REPORT OF THE TRIAL OF WILLARD CLARK, INDICTED FOR THE MURDER OF RICHARD W. WIGHT, BEFORE THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CONNECTICUT, HOLDEN AT NEW HAVEN, ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1855. BY H.H. McFARLAND, ASSISTED BY THE COUNSEL FOR THE STATE AND DEFENSE.

New Haven: Thomas H. Pease. T. J. Stafford, Printer, 1855. Original printed salmon wrappers, stitched. 217pp. The rear plain wrapper is badly chipped; light dusting and mild toning. Else Very Good.

The case, "noteworthy for the successful use of the insanity defense" [Cohen], reports one of the few 19th century acquittals on the ground of insanity. "Clark was apparently infatuated with a girl who married Wight. With no warning he shot Wight through the head while Wight was kneeling to tie a bundle. The crime and trial were in New Haven, Connecticut" [McDade].
"A difficult and delicate question of insanity," says the Prefatory Note, with "few or no equals in its medico-legal importance, in the jurisprudence of this country or of England." Numerous witnesses testified to Clark's mental condition: frequent weeping, a calm assertion to his brother that he might have to kill him, other behaviors of a "peculiar" nature. Expert witnesses cemented the conclusion that Clark was insane. The case received significant attention from a variety of medical journals, and the publisher of this lengthy Report clearly recognized its significance .
McDade 178. Cohen 12420. Sabin 13390. American Journal of Insanity, January 1856, pages 212-237. OCLC records only facsimilies as of July 2021. Item #37622

Price: $1,250.00

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