1812.031: Narrative & Report on the Deplorable Conflagration at Richmond.

Published: 1812

Full Title: Narrative & report of the causes and circumstances of the deplorable conflagration at Richmond. (Virginia.) From letters and authentic documents.

Author: -----

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 72 pgs.; 14 cm. (18mo).


Imprint states simply: "Printed for the public, January 12th, 1812." Despite the implication therein that this was a public document, Swem did not find evidence that it was produced with public funds or by a government order, so title does not appear in his bibliography. Text consists of items printed previously in newspapers concerning the Richmond Theater Fire of December 26, 1811. Most authorities supply Richmond as the place of issue, though first two letters in this collection were originally printed in New York City papers, suggesting this might have issued elsewhere; strongest evidence for Richmond origin lies in fact that the majority of the text reprints pieces from the Richmond Enquirer; moreover, the final article, a report on "Memorable accidents. Extracted from Luckombe's Tablet of memory" [p. 71-72], was published in the Enquirer on January 11th, the day before that seen in imprint here (it was first published in New York on January 3rd). That concurrence indicates this title issued from the Enquirer press of Thomas Ritchie; yet it also could have been published by any press in Richmond, given the availability of the Enquirer there, so the indeterminacy here. It appears that two presses can be excluded as the source of this title; that of John Lynch was about to publish his own collection of material on the theater fire, in two editions (1812.032, 1812.033) of larger scale; meanwhile, the General Assembly was in session when this issued, and would be for the next month, meaning the press of Samuel Pleasants was then heavily engaged in printing documents for the Assembly, so preoccupied with that work.

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