This week in 1854

August 12th, 2013 by admin

When asked how he felt:
“I feel like an innocent man.”

— William B. Sheppard, convicted of murder, hanging, California.
Executed July 28, 1854

When Henry Day would not grant Sheppard permission to marry his daughter, prosecutors said, Sheppard stabbed him in the abdomen. He died. But Sheppard maintained his innocence, claiming that a stranger attacked both men and then leaped into the wharf to escape. Tried and found guilty twice, he went to the gallows, where an estimated audience of eight to ten thousand sent him off with “rude jests” and “rabid laughter.”

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