Thursday, May 11, 2017

James E. Munson: Popular Shorthand Publisher and Reporter of “the Scandal of a Generation.”

James E. Munson, one of the top three best-selling shorthand authors and publishers in the U.S. during the 19th century, was hired by the New York Sun to report the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher trial in January 1875. A prominent minister and one of the most famous men in America, Beecher had been sued for “criminal conversation” by one of his longtime friends and confidants, Theodore Tilton, for having an affair with Tilton’s wife, Elizabeth. Munson turned in a full transcript of the trial to his editors, every day from January to June 1875.

Additional information about Munson and the origins of official court reporting in the U.S. can be found in Guardians of the Record, which can be purchased by clicking on its cover in the right hand column.

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