Monday, June 10, 2013

"and presented pistols, bowie knives, dirks, &c. . . . and all this in open Court."

"From the Marion Ohio Visiter

   "Disgraceful Occurrence.--Tuesday morning last presented a scene of confusion and excitement never before witnessed in our peaceful village. It appears that a negro (well known to our citizens by the name of Bill) was sometime since taken up as a runaway slave from Virginia and lodged in the jail this county for trial. On Monday, the day set for his trial, we discovered an unusual number of persons assembled hear the result--the house was crowded to overflowing. The witnesses were examined and counsel heard; the Judge, however reserved his decision until the following morning.

   "It being the first day of the sitting of the Court of Common Pleas, a great mass of people had assembled. At 10 o' clock, A.M. the Court was called (the house was literally crowded) to hear the decision of the Judge, which occupied at least 40 minutes in delivering, during which the greatest order prevailed; but as soon as the Hon. O. Bowen had finished by declaring th prisoner free, all was confusion, riot and disorder.

   "As soon as the decision was ended the pretended owners seized the prisoner; the by-standers resisted and endeavored to rescue him, declaring him to be free and desiring them to let him run at large, but the Virginians still maintained their position by force, and presented pistols, bowie knives, dirks, &c., threatening the lives of those who would lay hands on them or the negro, and all this in open Court. Our citizens and friends from the country stood out in defence of their trampled and insulted laws, which were thus set at defiances. In the scene of confusion the negro was taken down stair and dragged by his captors through the streets. Those who forced him onward were armed with pistols, bowie knives and daggers. At this unusual and horrible sight, the populace became enraged and attacked them with stones and whatever missiles they could get hold of. They at length succeeded in getting him into one of our justices' office and there guarded him (as is started) for a new trial. Before the door of the office the excited multitude assembled, demandingjustice and the negro, but all of no avail--the entrance was guarded with pistols and bowie knives. At this time the Sheriff arrived and begged to be heard, and requested the mob to disperse, but this was also of no effect. At length the cry for the public arms was made, the arsenal broken open and the arms obtained, which presented a horrible spectacle. The excited populace under arms still demanded entrance, which was refused. All the orders of the Sheriff and Court to restore order seemed to be of no effect. Pistols and bowie knives were all the law.

   "At length one of the Associate Judges (Judge Anderson) who had left the bench, in defiance of cocked pistols and flashing steel, forced his way into the office, after which others followed, and burst open the back door, by which means the negro made his escape. He had ran but a short distance, when he was overtaken by his pursuer, who threatened him with a presented pistol, to shoot him, if he did not stop. At this time a number of the enraged multitude fell upon the pursuer and knocked him down, another who came to his assistance shared the same fate. The confusion continued until orders were given to arrest the rioters. During the arrest of the rioters the negro made his escape and has not since been heard of.

   "We would further remark that the rioters (we believe eight in number) were the same day arrested, and recognized to appear from day to day, under bonds of $600 each."--The New Yorker. A WEEKLY JOURNAL OF LITERATURE, POLITICS, STATISTICS AND GENERAL INTELLIGENCE; CONTAINING Original and Selected Tales, Essays, Reviews, Poems, Anedotes, &c. & c. WITH NOTICES OF AND EXTRACTS FROM NEW BOOKS OF INTEREST; FULL ACCOUNTS OF ALL ELECTIONS, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC NEWS, IMPORTANT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS, GENERAL EDITORIAL COMMENTS, &c. With Twenty-Two Pieces of Music, Arranged for the Piano, Flute, &c. HORACE GREELEY, PARK BENJAMIN, EDITORS. VOL. VII.--MARCH TO SEPTEMBER 1839 NEW-YORK. PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY H. GREELEY & CO. NO. 1 ANN ST. 1839.     

No comments: