Boston: Published by the Compiler, 1846. 48pp. Disbound, original printed wrappers, the front wrapper illustrated with a portrait of Mrs. Bickford, engraved by Brown & Worcester. Verso of title page is a printed certificate from James Bickford, attesting to the accuracy of the correspondence and text. Spine worn, old bookplate on blank verso of front wrapper. Except as noted, Very Good
This and the first edition were both printed in 1846. "The color of the cover appears to be the only difference between this and the 1st ed." [OCLC]. The wife of James Bickford of Maine, Mary Ann was 17 when she gave birth to their first child; the baby died the following year. Thereafter, Mary Ann was "bordering on insanity." She left her husband and began an affair with Albert Tirrell of Boston. Was Tirrell a womanizer who took advantage of Mary Ann and caused her to live in a brothel? Or was Mary Ann a beautiful harlot who used sex for material gain? Authorities claimed that, when Tirrell learned that Mary Ann contemplated reconciling with her husband, he killed her in a fit of rage and then set the brothel on fire. He was tried separately for murder and for arson. His attorney argued that Mary Ann committed suicide or, at the very most, Tirrell committed the murder while sleepwalking. Tirrell was acquitted on all charges. "The Tirrell case is one of the triumphs of Rufus Choate, who convinced the jury." McDade.
The widower, James Bickford, published Mary Ann's private correspondence in hopes that they would prove to the public that she was no harlot, but rather a distraught woman who had been abused by a scoundrel.
McDade 986. Cohen 13108. Neither source records this second edition. OCLC 58657467 [1- NYHS] as of December 2018. Item #35567