Front Page Titles (by Subject) Popular Protest - Liberty and Order: The First American Party Struggle
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
Popular Protest - Lance Banning, Liberty and Order: The First American Party Struggle 
Liberty and Order: The First American Party Struggle, ed. and with a Preface by Lance Banning (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004).
About Liberty Fund:
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
The Sedition Act was not a laughing matter. It was enforced by a partisan judiciary and a vigilant, High-Federalist secretary of state—all the more rigorously, in fact, once the crisis with France began to ease. Under its provisions or under the common law of seditious libel, all of the most important Republican newspapers in the country and several of the party’s most influential pamphleteers felt the sting of prosecutions. The Argus and the Time Piece, the only Republican newspapers in New York City, were driven out of business. Men were prosecuted under the Sedition Act for offenses as diverse and as trivial as erecting a liberty pole, advocating the act’s repeal, and expressing a drunken wish that cannon firing a salute were shooting at the president’s “arse.” Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, whose Philadelphia paper, the General-Advertiser, had added the title Aurora to its masthead and replaced the National Gazette as the leading opposition newspaper when the latter went out of business in 1793, was another of its victims. William Duane, the assistant who succeeded Bache at the Aurora after the latter died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, was harried by common law proceedings. Neither ever relented in his condemnations of the Federalist regime, starting with this squib:
“Advertisement Extraordinary!!!” (Philadelphia) Aurora 14 July 1798
Orator Mum takes this very orderly method of announcing to his fellow citizens that a THINKING CLUB will be established in a few days at the sign of the Muzzle in Gag Street. The first subject for cogitation will be:
“Ought a Free People to obey laws which violate the constitution they have sworn to support?”
N.B. No member will be permitted to think longer than fifteen minutes.