The Daily Gazette
JULY 30, 1869
Steamer Dubuque a Scene of
Violence and Murder.
THE DECK HANDS.
Five of the Latter Beaten,
Cut and Drowned.
Stabbing, Pounding and Clubbing.
OF OFFICERS AND PASSENGERS.
THE ARREST OF THE
PARTICULARS OF THE AFFAIR.
The most fearful and bloody series of murders ever perpetrated on
the Upper Mississippi River, and of a character never before known
on a steamboat in these waters, were committed on the Northern Line
steamer Dubuque, John B. Rhodes, Captain, at and near the
levee at Hampton, Ill., seven miles above this city yesterday
Five negroes, deck hands, were victims of the prejudice and ferocity
of a crew of raftsmen, and were beaten, cut, and drowned!
THE STEAMER LEFT DAVENPORT
seven o’clock in the morning. She is known as one of the finest
packets in her line. Her deck crew was composed of some 30 hands,
some of whom were white, but the majority were negroes. When she
left here, the mate informs us, she had over two hundred deck
passengers on board – a third of whom were raftsmen, the remainder
being harvest hands. She also had over one hundred cabin
THE DEADLY RIOT COMMENCED
after eight o’clock, as the steamer was nearing Hampton. Mr.
Jones, second clerk, went on deck to examine tickets and receive
fares, and stationed a colored deck hand named Moses Davison at the
stairway, to prevent deckers from going above while he was thus
employed. Soon a raftsman, well known as “pock-marked Lynch,”
attempted to ascend the stairs. Davison stopped him, and after a
brief quarrel, blows were passed. The mate, John F. Sweet,
interposed and stopped the fight. Then, save loud talking among many
of the raftsmen and by Lynch himself, there was no trouble for ten
minutes or so. Davison stood one side and bore their insults without
returning a word. By this time the boat was at the levee. At last
the raftsmen formed a kind of ring on the forecastle, with Lynch in
their center, and Davison was hustled alongside of him and
commanded to fight it out. Lynch didn’t like the looks of Davison,
and, calling him a d—d nigger, went for him with a chunk of coal. In
an instant, as many as twenty-five of the raftsman joined in the
of the raftsmen ran to the shore and armed themselves with chunks of
coal, with which they stoned the colored men. But Lynch and one
Ted Butler, with a dozen followers, commenced hunting the
negroes on the boat. In the melee, Davison escaped and ran up to the
hurricane deck and secreted himself under the lifeboat aft of the
Texas. The lynch gang went sweeping through the deck passages. The
negroes scattered-some leaping to the shore, and some rushing for
up-stairs. Two of them were caught aft of the engines, terribly
pounded and cut, and hurried to the stern, and made a leap into the
water. The passengers saw them sink immediately, and that was the
last of them. The water colored with their blood as they went
down. Their names were Wm. Olmstead and Clayton Jones.
Both were from New Orleans.
was pursued along the starboard guards, across the rear of the
boilers, to the larboard guards, where he was hit on the head with a
piece of coal, caught and beaten till he was nearly senseless. Then
a half dozen villains seized, ran him to the stern, and jumped him
into the water. It was said by two lady passengers who saw him as
he sank from the windows of the passage in rear of the ladies cabin,
that his throat was cut from ear to ear! His name was not
The fourth negro who was
murdered was pursued up stairs, along the cabin and pursued up
stairs, along the cabin guards, and across the hurricane deck to the
deck again. He fled toward the stern, was caught, and plunged into
the river. As he struck the water, a great piece of coal struck him
on the head, and he went to the bottom.
About ten of the negroes escaped to the shore and ran away
unharmed although several shots were fired at them from revolvers.
DAVISON KILLED AT LAST
After the murder of the negroes
mentioned above, the raft fiends made a hunt for the “Niggers.”
They wandered all through the places and by ways on deck, and along
the guards of the cabin, and on the hurricane deck. At last Lynch
spied Davison, as the latter lay curled up under the life boat. He
cried out, “Here’s a---son of a bitch.” Davison heard him and
turning the boat up, sprang out, and ran with a knife in hand
towards the cabin stairs. Lynch cried. “That’s the one we want.”
