The Otsego Herald for Nov. 30, 1818, compiled, with comments:

Matthew Lyon of Vermont & Kentucky

COL. MATTHEW LYON, of Kentucky, formerly a member of Congress from Vermont, has published in the Lexington Reporter a memorial to Congress praying to be reimbursed for his pecuniary sufferings by a prosecution under the sedition law in the state of Vermont during the winter of 1798-9.

He gives a narrative of his sufferings which are illustrative of the warm political temper of that period, & of his patriotic devotion to the cause of principle.

His claim is for one thousand dollars, the fine he paid, which has gone into the treasury; for 100 dollars cost in the suit; and for 738 dollars, his pay at 6 dollars a day, during the 123 days he was unconstitutionally detained in prison, and withheld by the hand of power from his seat in Congress.

Col. Lyon is a native of Ireland, and is now 70 years of age. He was an officer in the revolution — one of the early settlers of Vermont, and has experienced a life of singular vicissitude. — Columbian

COMMENT: Matthew Lyon (1749-1822) ran away at the age of 15, stowed away on a ship and became the indentured servant of its captain. In America, he became a friend of Ethan Allen, and during the Revolution served in his Green Mountain Boys. In 1779, was elected to the Vermont legislature. He was impeached in 1785 and convicted, but was elected again in 1787.

Vermont became a state in 1791. In 1796, Lyon was elected to Congress, saying that asking approval of his policies from the president was “inconvenient, ridiculous, slavish, anti-republican, and a waste of time and a delay of public business.” After a series of physical fights with another congressman, Lyon was convicted of violating the Alien and Sedition Acts, and was sentenced to four months in jail and a fine of $1,000. While still in jail, he was re-elected to Congress.

In 1801 Lyon moved to Kentucky, and served as its congressman from 1803 to 1811 — the only Congressman to represent two states. He later moved to Arkansas and tried unsuccessfully to enter politics there.

In 2006, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had the Post Office in Fair Haven, Vermont, a town Lyon had founded, named the “Matthew Lyon Post Office Building.”

Missing Husband

MARY WHELAN, the wife of MICHAEL WHELAN, has arrived in Philadelphia from Halifax (Nova Scotia), and is extremely anxious to know where her husband now is.

Any person who can give information on this subject, will serve a poor woman and two small children. Information by letter or otherwise, will be thankfully received, at the northeast corner of front and market streets, Philadelphia. — Oct. 19, 1818

COMMENT: I’ve looked, but haven’t found Michael.

Our Flag Insulted

The Post of Saturday, published a letter from Mr. Bailey, son of general Bailey of New York, dated Rio Janeiro, Sept. 28, detailing the particulars of the seizure of the ship Chauncey, in which Mr. Bailey went out for his health, and the imprisonment of the officers, passengers and crew, by the officers of the Portuguese government.

The vessel was seized by an armed force, after her papers had been examined by the proper officers, the ship plundered of many articles, the American ensign struck, the crew taken on board a 74 (gun warship), and Mr. B. and several others thrown into a damp and loathsome dungeon, where in all probability they would have continued, but for the spirited conduct of our consul, Mr. Sumpter, who effected their release, as well as that of the ship.

The consul declared to the government, his determination to quit the country, unless proper satisfaction was made for the insult given to our flag. The pretence for this conduct, was a suspicion that the Chauncey was a pirate. — Albany Argus.

COMMENT: Thomas Sumter Jr. (1768-1840) was U.S. Consul at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (then still a Portuguese colony), and after Brazil became independent in 1822 he became minister there.

Illness of English King

His majesty is perfectly blind, and occupies a long suit of rooms, through which he is almost continually strolling. Several piano fortes & harpsichords are placed at certain intervals and the monarch frequently stops at them, runs over a few notes of Handel’s oratorios and proceeds on his walk.

He dines chiefly on cold meats, and frequently eats standing. He has a silk plaid dress, and will sometimes stop and address himself to a noble duke or lord, thus holding a colloquy and furnishing their answers. He suffers his beard to grow two or three days. His hair is perfectly white.

He is quite cheerful in his conduct and conversation, eats very heartily and enjoys a good bodily health.

COMMENT: King George III (1738-1820) ruled over Great Britain longer than any of his predecessors and was, of course, king during the American Revolution. He suffered from a recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental disease and in 1810 his oldest son George (1762-1830) was given power as Prince Regent. The nature of King George III’s mental illness has often been attributed to a blood disease called Porphyria, but the true cause of it remains unknown.

Sally Snow — Dwarf

There is now exhibited at the New-England Museum a female dwarf, named SALLY SNOW, 9 years of age, 18 inches in height, of most perfect proportion and beautiful features. She converses with great ease and spirit, and interests all those who visit her by the liveliness of her sallies and the quickness of her intellect. — Boston Intelligencer

Comment: Her portrait was being advertised in Boston in 1832, which suggests that she had died by then.

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