Home Contact Us Order Form Encyclopedia of New York State
Syracuse University Press  
   
New Books New books Spring 2017 book catalog Fall 2016 Books Seasonal Catalog Archive Books by Subject Awards Course Adoption Exam Copies Desk Copies Books by Title Books by Author Author Guidelines Order Information Domestic Orders International Orders Sales Representatives Request Reprint Permissions Contact Us Media About the Press Giving Join Mailing List
FALL 2003 CATALOG

The William Freeman Murder Trial
Insanity, Politics, and Race

 
 
Andrew W. Arpey

Cloth $24.95    |    0-8156-0791-1    |   2003

An explosive account of a brutal multiple murder in Upstate New York, which triggered one of the first American trials to employ the insanity defense.

Description
Antebellum culture is spectacularly exposed in this book of horrific multiple murder and madness in Upstate New York. Andrew W. Arpey offers insight into subjects that will have broad appeal to historians and scholars of law, journalism, religion, psychiatry, politics, race, and reform.

Drawing on newspapers, trial accounts, and private papers, Arpey shows the political machinations surrounding the case and the heated debate the trial set off over the relationship of race and crime, the use of punishment, and the boundaries of legal responsibility. His superb reconstruction of the trial, the motivations of its many actors, and the trial's status in American history place this book alongside the best crime novels.

In 1846 William Freeman, a young man of African and Native American descent, stabbed to death four members of the Van Nest family with no apparent motive. His victims, all of whom were white, included an elderly woman, her pregnant daughter, and her two-year-old grandson. Freeman was quickly apprehended, but his mental health soon became a matter of controversy. Led by the future secretary of state William H. Seward, his counsel entered the first insanity plea in the state's history.

The Van Nest killings and the trial of William Freeman, though illustrative of many aspects of antebellum society and culture, have never received in-depth scholarly attention. Arpey's investigation into the case yields a wide range of provocative insights that are invaluable to a critical understanding of New York history, legal debate, and race matters in American history.

Author
Andrew W. Arpey is a historian and archivist for the New York State Archives.

6 x 9, 224 pages, 5 black and white illustrations, bibliography, index



 William Freeman Murder Trial Next Book in Catalog Order Direct Join Our Mailing List
 
line  

Syracuse University Press
621 Skytop Road, Suite 110
Syracuse, New York 13244-5290
Phone: 315-443-5534
Fax: 315-443-5545
Email: supress@syr.edu
Website: www.SyracuseUniversityPress.syr.edu

home   new books   books by subject   seasonal catalog archive  awards   books in print   facebook   twitter   blog   exam copies   desk copies   author guidelines   domestic orders   international orders   sales reps   requesting reprint permissions   contact us   media   giving   newsletter   resources   mailing list   about


© 1999-2017 Syracuse University Press, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

syracuse web site design: CustomWebHelp.com