Trial of Henry Whitby, for the Murder of John Pierce, with his Dying Declaration. Also, the Trial of Capt. George Crimp, for Piracy and Manstealing.
An Eminent Reporter (William Sampson).
Gould, Banks and Gould, ( 1812), New York
(3)-95, (1) pp.
Regarding the first case,McDade writes, “The murder arose out of an attempted impressment of seamen… the charge is against the captain of the British vessel Leander” which would make this pamphlet a nice fit with propaganda swirling around the beginning of the War of 1812. Sounds like serious business, but “Niles Weekly Register” refers to it as “the production of a barrister of eminent genius, whose pen has been more than once employed for the amusement of the American public.” This is because the trial of Capt. Crimp was a satire of court proceedings on such matters as piracy and manstealing, in the overheated environment of pre-war America. Crimp’s lawyer is named “Silvertongue.” A motion for a new trial is put forth “because of the misconduct of the jurors who had fallen asleep.” This is a fact of which neither McDade nor Lefkowicz, in his Bulletin 56 (1988) take note. A fascinating work. Quite a few institutional holdings, but rare in the trade, Lefkowicz’s list in 1988, and my own in 2016, being the most recent sales I can find. McDade 1081. S&S 26908. Sabin 103334, who notes the copyright cancel slip “pasted on verso of title page in some copies” attributing authorship to the Irish American author and lawyer William Sampson. Uncut and untrimmed, stab sewn. This copy does not have the cancel, but someone has penciled “Wm. Sampson” on the title page. Scarce enough, and rare in this condition.