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the witness is guilty of perjury, and the rule is that you must set the whole aside.
Gentlemen of the jury, the cause is submitted to you. Retire to your room and make up your verdict. If you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the prisoner at the bar is guilty of the crime charged against him, you must find him guilty; if not satisfied of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find him not guilty.11
At 8:30 a. m. the Jury entered the courtroom and took their seats in the jury box. JUDGE BAILEY shortly after took his seat on the bench and ordered the prisoner to be brought into court. The prisoner was brought in, in custody of the jailer and deputy sheriff, accompanied by his wife and three children. His Honor instructed the clerk to call the jurors by name and ask them if they had agreed upon a verdict. They all answered to their names and replied that they had agreed.
The Clerk. Who shall say for you? Benjamin Patrick, the fore
The Clerk. George Washington Carawan, hold up your right hand. The prisoner rose, and looked calmly upon the foreman of the jury.
The Clerk. Look upon the prisoner, you that have been sworn; what say you is he guilty of the felony whereof he stands indicted or not guilty?
Mr. Patrick (the foreman).
The Prisoner took his seat without moving a muscle, and bending over whispered to Mr. Satterthwaite.
Mr. Bryan complained to the Court that the verdict had been taken before all the prisoner's counsel had arrived, and asked that the jury be polled.
The JUDGE said that Mr. Satterthwaite had been in attendance and that the verdict had been rendered.
Mr. Bryan insisted that it was a right which the prisoner was entitled to, as the verdict had not been recorded.
The JUDGE ordered the jury to be polled.
The Clerk called each juror by name, and asked him, "Guilty or Not Guilty?" The prisoner fixed his gaze intently on each juror as he responded to the question, "Guilty."
The Clerk. Gentlemen of the jury, hearken to your verdict, as the Court has recorded it. You say that George Washington Cara
11 The JUDGE first charged the Jury that they must reject entirely the testimony of Sawyer. He called them back after they had retired to correct this.
wan is guilty of the felony and murder whereof he stands indicted. So say you all.
Gentlemen of the jury you are discharged.
While the Clerk was reading the verdict of the jury the prisoner, who still looked calm, was observed with great deliberation, to unbutton his vest and open his shirt bosom, but his countenance betraying no evil purpose, the movement excited no suspicion.
The JUDGE. The court will take a recess of an hour.
As the Judge announced the recess the prisoner drew a singlebarreled, self-cocking pistol, rose from his seat in a half-standing posture, leaned forward, thrusting his arm between the heads of Messrs. Bryan and Satterthwaite, took deliberate aim at Mr. Warren (who, with Mr. Solicitor Stevenson, was standing six feet in front of him), and fired. The ball struck just above the heart, and passing through the lapel of his coat and cutting the cloth on the breast struck the padding, and fell to the floor.
The prisoner dropped this pistol and instantly taking another applied it to his temple. Mr. Hinton, deputy sheriff, seized his arm, and pulled it down to the railing of the box, but could get it no further. During this struggle the prisoner, with great coolness, leaned his head against the muzzle of the pistol and fired, the ball entering the right side of the skull considerably behind and somewhat above the ear, and traversing the brain until it lodged just over the left eye. The prisoner dropped on his seat, his head fallen upon his bosom, bleeding profusely. He died in a few minutes.
THE PRISONER'S LAST NIGHT.
After the Judge had concluded his first charge to the jury, the prisoner was highly elated with the idea of a speedy acquittal. On being remanded to jail, he told his wife that the jury would acquit him, and he intended to go to Hyde County the next morning in the steamboat. She told him that he was not prepared to go, but that she would go home and get him some clean shirts to take with him.
After the Judge had charged the jury a second time as to the weight due the testimony of Carawan Sawyer, the principal witness, the prisoner was greatly dejected. He declard from that moment that the jury would convict him, and acted according to this belief up to the moment of his death. On being taken from the dungeon to the room above to be locked up for the night, he told his wife and children that he wished them to stay with him. Said he, "I shall be condemned tomorrow and then they will fasten me up in this place and you will never be permitted to see me again until I am taken out to be hung." On first entering the dungeon, while the jailor was present, he remarked that it was not worth while for him to take off his clothes, as he could not sleep. He did take off his coat, however, and hung it on the bedstead. After the jailor left and the children had been put to bed, he undressed and lay down for awhile, then rose again, saying he could not sleep. He sat up and walked the
floor nearly all night, conversing with his wife and giving her directions about the management of his affairs. In the morning, was taken from the dungeon, and conducted again to the room in the story above. While there, he calmly shaved himself and ate a hearty breakfast. He manifested great concern to know what the verdict would be, and went several times to the grates of his window, to inquire from passers in the street. At one time he called a gentleman, a citizen of Washington, with whom he was well acquainted, and requested him to go to the hotel where the jury had slept and inquire what the verdict was, and then come and let him know. This gentleman did not return, and this gave him great uneasiness. Before leaving the jail, he wrote something on a slip of paper (which has never been found), and delivering the inkstand and his spectacles to his wife, told her to put them away and be careful not to spill the ink. When she turned from him to put away these things, he had the slip of paper folded between his fingers. It has never been seen since. On leaving the prison to hear the verdict, he said good-bye to the negroes and other prisoners, saying that they would never see him again. He shook the jailer's wife by the hand and bade her farewell; and when he entered the street he was in tears. These were soon dried, and he entered the court room calm and undaunted.
THE CONFESSION OF CARAWAN'S NEGRO SERVANT.
