Alexander DeConde, The Quasi-War. The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared
War with France, 1797-1801 ( New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966), 89-98; John C. Miller
, The Federalist Era, 1789-1801 ( New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 213-17.
Esmond Wright, Fabric of Freedom, 1763-1860 ( New York: Hill & Wang, 1961), 226; Miller, Federalist Era, 212-13.
Porcupine's Gazette ( Philadelphia), 27 June 1798.
New York Gazette ( New York), 12 April 1798.
Gazette of the United States ( Philadelphia), 7 July 1798.
Although severely criticized by the Republicans in Congress, the Sedition Act was
relatively mild for legislation of this type in this era. In 1795, in the midst of the war with France, Great Britain adopted the Treasonable Practices Act. Under its provisions, Parliament extended treason to include any criticism, written or spoken, of the King, the government, or the constitution. Possible punishments included seven years'transportation for the
second offense. This legislation, much stronger than the American Sedition Act of 1798,
gave legitimacy to a policy of suppression of political dissidents, which had been adopted
in 1794. The centerpiece of the policy was the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. The
British feared that the entire social order was threatened by events in France and the possible repercussions; thus, they adopted some of the most restrictive legislation possible to
deal with the perceived menace. John B. Owen, The Eighteenth Century, 1714-1815 ( London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1974), 261; Ian R. Christie, Wars and Revolutions: Britain,
1760-1815 ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982), 228-29.
Aurora ( Philadelphia), 29 June 1798.
Annals of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, 5th Congress, 2nd Session
( Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1834), 8:2164.
Ibid., 8:2164. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Gallatin immigrated to the United
States in 1780. He served in Congress during most of the 1790s, becoming a leading member of the Republican Party as it developed. After Jefferson's inauguration, Gallatin served
as secretary of the treasury. In later years, he served as a diplomatic representative for the United States to several European countries.
Porcupine's Gazette, 12 March 1798.
James Morton Smith, Freedom's Fetters: The Alien and Sedition Laws and American Civil Liberties ( Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1956), 188-93.
Aurora, 27 June 1798.
Smith, Freedom's Fetters, 204-11.