And with three others pursued him. Down on the deck went Davison.
There Ted Butler tried to stop him, and Davison slashed his bowels
with a knife. The negro then fled to the place where four of his
fellows had met their death, and on his way was hit with a (?). He
jumped into the river and paddled for a while with his hands and
kept his head out of water. Two men set out from shore with a skiff
to rescue him, but before they could get near him he ceased his
efforts and sank!
saving of the negroes were numerous and successful. Several negroes
were locked up in state rooms in the ladies cabin. One instance is
mentioned particularly. Rev. D. C. McCoy, of Macomb, Ill., was in
his state room with his wife. A negro nearly covered with blood
from a cut in his throat, fairly bounded through the open outside
door, and cried, “Save me, do save me, Missis!” The lady, perfectly
ignorant of the terrible work going on outside, immediately closed
the door. In an instant, almost, she heard the tramp of men
outside, and the cry, “Where is the hellion?” Then there was a rush
back for the bow, and her protégé was safe. He remained in the room
more than an hour. Mr. McCoy sponged his wounds, and bound them,
and made the poor fellow as comfortable as possible. Several of the
hunted hands were secreted in the Texas rooms by the officers.
white was severely wounded. He had taken deck passage to McGregor
in company with one Wm. Alexander, of East St. Louis, and another
colored man whose name he did not know. The three were standing
near the machine known as the “nigger” when the hunt began.
Immediately six or seven scoundrels made for them. White jumped
over some boxes and ran forward, and as he did so, he was slashed
with knives across the side of his head, and in his left thigh. He
went on upstairs, however, and was hid in a state room by Bill
Henderson, the bar keeper Alexander escaped with but two or
three bad bruises on his back caused by heavy chunks of coal which
slighted on him with so much force. He owes his salvation to a
young lady who locked him in her state room, for the raftsmen would
have had him sure, had it not been for the narrow passage way at the
wheel house which hid him as he entered the state room.
of the other negro is not known. It is more than probable that he
was killed, as he has not been seen since the villains came upon
Not one of
them was in possession of a shooting iron of any kind, and to
interffered with the negro killing scoundrels, unarmed, would have
been foolish indeed. All they could do in opposition to scores of
raftsman was to secrete the negroes when possible.
THE MATE WAS SAVED
raftsman. On the deck a villain went rushing at the mate with a
large knife. At the mate’s side stood a Mr. McKinney, who
gave the knife man a shove and a kick, that sent him staggering.
When he returned to the attack, “the mate wasn’t where he use to
was, “ and Mr. Kinney was off somewhere else.
IN TWENTY MINUTES
hadn’t a single colored deck-hand on board, that was visible. The
killing was ended in that time, and only when there were no negroes
to hunt. Indeed, several of the rioters volunteered to act as
roustabouts, and actually did work on deck.
THREATS TO BURN THE STEAMER
The boat swung out form Hampton,
and had proceeded but a few rods, when she went into shore again.
The idea was to wait the arrival of a force from Rock Island, Capt.
R secretly telegraphed the sheriff of that county for help. But the
murderers saw through the stratagem and threatened to join together
and fire the steamer, if she was not quickly moved up stream, so the
steamer was soon swung out again, and continued on her way. At
Camanche, Ted Butler went ashore, as did also pock-marked Lynch.
Butler was captured, as will be seen hereafter.
