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