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state the origin of it, and show what it means. The term comes from England and the case was as follows:
Prior to what is in England called the revolution, which was in lfiS8, no work could be published in that country without first obtaining the permission of an officer appointed by the government for inspecting works intended for publication. The same was the case in France, except that in France there were forty who were called censors, and in England there was but one called Impremateur.
At the revolution the office of Impremateur was abolished and as works could then be published without first obtaining the permission of the government officer, the press was, in consequence of that abolition, said to be free, and it was from this circumstance that the term Liberty of the Press arose. The press, which is a tongue to the eye, was then put exactly in the case of the human tongue. A man does not ask liberty before hand to say something he has a mind to say, but he becomes answerable afterwards for the atrocities he may utter. In like manner, if a man makes the press utter atrocious things he becomes as answerable for them as if he had uttered them by word of mouth. Mr. Jefferson has said in his inaugural speech, that "error of opinion might be tolerated when reaso7i was left free to combat it." This is sound philosophy in cases of error. But there is a difference between error and licentiousness.
Some lawyers in defending their clients, for the generality of lawyers like Swiss soldiers will fight on either side, have often given their opinion of what they defined the liberty of the press to be. One said it was this; another said it was that, and so on, according to the case they were pleading. Now these men ought to have known that the term, liberty of the press, arose from a FACT, the abolition of the office of lmprimateur, and that opinion has nothing to do in the case. The term refers to the fact of printing free from prior restraint, and not at all to the matter printed whether good or bad. The public at large, or in case of prosecution, a jury of the country will be the judges of the matter.
Oct. 10, 1800.
THE EMISSARY CULLEN, OTHERWISE CARPENTER.
Is Cullen's emissary paper clandestinely entitled "The People's Friend," of October, is a piece signed Hamilton, in which several notorious falsifications are made from a publication of mine, entitled Communication, in the (New York) American Citizen, of October 11, and the falsifications thus made are imposed upon the public as literal extracts from that communication.
On Saturday, October 18, I made a written copy of those falsifications, and desired a friend* of mine to call on Cullen, or Carpenter, or whatever his travelling name may be, and read the said falsifications to him, and also a note written by myself in my own name, asking him if he was the writer of those falsifications, and of the piece signed Hamilton, from which I had copied them, or to declare who the writer of them was.
The gentleman who undertook to see Carpenter upon this business called at his (Carpenter's) printing-office the next day, but could get no intelligence of him. He then left word with the person in the office that he would call again the next day, Monday, and that he had something to communicate to Mr. Carpenter. The gentleman called accordingly, but Carpenter was not to be found. He left the same message for the next day, Tuesday, and called the third time, but Carpenter was not to be found. He then inquired of the persons in the office who appeared to belong to it, where Carpenter lived or lodged. They said they did not know, but they believed it was a good way off. They also told him he might leave his message with them; but as the gentleman's business was to see Carpenter, and to read a message to him from me, and as he found after calling three times that Carpenter kept himself obscured, he came away, and I desired him to call no more.
An emissary is always a skulking character. His business is lying and deceiving. He shuns the public, and is afraid that every inquiry about him is for the purpose of apprehending him.
The publication of mine, entitled Communication, in the American Citizen of October 11, which Cullen, or Car
* Mr. Walter Morton.
penter, in his paper of October 23, has falsified, what was written to impress on the mind of the people of New York, some apprehension of the danger to which they might expose themselves and the city by giving protection and encouragement to the emissary of one belligerent nation to the injury of another belligerent nation.
The United States profess to be a neutral nation, and as such she cannot harbour an emissary of either of the belligerent nations. If that emissary be demanded by the party injured, the nation harbouring him must give him up, or take the consequence. Nations do not settle their disputes by law-suits; for there is no court to try such disputes in. They complain first of some real or supposed injury, and if it is not explained or redressed by the Government they complain to, they redress themselves; for nations, with respect to each other, are like individuals in a state of nature. We have no laws respecting emissaries, and therefore emissaries are a sort of outlaws, that must take just what fare or fate they meet with. They are not entitled to protection. They violate, like spies, the laws of hospitality, and expose to danger the place that harbours them.
