Disproved? How when where? Although it is known that it cannot be proved conclusively that Daniel Defoe was indeed Captain Charles Johnson, the opposite cannot be proven conclusively either. In fact the evidence is stronger in favor of Charles Johnson being a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe than the opposite. No record of any Captain Charles Johnson has ever been found, among the copious amounts of circumstantial evidence in favor of him being Daniel Defoe. If you want examples, I'll be glad to provide, and if there is conclusive evidence that it is not, please provide it because without anything to back up that statement it is nothing but speculation.
Its publication certainly matches Defoe's interest and publication in "true crime" works. In 1724 he was studying Jack Sheppard and was profiling prostitutes and, of course, Jonathan Wild. Furthermore, he was a whig and would have seen the play by Charles Johnson the playwright. Then again, there were several people writing criminal catalogs. No one can prove a negative without asserting a positive. Geogre 03:19, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The attribution to Defoe is from the 1939 "Defoe in the Pillory and other studies" by Moore. More recent scholorship (see the 1988 The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe by Furbank and Owens).