A Notable Trial that Pitted Freedom of the Press Against the Law of Libel [Trial]. Child, David Lee [1794-1874], Defendant. Whitman, John W. [1798-1833], Reporter. Trial of the Case of the Commonwealth Versus David Lee Child, For Publishing in the Massachusetts Journal a Libel on the Honorable John Keyes, Before the Supreme Judicial Court, Holden at Cambridge, In the County of Middlesex, October Term, 1828. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, Printers, 1829. 119 pp. Octavo (8-3/4" x 5-1/2"). Disbound stab-stitched pamphlet. Negligible light edgewear and soiling to exterior, embossed library stamp and early owner signature (Samuel Drake 1838) to title page. Moderate toning, occasional early marks and notes in pencil to margins, faint dampstaining to margins of title page and a few other leaves. $350. * Only edition. This trial addressed the contested boundary between freedom of the press and the law of libel. In his Massachusetts Journal and various handbills, Child accused Keyes of irregularities as chairman of the county Committee of Accounts, bid rigging and animosity toward the administration in power in Washington. Child was found guilty. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 13312. McCoy, Freedom of the Press C318.
Book number 69418