This week in 1840

July 25th, 2013 by admin

“I swear to you, sheriff, I’m an innocent man. I have never been to the Thompson house, and I never saw Mrs. Thompson on the day that she was murdered. I believe that there were two of them—two men—who did the murder that I’ve been wrongly accused of. Even if I did know their names, I’d swing before I would have their blood upon me.”

— John Stone, convicted of murder, hanging, Illinois.
Executed July 10, 1840

Stone, age thirty-four, was the first man publicly executed in Chicago. He was accused of raping and murdering Lucretia Thompson, which he denied. Stone was escorted by two hundred horsemen to a lakeshore gallows at the back of Myrick’s Tavern.

It did not go as planned. Stone’s drop from the scaffold was only four feet, and he died of strangulation.

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