THE LAST ATTACK
was made on a
porter, who after the boat left Hampton, and when all comparative
quiet went to empty some water on the guards. He stepped out
cautiously, but was discovered, and severely beaten by three
ROCK ISLAND TO THE RESCUE
As stated above, the sheriff of
Rock Island county was telegraphed to for assistance in arresting
the murders. He immediately placed the matter in the hands of
Deputy Sheriff Payne. Superintendent Cotton, of the Western Union,
placed a train at his disposal, and at eleven o’clock some sixty
men, mostly armed, were on their way northward. On they went till
Fulton junction was reached. The force then went over to Clinton,
and in fifteen minutes the Dubuque came in sight. This was between
3 and 4 P. M. As she threw out her staging, a dozen men, with
revolvers in hand stepped on board, and forced every raftsman to go
MURDERS WERE COWED
Before reaching Clinton, they
were full of talk of exterminating the d---d nigger, But when the
posse showed determination to arrest them dead or alive, they just
wilted. Over twenty of them were tied at the wrist, and their feet
shackled. As the officers were doing this work, five or six of the
fellows became obstreperous, but three or four good punches in the
bread basket wilted them. Captain Rhodes had decided to land the
prisoners in Rock Island, and the boat was turned southward.
Nothing of note occurred on the way; save a brief stoppage at the
Island, where it was at first determined to land the prisoners. But
this was given up. The
DUBUQUE ARRIVED AT ROCK ISLAND
o’clock. The whole city seemed to be on the levee, while hundreds
were on the davenport levee, hoping the steamer would touch on this
side. The people over the river were very quiet, however. Under
direction of Deputy Sheriff Payne, ropes were stretched about a
good-sized piece of levee, and the people ordered to keep outside of
the square thus formed. The colored deck hands (who had been picked
up on the way) formed two lines. The posse comitatus, stood guard
with drawn revolvers. The chief rioters were marched off the boat
and to jail. Then all the remaining raftsman were marched between
the rows of negroes to be identified. Some twenty-nine of these
fellows were pointed out as having participated in the negro-hunting
business on the steamboat. Some of these were known to be innocent
by the officers of the boat and the passengers. Nevertheless all
were jailed. The following are the
NAMES OF THE LEADERS
killing business, who are under arrest John Calliger, John Young,
Andrew Frank, James Thompson, Thos Jones, Jas. Cochron, David Dawes,
A. W. Frebble, Frank Gilmore, Jas. Quinn, Geo. Tracy, John Hait, Wm.
Blair, Thos. Jones, John Campbell, Wm. Dalton, Holsey Hammond,
Dennis Eagan, Nick Shilty, Oliver Shandamois.
WITNESSES WERE HELD
the deck hands, a dozen of whom were taken to the Court House as a
lodging place. Second Clerk Jones and Mate Sweet, also remained to
THE TIME OCCUPIED
the prisoners was more than two hours, owing to the careful eyes of
the negroes. At half past nine o’clock the Dubuque started for the
THE CONDUCT OF RAFTSMEN
steamboats, were in large numbers, has long been a source of
annoyance to officers and passengers. They have free access to the
bar, and drink continually. Then they quarrel, either between
themselves or the deck hands and they really run the steamboats, for
nobody wants to oppose them.
Now that an opportunity has occurred to make an example of these
roughs, it is hoped that all the punishment that the law allows will
be given the guilty ones.
in the city
had the affair much worse than it really was. The number of killed
ran from six to thirty-six. The pilot, King, and five white men were
all killed by rumor. The feeling in Davenport was intense. The only
Davenporter on the boat was C. G. Blood, Esq. Mr. B. saw two of the
negroes run back, and then in a minute heard they were attacked and
knew that they had gone to the bottom.
August 2, 1869
THE STEAMBOAT TRAGEDY
Further Examination of
THE TESTIMONY GIVEN ON SATURDAY
Twenty five Defendants
IDENTIFICATION OF GUILTY
examination of the ruffians implicated in the murderous attack upon
the colored crew of the steamer Dubuque was continued at Rock Island
on Saturday, the interest of the public being unabated.
sheriff Love of Camanche, arrived on Saturday morning, with Wm.
Randolph and Richard Riley, whose arrest was reported on Friday.
The negroes in court, however, fail to identify them as having taken
part in the riot. Randolph stated that he saw one negro chased
Crawford, of Camanche, who heard Ted Butler boast, in the Iowa
House in C., that they “had killed two of the d-n niggers and thrown
them overboard,” while in great glee over the matter, also arrived.
commenced with Thomas Adair of Camp Point, Adams county,
Illinois. He identified William Blair as having fired three
shots at a negro who stood on the wharf. The balance of the crowd
yelled “shoot the black son of a -.” He saw two negroes struggling
in the water, the rioters, shouting “Let the drown.”
