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THE TRIAL OF REUBEN CRANDALL, M. D. CHARGED WITH PUBLISHING SEDITIOUS LIBELS, BY CIRCULATING THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. BEFORE THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HELD AT WASHINGTON, IN APRIL, 1836, OCCUPYING THE COURT THE PERIOD OF TEN DAYS
New York: H.R. Piercy, 1836. 62pp, stitched. Lightly foxed, else Very Good. "This pamphlet contains the most elaborate and complete record of Crandall's trial that exists" [Finkelman]. Crandall, who took out the copyright for this New York printing, made certain that, unlike the 48-page Washington edition, "the summations of Crandall's attorneys are printed here as they were given in court. The arguments are made in full. Also, the interaction between counsel and the bench is more fully reported and more personalized" [Id]. The case illustrates the Slave Power's insistence that government restrict free speech and a free press in order to stifle criticism of slavery and to diminish circulation of abolitionist literature. This pamphlet calls the trial of Crandall, a Washington D.C. physician and brother of the Connecticut abolitionist Prudence Crandall, "the first case of a man charged with endeavoring to excite insurrection among slaves and the free colored population that was ever brought before a judicial tribunal...No trial has ever occurred more important to travellers from the North, or to the domestic peace of the inhabitants of the Southern States." Crandall had allegedly caused the distribution of anti-slavery literature. Francis Scott Key, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and author of the Star Spangled Banner, indicted him for seditious libel. An advocate of colonization Key, like many of his fellows in the American Colonization Society, hated the anti-slavery societies whose literature was flooding the South. He opposed bail; Crandall languished in jail for eight months until trial. Key bitterly attacked Anti-Slavery Societies and the dangers and strife they provoked; Crandall's counsel argued, not only the government's failure to prove the allegations of the indictment, but the injustice of slavery. The jury acquitted Crandall after "a short deliberation." Finkelman 168. Cohen 13318. Dumond 45. AI 36950 [5]. McCoy C627 and LCP 2787 [DC edition].
      [Bookseller: David M. Lesser, Fine Antiquarian Books ]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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