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the yard was a neighbor's pond where he kept a number of ducks, who, on that day crept through into Mr. Chapman's yard, and when they returned they were seen to fall over and die to the number of twenty or thirty. Those that died were young ducks. There were four old ducks too large to get into Mr. Chapman's yard, and they did not die. Those that died were buried, and some time afterwards, on examination, the bones and the craw were found in perfect preservation, and covered with something in "little fine pieces, and they fairly glittered they were so white."
Mr. Chapman's remains having been removed from the grave, on the 21st of September, a post-mortem examination was made by Dr. Hopkinson with a view of deciding whether Mr. Chapman's death was caused by poison. Dr. Hopkinson took the stomach from the body, and placing it in a glass jar, carried to Dr. Jno. K. Mitchell's laboratory in Philadelphia. Dr. Reynell Coates assisted Dr. Hopkinson in his examination of the body, and Dr. Mitchell proceeded, with Thomas G. Clemson, to analyze the stomach and contents.
The stomach was very nearly or entirely empty. It was washed and the water in which it was washed, with whatever was taken from the stomach, was submitted to various tests, from which it was ascertained that arsenic did exist in the liquid, in the state of arsenical acid, in combination with lime. The stomach itself was dissolved in nitric acid, and the solution was submitted to several tests, for the discovery of arsenic or other poison in metallic form; which, however, could not be done. Parts of the resultant was placed in a glass tube, and heated over a spirit lamp, in order to produce the arsenical rings, which would have been conclusive proof of the presence of arsenic. No such rings appeared. The heat of the lamp broke the tube. Mr. Clemson exclaimed, "Is any one subliming arsenic in the room?" and smelling the tube, said he was confident that there was arsenic there. The testimony concerning the proof of the
5 Benjamin Boutcher, p. 127.
presence of arsenic, from an alliaceous odor was somewhat contradictory. Mr. Clemson testified, in his cross-examination, that "a man can smell the shadow of a shade of arsenic;" but Dr. Mitchell would not allow the single comparative fact of the presence of the smell to form any part of the foundation of his opinion.
Dr. Bache, who was a witness for the defendant, declared it as his opinion that the odor was not to be depended upon, because some substances have some analogy in odor. And Dr. Togno, another witness for the defendant, "would not rely on the alliaceous odor." Dr. Coates testified that "a man may die by arsenic, and from vomiting and purging no trace of it afterwards be found."
The day after Mr. Chapman's death, Mrs. Smith came to the house for the purpose of placing her two children at Mrs. Chapman's school. She saw Mina but observed nothing uncommon in the state of the family. She carried her children there four or five weeks afterwards, and found Mrs. Chapman in the utmost grief. After a few words of preface, Mrs. Chapman, said to Mrs. Smith, "This young man, of whom you have heard me speak, who has been boarding with me, I fear has turned out an impostor." She then gave Mrs. Smith a history of her acquaintance with Mina, adding, that "if the consul's sister had not told her that this young gentleman was a gentleman of large fortune, I should not have been deceived." And she went on to say that, just before he left her, Mina asked her for her watch. She told him that he had Mr. Chapman's already; but he said he wanted hers, as a memento of regard. He took the watch, giving her a chain, and saying, "I give it to you in return for the watch. When I come back you shall have it." He then went away, taking all the money in the house. Mrs. Chapman finding the chain irritated her neck, took it to a jeweler, who told her it was nothing but brass. "I then made up my mind that I hoped he would never come back;" and he never did until he came under the charge of an officer.6
Mrs. Smith, p. 129.
On the 15th of July, Mrs. Chapman was secretly married to Mina, who immediately set out for the North.
The Recorder of Philadelphia, hearing that Mina had obtained money in Washington and elsewhere under false pretenses, went, about the last of August, to Mrs. Chapman's and told her his suspicions of Mina, and asked her if he had plundered her of her property. She answered, "No," pretty promptly. He asked her if it was possible that he had five hundred dollars of the notes of the Farmers' Bank, in Bucks County, when he left Bucks to go to Baltimore. She immediately answered that it was impossible. He then told her of an advertisement of his having lost that sum in notes upon that bank, and that he had used that advertisement for the purpose of defrauding several persons in Washington and that, therefore, it was his duty to see that he was arrested. The recorder then asked her if nothing had occurred within her observation to make her suspect that Mina had administered poison to her husband. There was a "very marked effect upon her countenance" when his meaning besame plain to her. She made a great effort to recover herself and succeeded and answered, No; she had seen nothing of the kind. She then detailed to the recorder the circumstances of her husband's death, and of Mina's departure, after which the recorder returned to Philadelphia.
