> Martin Stower wrote:
> "Faint marks were repainted, some were new."
> That sounds pretty 'committal', at least to the extent that not
> all marks there are original.
> How do you interpret "repainted" and "new", Martin?
Perhaps if you didn’t get it, you should have thought a little bit harder about what I might have meant.
“Faint marks were repainted, some were new.” This is stated baldly. We’re given no indication whatsoever of how Humphries Brewer came to know it. We’re certainly not told that he witnessed an act of forgery by a named individual. That would be real commitment. What’s suggested is something more like an inference, of a kind which could be mistaken: Humphries, having presumably an excellent visual memory, sees marks where (his memory tells him) no marks were before, or (more subtly) marks which seem merely clearer than they were — and which ones? Where is the detail? Where do we see Allen committing himself on specific marks having been repainted or forged? Nowhere. How seriously can we take a claim which intrinsically concerns detail, when there is no detail?
Any why is there no detail? Why, if Humphries was so heroically indignant about what he’d seen did he not document it? Why did he remain silent for the rest of his life, even after he emigrated (in 1849); even after R. W. H. Howard Vyse died (in 1853); even after he became a US citizen (in 1859); even after his remaining family in England had joined him in PA (in 1864)? Why did he not leave a signed affidavit? Why is the evidence so weak?