January 18, 2013

Attempt to Steal, Leak Manuscript from Harper's, 1842

From the New York Semi-Weekly Express, New York, NY on December 31st, 1842:

Audacious Roguery.

We suppose that nobody who reads the newspaper is ignorant that one of the publishing establishments of the Harpers was considerably damaged by fire, some months ago; but some may not know that strong suspicion existed at the time, that the fire was not accidental, but was wilfully caused to hide the theft of a copy or copies of a new work, then just printed and ready for publication.  An occurrence on Saturday evening tends strongly to confirm this suspicion.

The Harpers have received, lately, a new work from Sir E. L. Bulwer, in manuscript, and its speedy publication has been announced.  Of course great care has been taken to prevent a copy from "leaking out;" but on Saturday evening, when Mr. F. Harper went to the ware room to set loose the dog, he found a light burning in the office, a man's hat upon the desk and on the floor a hammer, which had been used in breaking open the desk.

The burglar had evidently been startled from his work by the noise of Mr. Harper's approach, but as all the doors and windows were closed and fastened, it is presumed that he did not break in but concealed himself on the premises some time during the day. 

His object is supposed to have been a copy of the new Bulwer novel: but it is believed that he did not succeed in getting one--at least not a perfect one.--We believe that a reward will be offered for any disclosures that may lead to the detection of this darling plunderer.--Com. Adv.

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