[POLK, JAMES KNOX]. POOLE, Fitch. Trial for Murder. The People vs. James K. Polk. Counsel for the People, J.Q. Adams.... For Prisoner, John Tyler [woodcut of court scene] [wrapper title]. Boston: Published by S. Harris. No. 66 Cornhill (up stairs.), 1847. [1-3] 4-16 pp. 8vo (23.5 x 16 cm), original printed, illustrated self wrappers, leaves held by original pin between pp. 8/9, spine reinforced with modern tape, untrimmed; small hole in upper blank margin of upper wrapper, slight wrinkling and light soiling to margins of a few leaves, first and last leaves loose, upper wrapper with evidence of label removal at lower left, otherwise very good. Rare. Only this copy at auction and five copies located by OCLC.
First edition. Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.
A mock trial of President Polk for “murders” committed during the Mexican-American War. Witnesses include Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, Nicholas P. Trist, Martin van Buren, and several other more minor ones, including a Russian count and a French lady. Among Polk’s defenses is that the blame lies with Congress for declaring war and that he was insane. In the end, the jury is hung because Mr. S. Carolina holds out for acquittal, much to the disgust of other jurors, such as Mr. Virginia and Mr. Massachusetts. The case is continued and Polk remanded to jail. One of the odder period examples of anti-war propaganda.
Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $490.00.