1809.068: An Account of Robert B. Taylor in 1799 General Assembly.

Published: 1809

Full Title: [An Account of Robert B. Taylor in 1799 General Assembly] … April 13, 1809.

Author: Smith, Larkin (1745–1813), and Theodorick Armistead (1777-1812).

Place Issued: Norfolk

Issuing Press: Augustus C. Jordan

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; (broadside).


Only known copy is part of the Myers-Burrage-Graham Papers in the Special Collections of the Swem Library at the College of William & Mary; catalogue there reports simply: "Larkin Smith and Theo. Armistead concerning Robert B. Taylor and the repeal of the Alien and Sedition Act in the Virginia legislature Broadside., April 13, 1809" without title transcription. That record suggests that this broadside concerns attempts at rehabilitating the reputation of Robert Barraud Taylor (1774-1834); Taylor had been a Federalist in the House of Delegates during the debate over the Alien & Sedition Acts in late 1799, who voted against instructions to Virginia's congressional delegation to seek repeal of those acts; Smith was then the newly-elected Republican Speaker of the House, so marshalled the effort to draft such instructions, while Armistead was the Norfolk merchant who had been Taylor's Republican opponent in the 1799 legislative elections; by the time this broadside was issued, both men had become appointees of the Jefferson & Madison administrations: Smith was the collector of the ports of Norfolk & Portsmouth, Armistead was the agent (i.e. buyer) for the U.S. Navy in Norfolk; Taylor had recently gained considerably more notoriety by serving as defense attorney for Commodore James Barron (1768-1851), who was court-martialed at Norfolk in January 1808 for inaction in the face of the enemy when his command, USS Chesapeake, was fired on by HMS Leopard and then boarded off of Norfolk in June 1807. Sheet lacks colophon; the parties mentioned herein were all residents of Norfolk at this time, so item was likely issued there; and as perspective evinced was Republican, it was probably printed by Augustus C. Jordan, the only Republican printer there, so the attribution here.

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