Cincinnati: s.n., 1867. FIRST EDITION. Softcover. Original publisher's printed pale green wrappers (chipped). 128 pp. 8vo. 8-1/4" x 5-1/2". Some general wear & soiling. A touch of foxing. Unsightly abrasion to rear wrapper, resulting in some loss. Good. Item #2143
"A Book for the Family" in which are described, in the most graphic detail, over 100 murders in Cincinnati and environs. This highly curious volume represents a genuinely early American work in the literary genre now known as "True Crime," about which see especially Mark Steltzer, "True Crime: Observations on Violence and Modernism" (2007), passim. True Crime as a form of entertainment created important American pop culture icons, namely the sociopaths, the psychopath, the mass murderer, and the serial killer, all of whom are represented herein. The full title adds useful information about the crimes, including: "Trials and Executions of John May ; Philip Lewis, (colored) ; John Cowan, the Murderer of his Family ; Washburn and his Associates, Davis and Hoover, the Butchers of over 30 Persons ; Byron Cooley, who killed John Rambo ; Henry Lecount ; Patrick McHugh, the Murderer of his own Wife ; and a Careful History of the Hughes Murderers, with a Precise Account of the Murder of John Brasher, the Watchman ; the Summons Massacre ; Arrison and the Infernal Machine ; Mrs. Howard, who Avenged her Own Wrongs ; Nancy Farrer, the Child Poisoner ; with a Correct Detail of Over a Hundred Other Murders which have Taken Place in this City and County." Scarce. ¶ Sabin 19107.