Early 1800s Newspaperman William Hunter Was a British Soldier’s Son Who Built Early America

History Unplugged Podcast


Early 1800s Newspaperman William Hunter Was a British Soldier’s Son Who Built Early America

In June 1798, President John Adams signed the now infamous Alien & Sedition Acts to suppress political dissent. Facing imminent personal risks, a gutsy Kentucky newspaper editor ran the first editorial denouncing the law’s attempt to stifle the freedom of the press. Almost immediately, government lawyers recommended his arrest and prosecution. That editor was William Hunter, amazingly, the son of a British soldier.

Witnessing first-hand the terrors of combat and twice experiencing capture, Hunter wrote the only surviving account written by a child of a British soldier during the American Revolution. Previously unknown, the journal is one of the most important document discoveries in recent years. William Hunter represents a previously underappreciated community leader who made essential contributions to developing democratic and civic institutions in Early America.

To discuss Hunter is today’s guest, Gene Procknow, author of William Hunter: Finding Free Speech.

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