"A GIGANTIC ASSASSINATION": FIRST EDITION OF BINGHAM'S ARGUMENTS IN THE 1865 LINCOLN ASSASSINATION TRIAL
(LINCOLN, Abraham) BINGHAM, John A. Argument of John A. Bingham, Special Judge Advocate, In Reply to the Arguments of the Several Counsel for Mary E. Surratt, David E. Herold… Charged with Conspiracy and the Murder of Abraham Lincoln… Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865. Octavo, original printed paper wrappers respined; pp. 122. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $2200.
First edition of Bingham's eloquent arguments in the 1865 Trial of the Conspirators for the Assassination of President Lincoln, especially scarce in original wrappers.
"Bingham was a clever and forceful speaker, overflowing with invective, rhetorical phrases and historical allusions… In two of the most dramatic episodes of the immediate post-war period—the trial of the assassins of Lincoln, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson—he played a leading role. In the conspiracy trial Bingham's part as special judge advocate was to bully the defense witnesses and to assert in his summary of the evidence that the rebellion was 'simply a criminal conspiracy and a gigantic assassination'" (ANB). As Bingham declares herein: "The crime charged… is not simply the crime of murdering a human being, but it is the crime of killing and murdering… Abraham Lincoln… with the intent thereby to aid the existing rebellion and subvert the Constitution… Surely no word further need be spoken to show that John Wilkes Booth was in this conspiracy; that John H. Surratt was in this conspiracy; and that Jefferson Davis and his several agents named, in Canada, were in this conspiracy." Sabin 5451. HLC I, 172. McDade 625. Monaghan 403. NYU, 994. Front wrapper with embossed institutional stamp, two small inked numbers.
Text trimmed slightly but very fresh, expert restoration to fragile original wrappers.