Philadelphia: Barclay & Co., [1882? 1880?]. Original printed and decorated salmon wrappers, the front wrapper illustrated with a portrait of Ms. Jewett; the rear wrapper with an illustration of the death struggle. , 19-77 pages. Dramatic illustrations, Very Good.
One of several printings based on the true story of the murder of Helen Jewett.
"The story of Helen Jewett perhaps best illustrates the double standards of 19th-century gender politics. Jewett, a high-class prostitute at one of New York's most popular brothels, was murdered in 1836 at the age of 23. She was found in her room with her head smashed in and her body on fire. The prime suspect was 19-year-old Richard Robinson, a respected clerk in the garment trade who came from privilege. Robinson, one of Jewett's frequent customers, was the last person to be seen with her, and overwhelming circumstantial evidence linked him to the crime. The jury, however, found him not guilty. In addition to Jewett's profession prejudicing the jury, people widely believed that his well-connected supporters bribed jurors and offered false testimony in his favor.
"The Helen Jewett story was enthralling. Occupying the front page of the papers around the country, the scandal greatly expanded newspaper readership. People continued to profit from Jewett long after her death and Robinson's acquittal. Lithographers sold depictions of Richard Robinson's trial and authors sold intimate accounts of her life and death." [Website of the Library Company of Philadelphia, "Capitalism by Gaslight"].
McDade 822 [suggesting the 1880 publication date]. Not in Wright. Item #37473