Long before the era of “fake news” or Twitter bombs, the freedom of the press often had to be defended with pens and pistols.
In his book Mobtown Massacre: Alexander Hanson and the Baltimore Newspaper War of 1812, author and State Representative Josh Cutler shares the story of how one Massachusetts town came to be named for a fiery Federalist newspaper editor from Maryland whose anti-war writings provoked a bloodthirsty mob, a midnight jailbreak and a brutal massacre that stunned the nation in 1812. This fateful but little-known episode in American history helped shape the course of a war and the nation’s promise of a free press. And it all started with a headline.
On Sunday, September 15, 2019 Rep. Cutler will join Rep. Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) at the Franklin Historical Museum to talk about the book and this fascinating period in American history.
“I am honored to bring Rep. Cutler to Franklin to shine light on a little-known episode in American history that helped shape the course of war and the free press,” noted Rep. Roy. “His book is a gripping story of the press under attack, a fiery young editor who put his principles above popularity, and a challenge to populist thought that brings history to life. The book also foreshadows the toxic political arena in America today, but stands as a shining example of political courage.”
Rep. Cutler is an attorney and serves in the Massachusetts House with Rep. Roy. Cutler represents the Sixth Plymouth District of Massachusetts, which includes the town of Hanson. Cutler is a graduate of Skidmore College, Suffolk Law and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He is also the author of “When the Press Really Was Under Attack: Alexander Hanson and the 1812 1Mobtown’ Massacre,” published by the New England Journal of History in the Spring 2018.