Blood, of New Philadelphia, Tuscarora county, Ohio, testified
that he was in the cabin when the row commenced. He corroborated
the testimony of the previous witness, in regard to the shooting,
but could not identify the man who did it. There were fifty or
sixty rioters in all, he judged. The confusion and uproar was very
great. He noticed the pock marked man (not yet caught) as a very
prominent actor. He saw one negro in the water and saw them pelt
him with rocks until he was drowned. After the riot, the raftsman
expressed themselves as satisfied with having “cleaned out the
niggers.” And driven them all ashore. This comprised the substance
of his testimony.
Scott, of Dubuque, a deck passenger, testified that he saw the
raftsman pursue a negro form the hurricane deck, and afterwards saw
the negro in the water. Two men from Hampton went out in a skiff to
rescue him, but the rioters deferred them by shouting “Let the black
son of a – drown.” During the melee there were loud cries of “Kill
the black devils.” He identified John Gallagher as a rioter,
and saw him in the crowd with a rock in each hand. He also
identified Nicholas Scheltz. He saw him running with the
rioters, and shouting, “Go for em boys.” “ Scheltz has a cut or
bruise over the eye. He identified Ted Butler, the wounded man, and
saw him knock the porter down. He heard him brag that he had
“knocked one nigger down, anyhow.” After he had struck the porter.
After the affray the Captain went down and asked the rioters if they
wouldn’t please let the boys alone till he got to Dubuque.” As they
had driven the main portion of the crew ashore, they seemed
satisfied, and at the various landings assisted the roustabouts in
moving out the stage.
Roach, Jas. Jennings, Wm. Muntz and Jas. Quinn. Were discharged
at the close of the forenoon session.
Allen, of McGregor, Iowa testified that he had come down the
river in a raft, and was going back again as a cabin passenger. He
saw the pock-marked Irishman throw a piece of coal at a negro. He
saw three negroes sink in the river and drown, two before the boat
left Haegy’s landing and one directly after the boat put out. He
identified Toomey, who told him, after the row that he (Toomey)
had knocked a nigger down with a chunk of coal striking him over the
ear. Witnesses also saw Schektz beating the negroes with a
Parry, of Philadelphia, a cabin passenger, testified that he saw
Butler harranging a crowd of raftsman just previous to landing at
Hampton and dressed Butlers wound in barber shop Saw the last two
Allen, raftsman and cabin passenger, saw a negro drown at
Hampton wharf and another as the boat shoved out. Saw the latter
hit with pieces of coal, but couldn’t say who did it.
Bravton, raftsman, and one of the discharged prisoners, saw the
last negro running along the lower deck, closely followed by white
men. Soon afterwards saw negro in water, and a boat push out fro
shore. The rioters said the boat couldn’t reach the negro in time
to save him. Steamboat was moving. Saw Blair and Campbell running
with others. Didn’t see hart do anything. Frank Gilmore was asleep
during the whole of the riot. Preble sat quietly on a box
during the disturbance. Saw Shannon in a bunk just before the
commencement, and he remained there till the last negro drowned.
Gilmore, discharged prisoner, saw a good deal of the riot. Saw
men running around generally with coal in hand. Saw a negro cut
Butler on main deck, who knocked man down with piece of coal. Blair
took a prominent part from discharging a pistol to throwing coal at
the last negro, who was drowned, as the latter ran along the lower
deck. Saw John Campbell give Lynch the knife, with which the latter
attacked the mate. Lynch told Campbell hat a negro had cut hi in
back of the head, and he was bound to have revenge. Campbell
afterwards had a stick in his hand, and witnesses met him aft and
asked how the nigger came to get in the water. Campbell replied
“Never mind-he got helped off.” Saw Toomey, Schult and Hammond
taking part in the riot. Thinks there were but five or six men
Crawford, of Le Claire, saw Butler after he got off the boat at
Mann, discharged prisoner, saw Butler, Blair, Lynch and Campbell
talking. A negro rushed along and they pursued him to the horse
guards. Another man came out and told them the negro was in the
place. They opened the door and couldn’t see him, and went
forward. Went up stairs by the wheel and saw the body of a negro in
the water, Saw a negro running on boiler deck with a big knife in
hand, going down stairs. Went down stairs and saw another negro in
R. Kellogg, deck passenger, testified but his evidence was of no
importance. He thought it wasn’t healthy to stay on the steamboat
and got in cars at Hampton.
