1820.044: Delinquency, No Fable.

Published: 1820

Full Title: Delinquency, no fable.

Author: A gentleman who has never been in office.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 12 pgs. + 12 pgs. + 12 pgs. [36 pgs. total]; 19 cm. (12mo).


Three single-sheet pamphlets with individual title pages, bound together in one imprint; the individual; parts are respectively dated February 1, February 22, and March 4, 1820. Only known copy held by the Library of Virginia; a copy of the first gathering is held in the special collections of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; both lack an imprint. The LVA catalogue reports that these verses were published in the Richmond Enquirer on the dates indicated; however, no such verses appeared in that journal in February and March 1820; content is described there as a "satire on political and social conditions in Virginia," but the timing of their writing corresponds to the intense investigation of the fiscal delinquency of the state's treasurer, John Preston, that followed his dismissal on January 17, 1820. That catalogue entry cites as an authority a letter written to editor Thomas Ritchie, published on February 17, 1820, in which the author used the pseudonym Publicola; yet, that letter is actually a complaint by the unnamed author about being denied access to Ritchie's press in attempting to have his satiric verses published; Ritchie introduced the letter briefly with a reference to the principle of the freedom of the press as expressed by numerous Republican writers of that time who used the pseudonym Publicola; rather, he identifies the author as "a gentleman, who has never been in office, and who we think incapable of entertaining any ambitious designs," a description that informs the authorial credit above. Evidently, the author employed another unnamed Richmond press to produce this series of pamphlets; so the indeterminacy reported here.

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