Hamburg: H. A. Kahlbrock, 1876. Item #050562
Ausfühlich beschrieben und mit einem Liede versehen. [Early 1876?] p., original folded sheet (tears along some edges), b/w portrait of the perpetrator on the front cover. A gruesam German news account of the horrible dynamite explosion during the loading of the steamer Mosel in Bremerhaven on December 11, 1875, which killed 81 and injuured another fifty people (including the terrorist perpetrator and Canadian blockade runner during the American Civil War, Alexander "Sandy" Keith, Jr., who then attempted suicide. Keith, born 1827 and headquarterd in Halifax, Nova Scotia, assisted Confederate States of America blockade runners during the American Civil War in supplying shoddy supplies for exorbitant prices. By 1863, the U.S. War Department had identified him as a Confederate agent. After the war, he hid near St. Louis, and then left New York on January 13, 1866 to Germany, eventually living in Dresden under the alias William King Thompson. By 1873 he had teamed up with a Leipzig clockmaker, working on spring-loaded triggering devices for dynamite detonation. His scheme involved boarding American-bound ships with timed barrels of dynamite on board, sending ransom demands via telegraph to American victims, and then departing the ship during a final stop-over in England. However, the first barrel bomb was accidentally dropped during the cargo loading of the Mosel, killing many boarding passengers, dockworkers, and other victims (Keith himself being badly wounded). He later attempted suicide, but finally died from his injuries within a few days. There are a few surviving Pinkerton records on Keith, as agents followed him to Germany. German news accounts were fascinated (including a popular song with lyrics in this pamphlet) by the murderous intent of the "Dynamite Fiend", his greed, and the extortion plans, but the story lost newsworthy attraction by the summer of 1876. Extremely scarce account of this 19th-century terrorist.