Hibbard, of Moline, got on boat at Hampton with his wife, and
went into cabin west and saw a white man fire at negro with deep
gash in his face talking with some ladies. Went forward and heard
some of the rioters tell the captain to give his orders to them,
they’d obey him, but wouldn’t be mixed up with niggers. Went
outside, and saw Toomey, with a piece of coal in his hand, coming
towards him. Toomey went along the cabin guards in a hurry.
Witness went down cabin and through a state-room to rear of
wheel-house; looked over and saw a negro clinging to rail of aft
guard. His legs were torn form the railing by parties whom he could
not distinguish. Negro still clung with his hands; the hands were
next torn away, and as the fellow floated off he saw a gash in his
face, as if it were the same man he saw in the cabin. Heard cries
of “Kill him,” “Drown him.”
gi9lmore, discharged prisoner, testified. He recognized
Chandamos as the man, who rushed about with coal in his hand,
making bad demonstrations.
testimony closed for the day. The negroes were then called up, one
by one, and asked to take a careful survey of the prisoners. They
followed instructions to the letter; the objects of their searching
gaze were about as uneasy a set of mortals as ever occupied the
prisoner’s box in Rock Island. As the negro would point to a rioter
and spot him, the fellow’s breath would be impeded by a thickness in
his throat, and his face give signs of appropriate fear. The result
was that the following named prisoners war
DISCHARGED FROM CUSTODY
Frank, John Wright, Geo. Keddash, James Calahan, M. Chetaski, Frank
Gilmore, A. W. Preble, Charles Coles, George Tracy, Jacob Filo, A.
H. Olmstead, Charles Welsh, Timothy Connell, James Thorpe, E.
Cosgrove, F. Beatty, A. J. Hawkins, Jos. A. Thompson, P. Shannon, C.
August 3, 1869
THE STEAMBOAT TRAGEDY,
Further Examination of
Thrown from the Hurricane
Deck- Butler’s Speech
TESTIMONY OF THE Colored
Crew- --The Villain Lynch
The examination of the
men implicated in the murder of the deck hands on the steamer
Dubuque, was resumed yesterday forenoon. The testimony given
yesterday was little more than a repetition, or confirmation, of
that previously given, although one or two new points of interest
were brought out.
attendance was smaller than on Friday and Saturday. The public seem
to be of the opinion that he crime will be brought home to four or
five, possibly six, of defendants, and that they will be brought to
Yesterday, commenced with Theodore Jones, the second clerk on
the Dubuque. He testified that when going up the river on Thursday,
and when opposite the old Moline landing, witnesses commenced
collecting fare, beginning on the hurricane deck, and passing along
the boiler deck to the lower one. Placed two negroes on the stairs
to prevent any deck passengers from slipping up stairs and escaping
the payment of fare. Was on the lower deck in the engine room, when
the row began. Saw Lynch run by with a chunk of coal in his hand,
going forward. Butler came by shortly afterwards, wounded. Come
again with a knife in his hand. Witness had a negro with him to
prevent deck passengers from passing forward or aft. Butler struck
at the negro with the knife, and thinks he cut him. Witness never
saw the negro afterwards. Coal flew around in a lively manner, and
darkeys in the river were pelted with it. Saw butler knock the
porter down. The captain came down to quell the riot, and accused
the raftsman of killing four negroes. Recognized butler, Toomey and
Sheltz as having been engaged in the disturbance. Saw Toomey ran
through the cabin with a chunk of coal in each hand.
was subjected to a lengthy cross-examination, after which the court
Schafer, George Bumbach, and L. F. Baker testified to the
finding of the body of the negro named Armstead, who was one
of the Dubuque slain deck hands, on Saturday at three o’clock,
floating on a sand bar off Hampton, a quarter of a mile below
Haegy’s wharf. Mr. Baker is a justice of the peace, and delivered
the body to coroner Knox. He testified to hearing shooting and
cheering on the Dubuque on the day of the riot.