Carawan had a favorite slave named Seth, in whom he placed great confidence. This boy assisted his master in burying the body of Lassiter. But by the laws of North Carolina, as of all the slaveholding States, a negro could not be a witness against a white man. After the death of Carawan the negro's confession was published and is as follows:
On Monday night, just before dark (the day Lassiter was murdered), while Seth was feeding the horses in the stable, his master came to him and told him he wanted him to take an oath to keep a secret that he was going to tell him, and made him take the oath. He told him that he had killed Lassiter, and that he must go and help him bury the body; to get a pair of leading lines (such as he used to guide the horses in ploughing), and go with him down on the turnpike. The boy got the lines; but, as they were about to start, he asked his master if he was going to leave Carawan Sawyer, and a free negro boy, who was then living with Carawan at home whilst they were gone? Carawan answered that he was not; and then went to the house and sent Sawyer and the free boy to Bell's, as stated during the trial. When they got to the Yankee field, Carawan took a strong rail from a fence, and when they got to the two pines, Carawan led the way a few yards into the bushes, and there lay the body of Lassiter. The coat had been taken from the body and doubled up under it. Carawan said he had done this to keep the blood from running on the ground. He told the negro that he had concealed himself close to the two pines, and just as Lassiter had passed, he rose up to shoot him. In taking aim he stepped on a
dead bush, which broke down under his foot. The noise attracting Lassiter's attention, he turned partly round and saw him. He cried out, "O God!" and fell. He rose straight up again, but fell instantly. Carawan sprang into the road, seized the body and threw it into the bushes, and then with his hand scraped up the blood in the road, and casting it into the ditch, threw some pieces of juniper wood upon it. He then went to the body and dragged it farther off from the road, took off the coat, doubled it up and laid the body upon it, so that the coat was directly under the wounds.
The first thing Carawan and the negro did was to put the coat on the body. They tied him to the rail and first attempted to take him through the woods direct from the pines to the spot back of the Yankee field selected by Carawan for the burying place. In the darkness they found it impracticable to go through that way. They accordingly took the body up the turnpike to the east end of the Yankee field, and then carried it into the woods. They had much difficulty and fell with the body several times. On such occasions Carawan would fly into a passion, and kick both the negro and the body, sometimes stamping the latter. When they reached the spot where Carawan had previously fixed upon, they laid the body down, untied it, and prepared to bury it. Carawan first cut the turf with a knife, took it off and laid it aside, the negro helping as he was wanted. They then commenced digging the grave with sticks, taking the dirt out with their hands and putting it into their hats and then throwing it into the woods. They did this in order to leave no dirt above the grave. Finding this process difficult and tedious, Carawan ordered the negro to go to the house and get a hoe. He said he was afraid to go. Carawan insisted, and the negro started, concluding in his own mind to go to the neighbors and betray him. But before he had gone fifty yards Carawan called him back. They then put the body as well as they could into the hole they had partially dug, and covering it over temporarily with the turf, left it and went home, taking the rail and line with them. On Wednesday, which was a rainy day, Carawan went out alone with a hoe, and completed the work of burial.
The negro said that as soon as the body of Lassiter was found, Carawan came into the woods, where he and Sawyer were cutting wood, and told them that Lassiter was found, and he was going away, as he would be hung if he stayed there-that he should send for his family, and wanted Sawyer to come with them. He then took the negro with him to the turnpike and told him to go up on the road, and see if anybody was in sight either way. On his reporting there was no one, Carawan crossed the canal, and the negro saw no more of him, till he came back from Tennessee. He was constantly on the lookout for his return. He was afraid if Carawan came back and caught him he would kill him. He saw some one cross the yard and go into the house, and as soon as he became satisfied it was Carawan he ran with all his might to one of the neighbors and told him his master had come back.
THE TRIAL OF STEPHEN MERRILL CLARK FOR ARSON, SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, 1821.
In the town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1820 there had been a series of incendiary fires, so that when between two and three o'clock on the morning of August 19, while the ruins of a building, set afire the night before, were still smoking, the inhabitants were alarmed by the renewal of the fearful outery, which had so often broken the silence and slumbers of midnight, it recalled them to all the horrors of that remorseless element, to which their habitations and property seemed to have been doomed a prey. The fire began in a stable, then spread to a dwelling in which a whole family were asleep and with great difficulty escaped with their lives. There were destroyed in a few hours, three dwelling houses and six other valuable buildings, with most of their contents, and a number of persons were put in imminent hazard of perishing in the flames.
A boy only sixteen years of age named Stephen Clark1 was
1 STEPHEN MERRELL CLARK, a younger son of Moses Clark, of Newburyport, was born in that town August 20, 1804. At an early age he betrayed a stubborn and refractory spirit, often too turbulent for control. As he advanced in years it became more and more visible that mischief was his element, and falsehood and profanity became so habitual to him that a lie, or an oath were usually on his tongue, and the most vulgar insolence and abuse to his superiors were his characteristic traits. At the age of 14, he was brought before a magistrate for an assault and battery committed upon an old man. In petty thefts he was frequently detected, and was also suspected of much more heineous depredations, as he often showed sums of money to an amount far beyond any honest means of obtaining them, which he was known to possess. At the age of 13 he was placed in the service of his brother to learn the trade of a baker; but was shortly sent away on account of his bad conduct. He was then apprenticed to learn the trade of a cooper; but after three weeks' gross misconduct and several thefts from his master, he absconded. From this time for several years he loitered about the streets without