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[225] comic, that he seldom alluded to it without, apparently, falling into a paroxysm of mirth. Some of his most humorous passages were written in connection with what he called “the Cooperage of the Tribune.” To that affair, therefore, it is proper that a short chapter should be devoted, before pursuing further the History of the Tribune.

The matter alleged to be libellous appeared in the Tribune, Nov. 17th, 1841. The trial took place at Saratoga, Dec. 9th, 1842. Mr. Greeley defended the suit in person, and, on returning to New York, wrote a long and ludicrous account of the trial, which occupied eleven columns and a quarter in the Tribune of Dec. 12th. For that number of the paper there was such a demand, that the account of the trial was, soon after, re-published in a pamphlet, of which this chapter will be little more than a condensation.

The libel—such as it was—the reader may find lurking in the following epistle:

Mr. Fenimore Cooper and his libels.

Fonda, Nov. 17, 1841.
To the editor of the Tribune:—

The Circuit Court now sitting here is to be occupied chiefly with the legal griefs of Mr. Fenimore Cooper, who has determined to avenge himself upon the Press for having contributed by its criticisms to his waning popularity as a novelist.

The “handsome Mr. Effingham” has three cases of issue here, two of which are against Col. Webb, Editor of the Courier and Enquirer, and one against Mr. Weed, Editor of the Albany Evening Journal.

Mr. Weed not appearing on Monday, (the first day of court,) Cooper moved for judgment by default, as Mr. Weed's counsel had not arrived. Col. Webb, who on passing through Albany, called at Mr. Weed's house, and learned that his wife was seriously and his daughter dangerously ill, requested Mr. Sacia to state the facts to the Court, and ask a day's delay, Mr. Sacia made, at the same time, an appeal to Mr. Cooper's humanity. But that appeal, of course, was an unavailing one. The novelist pushed his advantage. The Court, however, ordered the cause to go over till the next day, with the understanding that the default should be entered then if Mr. Weed did not appear. Col. Webb then despatched a messenger to Mr. Weed with this information. The messenger returned with a letter from Mr. Weed, stating that his daughter lay very ill, and that he would not leave her while she was suffering or in danger. Mr. Cooper, therefore, immediately moved for his default. Mr. Sacia interposed again for time, but it was denied. A jury was empanelled

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