1803.053: Address to Essex, Caroline, King & Queen, & King-William Freeholders (1).

Published: 1803

Full Title: To the freeholders of Essex, Caroline, King-and-Queen, & King-William. As the important period of our elections is fast approaching ... a few remarks, illustrative of the principle upon which the right of suffrage ought always to be exercised. ...

Author: Phocion [pseudonym].

Place Issued: Virginia

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 45 cm. x 27 cm. (broadside, printed in two columns).


A circular letter to the voters of the Congressional district encompassing the counties noted in the title (then the Eleventh Virginia district); this election was one in which Republican dissidents (the Tertium Quids) wanted John Taylor of Caroline to challenge the incumbent, Anthony New, who was firm supporter of the Jefferson administration; the writer argues here that voters should assess the suitability of each candidate for the district's seat, and not be swayed by either New's incumbency or popularity with votes cast solely on merit alone. Taylor declined to run against New but still drew 364 votes to the incumbent's 907 ballots. Sheet lacks colophon; Hummel and Shaw & Shoemaker both suggest Fredericksburg as this title's place of origin; however, circumstances argue against such suggestions. In 1803, two Republican presses operated there (under three different proprietors: Philip Temple, Samuel Chiles & Isham Burch, James Walker), both of which had close ties to the state's Jeffersonian leadership, not to its dissident faction; this item could have issued from the Federalist press of Timothy Green there, but the typography herein appears unpolished in comparison to his usually neat work; this title could also have issued from elsewhere, as some items intended for this rural area often were; such uncertainties lead to the indeterminate attribution here.

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