pencil, two leaves
watermark/embossment: N, no symbol
20 x 13 cm.
folded in thirds
LL 91, with signature altered to "Pecksniff." "X" on verso. Paper clip impressions, paste marks. The "L's" in "Lie" and in "Lothrop" are scored with particular flourishes, perhaps to call attention to the "Lying Culprit." Bianchi's note accompanies the letter-poem: "After the `Lothrop Case' in which a local pious fraud was exposed." Johnson recounts a brief history of the local drama: "During the late seventies a daughter of a certain Rev. D.C. Lothrop, an unemployed minister living in Amherst, suddenly fled her father's house and appealed to a neighbor, accusing her father of mistreatment. Austin was among several neighbors who tried to resolve the problem in strict privacy. But the accusation invigorated gossip, and the Republican published an account that lead Lothrop to bring suit for libel in April 1878. To avoid local prejudice, the case went to court in Essex County rather than Hampshire, and judgment was rendered in Salem, on April 15, 1879, against Lothrop."
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Transcription and commentary copyright 1996 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Last updated on May 2, 2001
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