Item #7970 The Dying Address of the Three Thayers, Who Were Executed for the Murder of John Love, at Buffalo, N.Y. June 17th, 1825…A Sketch of the Life, Condemnation and Death of the Three Thayers Who Were hung at Buffalo, June 17, for the Murder of John Love. Israel Jr Thayer.

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Thayer, Israel Jr., et al.

The Dying Address of the Three Thayers, Who Were Executed for the Murder of John Love, at Buffalo, N.Y. June 17th, 1825…A Sketch of the Life, Condemnation and Death of the Three Thayers Who Were hung at Buffalo, June 17, for the Murder of John Love.

[Buffalo, New York,] 1825. Illustrated broadside, 17.25” x 20.5”, effectively two broadsides on a single sheet. Contemporary ownership inscription at bottom right: “D C Allis”. CONDITION: Good, a few chips to margins, two stains at center, and a few small holes at creases with no loss of sense.

A scarce and striking broadside, effectively two broadsides in one, published upon the execution of a trio of murderous brothers who were hanged in Buffalo, New York just a few months before the opening of the Erie Canal.

Nelson, Israel, and Isaac Thayer—known in the small town of Boston, New York to be indolent, irreligious, and crass—had become increasingly indebted to John Love, a money lender who had been boarding with them for several months, and they felt themselves in danger of losing their property to him. “On a day selected because they were slaughtering hogs, the brothers shot Love first and finished him off with an ax. More than two months passed before suspicions were aroused by the not very sensible explanations which the Thayers were giving for their possession of Love’s property” (McDade). The game was up when a search party found Love’s body in their woods, and the brothers were tried, convicted, and hanged before a crowd of some 20,000 witnesses in the still-small town of Buffalo. It was the first (and remains the only) hanging to occur there, and the “awful spectacle” is discussed in verse beneath the image of their three dangling corpses:

How awful does their state appear!
Condemned to leave their children dear-
Forgo their tender wives’ embrace
And die in misery and disgrace!

“The Trial and execution of the Thayers was one of the great events of the Village of Buffalo and the surrounding region in the decade of the 1820’s and this broadside is by far the rarest and most colorful of the accounts. Severance suggests that this broadside which has the same text as a 15-page account of the trial and execution printed at Boston in Erie Country in 1825 was probably printed there also” (Streeter).

The AAS catalog suggests that the two broadsides on this sheet were “probably intended to be separated,” but apparently at least some examples were circulated as found here.

REFERENCES: Burt, O.W. American Murder Ballads, p. 76; McDade, T.M. Murder, 970.

Item #7970

Price: $4,500.00

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