Plummer, of Rock Island, testified to an examination of the body of
the deceased. Found no marks of violence on the body of the
deceased, with the exception of four serious contusions on the head,
such as might have been caused by rocks or some blunt instrument.
Fullerton, of Hampton, was sworn. He made a statement differing
from the account of the affray given by any other witness, and one
which gives evidence that at least five negroes were killed, and
substantiating the Gazette’s first account, as indeed have all the
other witnesses. Mr. Fullerton testified that just as the boat was
pushing out of Hampton, he saw a negro man around the hurricane
deck, pursued by several white men. When the negro reached the
stern the second time he put his hand upon the rail, the men close
behind him, and either jumped or was pushed over the rail, into the
water, and was drowned. While he was running the men threw coal at
him. The examination of
commenced. The evidence of five of them, Chas. B. Smith,
Bill Willians, Noah Johnson, Dick Bernard and Jim Johnson,
was given during the afternoon. Their, was given during the
afternoon. Their examination elicited no features of leading
importance, and only showed that most of them, at least, were so
terror stricken during the riot, as to be unable to see much that
was going on around them. Everyone was busy looking out for the
salvation of his own life. They did not succeed in confirming the
identification of a single man, beyond the facts already given in
regard to their merely pointing out the guilty parties on Saturday
evidence of Smith showed that
BUTLER AS AN ORATOR
Is a most
effective individual. Smith testified that he was on the boat until
after it was brought back to Rock Island. He did not leave, as did
others of the colored crew, as he was concealed in a stateroom after
the “hunt for niggers began.” Heard Butler make a speech to the
whites on deck Butler said, “Are you men of sense or are you dogs?
Or what are you? I am nothing but a poor raftsman. If you are men
you will surely do something. For this,” exposing the wound in his
side. Anthony’s speech over the dead body of Caesar had not a more
inspiring effect upon the Romans, than had the speech of butler’s
upon the raftsman on the steamer Dubuque, if smith’s memory be
correct. For at the conclusion, Sampson shouted “Let us kill the
d—n s-a of b-s,” and all the crowd yelled approbation. Forthwith
the raftsman scattered, and the murder of the negroes was commenced
again. This is the only new feature elicited in the testimony of
the colored witnesses. They wee attacked and got out of the way as
best they could, without stopping to see who or what was after
THE REWARD OF $500
arrest of Lynch, offered by the Northern Line Packet company, is an
indication at least that the company does not intend to tamely
submit to the rule of raftsman on their packets.
described by sheriff Drury as being “a large, well built, broad
shouldered Irishman, his face deeply pitted with small-pox. He is
about five feet eight or nine inches in height, weighs 170 or 160
pounds, has dark complexion, short brown hair, no beard, and appears
to be about 35 years of age. He received a slight cut on the back
of his head during the riot, and wore at that time a faded gray
shirt, dark pants, dark brown coat, and brood brimmed black hat.”
