Collection: Stephen Griffin Collection >> Recollections of the life of John Binns : twenty-nine years in...
Recollections of the life of John Binns :
twenty-nine years in Europe and fifty-three in the United States /
written by himself, with anecdotes, political, historical, and miscellaneous. With a portrait.
|Main Creator:||Binns, John, 1772-1860.|
|Published / Created:||
Philadelphia : Printed and for sale by the author and by Parry and M'Millan, 1854.
LO 12787 is inscribed by Binns to a Thompson Westcott, law-reporter and local historian. Under the inscription is a note in pencil referring to the Binns trial tipped in at the back of the book. Tipped in at the back of the book is news-cutting : John Binns et Ux. versus Edward Lyons. (Philadelphia, date and publisher not identified) 4 pages.
Also issued online.
John Binns, (1772-1860), radical journalist, born in Dublin 22 December 1772. When he was about ten he and his elder brother, Benjamin, left the house of their mother's second husband and walked to Dublin, where they were taken in by their grandfather. In April 1794, the Binns brothers moved to London, where John joined the London Corresponding Society (LCS). Both he and his brother became involved in the shadowy organization of United Englishmen or United Britons, which linked extremist English radicals and Irish revolutionaries. The Binns brothers were closely involved with both Arthur O'Connor, editor of The Press, the semi-official paper of the United Irishmen, and Father James Coigley, a Catholic priest who acted as an emissaryfrom the United Irishmen to both France and the United Englishmen. Early in 1798, John travelled to Kent seeking to arrange passage to France for O'Connor and Coigley. Binns was arrested with O'Connor, Coigley, and their two servants. Charged with high treason, the five were imprisoned in the Tower of London. All were acquitted, except Coigley, who had been arrested with incriminating correspondence in his pocket, and who was executed on 7 June. In 1801, Binns left England for the United States, never to return. He settled in Pennsylvania, where he began a new career as a political journalist, printing house and book shop owner. In 1818 he published the first faithful reproduction of the Declaration of Independence. In 1806 he married another British emigrant, Mary Ann Baxter (c. 1783-1852?). He was an alderman of Philadelphia from 1822 to 1844. He died there in June 1860.
Tipped in at the back of the book : John Binns et Ux. versus Edward Lyons. Philadelphia : publisher not identified, date not identified. This circular, addressed to the Democratic Citizens of the City of Philadelphia, is in two parts ; the first two pages, dated Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1810, are an intemperate attack on the character of Binns by Jas. O'Coigley. An earlier accmplice of Binns, Father James Coigley, was executed by the English. It is hard to say if this is just a coincidence or a pseudonym. O'Coigley bases his defence of Lyons on some legal documents he was able to obtain. Pages 3 and 4 seem to be a summary of the tiral of Mr. Lyons in the Circuit Court of Northumberland County, 15 October, 1804, for "soliciting a certain Mary Baxter to swear falsely taht she was with child by John Binns." Lyons seems to have been a friend and benefactor of Binns and Baxter but had a falling out when Lyons found Binns in flagrante delicto with a servant and dismissed him from his house. Lyons was declared not guilty.
Physical description: 349 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
|Contained in:||Stephen Griffin Collection|
LO 12787: Stephen Griffin Collection