The Sin of Duelling: A Sermon Preached at Marblehead, on the Fifth of April, 1838:--A Day of Public Fasting and Prayer
Newburyport: Press of Hiram Tozer, 1838. Wrappers. Octavo. 18 pages. Near Fine. Original blue printed wraps over sewn binding. There are a few vertical creases to the pamphlet, along with a shallow chip along top edge of front cover and some small minor chipping to lower fore corner. A few insignificant spots of foxing along with a semicircular tidemark at top inner corner of title page.
A sermon likely in response to the February 24, 1838 pistol duel between two members of the U.S. Congress, resulting in the death of newly elected Representative Jonathan Cilley of Maine. Cilley had taken to the House floor and made allegations of bribery against a newspaper editor, who in turn dispatched Representative William Graves of Kentucky to deliver a letter of unknown content to Cilley. Cilley's refusal of the letter was interpreted by Graves as an insult upon his honor, and he challenged Cilley to a duel. The two men and their seconds--also Members of the House--met on the Marlborough Pike in Prince George's County, Maryland, where in an uncharacteristic third round Cilley was killed by Graves. Neither man had any known prior grievance against the other. Niles was Pastor of the First Church in Marblehead, Massachusetts and based this sermon on the passage in Genesis relating Cain's murder of his brother, Abel.