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Murder-By Lynching-1853


Posted By: CHERYL MOONEN (email)
Date: 12/24/2018 at 17:57:15

Miners Express, Wednesday, Jun 01, 1853, Dubuque, I Page: 2


We learn from the Western Bugle, that a judgement of Lynch law was executed in Council Bluffs, on the person of one Baltimore murder. He and his supposed victim, J. C. Samuels, both emigrants, were on guard together around the camp of emigrants. At day light, Samuels was found near the camp fire, lying on his back, his head horribly bruised and his neck chopped partly off, probably with an ax which lay near clotted with blood. His belt, containing $300, was taken, and his companion, Muer, was nowhere to be found. Search was instituted; and, in the meanwhile, he returned to camp. He was arrested but the efforts of the sheriff and some other reasonable men were insufficient to guard him from the headlong fury of the mob. They seized him and, that he should not be deprived of the benefit of a trial, they appointed a judge, jury, and officers, and proceeded to try him. Facetious Lynchers! It must have been consoling to poor Muer in this hour of terror, to know that he was supposed to be tried by such an impartial, dispassionate, unbiased court and jury! Nevertheless, he was condemned with rapidity, the jury we suppose, dispensing with the usual formality of retiring to consult, at the close of the examination with entire unanimity pronounced a verdict of guilty. With singular humanity the execution was delayed until 5 o’clock thus giving the supposed criminal ample time-say two hours-to fit himself for the journey to “the undiscovered country.” Notwithstanding, the trial was conducted without prejudice, coolly, calmly, deliberately and impartially-which should have assured him of the justice and propriety of his conviction, if any doubt had remained in his mind-he had the hardihood to protest his innocence to the last. The Court and Jury threw a rope over a tree limb, adjusted it around Muer’s neck, mounted him on a mule and drove the mule from under him. The fall broke his neck, and the murder was complete.

Such rash and cruel acts cannot be too sternly condemned, nor the means for their suppression too thoroughly enforced.


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