Book #79809
Item #79809 An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge. Trial, Thomas Cooper.
An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge
An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge
An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge
An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge

An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper of Northumberland on a Charge

"Is This A Fair Specimen of the Freedom You Expected To Derive, From the Adoption of the Federal Constitution?" [Trial]. Cooper, Thomas [1759-1839], Defendant. An Account of the Trial of Thomas Cooper, Of Northumberland; On a Charge of Libel Against the President of the United States; Taken in Short Hand. With a Preface, Notes, And Appendix. Philadelphia: Printed by John Bioren, No. 83, Chestnut Street, For The Author, 1800. 64 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 4-3/4"). Recent buckram, gilt title and white ink shelf number to spine, endpapers added. Moderate toning to interior, occasional light foxing. $2,000. * Only edition. Cooper, a lawyer, political philosopher and reformer, immigrated to the United States in 1794 and settled in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. In addition to his legal practice, he briefly became the editor of the Sunbury and Northumberland Gazette and used the paper as a mouthpiece for his staunch Democratic-Republicanism. His final issue as editor contained a lengthy address highly critical of President John Adams, particularly the Alien and Sedition Acts and Adams's creation of a standing army. The address was issued separately as a handbill and republished multiple times, including in a leading Jeffersonian journal, and its growing circulation led to Cooper's indictment for seditious libel under the terms of the Sedition Act. Cooper was convicted and published this annotated account of his trial from jail (though an erratum denies that it was printed for him). "The Account is fascinating not only because it exposed the manner in which a Federalist judiciary enforced the sedition laws against its Republican opponents, but also because it revealed Thomas Cooper's willingness to exploit his own arrest for political gain. Cooper skillfully framed the upcoming election as a referendum on the Sedition Act and on American citizens' right to engage in political debate rather than as a contest between two political parties and their ideologies" (Lehman). The Alien and Sedition Acts were a major issue in the election of 1800, which resulted in defeat for Adams. OCLC locates 7 copies in law libraries (Columbia, Yale, Library of Congress, Harvard, Duke, Jenkins Law Library, Social Law). Lehman, "'Seditious Libel' on Trial, Political Dissent on the Record" in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History an.

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Book number 79809

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