Multiple choice: You’re Matthew Lyon, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1801. On the occasion of your fifty-second birthday, you’re asked what your most enduring legacy will be, that for which you’ll be remembered in two hundred years. Which of the following answers do you choose?
You were the first person convicted for violating the Sedition Act of 1798, when you accused President John Adams in print of “ridiculous pomp,” among other things.
You were the first (and only) member of Congress to be reelected while imprisoned (for the above infraction).
You were the first member of Congress charged with “gross indecency” and were repeatedly threatened with expulsion from office, for spitting in the face of a fellow member of Congress, and for the physical violence that ensued.
You cast the deciding Congressional vote to elect Thomas Jefferson as President during the Election of 1800
With perfect hindsight from the twenty-first century, the election of Thomas Jefferson looms large in the list above, but all of these choices are notable for their impact on the course of early American history. Matthew Lyon was an Irish immigrant, an entrepreneur, and an (allegedly) disgraced Revolutionary War officer who served with Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys. Lyon was a vehement anti-Federalist. The Federalists believed in a strong central government, whereas Lyon and his fellow Democratic-Republicans feared monarchy and favored states’ rights instead.
Contrary to this newspaper report that the event would take place in November 1797, the frigate USS Constitution was actually christened and launched at Boston’s naval shipyards the previous month on October 21—213 years ago this fall.
During the course of the next two weeks in 1797, a number of newspapers wrote or republished articles about the launching, including the Norwich Packet:
The latest release of MARC Records for the Serial Set cover the 99th and 100th Congresses, 1985–1988. These 4,119 new records have been posted to our Readex MARC Records portal.
MARC records currently available include:
American State Papers: covering the 1st through 25th Congresses (1789-1838): 6,278 records
U.S. Congressional Serial Set: covering the 15th through the 100th Congresses (1817-1988): 363,637 records.
For more information about Readex MARC Records, please call 800.762.8182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readex offers MARC records for the documents and reports of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994 based on the high level of indexing found in the full citations of the Readex digital edition. MARC records are also available for every publication in Readex's American State Papers, 1789-1838. To convert its indexing to MARC records, the Readex government publications cataloguing team worked with an expert advisory board that included Terry Reese, Gray Chair for Innovative Library Services, Oregon State University Library; Becky Culbertson, Shared Cataloging Program Manager, California Digital Library; and Leona Faust, Senate Librarian, United States Senate Library. Three sample records are available here.