Craven | John J.

Prison Life of Jefferson Davis

First Edition



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First edition of Prison Life of Jefferson Davis by John J. Craven.

Octavo, x, [11]-377pp, [6pp ads]. Green cloth, publisher’s seal stamped in blind to covers. Title in gilt on spine. No additional printings listed on copyright page. Shelf wear to boards, light soiling to spine. Faint toning throughout, foxing to leafends, a very good example. From the private library of Benjamin Franklin Washington of San Francisco, with his ownership note on title page. Bookplate affixed to front endpaper. (Nevins I, pp. 189) (Sabin 17429) Features woodcut frontispiece of Dr. Craven with Davis in his jail cell.

It is widely believed that Bvt. Lt. Col. John Craven was not the author of this “widely read” history of Jefferson Davis, but was in-fact the journalist Charles G. Halpine. The work painted a favorable picture of the former president of the confederacy and helped to secure his release from prison after a year. Jefferson Davis read a copy of the book while imprisoned at Camp Monroe and noted many inaccurate passages and quotations. (Eischer, 157). A revised work was published in 1987 titled “Fiction Distorting Fact,” Prison Life, Annotated by Jefferson Davis by Edward K. Eckert.

Additional information

Location Published

New York


Carleton, Publisher


First Edition

Date Published





Very Good


Craven | John J.

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John J. Craven