When the Press Was Under Attack: The 1812 “Mobtown” Massacre


Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: HCLS Miller Branch
  • Address:
      9421 Frederick Rd
      Ellicott City, Maryland 21042
  • Venue: HCLS Miller Branch

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
-Thomas Jefferson

Terms such as “fake news” and “alternative facts” may be relatively recent additions to the political lexicon, but attacks on the media are nothing new. Elected officials have been criticizing the journalists who cover them long before Thomas Jefferson, putative champion of the free press, wrote the statement above in 1807. Historian and Representative Josh Cutler, 6th Plymouth District, Massachusetts House of Representatives, discusses the “Mobtown Massacre” in Baltimore in 1812, provoked by fiery Federalist newspaper editor and Howard County resident, Alexander Countee Hanson.

In partnership with the Howard County Historical Society.