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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 34   View pdf image (33K)
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A History of the Maryland Press, 1777-7790
Oswald never lost his interest in military affairs. During 1786 he was
in command of a company of volunteers whose superior training and
leadership was demonstrated in a parade on the common before Baron
Steuben and General DuPlessis. This same group of men, on August 1,
1786, offered their services in driving the British garrisons from the
military posts on the frontier which were being held contrary to the
terms of peace.56
On January 30, 1784 John Holt, Oswald's father-in-law, died in New
York, leaving Elizabeth Holt a widow. She continued to publish the
newspaper which Holt had founded and soon changed the title to
The New-York Journal and State Gazette. Oswald was probably called
upon to help her with advice and assistance during 1784 and 1785.
The task must have proved too difficult for a woman of her age, for in
1786 her son-in-law took charge of the paper and his name appeared
in the imprint. On January 25, 1787 the owners announced the sale of
all their rights and materials connected with the paper to Mr. Thomas
Greenleaf who "conducted this paper for near eighteen months past, to
the public and our mutual satisfaction."57
Although he was a staunch Anti-federalist, Oswald did not hesitate
to take advantage of the Supreme Court which had been set up by the
Constitution. As executor of John Holt's estate, he introduced one of
the first cases tried by the Supreme Court. An agreement had been
made between Holt and the State of New York that he was to print
certain laws and resolutions in his paper and in return would receive an
annual salary. The State refused to pay the eight thousand dollars due
for his services from 1777 to 1784, so Oswald submitted the case to the
Supreme Court in 1792. The State refused to appear before the court
and a year later the case was decided in Oswald's favor, thus establish-
ing the precedent that judgment would be passed against a state if it
failed to appear at court.58
Perhaps the most picturesque portion of his career was that during
which he was an officer in the French Revolutionary Army. He went to
56 Scharf and Wcstcott. History of Philadelphia. Vol. I, p. 425. Ser Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,
Vol. XLVI (1922), p 264 for another mention of this offer.
57 Evans, 20583 note
58 The summons for Oswald to appear in the Supreme Court, dated 8 February 1791, is among the McKesson Papers
at the New York Historical Society. Sec Cases argued and deciied in the Supreme Court .... 1,2,3,4 Dallas, Rochester,
1901 Book 1 p. 400 and 415 for a brief summary of the case.
[34 ]

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The Maryland Press, 1777-1790 by Joseph Towne Wheeler.
Volume 438, Page 34   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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