Speech of David Paul Brown in Defence of Alexander William Holmes…
Brown, David Paul.
Robb, Pile & M'Elroy, ( 1858), Philadelphia
One of the crew of the ship William Brown, indicted for manslaughter upon the high seas, April 21, 1842. The ship struck an iceberg in 1841 and quickly sank. Some of the crew and passengers escaped in two boats. One of them swamped and, as the weather worsened, the crew began throwing passengers overboard to lighten their load. Holmes, a Finn, was one of those who, under orders, did the throwing – the crime for which he is being tried here. David Paul Brown was a well-known Philadelphia lawyer and a prominent abolitionist. This is the text of his closing speech to the jury. Despite his efforts, Holmes was found guilty, and was sentenced to six months in jail and a $20 fine. Lawyer Brown was in the habit of publishing his speeches. McDade cites four similar publications, but not this one, which is scarce. Worldcat shows only two libraries holding copies. A very good copy in original printed wrappers. With an1858 manuscript note to Brown laid in, praising his eloquence.