Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
William Tell Claude Editorials, 1846-1849

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, July 1996

Summary Information
Title: William Tell Claude editorials
Creator: Claude, William Tell
Inclusive dates: 1846-1849
Extent: 216 pages
The William Tell Claude manuscript contains all of Claude's editorial columns written between December, 1846 and June, 1849, probably for the Maryland Republican.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1985. M-2195.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

William Tell Claude Editorials, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


During the 1840s, William Tell Claude wrote a semi-weekly column for a Whig newspaper in Annapolis, Md., probably the Maryland Republican, commenting on local, state, and national affairs. A fiery writer and editor, Claude adopted the quintessentially Whiggish love of internal improvement and public support of private enterprise, and expressed a progressive outlook on a number of contemporary issues, including the abolition of capital punishment and opposition to the "war of conquest" raging in Mexico. Not surprisingly, given that he worked in Maryland, Claude fell silent on the issue of slavery.

During the election of 1848, Claude labored ceaselessly in support of Whig candidates, praising their principles, accomplishments, and experience, and he was unrelenting in his gloating approval of the party's successful presidential candidate, Zachary Taylor. At the same time that he waved the Whig banner, Claude never shrank from attacking the opposition, waving his editorial dagger freely in the direction of the rival Democratic Standard.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The William Tell Claude manuscript contains all of Claude's editorial columns written between December, 1846 and June, 1849, probably for the Maryland Republican. As a deeply committed and tireless publicist, Claude launched a series of front door and back door attacks on the Democratic opposition, criticizing the Democratic war in Mexico and smearing the names of Democratic candidates for office.

The origins of the manuscript are unclear, but it appears to have been compiled at a later date, possibly simply to be retained for convenient reference, possibly for separate publication. Only one work of Claude's appears to found its way into print as a separate work, however, his war-time Address to the people of Anne Arundel County (1861).

