1805.045: Murder―Horrible Murder!!

Published: 1805

Full Title: Murder — horrible murder!! Clarksburg, Virginia, November, 1805. Last night Abel Clemons … murdered his wife far advanced in pregnancy, and their eight small children …

Author: -----

Place Issued: Morgantown

Issuing Press: Campbell & Britton

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 45 cm. x 27 cm. (broadside, printed in two columns with mourning border).


Evidently the first published account of the brutal murder of his family by Abel Clemmens near Clarksburg in Harrison County; he was convicted and executed for the crime in 1806. Sheet lacks colophon; as the only press then operating west of the Alleghenies in Virginia was at Morgantown, this title is generally ascribed to the firm of Joseph Campbell and Forbes Britton there; given that their partnership originated in Philadelphia, where they had trained, it is more than likely that the pair of young printers recognized the potential public demand for details of this story and acted quickly to fill such. Text herein is identical to that seen in A Particular Account of a Horrid Murder (1805.046), which is also generally attributed to Campbell & Britton in Morgantown; it consists of a two-column account of the crime set above a poem "Lines on the above murder" also set in two columns. This version appears less-proficient typographically than the other, indicating that it was rushed into production upon learning of the event; the second version uses the same coffin images (as seen in their wear marks) to ornament the broadside, but the header and footer text therein provide a more polished presentation of the same matter as in this item.

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