1818.069: Controversy between Armistead T. Mason and Charles F. Mercer.

Published: 1818

Full Title: Controversy between Armistead Thompson Mason and Charles Fenton Mercer. Washington, January 9, 1818.

Author: Mercer, Charles Fenton (1778-1858), comp.

Place Issued: Leesburg

Issuing Press: Patrick McIntyre

Description: 36 pgs.; 22 cm. (8vo).


Title page lacks imprint and authorial credit; most authorities credit this collection of letters to Mason; however, the notice printed on page 2 reports that: "The following publication presents a complete view of the late controversy between Armistead T. Mason and Charles F. Mercer. It is presented by the latter, [emphasis added] in consequence of the extensive circulation of a libelous handbill by the Editor of the Richmond Enquirer, under cover of his paper of the ----- day of January 1818," so identifying Mercer as the author/compiler here. Text contains the extensive correspondence between Mason and Mercer from September to December 1817 over Mason's questioning of certain votes cast in the spring 1817 election that returned Mercer to his seat in Congress over Mason, and his ensuing attempts to coax Mercer into challenging him to a duel over that exchange. Mason's side of this dispute was published in Leesburg's Genius of Liberty, conducted by Samuel B.T. Caldwell, while Mercer's side appeared in The Washingtonian there, conducted by Patrick McIntyre; as this collection was compiled by Mercer, it is almost certain that McIntyre also published this collection for him, so the attribution here, in contrast to its regular ascription to a Washington press. This exchange led to a second between Mason and John Mason McCarty, his brother-in-law and a cousin, who he thought had voted illegally for Mercer; McCarty employed McIntyre in that dispute as well, with Mason using Caldwell; that epistolary conflict did lead to a duel between the kinsmen in February 1819, resulting in Mason's death.

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