Author: Bradley (Howard A.) & Winans (James A.)
Year: 1956
Publisher: Artcraft Press
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: NrF.
Price: 55.00
Hardback. The story of a famous murder and of the trials of John Francis Knapp and of Joseph Jenkins Knapp. It is also the story of the part Daniel Webster played in those trials. His summation in one of the trials is thought by some to be the greatest ever delivered in America. In 1830, brothers John Francis Knapp and Joseph Jenkins Knapp conspired to have their wealthy uncle, Captain Joseph White, murdered. They hired Richard Crowninshield to carry out the deed. On the night of 6 April 1830, Crowninshield slew Captain White in his sleep, while the brothers waited outside on the street, 300-feet away. The case was significant because it was the first time that accessories to murder had been tried, convicted, and executed. The eloquence of prosecutor Daniel Webster in defeating an old English common law that an accessory to murder could not be convicted without being present at the time of the murder brought the Knapp brothers to justice. Webster in his prosecution redefined the legality of being present during the murder by raising the issue "...to constitute a presence, it is sufficient if the accomplice is in a place, either where he may render aid to the perpetrator of the felony, or where the perpetrator supposes he may render aid. If they selected the place to afford assistance, whether it was well or ill chosen for that purpose is immaterial. The perpetrator would derive courage and confidence from the knowledge that his associate was in the place appointed." The authors have attempted to present a more complete analysis of the case than had been published previously. A historian of Salem told them that the murder and the trials made a greater impression on the social history of the town than the witchcraft trials, which just 'passed along in the day's work.' Chapter headings include : Three Families in the Tragedy; The Murder and the Committee of Vigilance; The Knapps Have Two Visitors; "There Is No Refuge from Confession but in Suicide"; Chief Justice Parker Explains the Law; Death of a Learned Judge - Enter Daniel Webster; First Trial of John Francis Knapp; Second Trial of John Francis Knapp; Webster Writes a Speech for Posterity; Comments on Webster's Oratory; Trial of Joseph Jenkins Knapp; The Two Trials of George Crowninshield; "A Few Last Words in Conclusion". Illus. + Maps, Books of Reference and Index. 236pp. lge. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate, together with that of another previous owner, dw. not required. Nr. F.


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