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THE MURDER OF JOHN G. VAN NEST,
EVIDENCE AND THE ARGUMENTS OF COUNSEL,
DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT GRANTING A NEW TRIAL,
AXD AN ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH OF THE PRISONER, AND OF THE POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION OF
HIS BODY BY AMARIAH BRIGHAM, M.D., AND OTHERB.
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,
BY DERBY, MILLER & Co.,
District of New York.
AUBURN, N. Y.
TO THE PUBLIC.
Being advised by Legal and Medical men, that the trial of William Freeman for the murder of John G. Van Nest was, in view of the extraordinary character of that tragedy, the mental condition and singular appearance of the prisoner, and the important questions of medical jurisprudence involved in the case, justly regarded by the profession as one of the most remarkable that ever occurred in the United States; and being urgently desired to procure and publish an accurate report of the
same, together with an account of the post-mortem examination by Doctor's Brigham, McCall, Briggs, Dimon, Van Epps, Fosgate and Hyde, made with reference to his probable insanity, the publishers of this volume, soon after his death, took measures to obtain such a Report as seemed to be demanded, for publication.
That it might be free from suspicion of bias, it was deemed advisable that it should be prepared by some gentleman other than any of the judges or counsel connected with the trial. Learning that it would be agreeable as well to the judges who composed the Cočit of Oyer and Terminer, as the counsel respectively employed in the case, to have the report prepared by BENJAMIN F. Haiz, Esg.; a counsellor of this city, that gentleman was solicited to prepare the work. We believe it has been executed with fidelity. Our desire that the volume should embrace the arguments of Gov. Seward and Attorney General Van Buren, induced us to delay the publication until a report of both of them could be obtained. We now give to the public
the whole testimony and the speeches of both those eminent counsel to the jury. As it has been our purpose to give to the learned professions and to the world an accurate and well executed report of one of the most interesting and extraordinary criminal trials that ever occurred in our country, and believing that such purpose is answered in the following pages, we commit the volume to the public with the hope that it will be found every respect interesting, truthful and satisfactory.
THE PUBLISHERS. •