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     In executing the laws of Judge Lynch at the Dubuque mines in the spring and summer of 1834, not only much good was accomplished, but wrong was often done. It was an easy matter, in those days, to raise a hue and cry against a person particularly if he was a stranger, and friendless; and the mob once let loose upon him, seldom paused for evidences of guilt beyond the report in circulation.
     A number of instances of this kind came under our personal observation, but none made so lasting an impression upon our mind as the whipping of William Hoffman, a discharged soldier, the particulars of which we will relate, as a specimen of the jurisprudence of Judge Lynch, when administered by an exasperated crowd convened at the lead mines in those days, for the purpose of inflicting punishment, without proper inquiry as to the certainty of guilt.
     It was in the month of July, 1834, as we were returning to the village of Dubuque, from our mining labors in the country, our attention was arrested by a large concourse of people assembled in the vicinity of the log blacksmith shop owned by Thomas Brasher, which occupied the present site of the Catholic church.
     As we drew near to the crowd, we discovered that Judge Lynch was about to convene his court, for the purpose of trying an offender, who, it was said, had appropriated to his use a bank note of the denomination of $20, the property of another person. The prisoner had the appearance of being about fifty years of age, and was appareled in the fatigue dress of a United States soldier. Time had begun to whiten the locks which wantoned beneath, and fringed the glazed border of  his military cap. He had assumed an erect military attitude, his arms folded upon his breast, while his eye sought with calm indifference the circle of spectators which surrounded him, who were indulging in a boisterous debate, as to whether he ought to receive one hundred lashes or be tarred and feathered. The impanelling of a jury was at length suggested, with powers delegated to them to hear the facts alleged against the prisoner, and to make such decision as to them might seem just and right. Accordingly, a Jury was impanelled, and a presiding judge elected from their number, when the complainant was called, who came forward in the character of a native of the Emerald Isle, who, like the prisoner, wore the undress uniform of a United States soldier.     
       Judge (addressing complainant).—"You will state what you know about the prisoner robbing you of $20."
      Complainant.—"May it plase yer onerable worships, it's meself that got an onerable discharge last wake from the sarvice at Fort Crawford. whin says I te meself, Misther McMurty, ye'd better be degin yer fortin in the mines than to be sogeerin away yer preshus life in doing niver a thing, barrin' the killin' of a murtherin' Ingin now and thin; an' with that, be dad, I tipped me cap to the aremy, shouldered me kit, an', with yer 'oner's leave, I arrived in the mines yestherday, and who should I mate but me ould comrad that's standin' up before the coort marshul. Willy, says I, an' will yees be afther takin' a drap, and wid that he said he wud; well thin, it's a drap we tuk here and there, an' it was meself that tuk a drap too much, when, says I, Willy, ye's jout of the saravice longer nor meself, an' bether acquainted with the treeks of the world, do yees be takin' me mooney, an' kape it till I gits sober; an' wid that he tuk it, an' now a divil a bit will he giv it me at all; and yer 'onerable worship knows that its meself am sober as an ordily on duty, and that's all I know about it."
     The court now asked the prisoner if he had any defense to make, to which he replied:-
     " I admit that he gave me the money, and at his request I returned it to him soon after; this is true, gentlemen. I have nothing more to say."
     Court.—"This will not do old fellow, you can't come the 'old soger' here; you must give up the money or take fifty lashes."
     Crowd.-"Give him a hundred. Tar and feather him."
     Court.-"Will you give up the money or take the lashes?"
     Prisoner.-"I have not the money. I returned it to him. I am not guilty of any wrong, gentlemen. I am innocent of the charge."
     Crowd—" Strip him. Give it to him raw, if he does not fork over."
     Here a rush was made at the prisoner. His coat, vest, and shirt were stripped from his body, his cravat girted around the waistband of his pantaloons, and himself dragged forward to a rise of ground, where his hands were lashed each to the hind wheel of a wagon.
     A person was selected from the crowd to fling the raw-hide upon his body fifty times in ten divisions of five successive strokes. The executioner was a powerful man, displaying an arm of great muscular strength as he coolly laid aside his coat and rolled up his shirt sleeves for the task. A shudder seemed to creep over the limbs of the prisoner as he eyed the physical powers of his executioner, and in the most beseeching manner begged that he would not mark him with heavy blows, to which the man of the whip replied:—
     "I know my duty; and it is to rid the town of such as you."
     "Give him the lash," shouted the crowd.
     The executioner having taken his position, asked him if he would give up the money, to which he replied as before:—
     "I have not the money, gentlemen; do not whip me."
