This week in 1788

May 13th, 2013 by admin

“. . . This is the first time since my condemnation that I thought what it was to die. The shock was terrible . . .what a night of horror was the next night! . . . [The doctor]perceived that agony of my soul and asked me some questions of the state of my mind . . . and [I poured] my heart out to him . . .I had fortunately concealed my real name, that I might return, like the prodigal, to my parents, and live a life devoted to God and their comfort.”

— Joseph Taylor, convicted of violent assault and robbery, hanging (possibly unsuccessful), Massachusetts.
Executed May 8, 1788

Taylor was part of a gang of thieves who mugged a man in broad daylight. As Taylor and his accomplices fled, the man started screaming for help. Since the man was mugged on a public highway, Taylor was convicted of capital highway robbery and was hung in a gallows constructed at the scene of the crime.

Some accounts record that Taylor actually died on the gallows, while others insist he fled to Sweden.

Comments are closed.