On the 10th of September, Mrs. Chapman went to the recorder's office, in Philadelphia, and told him she had been deceived and injured by Mina, and asked the recorder to give her advice in her trouble. He told her that she had been very imprudent, and that it was very difficult to advise her; that one course only could possibly do any good-to convince the public that she had been through the whole a victim of deception; and that she ought to show her sincerity by aiding, by all means in her power, to bring Mina to justice. She then gave him details of his conduct, and of their marriage, and showed him a certificate from the Mexican Minister, resident at Washington, certifying that Mina and Mrs. Chapman were lawfully man and wife. The moment the recorder saw it, he knew and said it was a forgery, and
he must retain it to enable him to detain Mina on a charge of forgery in Pennsylvania."
In September, Mina was arrested in Boston, and both he and Mrs. Chapman were indicted at the Court of Oyer and Terminer, at Doylestown, for the murder of William Chapman, by poison. Mrs. Chapman was tried first and no less than twenty-five witnesses were called for the prosecution, and twenty-three for the defense. Judge Fox charged the jury rather in Mrs. Chapman's favor though he said that from the evidence, was clear that arsenic was found in Mr. Chapman's stomach. The jury after two hours' deliberation brought in a verdict of not guilty.
In the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, February, 1832.
HON. JOHN Fox, President.
HON. WILLIAM WATTS,
On December 14, 1831, the Grand Jury for the County of Bucks returned an indictment for murder against Lucretia
7 J. McIlvane, p. 144.
8 Bibliography. "Trial of Lucretia Chapman, otherwise called Lucretia Espos Y Mina, who was jointly indicted with Lino Amalia Espos Y Mina, for the Murder of William Chapman, Esq., late of Andalusia, County of Bucks, Pennsylvania. Prepared for publication by William E. Du Bois, student of law. Philadelphia: Published by G. W. Mentz & Son. 1832."
"Celebrated Trials of all Countries and Remarkable Cases of Criminal Jurisprudence. Selected by a Member of the Philadelphia Bar. Philadelphia: Jasper Harding. 1847."
"The Life and Confession of Carolino Estrades de Mina, Executed at Doylestown, June 21, 1832, for poisoning with arsenic, William Chapman. Written by himself in the Spanish Language while under sentence of death in the jail at Doylestown, and delivered by him to the Sheriff of Bucks County with a request to have the same translated into English. Philadelphia: Robert De Silver. 1832.”
"The Confession of Mina, the Spaniard, who was executed at
Chapman, widow, "otherwise called Lucretia Espos y Mina,' and Lino Amalia Espos y Mina, "otherwise called Amalia Gregoria Zanier," by mixing poison in chicken soup, with intent to kill William Chapman, and from the effects of which he died. There were three counts, in the first and second of which the woman and man were jointly charged with the murder, and in the third the man was charged with having "instigated and procured the woman to do the act." The proceedings had been adjourned at the request of the prisoners' counsel and the trial set for today.
Thomas Ross,10 Deputy Attorney General, and William B. Reed,11 for the Commonwealth.
David Paul Brown 12 and Peter McCall,13 for Lucretia Chapman.
Samuel Rush 14 and E. T. McDowell,15 for Espos y Mina.
Doylestown, Penn., on the liam Chapman, written by English. Doylestown, Pa. *"Mysteries of Crime, as shown in Remarkable Criminal Trials. By a Member of the Massachusetts Bar. Illustrated. Boston: Samuel Walker & Co. 1870."
21st June, 1832, for the murder of Wilhimself in Spanish and translated into Printed for the Publisher. 1832."
9 Fox, JOHN. (1787-1849.) Born Philadelphia. Graduated University of Pennsylvania, 1803. Studied law with Alexander J. Dallas, and was admitted to the Bar in 1807, at Newtown, Pa. Removed to Doylestown, 1813. Deputy Attorney General, 1814, and held office for fourteen years, broken only by his service as Major in the War of 1812. Presided over the Courts of Bucks and Montgomery counties, Pa., 1830-1841. See Battle Hist. of Bucks Co., Davis Hist. of Bucks Co. (2nd ed.), Univ. of Pa. Biog. Cat. of Matric.
10 ROSS, THOMAS. Graduated Princeton, 1825, and admitted to Bar in 1829. Deputy Attorney General (now called District Attorney) of Pennsylvania and Representative for Bucks and Lehigh counties in the 31st and 32nd Congresses (1849-1853). Died in 1865. See Battle Hist. of Bucks Co.
11 REED, WILLIAM BRADFORD. (1806-1886.) Born Philadelphia. Lawyer, Diplomatist, Author. Attorney General of Pennsylvania, 1838; United States Minister to China, 1858. Died in New York City. 12 See 1 Am. St. Tr. 371.
13 MCCALL, PETER. (1809-1880.) Born Trenton, N. J. Became a leading lawyer of Philadelphia and was Mayor of that city in 1844. Author of "Rise and Progress of Civil Society," "History of Pennsylvania Law and Equity." Died in Philadelphia.
14 RUSH, SAMUEL. (1795-1859.) Born Philadelphia. Graduated University of Pennsylvania, 1812. A.M., 1816. Admitted to Bar,