Although relatively unknown today, Alexander Contee Hanson, Jr. was a highly controversial figure during the War of 1812, and packed a lot of living in a brief lifespan of 33 years.
Born in Annapolis, Maryland on February 27, 1786, he came from an important family in Maryland, his grandfather, John Hanson, having played a prominent role in the Revolution. Graduating from Saint John’s College in Annapolis in 1802, he embarked upon a career as an attorney. An extreme partisan Federalist, he published the Federal Republican newspaper in Baltimore. His attacks on the Madison Administration and the war against Great Britain sparked a series of riots by outraged Republicans in Baltimore in June-August 1812. (more…)