On entire freedom

by look i have opinions

“I think that it was during my stay at Washington, that I was informed of a government regulation, which appeared to me curious; I therefore record it here.

“Every Deputy Post-Master is required to insert in his return the title of every newspaper received at his office for distribution. This return is laid before the Secretary of State, who, perfectly knowing the political character of each newspaper, is thus enabled to feel the pulse of every limb of the monster mob. This is a well imagined device for getting a peep at the politics of a country where newspapers make part of the daily food, but is it quite consistent with their entire freedom? I do not believe we [English] have any such tricks to regulate the disposal of offices and appointments.”

Domestic Manners of the Americans (on Project Gutenberg and also available in this excellent audio recording), by Frances Milton Trollope, published in 1832