     The raw-hide was now swung in the air, and descended in five successive blows of measured time. The screams, the agony of the prisoner, seemed only to awaken a general shout of satisfaction from the crowd. The blood trickled from the deep furrows of the lash, when again the bloody raw-hide swept the air and counted ten. For a moment an ashy paleness diffused itself over the countenance of the prisoner; his head lowered upon his breast, as he staggered under the prop that bound him to the wheels. "Score home another five," shouted the infuriated crowd, when again the lash resumed its strokes, cutting its way through the quivering mass of coagulated blood that gathered in the channels of the deep-cut wounds, bespattering with gory blotches the apparel of the executioner. The deadened and lifeless flesh that hung from his back in quivering festoons no longer felt the painful keenness of the lash, which being observed by the crowd, a fiendish yell arose from their midst, demanding that he should be cut upon the sides. As the shout fell upon the ear of the prisoner, he started as from a dream, while the agonizing thought that his sides too were to be lacerated seemed to render him frantic with despair, and, gathering all his physical powers, he made an herculean effort to burst the bands that bound him. Finding himself unequal to the task, he paused for a moment, and gazed around him upon the assembled multitude; then straightening himself to his full height, he burst upon the crowd with an appeal, the energy and language of which can never be erased from our mind. Commencing in a clear, calm tone of voice, and ending with a ringing, stentorian shout, he exclaimed:—
     "Do not kill me, my countrymen. I am an old man. I beat the drum at Talapoosa and Tallahassee, and on my breast I carry scars from Bad Axe. I am an American soldier. I am a native of Kentucky."
     The delivery of this appeal seemed to strike the surrounding crowd with mute astonishment, and for a few moments a solemn stillness reigned throughout the dense circle of spectators, when we noticed an undulating swaying of the crowd upon the opposite side of the circle, as a person forced his way through it, and strode out upon the vacant area. He was a tall, raw-boned, athletic man, somewhat round-shouldered, and wore a white slouched hat turned up in front which, together with his buckskin over-shirt, bespoke him a miner. An old-fashioned flint-lock pistol was belted to his right side, while from his left swung a scabbard that contained his sheath-knife. Munching from a piece of tobacco that he held in his left hand, he advanced towards the prisoner with a slow but firm and measured stride, occasionally glancing his eye to the right or left upon the crowd. There was a spasmodic twitching of the lips, accompanied with a fiendish smile, that occasionally lit up the scowling aspect of his visage, while his eye seemed to flash a deadly defiance upon the crowd that surrounded him. Approaching the prisoner, he observed:—
     "I say stranger—I mean you with the whip—suppose you stay your hand till we get better acquainted;" then, seizing a handle of his knife with his right hand, while with the left he grasped the sheath that contained it, he exclaimed: "I say, if there is any man in this crowd from old Kentuck and 'aint ashamed to say so, let him show his hand;" at the same time snatching his knife from its scabbard, he flourished it above his head, then, pausing for a moment with uplifted knife, he continued: "If there is none here it makes no difference, I am from those parts, and that's sufficient;" then, wheeling upon his heel, he cut the lashings that bound the prisoner. "See here, stranger," addressing the prisoner, "you say that you are from old Kentuck; perhaps you are, and perhaps you are not. But there is no time now to consider that; it's enough for me to know that old Kentuck has been called, and I am here to answer for her. Now, if you've been guilty of a mean act, acknowledge the corn, and trail from these parts; and if you can show that you are not guilty, I'll furnish you the tools, and back you up through the tallest fight there's ever been in these diggin's."
    Here he was interrupted by the complainant, who came rushing up, exclaiming: "Och, be the powers that made me, Willy, its innocent ye are; do yees be batin' him no more, for sure its a drunken baste that I am, not to be rememberin' that he gave it back to me, and its a drunken fool that I was to be pokin' the money under the office of 'Squire Williams; sure and do yees bate him no more, till I brings the money, and show yees that its not the likes o' Willy that would be sarvin' me a dirty trick."
     This announcement came upon the crowd like the stupefying shafts of a thunder-clap, and silence reigned for a time, while they waited for the return of Mr. McMurty, but he was never after seen or heard of. That night Kentucky swaggered through the streets of Dubuque by the gleaming light of her bowie-knives, and there were none to cast a stain upon the fair escutcheon of the state.



