Verse Account of a Murder-Suicide in Pennsylvania [Broadside]. [Murder-Suicide]. [Pennsylvania]. [Koppelberger, Johannes]. Ein Neues Lied von der Mord-Geschichte des Joseph Miller, Welcher im Januar 1822, Einer Sonntags Nacht Seine Schwangere Frau unde Zwei Kinder auf eine Grausame Art Ermordete, Und sich Selbst Erhing, Welches Alles, Wie man Glaubt, Aus Armuth Geschah...[Running Title]. [N.p.: S.n., 1822]. 12-1/2" x 10" broadside. Text in three columns printed within woodcut border and separated by black rules. Moderate toning and light foxing, fraying and a few chips to edges, tear to bottom edge with negligible loss to text. $650. * This sixteen-stanza "New Song of the Murder-Story of Joseph Miller" is attributed to Johannes Koppelberger. It tells the sad story of a murder-suicide committed by Miller, a German-American. The verses say he eloped from Poland with the daughter of a nobleman in 1817. The couple made their way to Philadelphia and from there to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where Miller found work as a schoolteacher. The job paid poorly and his wife was increasingly homesick. Depressed, Miller killed his pregnant wife, two children with an ax and himself. It was a grisly affair involving and axe and a knife. This poem was quite popular and issued in a number of different broadside formats. According to Wellenreuter, there were, in all, 16 printings. All are rare. OCLC locates 3 copies of our version (American Antiquarian Society, Library Company of Philadelphia, University of Michigan). Not in Shaw & Shoemaker. Wellenreuther, Citizens in a Strange Land: A Study of German-American Broadsides and Their Meaning for German Americans 13.
Book number 64207