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Mr. Maxwell expatiated on the relative duties of citizens towards that department of the police, whose rights were then under consideration. The lives and property of the citizens were guarded by the watchmen, during the hours of silence and repose; and in this city, every thing dear and valuable depended on the free and independent exercise of their duty. Whenever their rights were violated, the strong arm of public justice should be extended for their protection. On this occasion, he hoped, that the gallant, gay Lothario, who had so officiously interfered for a lady, whose husband was then present, ready to redress her wrongs, would receive the marked animadversion of the court and jury, however great might be the disparity in situation between himself and the prosecutor.
The COURT charged the jury that, in this affair, the interference of Farquhar was very questionable; and that if the jury believed the testimony on behalf of the prosecution, it would be their duty to find him guilty.
The Jury returned a verdict of Guilty as against Farquhar and Not Guilty as against Clark and the COURT sentenced the former to a fine of one hundred dollars.
THE TRIAL OF LUCRETIA CHAPMAN FOR THE MURDER OF WILLIAM CHAPMAN, ANDALUSIA, PENNSYLVANIA. 1832.
Lucretia Chapman was a native of Massachusetts; her maiden name was Henshaw. She was a woman of strong passions, of some education, and great activity, and was at the head of a boarding school in Philadelphia when she married William Chapman, a physician, who devoted his attention to the cure of persons afflicted with infirmity of speech. He was a man of little knowledge or decision of character, and his wife continued to be the active person in the establishment, which was removed after their marriage, to Andulusia, Pennsylvania.
One night in May, 1831, a young man, poorly dressed, and apparently fatigued with traveling, stopped at Mr. Chapman's and asked leave to spend the night there, saying that he had been refused lodgings at the nearest tavern, representing himself to be the son of the Governor of California, and that his name was Lino Amalio Espos y Mina. Mr. Chapman's was not a public house, but travelers not infrequently stopped there, as the tavern was at some distance. Mrs. Chapman understanding his broken English better than the rest of the family, and being interested by the history of his disasters, persuaded her husband against his inclinations to permit the stranger to remain. He said he had come from Philadelphia that day, and was on his way to Count Bonaparte's, where he should find a friend who would supply him with money, and the next day or so, Mina went with Mrs. Chapman, in her carriage, to Bonaparte's, and when they returned, he reported that his friend was not there, and that Bonaparte was engaged with company and could not see him. So well did he follow up the good im
pression he had made upon the woman that his stay at Andulusia was prolonged till midsummer, professedly for Mrs. Chapman to instruct him in English, in which he was not proficient; for which he was to pay her two thousand dollars a year. He for a while got Mr. Chapman's confidence, who wrote to Mina's father, informing him of his son's arrival at his house, and saying that he would stay there until he could hear from his father. Mrs. Chapman wrote to his mother on the same day, expressing a great interest in her son, and saying that he would remain with them, under her instruction in the English language. "Indeed," she said, "your son talks of spending three years in my house, which I hope he will do; and if he does, you may rest assured, madam, that parental attentions shall be extended to him by myself and my husband."
During this time a strong infatuation had taken possession of Mrs. Chapman; she treated her husband harshly, and often with contempt, and gave her money and her thoughts to the Mexican. He frequently drove with Mrs. Chapman, and on one occasion he lay with his head in her lap, and they sang scraps of love songs to each other. Mina said that he was subject to fits; and whenever he was attacked, Mrs. Chapman would turn every one else out of the room, because he did not like to have people with him when he recovered, but she shut the door and remained with him herself. They used to kiss each other, and there was some evidence of adulterous intercourse. Several inmates of the house swore that Mrs. Chapman treated her husband in a most unbecoming manner. One of the servants testified that she gave Mina some of Mr. Chapman's fine linen shirts, and then told her husband that she was mistress in her own house, and should do as she pleased; that she was ashamed of him, and wished he was gone from the house.1
Mina gave Mrs. Chapman a paper, which he indorsed "Don Lina's Will," which was signed by him, purporting to leave to Mrs. Lucretia Chapman the sum of fifteen thousand
1 Ellen Shaw, p. 116.
dollars for having assisted me, with particular attention, before my death, which sum will be paid in Mexico." One day, Mrs. Chapman's little daughter found Mina leaning against the barn, crying; and he said he heard a voice like his mother's or his sister's saying, "Linetto, Linetto, Linetto," and he should soon hear of the death of one of them. In a short time he heard of the death of his youngest sister; Mrs. Chapman went with him, and ordered a tailor to make him a suit of black, and charge it to Mr. Chapman. A day or two after he had the clothes, he said he had heard that his sister was not dead, as a friend of his from Mexico had seen the family, and they were all well.2
At last, Mr. Chapman began to suspect that all was not as it should be; and when Mrs. Chapman went with Mina to Philadelphia, with the intention of returning the same evening, and they did not return until the third day, he became uneasy, and said to a caller, "I believe that this Mina
an imposter; a roguish fellow. I had rather be poor than have my peace so disturbed. In all probability their object is to tarry until the family has retired; and I would like to know whether they would be guilty of improper conduct after they do return; for if I know of their going together at Mina's lodging-room, I will be there and by ———— I'll take his life." And he said to the same person that his wife's affections were gone from him; that he could not confide his troubles to his neighbors; and that he would bear it no longer.3
On the 16th of June, Mina went to a druggist's in Philadelphia, and asked for some arsenical soap, to prepare birds for being stuffed; and when it was not kept ready made, he preferred to take a shilling's worth of pure arsenic to waiting till the soap could be prepared. An assistant in the drug store, about this time, wrote a letter to Chapman at Mina's request, and signed it, "Est Cuesta," which he believed to be Mina's name. This letter expressed the writer's sense
2 Lucretia Chapman, p. 188.
3 Edwin B. Fanning, p. 163. .
of obligation to Mr. Chapman for the kindness he had shown to the friendless Mina, and continued: "I hasten to put myself at your disposal, and assure you that any commands you may think proper to honor me with, I will, to the fullest extent in my power, accomplish immediately." Colonel Estanislao de Cuesta was the consul of the Mexican government for the city of Philadelphia.
On the 19th of June, Mr. Chapman not feeling well, sent for Dr. Phillips, who recommended some mild course of treatment, and told him he might eat beefsteak. Mrs. Chapman said he had been subject to attacks of vertigo, and nothing was thought of the attack till the next day, when, immediately after eating some chicken broth, he was seized with the most violent vomiting, and a burning pain in the stomach. The broth was made by his wife, in the kitchen, and carried by her to the parlor to be seasoned. He also ate of the chicken so heartily, that, when his wife saw how little was left, she exclaimed to her daughter, "How heartily your father has eaten of the chicken, and how little of the soup! I am afraid it will hurt him." He continued to suffer from violent attempts to vomit, until, when the doctor again visited him on the 21st, he found him in articulo mortis. When Dr. Phillips and Dr. Knight visited him on the 22nd, they found his senses were impaired, his hearing was almost gone, his extremities were cold, his pulse was barely perceptible, and he expired in a comatose state early on the morning of the 23rd. It was supposed that he died of cholera morbus, although the physicians were not certain that such was the fact. Mina was in the room part of the time during Mr. Chapman's sickness, and said to a person who was taking care of him, who was the same who testified to the indignation of Mr. Chapman at his wife's conduct with Mina, that "When I was sick, Mr. Chapman did wait on me night and day, and prayed for me;" and, continued the witness, "he then pretended to cry, but I saw no tears. The remains of the chicken and broth were thrown into the yard. Near
4 Dr. Phillips, p. 124; Dr. Knight, p. 125.