     During the years of 1856 and 1857 the town mania ran to an alarming extent among the settlers of the northwest, while corn and wheat fields were sadly neglected. Very many good quarter sections were spoiled by being driven full of stakes and gorgeously displayed on paper, while the only perceptible improvements were the aforenamed stakes, and the only citizens gophers, who held the lots by right of possession, and who seriously objected to having their range intercepted with cottonwood stakes.
     But few out of the many of these paper towns proved a success, one of which was Covington, on the Nebraska side of the Missouri river, opposite Sioux City. It was laid out by one Pecot, a Frenchman, John Fenan, an Irishman, the Seaton brothers, and others, who made claims contiguous to each other. Covington, it was thought, would, in time, be to Sioux City as Covington, Kentucky, is to Cincinnati, Ohio. The town is located on low land, scarcely above high water mark, covered with a very heavy growth of timber (mostly cottonwood), which extended up and down the river for several miles. It was from this point that the citizens of Sioux City obtained their supply of wood for fuel and much of their lumber for building.
     Quite a number of the citizens of Sioux City went over on the Nebraska side of the river and took timber claims, some of whom resided on their claims temporarily, and others employed parties to reside upon and hold the claim for them until it should be disposed of or entered at the coming land sales. In many instances the occupant received a portion of the claim, and not unfrequently possessing him or themselves of the entire claim, regardless of the rights and interest of the former claimant.
     Among the many who went over and possessed themselves of timber claims in "the goodly land," was Rev. C. D. Martin, of the Old School Presbyterian church, a minister of marked ability, who had been breaking the bread of life to the denizens of Sioux City for a brief period of time, and had not received temporal bread sufficient for his labors to sustain the corporeal existence of himself and family, who were in very limited circumstances. Accordingly, he secured a timber claim of forty acres near Covington, upon which he erected a cabin and made preparations to move his family, and make lumber out of his timber, as a steam saw mill was soon to be erected near him.
     This, many of his parishioners and outsiders regarded in the Reverend, as a matter of speculation, and partaking too much of secular interest for a minister to engage in, and were somewhat unsparing in their denunciations. This coming to the ears of our reverend friend, he at once determined to abandon his flock to their own destruction, but not without first giving them a severe reprimanding for the stigmas they had cast upon the character of their shepherd. Accordingly, he left an appointment to preach, at which time he proposed to take ministerial leave of Sioux City. We were present, and heard this his last or farewell sermon, which was delivered in a log house on Douglas street, opposite the United States land office, and occupied as a real estate office by Culver, Betts, & Co., and afterwards known as the old fort. He chose for his remarks on that occasion the exx. Psalm. It has never been our privilege to listen to a more scathing, sarcastic, and withering rebuke to the false tongue, calumniator, &c., than upon that occasion. While he was portraying the character of the calumniator, the following lines of the poet were forcibly suggested to our mind:—
     "Detested pest of social joy,
     Thou spoiler of life's pleasures,
     Like moth or rust ye soon destroy
     What's more than all our treasure."
     He dwelt in a cutting manner on those who had traduced his motives and poured out the cup of slander to its last dregs upon his devoted head. The following lines are a sample of his sarcasm:—
     Unto the dregs they'd draw it out,
     Delighted with their labors,
     Then bear the burning swill about,
     To treat their thirsty neighbors.
     He concluded his remarks by saying: "Now, brethren, Paul made tents for a living, and I make lumber. No fault was found with Paul by his brethren for so doing, and why should you denounce me as a speculator, land shark, &c., and not Paul? I repeat it, brethren, Paul made tents and I make lumber." He then shook the dust from his feet, as a testimony against the city, and departed (no doubt much relieved) to his cottonwood over the river.
     Claims were soon regarded as being very valuable about Covington, and much difficulty was soon the result among claimers. It was not an unusual thing for claims to be jumped. In the summer of 1857 a young man by the name of John Fitzpatrick, from Champaign county, Illinois, purchased a claim adjoining Covington. He was a young man of good character, and soon became much esteemed by the community. Shortly after having purchased his claim he married, and left on a bridal tour to Champaign county, Illinois, where his father resided. Before leaving he placed a tenant on his claim, to hold it until he returned. Soon after he left, one George L Griffey, a Kentuckian, who had been lounging about Sioux City some months, and who had been arrested while there on a charge of riot, and was under bonds of $500 for his appearance at the fall term of court, went over to Covington, and finding Fitzpatrick's tenant absent from the claim, entered upon and took possession of it, which he held until Fitzpatrick returned, which was about the 8th of August, when Fitzpatrick ejected him from the cabin. In a day or two he returned, and found his cabin again occupied by Griffey and a disreputable character by the name of Mahafy. Fitzpatrick offered no violence, but told the trespassers that he would seek redress at the hands of the law. The next day Fitzpatrick met with Griffey at Pecot's house, in Covington, when he told G. that the claim was his, and he would law him out of it. Angry words now passed between them, when F. told G. that if he would lay aside his weapons he would flog him, and if he did not he would release all his right to the disputed claim. G. then asked F. if he was armed. "I am not," said F. Fitzpatrick now stepped out of the house and a few feet from the door, and was conversing with a friend, when Griffey stepped to the door, and, on seeing F. with his back toward him, drew his revolver and fired at Fitzpatrick, the ball taking effect in his left side, just below the heart. The shot was fatal; the unfortunate man lived about one hour.
