"A Constant Reminder that Innocent Persons Can Be Convicted" [Trial]. Boorn, Stephen, Defendant. Boorn, Jesse, Defendant. Sargeant, Leonard [1793-1880], Reporter. The Trial, Confessions and Conviction of Jesse and Stephen Boorn for the Murder of Russell Colvin, And the Return of the Man Supposed to Have Been Murdered. Manchester, VT: Journal Book and Job Office, 1873. 48 pp. Octavo (9" x 5-3/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in printed wrappers, publisher advertisement to rear wrapper. Light soiling to wrappers, light foxing to front wrapper, light toning to text. A well-preserved copy. $250. * This famous case is a "constant reminder that innocent persons can be convicted. Russell Colvin, the alleged victim, had married a sister of the Boorns and had several children by her. He was mentally deficient and disappeared in 1812. Local gossip credited the Boorns with having disposed of him, presumably because he was a burden on the family. In the spring of 1819 the Boorns were arrested and, either from fear or mental weakness, they told stories involving each other in the death of Colvin--Stephen's amounting to a confession of murder. They were tried and sentenced to be hanged; the state legislature, however, commuted Jesse's sentence to life imprisonment. As a last resort a notice was placed in the papers requesting information about Colvin. A farmer in Monmouth County, New Jersey, believed he recognized a hired man in the vicinity from the description. This man, who was mentally deranged, was enticed to Manchester, arriving...six weeks before the day set for Stephen's execution. It was definitiveley established that he was the missing Colvin; he had apparently wandered off on his own volition. (...) Though published fifty-four years after the event, the pamphlet was prepared by one of the defense counsellors and contains important information on the discovery and return of Colvin." McDade, The Annals of Murder 113.
Book number 69444