This week in 1851

September 16th, 2013 by admin

“Lord Jesus, have mercy on my soul. God bless you. I hope I shall be better off…You must all beware of Rum; for rum has been the cause of placing me here to meet this awful fate. I warn you all not to touch the intoxicating bowl, for it will eventually get the advantage of you all. I am sorry to die under the gallows but the laws must be carried out, and die I must, remember what I say, Rum has done it all, and I hope all who are here will be taking warning by it…I thank the good and worthy Sheriff and others for what they have done for me, God bless the Sheriff, and heaven bless you all, good-by.”

—Aaron Stookey, convicted of murder, hanging, New York.
Executed September 19, 1851

Stookey, forty-two, owned a shabby pub on Little Water Street in Manhattan’s notorious Five Points district. A knife fight broke out when he tried to forcefully expel a disruptive drunk, Zeddy Moore. When their skirmish ended, only Stookey remained standing. The sheriff said, “Stookey, this is one of the most painful duties I ever performed, but I am forced to do my duty, so good-by, and may God bless you. I hope you will be happy in the other world.” Six hundred people attended Stookey’s hanging.

Comments are closed.