This week in 1868

June 12th, 2013 by admin

“Well, gentlemen, the Lord God Jesus Christ is the judge of all judges which you will know some day or other. He numbers your days, hours and minutes. You’ll find I’m not guilty some day of the crime for which I am to be hanged till I am dead, dead, dead; as it is written in the paper that the Sheriff has read…Well, I owe no grudge to the gentleman who is to pull the rope. I forgive him from the bottom of my heart and I’ll first make a little prayer to God, now I’ll kneel down and give my heart and soul to God.”

When the sheriff tried to help him to his feet:
“Let me alone, I ain’t done praying.”

— Joseph Brown, convicted of murder, hanging, New York.
Executed May 30, 1868

Brown and his wife Josephine, a working-class couple from Ohio, were accused of murder and defrauding a life insurance company. According to the prosecution, the Browns extended a travel invitation to a neighbor’s young daughter, twelve-year-old Angie Stewart. Once in Cleveland, the Browns took out a five-thousand-dollar life insurance policy on the girl. Police found Stewart’s charred body in a cabin rented by the couple. The Browns contended the fire started accidentally. Police investigators said the girl had been killed before the fire began and that the house had been deliberately burned in a poorly disguised insurance scam.

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