Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Long Before the NSA...

The following clipping is from the April 15, 1813 edition of the Daily National Intelligencer. I came across it by accident, but thought it was worth sharing. In the United States Gazette, the government is accused  of having a "general office for breaking open private letters at Washington."

The Daily National Intelligencer counters that it is "entirely false that any letter of any description has been opened by the government, except letters passing to and from the enemy." The Daily National Intelligencer, if you were wondering, was edited by Joseph Gales, Jr. and William Seaton, supporters of the Madison and Monroe administration. They later became printers of Congress, and Gales became Mayor of Washington, D.C.


  1. Cool. How'd you find that, if by accident?

    I love reading old newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, Congressional testimonies etc. Almost makes you feel like you were right there alongside everyone in the room, 100 years ago.

  2. I like reading old clippings and minutes (especially FOMC) too. I searched for "wages" (which is why that word is highlighted) and was just browsing around.

  3. Nice find. You might be interested in this New Yorker article about some other 19th century government mail reading:


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