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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 26   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of the Maryland Press, 1777-1790
"10th. Whether, amongst the late warm, or rather loyal addressers, in this city, to his Excel-
lency General Washington, there was a single mortal, one gentleman excepted, who could possibly
be acquainted with his merits?"24
Lee's friends received an emphatic answer to the "Queries" for the next
day Goddard's home was attacked by a mob and he was forced to sign
and to print a recantation in the Maryland Journal. However, he was
not sincere in doing so for at the same time he sent a memorial to
Governor Johnson requesting protection for himself and his press. When
the mob spirit died down and he was assured of protection from the
Governor he printed a retraction of his former recantation.26 Colonel
Samuel Smith, son-in-law of William Spear, one of the Baltimore magis-
trates, was the leader of the mob. On July 11, Oswald challenged him to
a duel for having slandered his reputation and having forced Goddard
to surrender their private correspondence with General Lee.27 Smith,
however, had scruples about dueling and no doubt the prospect of
fighting a man of Oswald's abilities caused him to decline with the
statement that "I should be sorry to think I had insulted you inten-
tionally."28 Oswald was not satisfied with this reply and declared his
intention of exposing the whole matter in the paper. Smith asked for
a few days to think it over and at the end of that time Oswald, not hav-
ing received the satisfaction to which he felt himself entitled, had the
correspondence printed.
On December 24, 1779 he wrote to Lee to tell him of the misfor-
tunes which he and Goddard had suffered from publishing the "Queries."
In speaking of his partner he said:
"He has been proceeded against with the most unmanly resentment by an execrable Junto who
infest the Town of Baltimore, because he has dared to act with the Freedom and Spirit of an honest
man. The persecution and Insults which were administered to him by scoundrels in power (both
legal and usurped) in his different applications for Justice, and in support of the Blessings of a free-
press, arc unparalleled in a free country ... ,"29
He also speaks of their intention to make another attempt at
"... restoring the People of this Continent to their Reason, thro' the channel of a free Press, which
Mr. Goddard and myself are determined to support at every risque, as soon as our Materials shall
arrive (and which we hourly expect from Holland)." 30
25 The Lee Papers, Vol. IV, p. 342.
26 See Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland, pp. 137-140 for a more detailed discussion of this affair.
The original papers are in the Maryland Archives. Red Book, Vol. III, 38-41.
27 J. T. Scharf, The Chronicles of Baltimore, pp. 180-181 gives the letter in full. Also see Maryland Gazette &c. extra-
ordinary. No. 17.
28 Scharf. op. cil., p. 182
29 Lee Papers, Vol. III, pp. 402-404.
30 Lee Papers, Vol. III. pp. 402-404.

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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 26   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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