Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 142

Price Realized: $ 6,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
THE BOSTON MASSACRE (AMERICAN REVOLUTION--PRELUDE.) John Hodgson; reporter. The Trial of William Wemms . . . for the Murder of Crispus Attucks. 217 pages. 8vo, modern plain wrappers; browned, title page worn and next 3 leaves worn and repaired, unevenly trimmed throughout, moderate dampstaining; original owner's inscription on final blank. In modern 1/4 morocco tray case. Boston: J. Fleeming, 1770

Additional Details

First edition. "In this, one of the most significant trials of our history, young Josiah Quincy and John Adams, at a point when public feeling had been fanned to flame by Samuel Adams and John Hancock, volunteered to defend the eight British soldiers charged with murder at the Boston Massacre. We have here a very full account of the trial, except for the closing argument for the Crown by Robert Treat Paine, which is given in brief summary"--Streeter sale, II:741. As an example of the firsthand testimony found here, John Danbrooke testified that he was standing next to Crispus Attucks when he was shot: "Did the Molatto say any thing before the gun went off? I heard him say nothing. The Molatto was leaning over a long stick he had, resting his breast upon it" (page 31).

Original owner Nicholas Roche has inscribed this book on the final blank, explaining that be bought it in Boston in May 1771, and urging us "Steal not this book, my honest friend / For fear that ye gallows should be yr end / Steal not this book for fear of shame / Here under lies ye owner's name." Evans 11683; Howes H561; McDade 122; Sabin 96951.