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April 16, 2010

Otsego Herald: Riot in Northampton

Fellow-Citizens of Otsego County. As the time draws near when you are to elect men to offices who are to preside over the affairs of our opulent state, your enemies, the federalists, conscious of the wickedness of their schemes, have redoubled their exertions to deceive you: they invent, and put in circulation, the most abominable falsehoods, artfully glossed over with sophistry, thereby intending to alienate the confidence which you have so justly placed in the integrity and patriotism of our present chief magistrate, and fix it upon a man who openly expresses his contempt for the people, a man who can admire and extol the JUSTICE and MAGNANIMITY of one of the most corrupted governments on earth, the administrators of which are our direst foes.

COMMENT: Thus began an article supporting the reelection of Governor Daniel D. Tompkins. When election day came, Tompkins would be re-elected over his Federalist rival, Jonas Platt, by 43,094 to 36,484. Re-elected again in 1813 and 1816, he would only leave the post when he became Vice President of the United States in February 1817. Only white, male, property owners were entitled to vote for Governor (or for State Senator).

The level of political invective is typical of the time.

The Federalists are accused of admiring the British Government -- with which the United States would soon be at war.

RIOT IN NORTHAMPTON

Northampton, (Mass.) April 4.... A most disgraceful RIOT took place in this town, soon after the election was over, on Monday last. The town of Northampton will not get rid of the stigma which this transaction has cast upon it, in many years. The doors of Copeland’s Hotel, where the Republicans were peacefully assembled, were burst in by a party of federalists, and the windows broken with clubs and stones.

We forbear mentioning particulars, as this business will probably be investigated in due course of law. The Republicans stood on the defensive, and the federalists came off second best.

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