[Philadelphia: n. p.], Sep. 1808. First edition. Removed pamphlet (no wrappers), 8.88 x 5.5 inches, 28 pages. Somewhat browned and a bit foxed and worn; a very good copy. Item #19021
An early instance of opposition research in politics, an attack on the important early Pennsylvania Federalist (and Western Pennsylvania land speculator) James Ross (1762-1847); the publication of this former Pittsburgh resident’s allegations that Ross had cheated her out of her property on Grant’s Hill was instrumental in a significant political defeat: “In 1808, Ross was a candidate for governor against Simon Snyder. Ross’s difference with Mrs. Marie, whose husband had by this time divorced her, came to the knowledge of William Duane in Philadelphia, the brilliant but unscrupulous editor of the Aurora since the discontinuance of the National Gazette, in 1793, the leading radical Republican newspaper in the country. The report was enlarged into a scandal of great proportions both in the Aurora and in a pamphlet prepared by Duane and circulated principally in Philadelphia. . . . [T]he pamphlet played an important part in obtaining for Snyder the majority of twenty-four thousand by which he defeated Ross” (Dahlinger, Pittsburgh: A Sketch of its Early Social Life, 1916). Sabin 44560.