Our conversation this week is with the scholar, Charles Slack. Slack is the author of Liberty's First Crisis: Adams, Jefferson, and the Misfits Who Saved Free Speech. His book chronicles the tumultuous early years of the United States when dissent was so feared that those who dared to criticize the government were put in prison or deported through the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Our discussion focuses on three individuals: Matthew Lyon, the congressman from Vermont; Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of the famous Dr. Franklin; and James Thomson Callender, the notorious Scottish journalist who helped break the Sally Hemings story in 1802. Once again, we find out how little some things have changed over the years. Sometimes the less-than-wholly-respectable journalists wind up doing a very important service to democracy.
Find this episode, along with further recommended reading, on the blog.
Read Clay's essay, "Ranking American Presidents."
Learn more about Odyssey Tours and the summer 2017 Lewis & Clark adventure on odytours.net.