About Matthew Lyon in life
Did you know that tribulations in a dank Vergennes, Vermont, jail cell lead directly to the Thomas Jefferson presidency?
Matthew Lyon (the Spitting Lyon) was imprisoned in as the first victim of the Alien and Sedition act. One of the immediate affronts to Freedom passed by the self-proclaimed national government of the new country by none other than President John Adams. Adams like Hamilton envisioned America as a mercantile empire under a King. The Constitution was a compromise to men like Hamilton and Adams. One that they would quickly begin working to circumvent all while extoling its virtues (sound familiar?) to maintain their power.
In a letter, Lyon had inflicted poor president John Adams with what today is referred to by the Orwellian term, “hate speech”.
After passing the reprehensible “law”, Adams had a political crony publish the “hate speech” letters written earlier by Lyon.
Since the publish date of the “hate speech” was after the law took effect. Lyon was immediately arrested, tried, and put in the Vergennes jail. Think this political behavior just started? Think again! (Adams-Gate before “gate” was its own adjective)
“…he wrote that President Adams had “a continual grasp for power [and] unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation and selfish avarice“ and that Adams would eliminate people from office whom he disagreed, proclaiming that “men of real merit [are] daily turned out of office for no cause other than independence of sentiment.”
In the official case file, United States vs. Matthew Lyon, the author wrote that Lyon was;
“being a malicious and seditious person, and of a depraved mind and wicked and diabolical disposition, and deceitfully, wickedly and maliciously contrived to defame the Government of the United States, and with intent to design to defame the said Government of the United States, and John Adams, the President into contempt and disrepute; and with intent and design to excite, against the said Government and President the hatred of the good people of the United States, and to stir up sedition in the United States…”
Matthew Lyon’s public letter to Adams, printed 59 minutes before 1 AM March 4, 1801 ~ 1 MINUTE AFTER Adam’s Presidency
….you came to the administration, sir, under the most favorable auspices at a time…when this country was considered an asylum for the oppressed of all nations, and there was a great influx of foreign riches, industry and ingenuity; when this country was happy in the freedom of speech and of the press; when the Constitution was considered a barrier against legislative, executive and judicial encroachments… before offices, places and contracts, were considered as the executive right of the favorite caste. Reflect a little, sir, and see this awful change made four short years… your mad zeal for monarchy, your love for pomp, your unhappy selection of favorites, your regardlessness of the public treasure… has divided the people into parties and fostered among them envy , malice and rancorous hatred toward each other…”
“under your administration, sir, a system of appointments have been established by which implicit faith in your infallibility and a knack for discoloring the truth became the only qualification to office, or to entitle a person to a contract.”
“perhaps in no one instance has our constitution, our sacred bill of rights, been more shamefully, more barefacedly trampled on, then in the case of the passage of the bill called the Sedition law. This, sir, was your darling hobbyhorse. By this law you expected to have all your follies, your absurdities, and your atrocities buried in oblivion. You thought by its terrorism to shut the mouths of all but sycophants and flatterers, and to secure yourself in the presidency at least; but I’ll happily have you been disappointed-, the truth has issued from many a patriot pen and press -and you have fallen, never, never to rise again”
*Special note from the Ghost – My (real life) ancestor and uncle by marriage to Lyon, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys offered to burn the jail to the ground to free him.
Lyon said no. He was later elected from that jail cell to Congress! Read about it here.
When the presidential election of 1800 came to a 3rd round vote in the Congress. Lyon cast the deciding vote to elect Jefferson. One of our first and few blows to the Adams/Hamiltonian Federalist slime that now rules us.
Except for another brief respite under Andrew Jackson in the 1830’s with the destruction of the 2nd bank and a rebuke of Biddle. We haven’t won a battle since.
Are you ready to support Eternal Vigilance?