A CONCISE SKETCH OF THE EXECUTION OF JOHN WILLIAMS, PETER PETERSON, (ALIAS NILS PETERSON,) FRANCIS FREDERICK, AND JOHN P. ROG, WHO WERE EXECUTED ON THE 18TH FEBRUARY, 1819, FOR MURDER AND PIRACY. PREFACED WITH MORAL REFLECTIONS. TO WHICH IS ADDED, A SOLEMN ADDRESS.

Boston: Printed for N. Coverly, 1819. 23, [1 blank] pp. Stitched. Original pale grey rear wrapper present. Corners rounded. Except as noted, Very Good. With contemporary owner's inscription on final blank: "Henry Ward's Book 1821."

"The crew of the 'Plattsburg' mutinied and threw the captain, mate, and super-cargo overboard, taking the vessel to Norway. These four were apprehended - Williams in Copenhagen, where he was kept in jail for over two years waiting for a vessel to take him back to the United States. The confessions paint a picture of the rugged life at sea in those times" [McDade 1099].
The unknown author of this rare item, pondering the question of man's innate depravity, laments the "deplorable fact" that "the progress of crimes, seems, in the present age of the world to be in advance of the march of virtue." He is pleased that the pirates' executions were public, as a lesson for those disposed to a life of crime. The pamphlet gives "an account of the solemn ceremony preceeding [sic] and during the Execution," including the order of procession, preliminary remarks to the crowd, the prisoners' garb, the Roman Catholic priest's final remarks to the prisoners, and their expression of appreciation for the fine treatment they received in prison. Pages 13-16, in 23 verses of four lines each, comprise "THOUGHTS On the Execution of Williams, Peterson, Frederick and Rog."
AI 47690 [1- MB]. Not in McDade, Cohen, Sabin, or at AAS [which owns a 24-page variant with folding plate, and does not own our printing]. OCLC records AAS's 24-page printing and acknowledges the existence of our copy. Item #37677

Price: $1,250.00

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