Boston: Printed for the Author, at the office of S. N. Dickinson, Washington-st. 1831. First edition. Small 8vo (6.19 x 3.88 inches), contemporary (likely original) maroon sheep spine, drab boards, gilt lettering, 191,  pages. Some foxing; a little rubbed and soiled, with a few spots to the boards; in very good condition. Item #20225
“Reader, I will now say to you, that last November, after having taken legal advice with regard to the rewards offered for the discovery of the murderers of Mr. White, I became convinced that I was entitled to them, consequently I determined to ask for them; I have heard people say that it would be a crime for me to take them if offered to me, but an observation like this is too ridiculous for me to notice, I did ask for them as something in reality my own, not having the least idea that I should be under the least obligation for any one for their payment.” Self-exculpation with an eye toward reward from a central figure in one of the great early American murder-for-hire cases, a picaresque autobiographical sketch of the life and sad handling at the hands of the law of the young ex-convict and sailor John Palmer, whose attempts to blackmail the conspirators in the 1830 murder of the wealthy 82-year-old Salem shipowner Joseph White eventually led to Palmer’s apprehension and incarceration as a suspect and material witness in the cases that led to the eventual execution of Joseph Knapp (who had married White’s grand-niece), his brother Frank, and the suicide of alleged conspirator Richard Crowninshield. Palmer includes much of his early travels through the American South to suggest that he had been unjustly cuffed and buffeted about by ill-fortune and hardship. American Imprints 8615; Sabin 58363: “Palmer was supposed to be implicated in the murder of Capt. White, at Salem.” See also McDade 562 (etc.) for a summary of the rather tangled story behind White’s murder and description of a number of other works about the case; see also Lewis, Walker. “The Murder of Captain Joseph White: Salem, Massachusetts, 1830.” American Bar Association Journal 54, no. 5 (1968): 460-66. Accessed May 10, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25724406. Early bold pencil signatures to the rear pastedown.