To Mr Claypoole (Pennsylvania Packet) January, 1786
From the original letter at the American Philosophical Society.
I send you a head piece with my name to it to be prefaced to the piece I send you for publication.
You told me that those pieces were contrary to your opinion — but as your opinion is perhaps contrary to that of the majority of the people of this City & of the State and to a very great number who take your paper you must see the impropriety of setting your own opinion up, as a Judge in the first instance of what shall be suppressed. — If the freedom of the press, is to be determined by the Judgment of the printer of a News paper, in preference to that of the people, who when they read will judge for themselves, the freedom is on a very sandy foundation. If you do not chuse to publish the piece tomorrow you will please return it to me, and I will publish it in a handbill with any reason you shall assign for that refusal or without it as you chuse.
I am Sir your Humble servt
If you publish it you will please to send me a proof as soon as you can in the afternoon, as there are two or three words which on account of you not publishing it this morning must be altered
As no other paper comes out before Wednesday and as it is necessary the piece should appear tomorrow — the public cannot have an opportunity of seeing the piece tomorrow thro any other public paper than yours —