It is said by some of the raftsmen that his home is at Stillwater,
Minnesota. The Dubuque Herald gives the following item concerning
leader of the affray, Lynch, came to Dubuque with the workmen on the
railroad bridge, but did not leave with them. He was here known
more generally by the alias of “Scott,” and under that name had a
sparring match with Fred Bussey. He stole Tom McNear’s
coat, was arrested for it, found guilty, and put in jail. He is not
a raftsman, but a wharf-rat, who would as soon swindle or steal form
a raftsman as from any other man. It is to be hoped he will be
arrested and secure his just desserts-a short shrift and a tight
August 4, 1869
THE STEAMBOAT TRAGEDY
FURTHER EXAMINATION OF
The Main Features of Yesterdays
of witnesses in the steamer Dubuque riot and murder case was
continued yesterday. John Anderson, Henry Campbell, Archie
Ramsey, Geo. Wilson, John Henry, Chas. Schofield, Alex Wadworth,
Robt. Kyle, Henry Mitchell, James Monroe, Samuel Strickland, Dan
Pearson, Ben Thompson, Charles Shultz, James Siedge, Edward Nelson,
William Alexander, Marshal White, Tucker Smith, Ephriam Johnson,
and Henry Harris were examined. It is useless to detail the
evidence. Each gives the same story of the ferocity and brutality
of Lynch, Blair, Butler, Gallaher, Schultz, Kunick, and the rest of
the raftsman. These colored men saw their comrades beaten and
purged to a watery grave, and stoned while drowning. They heard
over and over again such brutal expressions as “Kill every black son
of a – on the boat.” And whenever this was raised, Blair would
shout, “and I’ll back you!” Geo. Wilson testified that he was the
man fired on by Blair, after having been kicked, choked and stoned
by Gallagher, Schultz and Lynch. When Blair failed to hit him,
Lynch says: “by--, can’t you hit as big a son of a –as that?”
Marshal White, of
Davenport, (colored passenger) testified that he saw much of the
brutality. Butler hit him with a piece of coal, stabbed him in the
thigh, and tried to cut his throat, but witnesses threw up his and
and the knife only penetrated under his left ear. Campbell knocked
White down, and went for a stick of wood to beat him with, when some
one seized witness, and hurried him upstairs.
Thus the evidence has
accumulated until it is established that the engaged in the riot
richly deserve the halter.
Now as to the number of killed,
the Rock Island Union says the following facts have been established
The First Two.
- There was a struggle at the stern of the boat at the time the
larger portion of the crew were being driven ashore, and two negroes
were seen to sink.
The Third was
William Armstead, who let himself down into the water from
the starboard after-guard, thinking to swim away, and who was
stunned by coal thrown at him.
-The man with a gash in his face whom Mr. Hibbard saw torn
from the larboard after-guard and thrown into the river.
The Fifth. -
The man whom Mr. Fullerton saw pursued on the hurricane deck
and jumped or got pushed from it over the side.
The Sixth. -
Moses Davis who was secreted on the hurricane, but who was
chased down stairs and seen running on the boiler deck, had coal
thrown at him by Blair as he ran along the lower deck, and was,
according to Campbell, ”helped off “into the river.
It is probable that
Eagan and Cady will be discharged to-morrow, leaving
thirteen rioters still in custody.
A body supposed to be
that of Davison was found at Muscatine on Monday. The clothing will
be sent up to day for identification.
The examination will
probably be concluded today.
Aug. 5, 1869
Rioters Trial Ended
examination of the Steamer Dubuque rioters was completed this
forenoon. The defense only introduced two witnesses. Charles Welch
and Charles Linden, both discharged prisoners and then rested their
case. Patrick Conley, was discharged, and the case of Dennis Egan,
John Hart and John Gallagher was continued for future examination.
All of the others, ten in number, were held for trial at the
September term of District Court. Their names are as follows:
Trial of the Dubuque Rioters –
After examining 75 more talisman, the12th juror in this case was
secured on Tuesday morning. Wm. Jackson of
Rock Island then opened the case
for the people. Osborn & Gest, of the same place, opened for the
defense. The jury are as follows: Robert McFarland, S.P. Pettys,
James McNeil, Nazro Reynolds, Thos. Bollen, Jno. McFarland, W. A.
Talbot, Wm. Slack, Theo. Dish, A. J. McFarland, R. W. Ayres, Samuel
Bowling. Robert Irvin, of Aledo, a passenger on the Dubuque at the
time of the riot, who identified four of the rioters, was the first
witness examined. John E. Perry, of Philadelphia, also a passenger,
was next examined. Chas. A Jordon, of Fulton
also a passenger, was on the stand a
2 o’clock yesterday. The
prosecution ha about twenty witnesses to examine, and the case will
probably consume the whole of next week.