Subject Terms

    • Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
    • Annapolis (Md.)--Description and travel.
    • Anne Arundel County (Md.)--Description and travel.
    • Astor Place Riot, New York, N.Y., 1849.
    • Benton, Thomas Hart, 1782-1858.
    • Butler, William Orlando, 1791-1880.
    • Canals.
    • Capital punishment.
    • Cass, Lewis, 1782-1866.
    • Chapman, John G., 1798-1856.
    • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md. and Washington, D.C.)
    • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.
    • Constitutional law.
    • Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889.
    • Debt, Imprisonment for.
    • Debts, Public.
    • Democratic Party.
    • Democratic Party (Md.)
    • Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874.
    • Fourth of July celebrations.
    • Free trade.
    • Kane, John K., 1795-1858.
    • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
    • Maryland Historical Society.
    • Maryland--Politics and government--1775-1865.
    • Mexican War, 1846-1848.
    • Mexico--Foreign relations--United States.
    • Newspapers--Maryland--Annapolis.
    • Oregon question.
    • Political corruption.
    • Polk, James K. (James Knox), 1795-1849.
    • Pratt, Thomas George, 1804-1869.
    • Presidents--United States--Election--1844.
    • Presidents--United States--Election--1848.
    • Protectionism.
    • Public libraries.
    • Public works.
    • Railroads.
    • Scott, Winfield, 1786-1866.
    • Sellman, John S.
    • Spain--Colonies--America.
    • Tariff.
    • Taylor, Zachary, 1784-1850.
    • Texas--Annexation to the United States.
    • Thomas, Phillip Francis, 1810-1890.
    • United States--Foreign relations--Mexico.
    • United States--History--War of 1812.
    • Washington, George, 1732-1799.
    • Whig Party (U.S.)
    • Whig Party (Md.)
    • Wise, Henry A., 1806-1876.
    Genre Terms:
    • Editorials.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    William Tell Claude editorials,  1846 December 6-1849 June 23 [series]
    Page   1  
    Maryland's disastrous involvement in public improvements prior to  1846
    Page   2  
    Democrats falsely blame Whigs for Maryland's debt; Whigs rescue Maryland
    Page   3  
    Effectiveness of Whig state government vs. ineffectiveness of Democratic national government
    Page   4  
    Annual message of Governor Thomas George Pratt (1804-1869), particularly regarding a. the Mexican War
    Page   5  
    b. destructive competition between canal and railroad
    Page   6  
    c. completion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; d. Governor's salary;
    e. Court of Chancery
    Page   7  
    Governor's message and Mexican War; President James K. Polk's (1795-1849) views on annexation of Texas
    Page   8  
    Mexican opposition to American designs in Texas
    Page   9  
    United States should negotiate settlements to Texas and Oregon disputes
    Page   10  
    Abolition of capital punishment
    Page   11  
    Benefits of abolition of capital punishment
    Page   12  
    Capital punishment; response to Annapolis Democratic Herald editorial on import duties
    Page   13  
    Attacks Annapolis Democratic Herald plan for moderate duty on tea and coffee; Locofocos (Democrats)
    Page   14  
    Protectionism; Democrats feign interest in "the poor man"
    Page   15  
    Attacks the lies of Democratic Herald editor
    Page   16  
    Support for resolutions of Maryland legislature honoring volunteers
    Page   17  
    Warns local Whigs against political apathy
    Page   18  
    Whigs must work hard on small projects as well as great
    Page   19  
    All men must work for good of the community rather than personal gain
    Page   20  
    Raising sufficient revenue to meet state expenses in coming year
    Page   21  
    Long-term effects of state revenue policy
    Page   22  
    Need for thorough examination by state legislature of all public works projects
    Page   23  
    State revenue-raising projects
    Page   24  
    State revenue-raising projects
    Page   25  
    Debate over Governor's salary
    Page   26  
    Governor's salary
    Page   27  
    Democrats caused the cut-back in Governor's salary out of political spite for Governor Pratt
    Page   28  
    Eliminating the state debt
    Page   29  
    Plan for paying state debt
    Page   30  
    Plan for paying state debt
    Page   31  
    Condemns Democratic Herald attack on Gen. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)
    Page   32  
    Defends letter of Taylor which elicited Democratic attack
    Page   33  
    Democratic Herald plan for controlling war expenses; Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858)
    Page   34  
    Condemns transfer of historic material from State Library to Maryland Historical Society
    Page   35  
    Condemns transfer of material from State Library
    Page   36  
    Condemns transfer of material from State Library
    Page   37  
    Whig-sponsored resolutions in state legislature regarding the Mexican War and Taylor
    Page   38  
    Defense of Taylor
    Page   39  
    Attack on Democratic conduct of the war
    Page   40  
    Attack on Polk's position on Texas annexation
    Page   41  
    Sarcastic reply to Democrats' cries of treason in Maryland legislature
    Page   42  
    Salary of the Chancellor of Maryland
    Page   43  
    Warning against cutting government expenses too far
    Page   44  
    Resolutions in Maryland legislature opposing acquisition of territory in Mexican War
    Page   45  
    Value of territory gained from Mexico (quote fromDemocratic Herald )
    Page   46  
    Spain's experience in Mexico
    Page   47  
    History of dispute between Mexico and United States over Texas
    Page   48  
    American might oppresses Mexico
    Page   49  
    United States action against Mexico violates international and moral law; freedom of speech
    Page   50  
    Democratic attempts to compare Mexican War and War of  1812
    Page   51  
    Historic right and duty to disagree with government when it is wrong