     The announcement of the murder in Sioux City created the most intense excitement. Many of the citizens crossed over as quickly as it was possible, to assist in capturing the murderer, but he made good his escape, under cover of Mahafy's revolver, who was particeps criminis in the bloody deed. Many of the good citizens were soon armed with guns and revolvers and in pursuit of the bloody villains. The timbered portion of country for some considerable distance around was thoroughly scoured, but no traces of the murderers were found. Could they have been captured, such was the indignation of the people, that they would, without judge or jury, have expiated their guilt at the end of a hemp cord.
     Griffey was never captured. Mahafy went to Omaha, where he had not been long when he committed a brutal murder, for which he was arrested and imprisoned, a short time after which he broke jail and made his escape.
     Covington has now grown into a place of considerable importance, and may yet, from the genial rays of prosperity shed upon her by her twin sister "Sioux," arrive to that position predicted for her by her founders.
     It was in the fall of 1855 or early in the spring of 1856 (I am not certain which), that Captain Lyon, of the United States army, then stationed at Fort Randal, was so favorably impressed with the location of Sioux City in regard to its many commercial advantages, which were destined at no distant day to make her the queen city of the northwest, that he obtained leave of absence from his command and came down to Sioux City and made a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, adjoining Sioux City proper on the west. His claim extended south to the Missouri, which formed the line, along which the land was rough and covered with timber of small growth. He built a small cabin at the head of a ravine, which ran diagonally through his claim. When his cabin (or malogney, as he termed it,) was ready for occupancy, J. M. White (of the firm of White & Copeland) went out, and (as he said) tabernacled with the Captain in the flesh in his malogney one night. The next day (I think) the Captain proved up his pre-emption, White acting as his witness. Captain Lyon then returned to his command, strongly impressed that he had secured a good investment for the future.
     This Captain Lyon afterward was the lamented General Lyon, of the late cruel war, who fell while leading the gallant Iowa first in the battle of Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, Missouri, on the 10th day of August, 1861. Among the many brave and gallant officers whose loss our country was called to mourn during the late bloody rebellion, none were more deeply mourned by his countrymen, or whose death was more keenly felt as a national calamity, than that of General Lyon. He was brave and sagacious, determined and inflexible, and had the faculty of inspiring his men with the same spirit. He possessed more of the qualities of a Napoleon than any other general in the federal army.
     It was when General Lyon was making a forced march to Springfield, just prior to the battle of Wilson's Creek, that the Iowa regiments led the command on every day's march some distance in advance, that General Lyon gave them the (not very euphonious) name of "Iowa grey hounds." At the battle of Wilson's Creek, Colonel Bates, of the Iowa first, was sick and unable to command his regiment, and while Lyon was trying to inspire his men with that indomitable courage and bravery that was so marked in his own character, the Iowa 1st called to him and said, "General, give us a leader, and we will follow him unto death." "I will lead you," said the brave Lyon; "follow me." He lead, they followed— yes, followed him into the very jaws of death. The General was mounted on his large dapple-gray horse, and some rods in the advance of the regiment, when he received a rebel ball through his body and near the small of his back, which proved fatal. As he fell with his horse, which was killed also, his body-servant rode up. The General turned to him, and, calling him by name, said, "I am going up." Many brave sons of Iowa bit the dust that day, with their heroic leader, whom they followed unto death.
