The Jefferson Borden Mutiny. Trial of George Miller, John Glew and William Smith for Murder on the High Seas. Before Clifford and Lowell, JJ.

The Jefferson Borden Mutiny. Trial of George Miller, John Glew and William Smith for Murder on the High Seas. Before Clifford and Lowell, JJ.

Boston: Printed Under Direction of the Clerk of the Court, 1876. 12mo, printed brown wrappers. 141 pp.

The official account of the trial of the Jefferson Borden mutineers, held in the Circuit Court of the United States, District of Massachusetts.

In the spring of 1875, the vessel Jefferson Borden—built on the Kennebunk River in Maine—departed from New Orleans and was making way for London under the command of Captain William M. Patterson of Edgecomb, Maine carrying a cargo of cotton-seed oil cake. Seaman George Miller, a Russian, had been put in irons for 48 hours for his insubordinate behavior just a few days into the voyage. On the night of April 20th, 1875, Miller struck Corydon Patterson—the captain's brother and ship mate—over the head with an iron bar, killing him immediately. Two ship-men—Ephraim Clark and John Glew—assisted Miller in dumping the mate’s body overboard. Additionally, Clark killed the Captain's cousin, Charles Patterson, throwing him overboard as well. The Captain, suspicious of what was transpiring outside of his cabin that night, waited until the morning to investigate the scene. With the help of the steward, the Captain was able to wound the three mutineers with a shotgun and a revolver and imprison them. The ship eventually reached London, where the mutineers received medical attention, then were sent back to Boston to stand trial. Clark and Miller were convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged; Glew was sentenced to 10 years in prison for mutiny.

Following the trial, however, Captain Patterson's inhumane treatment of his crew came to light, which had likely caused the mutiny among his seamen. Albert Aiken, Patterson's steward, later confessed that Patterson’s method was to starve and abuse his crewmen so that they would desert upon arrival to avoid the return journey—and thus Patterson would not have to pay them their wages. A petition was subsequently sent to President Grant to reprieve the two seamen on death row. Their sentences were commuted to life in prison.

REFERENCES: McDade; 679; Cummins, Sharon. Mutiny and Murder on the Jefferson Borden at seacoastonline.com

CONDITION: Soiled, much of spine perished, a few short tears in wrappers, rear wrapper damp-stained.

Item #4241

Price: $475.00

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