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    Description

    1756 Dying Speech of a Counterfeiter
    Hanged in New York

    [Sullivan Owen.] A Short Account of the Life, of John ************ Alias Owen Syllavan, Alias John Livingston, Alias John Brown, by Which Names He Stood Indicted by the Grand Jury, and Was Found Guilty by the Supreme Sessions for the City and County of New-York, for Counterfeiting and Passing the Current Bills of That Colony Emitted in the Year 1737: And Was Executed on Monday the 10th Day of May 1756. Shewing What Manner of Life He Led from His Infancy. Taken from His Own Mouth. To Which Is Added, His Dying Speech at the Place of Execution. New-York: Printed. Boston: Re-printed and Sold by Green & Russell, at their Printing-Office near the Custom-House, and next to the Writing-School in Queen-Street, 1756. 12mo, self-covered and stitched, as issued. 12 pages; woodcut depiction of an execution by hanging on page 2.

    A rare example of a popular if somewhat lurid genre in which the condemned party explains the path they took to wind up on the gallows and implores the audience not to follow his example. The connection to the counterfeiting of paper money would have made it a fascinating item for inclusion in the Eric P. Newman library. Sullivan was an armorer and engraver who turned his professional skills to counterfeiting, a habit he declined to break even after previous arrests had relieved him of his ears and left him branded on both cheeks. The woodcut was apparently used in two similar Boston publications in 1757 and 1773. Despite the stated imprint, no New York edition is known, and this Boston edition is rare enough that Evans had not seen a copy, evidenced by his erroneous listing of the title (Evans 7796). Newman published an article on this pamphlet in the Fall 2001 issue of The Asylum, the quarterly publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. First leaf detached, but present (when acquired by Newman, it was sewn bound with several printed sermons); chip to top margin of first leaf with about 5 square centimeters of paper missing, affecting A Short and barely nicking the outline of the illustration. Browned. Still very good or nearly so. Estimate $1,000.
    Ex: Bailey Bishop (3/2001).
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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