     Captain Skiler Low, a rebel captain (now of Independence, Missouri), has given me the following statement in reference to General Lyon's death: He says he was stationed immediately in front of the Iowa regiment that General Lyon lead; that Lyon advanced directly toward him, and several rods in advance of the Iowa regiment that he was leading, and that the General was mounted on a very fine dapple-gray horse. The captain says that he so much admired the general's courage and bravery that he did not want to see him killed, but wanted him made a prisoner, and so expressed himself to those present, who coincided with him; but as soon as fire was opened the general and his horse both fell, near their line, when he made a charge with his company to secure him, which he did—he was yet living. They bore him back to the rear of their line, where every attention was shown him that the circumstances would permit of; but all to no effect, as he soon breathed his last. After the battle his body was surrendered to the Union forces, and so anxious were the rebel soldiers to preserve some relic or memento of the fallen hero that they plucked every hair from the mane and tail of his horse.
     On the 25th day of March, 1858, W. H. Tracy, of the firm of "Tracy, Pappan, & Co.," grocery and provision merchants, in Sioux City, got involved in a personal difficulty with some one in the street, near his store door, which resulted in a social knock-down, when W. D. Copeland, a young man who resided on a claim in Nebraska territory, and who was then in Sioux City on business, and on a visit to his relatives, who resided there, came up, when the party quarreling with Tracy commenced a conversation with Copeland, when Tracy interfered. High words passed between Copeland and Tracy, which soon resulted in Tracy firing his revolver at Copeland, the ball entering his head near the right eye, inflicting a mortal wound. Copeland was conveyed to the house of his brother, where he lingered, suffering the most excruciating pain, until the 9th of the month following, when he expired. Soon after Tracy committed the murder, steps were taken for his arrest, but, with the assistance of some of his friends, he made his escape and fled to Fort Randal, where he remained for a short time, after which he fled to Utah. A large reward was offered for his arrest, which was never made.
     It was during the spring of 1858 that Captain J. B. S. Todd, an old army officer, then of the firm of Frost, Todd, & Co., grocerymen, of Sioux City, conceived the idea of bringing about a treaty between the Yankton and Pawnee Indians and the government, for the southern portion of Dakota territory, and have the same opened for settlement as early as possible. Accordingly, with the assistance of T. Bruguier (a resident of Iowa) and C. F. Piscotte (of Nebraska), he obtained the consent of the principal chiefs of the tribes to accompany him to Washington, where a treaty was effected, in which 16,000,000 acres of land lying in the southern part of the territory was purchased by the government, for something over $2,000,000, in annual installments for fifty years. Captain J. B. S. Todd may justly be termed the father of Dakota territory.
     While Todd was in Washington he wrote to some of his friends in Sioux City that the treaty would be effected in about two weeks. This created no little excitement. In a few hours might have been seen men of every class and profession in the city, with the jabbering Irish and muttering Dutch— some in wagons, some on foot, with camping implements, provisions, &c.,— a load sufficient for a mule—taking up their line of march for the "Canaan" of the north-west—the long wished-for land—each man with a good point fixed in his mind, where a flourishing town would soon be built up, and he made an Astor or a Girard. After arriving at the various good points in the territory and staking off their claims, they did not long enjoy their air castles of future wealth, when "Lo, the poor Indian," who did not take much interest in corner-lot speculation, and who had been watching the movement of their pale-faced neighbors, who, they feared, would spoil their corn-fields by driving them full of stakes, gave them a peremptory order to "puck-a-chee" (leave), which order was accompanied with demonstrations of violence, which caused our Iowa claimers to beat a retreat, thus knocking anticipated fortunes and air castle speculations of the grandest proportions into a "cocked hat."
     On the 13th of July following, A. H. Redfield, agent for the Yankton Sioux, arrived and commenced the removal of the Indians to their reservation, near Fort Randal. As Sioux City was the gateway to Dakota territory, her citizens became much interested in the settlement and territorial organization of the territory. It was in the summer of 1858, soon after the territory was opened for settlement, that a number of persons from Sioux City, headed by a few politicians, who, no doubt, were yearning for a fat appointment in the territory, crossed the Big Sioux river into the territory and held a meeting, petitioning congress for a territorial organization, in order to make congress believe that there were many citizens in the territory, and that the establishment of a territorial government was necessary. To do this, they petitioned early and petitioned late. The petition was forwarded to Washington, showing a very large number of citizens—many of them, however, had never seen the territory. This proved a failure. However, the territory commenced filling up rapidly; many citizens of Iowa moved in and took claims.
     The territory was not organized until the 2d of March, 1861. In the first legislature were many of the pioneer settlers of northwestern Iowa. The territory is now rapidly filling up by a hardy and industrious class of citizens, who are rapidly developing the richness of her soil and commercial interests, which are now giving her a world-wide fame, and will soon number her among the leading countries of the northwest.


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