San Francisco, Cal. 1852. 48pp, bound in period half calf and marbled boards. Scattered foxing, Good+.
"These speeches of Lockwood are required reading for anyone wishing to understand the dark and cruel side of the activities of the Vigilance Committee. Lockwood was a man of great courage and unusual ability who dared to stand up against the mob. The speeches themselves are fine examples of forensic argumentation" [Streeter]. "A bitter denunciation of this extra-judicial body" [Howes].
"Peter Metcalf was a drayman employed during the fire of June 22, 1851, to remove four loads of furniture and goods from the house of Felix Argenti's doxy [i.e., his floozy]. After the fire, Metcalf was accused of stealing some of the properties and Argenti and a companion searched Metcalf's house unsuccessfully. Argenti...appealed to the Committee of Vigilance and a second and more vigorous search was made, equally unsuccessful. In retaliation, Metcalf resorted to the courts. The first trial ended unsatisfactorily and Metcalf secured a change of venue to Santa Clara where, in a jury trial, he won nominal damages.
"The two speeches in the present pamphlet were those delivered by Lockwood at the trials. They are directed less at attacking Argenti and supporting Metcalf than at the Vigilance Committee. They are scathing denunciations of the Committee and its actions...Considering the time at which the trials took place, Lockwood must be rated a very brave man" [Graff; internal quotation marks omitted].
FIRST EDITION. Streeter Sale 2713. Howes L420aa. Graff 2521. Cowan 394-395. Cohen 12019. Greenwood 333. Item #33042