in several cities, and he brazenly sent a copy to President Adams."
[2] The Democratic-Republican Party was the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93. It stood in opposition to the Federalist Party and controlled the Presidency and Congress, and most states, from 1801 to 1824. from Wikipedia see also: Federalist Party vs. Democrat-Republicans
[3] Federal Republican & Commercial Gazette; Date: 04-02-1810; Volume: I; Issue: 153; Page: [2]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson 

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