Peter I. Blacker, "Free Discussion." The Boston Investigator. 26, 13 (July 23, 1856), 2.
Mr. Editor:—I regret to learn in your paper 16th inst., that the short article I sent you on "The Perpetuity of the Union," caused you the loss of a subscriber in the person of S. Chipman, P. M., of Centreville, (Mich.) I say I regret this, and if I was sure that by putting my thoughts on paper and having them go out into the world in the brave old "Investigator," I should diminish it subscription list, I certainly should withhold; for having my own rticles printed would never compensate me for the loss or injury done to the paper, which has been my idol, if I have any, from the day it was first published by Abner Kneeland, who was always ready to discuss both and all sides of any question. It was for discussing the theological institutions that he was imprisoned, and Judge Peter O. Thatcher endeavored to get a promise from him that he would sto the Investigator. But the Editor was made of metal that would not abandon the principle of Free Speech and Free Discussion even to escape a prison cell.
If the discussion of any and all the institutions in our country cannot be allowed, wherein is our boasted freedom? We complain of religious intolerance that would establish a censorship of the press. But do we not exhibit the same spirit and the same disposition to exercise all the power we possess, when we stop a paper which is open for all sides because a correspondent has an article in it which goes against our preconceived opinions and prejudices? How is such a person ever to advance? He might as well live in Austria, where the Church and State exercise no different power from that he uses to the extent of his ability. In conclusion, permit me to say to the readers of the Investigator, that whch I write I never consult the opinions of the Editor, but write my thought for thinkers and reasoners, knowing if anything I say is thought worthy a reply by any one, I shall read the same in the columns of the freest paper in the country.
Boston, July 20. 1856. P. I. B.