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  • Wilson, John, and Michael Martin]

    Published by [Boston, 1847

    Seller: William Reese Company - Americana, New Haven, CT, U.S.A.
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    Association Member: ABAA ILAB SNEAB

    Seller Rating: 4-star rating

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    34pp. including illustrations. Original plain wrappers. [bound with:] CONFESSION OF MICHAEL MARTIN, OR CAPTAIN LIGHTFOOT, WHO WAS HUNG AT CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, IN 1821, FOR THE ROBBERY OF MAJ. BRAY. ALSO, AN ACCOUNT OF DR. JOHN WILSON, WHO RECENTLY DIED AT BRATTLEBORO, VT., BELIEVED BY MANY TO BE THE NOTORIOUS CAPTAIN THUNDERBOLT. [bound with:] AN ACCOUNT OF DR. JOHN WILSON, WHO RECENTLY DIED IN BRATTLEBORO, BELIEVED BY MANY TO BE THE NOTORIOUS "CAPT. THUNDERBOLT." Brattleboro, Vt.: J.B. Miner, 1847. 30pp. (printed in double columns), 12pp. Original printed wrappers. Titlepage vignette. Bound together into later cloth backed, paper covered boards. Light scattered foxing. Very good. These two sensational pamphlets were prompted by the 1847 death of Dr. John Wilson who, under the name of "Captain Thunderbolt," was one of the most notorious British highwaymen of the 1810s. Actually an Englishman named John Doherty, Thunderbolt was known for the speed of his robberies, his courtesy to his victims, and his refusal to steal from women. During his celebrated criminal career, he teamed with an Irishman named Michael Martin, whom Doherty dubbed "Captain Lightfoot." About 1818 both emigrated from England to the United States and parted ways. Doherty took the name of Dr. John Wilson and lived a quiet existence for twenty-nine years as a doctor in Brattleboro, Vt. Martin, who continued his life of crime, was caught in Springfield, Ma. and hanged in 1821. Wilson's true identity was not disclosed until after his death. The characters of "Thunderbolt" and "Lightfoot" were appropriated by Hollywood in 1974 for a caper film starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges.