A Defence in Abatement of Judgment for an Alleged Libel in the Story Entitled "Inquire at Deacon Giles' Distillery." Addressed to the Hon. Chief Justice Shaw, at the session of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Held in Salem, Dec. 4, 1835 [wrapper title; caption title:] A Defence, Addressed to the Hon. Chief Justice Shaw.
Salem [Mass.]: John W. Archer, 1836. Original printed blue wrappers (stitching renewed), 7.5 x 4.5 inches, 28 pages. Some light dust-soiling and wear; a nearly fine copy. Item #19540
The reformer Cheever had been appointed the pastor of Howard Street Congregational Church in Salem in 1833, and "two years later he attained national prominence with his enormously popular temperance tract, Enquire at Amos Giles’ Distillery. The essay, cast in the form of a dream, was a thinly disguised portrayal of John Stone, a well-liked Unitarian deacon in Salem who owned a distillery. Cheever’s neighbors were outraged by his slander: he received a public horsewhipping, was sued and convicted for libel, and was sentenced to thirty days in jail" (ANB). Cheever chose to leave the church in Salem and travel for three years, before settling into a pulpit in New York City in 1839. This defense was also published in New York by Lord & Leavitt with an 1836 publication date; one suspects the local edition here has priority.