The Trial of John Williams...Murder on the High Seas, 1818.
An Interesting Mutiny, Murder, and Piracy Trial, Joseph Story Presided: McDade 1103 [Trial]. Williams, John, Primary Defendant. The Trial of John Williams, Francis Frederick, John P. Rog, Nils Peterson and Nathaniel White, On an Indictment for Murder on the High Seas: Before the Circuit Court of the United States, Holden for the District of Massachusetts, At Boston, On the 29th of December, 1818. Boston: Printed by Russell and Gardner, 1819. 92 pp. Octavo (9-1/2" x 5-1/2"). Stab-stitched pamphlet, untrimmed edges. Moderate edgewear, moderate toning and light foxing to text, title page wrinkled. Interesting listing of 17 names, presumably the crew, at the bottom of the last page. $1,500. * Only edition of an original account of American piracy. The defendants were accused of mutiny aboard the schooner "Plattsburgh" off the Georgia coast in 1816, and of the murder of the supercargo, Thomas Bayard, during the mutiny. It was a bloody scene, rehearsed in great detail in the 92 pages of this pamphlet. There was $40,000 aboard, so the mutiny was piratically motivated. The villains split up the money, sailed to Denmark and were arrested in Copenhagen where the mate, a hostage of sorts, blew the whistle on them. The case was heard before Joseph Story in his capacity as the Judge of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Massachusetts. The jury found all except Nathaniel White guilty of murder and piracy, and they were hanged in January 1820. It made quite a splash in its day, and several sensational narratives besides this one were published. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 13248. McDade, The Annals of Murder 1103.
Book number 74539