    Page   52  
    Biennial sessions conflict with triennial gubernatorial election
    Page   53  
    Biennial state legislative sessions--difficulties of the proposal
    Page   54  
    Flaw in legislative plan for biennial sessions
    Page   55  
    Biennial sessions and gubernatorial elections
    Page   56  
    Imprisonment for debt
    Page   57  
    Hardship for poor caused by imprisonment for debt
    Page   58  
    "Fraudulent" debtors deserve imprisonment
    Page   59  
    Argument against debtor imprisonment
    Page   60  
    Efforts of Democrats to effectively remove Taylor from command in Mexico; Gen. Winfield Scott (1786-1866)
    Page   61  
    Winfield Scott
    Page   62  
    Attacks political intrigue behind efforts to undermine Taylor
    Page   63  
    End of session of the Maryland legislature
    Page   64  
    Importance of selecting next Governor
    Page   65  
    Whig record should convince voters to elect a Whig Governor in next election
    Page   66  
    Recalls Democratic Herald attacks on Taylor and mentions Taylor as presidential candidate
    Page   67  
    Disparages Democratic criticism of Taylor
    Page   68  
    Selecting a new Governor
    Page   69  
    Whig political record in Maryland
    Page   70  
    Economic reasons for Democrats' enthusiasm for war with Mexico
    Page   71  
    American success and heroism in the Mexican War
    Page   72  
    Compares American invasion of Mexico to Napoleon's invasion of Russia
    Page   73  
    Urges equitable peace settlement with Mexico; proof of Taylor's Whig loyalties lies in the vituperation against Taylor by Democrats
    Page   74  
    Defense of Taylor
    Page   75  
    Mob of unruly pleasure-cruisers interrupt peaceful celebration in Annapolis of Fourth of July
    Page   76  
    Account of Fourth of July disturbance which erupted in gunfire
    Page   77  
    Fourth of July disturbance
    Page   78  
    Fourth of July disturbance; names of five wounded Annapolis men
    Page   79  
    Defense of Taylor and of Whig interest in him as a presidential candidate
    Page   80  
    Defense of Taylor and Whigs
    Page   81  
    Defense of Taylor and Whigs
    Page   82  
    Political record of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phillip Francis Thomas (1810-1890)
    Page   83  
    Democratic national convention of  1844
    Page   84  
    Polk's nomination in  1844 reveals the poor principles of Democrats
    Page   85  
    Importance of the coming state election
    Page   86  
    Worthiness of Whig candidates
    Page   87  
    Support or opposition to Taylor an issue in state election
    Page   88  
    Praise for Whig gubernatorial candidate William Goldsborough
    Page   89  
    Political record of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Thomas
    Page   90  
    Attacks Thomas's "representation graduated by taxation" plan
    Page   91  
    Exhortation to all Whigs to vote in the state election
    Page   92  
    Comments on state election
    Page   93  
    Whig/Democrat divisions
    Page   94  
    Local Whig/Democrat divisions
    Page   95  
    Immorality of the "War of Conquest" with Mexico
    Page   96  
    Immorality of the Mexican War; Polk's annual message and the Mexican War
    Page   97  
    Controversy over Polk's claim in his message that Mexico began the war
    Page   98  
    Cause of the Mexican war
    Page   99  
    Anecdote of the drunken debtor; blame for Mexican War rests with Polk
    Page   100  
    New session of the state General Assembly
    Page   101  
    Recounting of Whig accomplishments in previous Assembly session
    Page   102  
    Whig accomplishments in State Assembly
    Page   103  
    Importance of coming presidential election with regard to resolving Mexican War
    Page   104  
    Democratic policy in prosecuting the Mexican War
    Page   105  
    Inaugural Address of Governor Thomas
    Page   106  
    Democrats block early selection of Senator for  1849
    Page   107  
    "Constitutional outrages" perpetrated by the Democrats
    Page   108  
    Democratic actions help to bring decline in the Republic
    Page   109  
    Proceedings of the Maryland House and Senate regarding aborted selection of Senator
    Page   110  
    Proceedings of Maryland House and Senate regarding aborted selection of Senator
    Page   111  
    Proceedings regarding selection of Senator
    Page   112  
    Reply of Democratic Senator John S. Sellman to previous editorial
    Page   113  
    Previous obstruction of justice by Sen. Sellman
    Page   114  
    Previous obstructions of justice by Sellman
    Page   115  
    Previous obstructions of justice by Sellman
    Page   116  
    Sellman's own defense; paraphrase of Lincoln's "House Divided" speech
    Page   117  
    Whigs must united to remove the Polk administration in coming election
    Page   118  
    Support for Henry Clay (1777-1852) over the years
    Page   119  
    Taylor should be Whig candidate in such contentious times; Taylor compared to George Washington
    Page   120  
    Efforts by the Polk administration to prolong war with Mexico
    Page   121  
    Belligerent and bellicose attitude of Polk
    Page   122  
    Eulogy of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
    Page   123  
    Eulogy of Adams
    Page   124  
    Hopes for less political strife when state legislature reconvenes in two years
    Page   125  
    Hopes for less political strife in legislature
    Page   126  
    Praise for Clay following rumors he would withdraw his name from consideration for the Whig nomination as President
    Page   127  
    Praise for Clay's withdrawal
    Page   128  
    Differences of opinion among Whigs
    Page   129  
    Praise for Taylor and his modesty; quote from Washington's Inaugural Address
    Page   130  
    Praise for Taylor's modesty
    Page   131  
    Whig nominating caucus for local election
    Page   132  
    Second nominating caucus consisting of disaffected Whigs and Democrats
    Page   133  
