Trial of Mr. William Parkinson, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in the City of New-York, on an Indictment for Assault and Battery upon Mrs. Eliza Wintringham. Taken in Short Hand by William Sampson, Esq. one of the Counsel in the Cause.

New-York: Printed by Largin & Thompson, 1811. First edition. Removed pamphlet, 8 x 5 inches, 84 pages. A bit toned and lightly soiled; small chip to one corner; a very good copy. Item #19552

“He asked me to step into another room, as he had some questions to ask me. I went, and no sooner sat down, than he attempted to put his hands in my bosom. I reprimanded him. . . . I said that if he went on that way I must tell my husband. In answer to that he said, my only hope is this. I believe you are a child of God. If you have any love for the cause of Christ, though you have none for me, you would never expose it. But if you did, considering my duty to the church, I should think myself bound to deny it, and I shall be believed in preference to you, and you will only hurt yourself and your children by making the attempt. Witness afterwards added, that she believed he then made an attempt to kiss her.” Mrs. Wintringham was apparently one of several women to have been subject to the unwanted sexual advances of the married Baptist clergyman; the trial here turns on her testimony that among his other instances of impropriety, Parkinson had laid hands on her bosom without consent. The defense of course makes much about “the fury of a woman scorned” and promises that it “will be our duty to impeach the credit of this fair lady”—and proceeds to do so with witnesses who claim to have seen Wintringham acting in a forward or provocative manner, showing all signs of a consensual adulterous relationship, etc. (Other insights into the politics and social relationships in the church appear as byways to the testimony; Wintringham admits on the stand that she refers to deacon Leonard Bleecker as “Sister Bleecker” but that “All our society called him so. . . . It was not I that gave him the name.” Mayor De Witt Clinton sat as the presiding judge in the case; his charge to the jury draws a clear distinction between assault and the social ramifications of simple fornication and strongly points toward acquittal—which is the verdict the jury reached. An ex-library copy, with the violet ink stamps of the library of the New York Bar Association applied three times in descending degrees of lightness to the title page. Sabin 58794; American Imprints 24058; Cohen 13849.

Price: $375.00