Established in 1968 at the University of Virginia, The Washington Papers is working to publish comprehensive letterpress and digital editions of the Washington family's correspondence.
By Lynn Price, Assistant Editor
The cry of "fake news" has become ubiquitous in the United States today, particularly with regard to politics. When a news story paints a negative view of a politician, a partisan belief, or a proposed law, the public's response now often involves attacks on the press. However, the use of the press to spread misleading or outright false information, usually about a political opponent, is nothing new. George Washington experienced attacks by Democratic-Republican newspapers in attempts to destroy his character, discredit his administration, and promote opposing viewpoints. And it was up to the reader to determine what truth, if any, lurked beneath partisan criticisms—or outright penned assaults.