In the piece entitled Communication, before spoken of, I stated that the British Ministry sent emissaries to some of the States of Germany to carry on conspiracies against France, and that when the French Government found it out, they sent an armed force and seized those emissaries, and that two of the English Ministers resident at those German States had to fly the country. Drake, the English Minister at Munich, was one of them. "It is not," said I, "because New York is more remote from France than those States were that conspiracies can be carried on with greater safety, or ought to be permitted. Two or three thousand French troops would soon scour New York and carry off a cargo of conspirators." Carpenter, among other falsifications, has falsified this passage, which was a caution against the danger of harbouring him, and made it into an invitation for two or three thousand French troops to come over and plunder the "merchants." If Carpenter should be prosecuted and convicted of lying, he cannot complain his sentence is hard. But lying is so naturally the mother tongue of an emissary, that truth is to him like a foreign language. The cases I stated with respect to emissaries sent by the British Ministry to Germany ought to have put the Federalists of New York on their guard, for their own safety sake, not to countenance or encourage Carpenter. This was the more necessary for the men calling themselves Federalists to do, because their own political character is very doubtful. They have never declared what their principles are, or for what purpose they are federalized. Their language is abuse instead of argument; and as far as their conduct discovers their motives, for as to principle they have none, their leaders are an English faction disaffected to the peace of the United States.
Carpenter came to the United States about the same time that Pitt, whose meanness was equal to his ignorance, sent his emissaries into Germany. Carpenter is the successor of Porcupine, he is his equal in blackguardism but not in wit. The one had talents, the other is a fool that has not talents enough to be a knave. I am not entering into a contest with this emissary. I am exposing him, and putting the Federalists, or rather those who have been deceived by that faction, on their guard against him, and having done so I leave them. The Republicans have nothing to fear. They are not the abettors of conspiracies against a friendly power.
Oct. 28, 1S0G.
COMMUNICATION ON CULLEN.
As it happens that Duane, the Editor of the Philadelphia Aurora, knows the emissary Cullen, who goes by the name of Carpenter, and is the Editor of a paper in New York, which, emissary like, he calls the People's Friend, I send you some extracts from the Aurora of October 28, respecting this emissary. The extracts are as follows:—
"Two of the Anglo-Federal Editors of New York have fallen upon their new associate, Cullen, (who calls himself Carpenter.) Cullen has let out his English agency too openly, and Coleman tells him so—he does not blame Callen for wishing or endeavouring to promote an alliance, offensive and defensive, with England, but for letting the thing out so openly, and thereby opposing the feelings and interests of the country, the worst effect of which he considers to be the ruin of the Anglo-Federal party. The New York Commercial Advertiser is also very hard on Cullen's English devotion, and fairly takes the ground in opposition to this English emissary. Cullen feels it, and comes forth in an inflated palaver. He says, that his departure from England was owing to a miscarriage, but what kind of a miscarriage he has not said.
"Cullen roars out lustily about his personal deportment, of which he knows the Editor of this paper (the Aurora) could give a very humourous account if he were disposed to indulge in private anecdote.
"Perhaps the city of Calcutta never exhibited so dirty and debauched a character as this now delicate Mr. Cullen, alias Carpenter. This Cullen, with whom the writer of this article (Duane) never held intercourse in India, but whom he frequently saw and pitied in the condition hinted at, addressed himself to the editor of this paper (the Aurora) in the gallery of the English House of Commons, in the winter of 1795, the editor of this paper (the Aurora) being then a reporter for a spirited paper called the Telegraph. A gentleman who also reported for one of the public prints, seeing this Cullen in conversation with the present editor of this paper (the Aurora) gave the following friendly hint. 'Do you know that man Cullen?' I never had any personal acquaintance with him, I have seen him and heard much about him in Calcutta. 'Let me tell you (replied the gentleman) that if you cultivate that man's acquaintance you must relinquish your present acquaintance, for none of the respectable writers for the public papers will associate with him!' The hint was not at all necessary; and the whole of the discourse (meaning the discourse with Cullen) consisted in telling the editor of this paper (the Aurora) his name, and that he was the same person who had been formerly at Calcutta. This (says the editor of the Aurora) is the modest character (meaning Cullen, now Carpenter) who talks of delicacy and veracity, like Mother Cole of religion and chastity. [N. B. Mother Cole is the hypocritical old band spoken of in Foote's comedy of the Minor.]
"There is not (continues the Aurora) more than a slight shade of difference between Cullen and Coleman—they both hold the same maxims in politics, for principles they have none, and the true foundation of their bickering is, that the New York portion of the million which Cobbett (that is, Porcupine) says is expended by England in America will not be sufficient to compensate so many competitors."
That the Federal faction associated with the emissary Cullen is proved by their advertising their nomination of