Boston: Russell, Odiorne & Metcalf [et al.], 1834. First edition. Stitched pamphlet lacking wrappers, 8.88 x 5.38 inches, 80 pages. Stitching evidently renewed at an early date; some wear and soiling, light chipping and foxing; a good, sound copy. Item #19536
The notorious privateer and slave trader Pedro Gibert, operating out of Colombia, attacked the Salem brig Mexican off the coast of Florida in 1832 and set the American ship on fire. Captured off the coast of Africa by the Royal Navy in 1833, Gibert and his crew were brought to America for trial, making him and two of his crew that last men to be hanged for piracy in the United States. It is interesting to note that one of the defense attorneys was David Lee Child (1794-18874), the abolitionist, journalist, and husband of Lydia Maria Child. Child had fought on the liberal side in Spain in 1823 as was fluent in Spanish, which may have been the reason he was given the job of working with the Spanish-speaking prisoners—though the question of whether his liberal principles guided him to provide adequate counsel to defendants whose numb er included black sailors, despite the fact that the Panda was a slave ship, seems an open or at least under-explored question, not addressed in any of the standard biographical sketches. This first edition of the Russell, Odiorne and Metcalf edition of the trial did not include portraits; so-called second and third editions were published the same year had added plates. Sabin 69915. Traces of the original wrappers present.