Mystery Developed; Or, Russell Colvin, (Supposed to Be Murdered)...
by Trial; Haynes, Lemuel; Waldo, S Putnam
1820. "A Constant Reminder that Innocent Persons Can be Convicted" [Trial]. Haynes, Lemuel [1753-1833]. Waldo, S. Putnam [1780-1826]. Boorn, Stephen, Defendant. Boorn, Jesse, Defendant. Mystery Developed; Or, Russell Colvin, (Supposed to Be Murdered), In Full Life; And Stephen and Jesse Boorn, (His Convicted Murderers,) Rescued From Ignominious Death by Wonderful Discoveries. Containing, I. A Narrative of the Whole Transaction, by Rev. Lemuel Haynes, A.M. II. Rev. Mr. Haynes' Sermon upon the Development of the Mystery. III. A Succinct Account of the Indictment, Trial and Conviction of Stephen and Jesse Boorn. Hartford: Published by William S. Marsh, 1820. 48 pp. Three parts, each with title page, pagination continuous. Second part titled The Sermon, The Prisoner Released, third part, by Waldo, titled A Brief Sketch of the Indictment. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound into recent quarter calf over marbled boards, calf title panel to front board, gilt title to spine. Moderate toning and light foxing to text, minor tears to a few leaves, internally clean. * Only edition. As McDade notes, this is "one of the most famous cases of American criminal law and a constant reminder that innocent persons can be convicted." Colvin disappeared from his Vermont community and Stephen and Jesse Boorn, his brothers-in-law, were convicted of murdering him, even though a body was never found. Told they would be convicted with overwhelming evidence, they were persuaded to confess in exchange for a charge of manslaughter. Sentenced to death instead, the legislature intervened and commuted their sentences to life imprisonment. The Boorns were released when Colvin returned home six years later. Reverend Haynes, perhaps the most prominent African-American in the early nineteenth century, had supported the claims of innocence by the Boorns. The third part of this pamphlet, the Brief Account, was written by Waldo. OCLC locates 3 copies in North American law libraries (Harvard, Yale, US Supreme Court, which has an incomplete copy). The first two parts of this pamphlet were reprinted in Thomas Mather Cooley's Sketches of the Life and Character of the Rev. Lemuel Haynes (1837). McDade, The Annals of Murder 111. (Inventory #: 65465)
Law & Legal History, International Law, Trials, Americana, Criminology, Early Printed Law Books, Legal Ephemera, Manuscripts: Law, Political Science
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