Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, 200 Years Ago:

A short snippet from the Newburyport Herald, Jan. 25, 1799, which illustrates just how hot the political divisions of the time were -- remember that this was the Sedition Act era of massive political warfare between the Federalists and the Republicans (whom the Federalists derided as Jacobins). "Sedition pole" is a reference to a liberty pole, at the time a symbol of opposition to the Adams Administration, that the target presumably helped erect; other accounts of the incident report that the Sedition and Alien Acts were burned at the foot of the pole. Here's the entirety of the mini-article:

Thursday last a petition was presented by Charles Webber, of Vassalborough, to the Mun. Court of Sessions, &c. now sitting in this town, for a Licence to keep a house of public entertainment, which (to the honor of the Bench) was unanimously rejected. So much for Sedition Poles, and being an enemy to country, Charley.

Oddly, Charley had already publicly repented two weeks before the article was written, perhaps because of the threat of Sedition Act prosecution.

Often in 18th century newspaoers, court items were often saved until there was space to print them, much like third world bus accidents in the New York Times until modern computer layout software.

Often these items are as much as a year old.
7.17.2008 8:52pm