Territorial newspaper writers could hold their own with the meanest bloggers of today.
A researcher recently forwarded some articles to us to verify an election date. (We are working on a list of election dates back to territorial times.) The screaming headlines show that post-election controversy is nothing new in Minnesota. From the Daily Minnesotan, December 18, 1857: "The Rascality Consummated! FORGERY AND VILLAINY ENDORSED BY THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS! THE WILL OF THE PEOPLS DEFEATED BY THE SCOUNDRALISM OF SAM MEDARY AND JO. BROWN!"
The writer didn't think much of Territorial Governor Samuel Medary's recently delivered message to the Legislature, questioning his authority to deliver it to "a body with which he has no more right to communicate than has James Buchanan - and the Democratic members, like a set of blundering asses or willing accomplices in usurpation and wrong-doing, even invited him to do so, and then insulted the people of the State by ordering one thousand copies of the document printed at the expense of the future state.
"The Douglas democrats may prate and howl about the newly discovered wrongs of Kansas; but we tell them there are just as unscrupulous, defiant, dare-devil politicians in our Capitol at St. Paul, as border ruffianism in Kansas can produce. But there is a day of political judgment coming, when the virtuous people will say to these men - 'depart from me, you accursed villains!'"
You can read the inaugural address that inspired such passion. You can read many more, too, linked from the Library's guide, "Gubernatorial Addresses to the Minnesota Legislature: "State of the State" and Inaugural Addresses, 1857-present."