Don Piatt and Freedom of the Press, by Margaret Piatt
“We were harassed considerably but did not mind, for we were battling for the constitution and our rights, and that is always a disagreeable and sometimes dirty business.”
– Donn Piatt
When Donn Piatt died in 1891, newspapers nationwide published obituaries of the Ohio-born journalist. Most lauded his skills, and a few politely expressed criticisms; but all noted his independence, explosive language, and dedication to expose the faults and corruptions of those who held public office. Piatt’s career began in 1840 as a 21-year-old who submitted reports of rural political meetings to the Catholic Telegraphic and the Ohio Statesman. Publication encouraged him to believe he could become a writer despite a forced apprenticeship in his father’s law office.