Download Full Text (1.6 MB)


Reply in English and French, dated November 27, 1808, of Philip Grymes of New Orleans, Louisiana, to former judge James Workman’s claim that Grymes was a coward for not agreeing to duel with him after insulting Workman. Grymes offered an apology to the public along with a copy of Workman’s indictment and acquittal of the high misdemeanor charge in 1807 when Workman had been accused of supporting an invasion of nearby Spanish colonies. The handbill was printed in reply to one by Workman after an incident during a superior court case involving a fellow opponent of Governor Claiborne. Newly-appointed district attorney Grymes accused Workman, acting on behalf of Edward Livingstone, of having a deep-rooted enmity to the government. Workman denied the charge and Grymes threw an inkpot at him. Both men were brought before presiding judge Joshua Lewis and fined twenty-five dollars and imprisoned for eight hours. Workman then challenged Grymes to a duel and published an account of the courtroom dispute with Grymes. As a result of what he regarded as tantamount to contempt of court, Lewis disbarred Workman. An Irishman with legal training, Workman (177?-1832) had moved to New Orleans in 1804 and became a secretary to Governor W.C.C. Claiborne. He was appointed a judge in Orleans County and a probate judge of Orleans Territory in 1805. He supported the liberation of Spain’s North American colonies through the Mexican Association and was arrested but acquitted after a trial that was linked to Aaron Burr’s conspiracy trial. This also destroyed his relationship with Claiborne and he lost his appointments. After his disbarment in 1808, he could not find work and left New Orleans in 1809. He returned in 1817 after Claiborne’s death and became a successful lawyer and was elected to the state legislature in 1830. Source: Bradley, Jared W. (ed.), "Interim Appointment: W.C.C. Claiborne Letter Book, 1804-1805", Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002, pp.389-414.







Philip Grymes handbill, New Orleans, 1808