    Influence of the United States' example in the decline of European monarchy
    Page   134  
    Taylor declares that he is a Whig
    Page   135  
    Constitutional encroachments
    Page   136  
    Democratic objections to the Whig nomination of Taylor
    Page   137  
    Democratic objections to Taylor's nomination
    Page   138  
    Democratic objections to Taylor's nomination
    Page   139  
    Whigs must unite behind nominee of national convention
    Page   140  
    Democratic nominations for President and Vice President: Lewis Cass (1782-1866) and William O. Butler (1791-1880)
    Page   141  
    Democratic attempts to ruin Gen. Winfield Scott
    Page   142  
    Democratic attempts to ruin Scott
    Page   143  
    Democratic attempts to ruin Scott; Whig nominations for President and Vice President: Taylor and Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)
    Page   144  
    Whig nominations for President and Vice President
    Page   145  
    Whig nominations for President and Vice President
    Page   146  
    Democratic attempts to block a vote of thanks for Taylor in U.S. Congress (1847)
    Page   147  
    Attempts to block vote of thanks for Taylor
    Page   148  
    Ingratitude and political attack unleashed by Polk administration on Taylor
    Page   149  
    Ingratitude received by Taylor
    Page   150  
    Letter from Polk to John K. Kane (1795-1858),  1844 June 19, regarding tariffs
    Page   151  
    Letter from Polk to Kane
    Page   152  
    Polk's record on the Tariff
    Page   153  
    Democrats can no longer stem popular will for protective tariff; measures of the Polk administration
    Page   154  
    Measures of the Polk administration
    Page   155  
    Measures of the Polk administration
    Page   156  
    Measures of the Polk administration; Whig nomination for Senate of Maryland: Charles R. Stewart
    Page   157  
    Charles R. Stewart
    Page   158  
    Whig republican doctrine; praise for Taylor
    Page   159  
    Praise for Taylor--presidential veto power
    Page   161  
    Subversion of republican doctrines by Polk and the Democrats
    Page   162  
    Subversion of republican doctrines by Democrats
    Page   163  
    Quote from Henry A. Wise (1806-1876) regarding the corruption practiced by Lewis Cass while Secretary of War
    Page   164  
    Graft of Secretary of War Cass
    Page   165  
    Graft of Secretary of War Cass
    Page   166  
    Whig majority in Maryland must carry state for Whigs
    Page   167  
    Character and history of Taylor
    Page   168  
    Character and history of Taylor; character and history of Cass
    Page   169  
    Character and history of Cass; pre-election exhortation to Whigs
    Page   170  
    Pre-election exhortation to Whigs
    Page   171  
    Pre-election exhortation to Whigs; upcoming presidential election
    Page   172  
    Political character of Cass
    Page   173  
    Political character of Cass regarding treatment of volunteer soldiers
    Page   174  
    Cass' treatment of soldiers compared to that of Taylor
    Page   175  
    Cites Senator Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) regarding Taylor's treatment of American volunteers in Mexico
    Page   176  
    Final pre-election exhortation to support Taylor and the Whigs
    Page   177  
    Final pre-election exhortation
    Page   178  
    Taylor and his treatment by Congress
    Page   179  
    Character of Taylor
    Page   180  
    Celebration of Whig victory in Election of  1848
    Page   181  
    Celebration of Whig victory
    Page   182  
    Castigation of the Democratic Party
    Page   183  
    Explanation of Whig victory
    Page   184  
    Taylor and his increasing fame and support
    Page   185  
    The future under a Whig administration
    Page   186  
    Annapolis's celebration of a day of thanksgiving declared by the Governor of Maryland
    Page   187  
    Closeness of the election within North and South--not a sectional vote
    Page   188  
    Slavery and free soil issues belong in Congressional, not Presidential, elections; plan for a public library suggested by John G. Chapman (1798-1856)
    Page   189  
    Plan for a public library
    Page   190  
    Apathy among Annapolis's citizenry
    Page   191  
    Tax to liquidate school debt
    Page   192  
    Tax to liquidate school debt
    Page   193  
    Apathy among citizenry and officials regarding government of Annapolis
    Page   194  
    Need for a tax to liquidate city debt
    Page   195  
    Plan to let state of Maryland assume city debt of Annapolis
    Page   196  
    Plan regarding Annapolis's debt
    Page   197  
    Plan regarding Annapolis's debt
    Page   198  
    Need for Whigs and Democrats to put aside political differences for good of nation
    Page   199  
    Taylor must remove many Democrats from government in order to begin his work; account of Taylor's Inauguration
    Page   200  
    Account of Taylor's Inauguration; Taylor's non-partisan stand subverted by Democrats in Anne Arundel County
    Page   201  
    Local Democrats subvert Taylor's non-partisan stand
    Page   202  
    Local Democrats subvert Taylor's non-partisan stand
    Page   203  
    Plea for unity among local Whigs in city election
    Page   204  
    Plea for Whig unity; city election hinged on removal of hogs from city limits
    Page   205  
    Apathy of Annapolis voters; death of Jeremiah Little Hughes, former editor of the Maryland Republican
    Page   206  
    Death of Hughes
    Page   207  
    Necessity of removing Democrats from government posts
    Page   208  
    Taylor is without doubt a Whig and therefore justified in removing Democrats
    Page   209  
    Macready-Forrest Riot in New York,  1849
    Page   210  
    Macready-Forrest Riot
    Page   211  
    Macready-Forrest Riot; support for rubbish removal in hopes of avoiding cholera onslaught
    Page   212  
    Maryland's public debt and resources to overcome the debt
    Page   213  
    Maryland's public debt and resources to overcome the debt
    Pages   214-6  
    Table of Contents