This week in 1769

June 4th, 2013 by admin

“I acknowledge that I had a fair and impartial [trial] and that the Sentence I received was very just. I am now in the 39th year of my Age, and I die an unworthy member of the Church of Rome, I sincerely bewail the errors of my past life, and hope for mercy in the next. I shall conclude with exhorting you to pray for yourselves, and at the same time to petition heaven to have mercy upon my poor soul.”

— Joseph Andrews, convicted of piracy and murder, hanging, colonial New York
Executed May 23, 1769

Andrews and fellow shipmate Nicolas Johnson attempted to take over the schooner Polly. They killed three passengers, the first mate, and the captain with an ax, then threw the cabin boy overboard. The duo spared the helmsman, whom they needed to steer the ship. When their captive jumped ship in the West Indies, he reported the killers, who were later apprehended. Andrews was “hanged in chains” on Liberty Island.

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