Colorfully Illustrated Broadside Concerning a Notable 19th-Century Libel Case in Salem, Massachusetts [Broadside]. [Temperence]. [Cheever, George Barrell (1807-1890)]. Deacon Giles's Distillery. New York: National Temperance Society and Publication House, [c. 1865-1867]. 2 pp. 14" x 10-1/4" broadsheet, 2 pp. text in three columns, 6-1/4" x 8-3/4" woodcut below headline. Moderate toning, horizontal and vertical fold lines, minor staining to margins along horizontal center fold, tears along fold lines near center and foot of sheet with negligible minor loss to image, two of them mended with archival tape. $1,500. * Cast in the form of a dream, Reverend Cheever's Temperance tract is a thinly disguised portrayal of John Stone, a well-liked Unitarian deacon in Salem who owned a distillery. It was first published in 1835 as a newspaper article and as an illustrated broadside. Cheever's neighbors were outraged by this slanderous text and he was soon convicted for libel, imprisoned and publicly whipped. A case that attracted a good deal of attention, it brought Cheever fame among the nation's temperance reformers, abolitionists and social reformers and it sparked interest in his tract, which led to several later editions, primarily in pamphlet format. Our example was published by The National Temperance Society and Publication House, founded in 1865, and possibly issued after Cheever's 1867 retirement from the ministry. Its large, half-page wood engraving shows barrels of Deacon Giles's brew in the foreground, labeled "Dea. Giles Distiller," "N[ew] E[ngland] Rum," "Sinfulness," "Poverty," "Death," and "Hell." and "Dea. Giles Distiller." Behind this is an infernal scene of a fiery and steaming distillery tended by nine horned and cloven-hoofed devils; at the right is seen a business office provocatively labeled "Deacon Giles's Counting Room. Bibles for Sale." OCLC locates 2 copies (Harvard Divinity School and Peabody Essex Museum). Not in McCoy.
Book number 70696