Pages

June 20 1812: Hanson Denounces the War

On June 20, 1812, two days after war was declared, Alexander C. Hanson, publishes in his Baltimore newspaper, the Federal Republican, an editorial denouncing the war. He writes, in part, as follows:
Without funds, without taxes, without a navy, or adequate fortifications – with one hundred and fifty millions of our property in the hands of a declared enemy, without any of his in our power, and with a vast commerce afloat, our rulers have promulgated a war against a clear and decided sentiment of a vast majority of the nation....We mean to use every constitutional argument and every legal means to renders as odious and suspicious to the American people, as they deserve to be, the patrons and contrivers of this highly impolitic and destructive war; in the the fullest persuasion that we shall be supported and ultimately applauded by nine-tenths of our countrymen, and that our silence would be treason to them...
...We shall cling to the rights of freemen, both in act and opinion, till we sink with the liberties our country, or sink alone. We shall hereafter, as heretofore, unravel every intrigue and imposture which has beguiled or may be put forth to circumvent our fellow citizens into the toils of the great earthly enemy of the human race. We are avowedly hostile to the presidency of James Madison, and we will never breathe under the dominion, direct or derivative, of Bonaparte, let it be acknowledged when it may. Let those who cannot openly adopt this confession, abandon us, and those who can we shall cherish as friends and patriots, worthy of the same. 
Two days later, on June 22, a mob destroyed the office of his newspaper. Hanson has to flee Baltimore for Rockville, Maryland. He only returns on July 26 1812 with a group of supporters, including James Lingan and General Henry Lee. The latter was Robert Lee's father and a veteran of the American Revolution. James Lingan was also a Revolutionary veteran and a friend of George Washington. On their return, Hanson and his supporters were again attacked. Shots were fired. Several people were wounded. There was one death. Eventually, Hanson and his supporters agree to surrender to the authorities and are taken to jail. There, on July 28, 1812, another mob forces their way in and severely beats Hanson, Henry Lee and other supporters. James Lingan is killed by a hammer blow to the head.  Hanson would survive and gather more support as many are appalled by the violence and the death of Lingan. In fact, Hanson will be elected to Congress later in the year and serve from March 4, 1813 until his resignation in 1816. He would also later serve as a Senator from December 20, 1816 until his death. 

No comments:

Post a comment