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Histories of Three-Fingered Jack: A Bibliography
Texts Following Benjamin Moseley


Benjamin Moseley, a British surgeon, lived in Jamaica from 1768, and was present in 1780 and 1781, when accounts of the ‘daring freebooter Three Fingered Jack’ appeared regularly in the Jamaican newspaper The Royal Gazette. In 1799 he published the account of Jack’s story that would form the basis of almost every future retelling. It formed part of an appendix to a longer work entitled A Treatise on Sugar. Moseley’s account of Jack was republished several times. Many later versions of Jack’s story incorporated part or all Moseley’s brief account, often without attribution.

Moseley, Benjamin 1799. A Treatise on Sugar. London: G. G. and J. Robinson. 195 pages. The discussion of Three-Fingered Jack is on pages 173-180. Available at: British Library; Institute for Commonwealth Studies Library, University of London; University of London Library (Senate House); Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Moseley, Benjamin 1800. A Treatise on Sugar. With Miscellaneous Medical Observations. Second edition, with considerable additions. London: G. G. and J. Robinson. Iv + 276 pages. The discussion of Three-Fingered Jack is on pages 197-205. Available at: British Library; University of London Library (Senate House); Edinburgh University Library; Wellcome Library; Cambridge University Library; Bath Medical Library, Bristol University; National Library of Scotland (on microfilm); Glagow University Library; Bodleian Library, Oxford University; Aberdeen University Library; Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Moseley, Benjamin. 1800. Medical tracts. I. On sugar. II. On the cow-pox. III. On the yaws. IV. On obi; or African witchcraft. V. On the plague; and yellow fever of America. VI. On hospitals. VII. On bronchocele. VIII. On prisons. Second edition. London: printed by John Nichols for T. Cadell and W. Davies. Iv + 276 pages. This is same text as that of Moseley’s 1800 edition of A Treatise on Sugar, with a different cover. The ‘first edition’ referred to is the 1799 edition of A Treatise on Sugar. The discussion of Three-Fingered Jack is on pages 197-205.
Available at: Edinburgh University Library; Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)

Moseley, Benjamin. 1800. Obi; or the history of Three Fingered Jack by Dr Moseley To which is added, the voyages, travels, and long captivity of J. Massey who was shipwrecked on a desolate coast. Newcastle: M. Angus. Date is from British Library catalogue. Available at: British Library

Moseley, Benjamin. 2005. 'A Treatise on Sugar (extract)'. In Srinivas Aravamudan, ed, Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack, by William Earle. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview, 160-8. Aravamudan reproduces the section on Obi and Jack from Moseley’s 1799 edition of A Treatise on Sugar.

'Three Finger'd Jack'. Image reproduced courtesy of The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland

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