June 24, 1870
The Dubuque Rioters.
As we have before
mentioned, the men under arrest, and nearly a year past confined in
the jail of Rock Island County, for participation in the terrible
and murderous riot on the Northern Line packet Dubuque, last July,
took a change of venue to Henry County, and their trial is now going
on. There was nearly one hundred men called before a jury was
obtained. Judge Pleasants is presiding. The twelfth and last juror
in this case was secured on Tuesday last, and the opening of the
case commenced by Wm. Jackson, of Rock Island, on the part of the
people, and Osborn & Gest for the defense. The prosecution have some
twenty or more witnesses to examine, and the case will probably
occupy the time of the court during the whole of next week. Charles
A Jordan went on the stand at 2 P.M. Wednesday and was excused at 5
P.M. He identified Dolan Toomey and Blair. John King, pilot of the
Dubuque at the time of the riot, was the next witness. Geo. W. Mann,
of Hudson, Wisconsin who was a passenger on the boat took the
witness stand yesterday morning. The case seems to be making rapid
July 2, 1870
The Dubuque Rioters.
case of the Dubuque rioters on trial at Cambridge, Henry County, by
change of venue from Rock Island County, was submitted to the jury
at five o’clock Thursday. The jury were out six hours, and agreed
upon a verdict at 11 o’clock that night, which was presented to the
court yesterday morning at 8 o’clock.
Seven of the nine convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced as
follows; Wm. Blair, three years in the penitentiary; Wm. Dolan, two
years; Nicholas Schiltz, two years; John Campbell, two years; John
Toomey, one year; James Cronan, one year; Oliver Chandanais one
year; Halsey Hammond and John Gallagher were acquitted. The other
indictment against these two for killing the negro Moses Davis, was
noll. pros. Those convicted were tried for killing the negro
Wm. Armstead, that being considered the test case. They were also
indicted for killing the negro Davis, but the indictment will be
noll.pros. The Argus says the case of Timothy Butler, one
of the leaders, is continued to the October term of the Henry County
court. He is now in the Rock Island county jail. The ringleader,
Lynch, case is set for trial at the September term.
Daily Davenport Democrat
Sept. 22, 1870
Alluding to the trial the Rock Island Argus says: “there is
every prospect that the trial will be a close one.” There is on
both sides an array of legal talent. Such as few cases have called
out. For the prosecution, Sweeney and Jackson of this city- Col.
Mock states attorney of this city and Johnson of Galena. Attorney
of the Northern Line Packet Company, is a very able attorney. For
the defense there is Connelly & McNeal of this city, and Gen H.
Parker of Davenport.” A considerable number of witnesses have
already been examined by the prosecution, by which it appears that
Lynch, contrary to the general and standing was not a burly raftsman
forcing his way from his place on deck into the cabin,, but a cabin
passenger, who from time to time went down upon deck into the cabin
as cabin passengers frequently do. Being refused passage by the
colored porter, a scuffle ensued, in which the raftsmen on deck took
a hand and the bloody scene so well remembered took place.
Sept. 23, 1870
of the notorious Lynch, of Dubuque steamboat riot notoriety is going
on before a jury at the rock Island Circuit Court. A jury was
empanelled after one hundred and thirty-six names had been called.
Six witnesses for the prosecution have been examined, including the
clerk of the boat and passengers. The evidence for the state will
likely be concluded this morning. The prosecution is represented by
Col. Mock, State’s attorney assisted by Sweeney & Jackson, of Rock
Island, and M. Y. Johnson, of galena, attorney of the northern Line
Packet Company. Connelly & McNeal, of Rock Island, and G. H.
Parker, of davenport, appear for the defense. It is claimed that
Lynch was a cabin passenger who passed much of his time on deck, and
that the riot was caused by the colored porter stopping him from
going into the cabin.
Sept. 24, 1870
Lynch the Murderer
evidence in the case of Lynch, the bloodthirsty ruffian who
originated the murderous riot of a year ago on the Northern Line
packet Dubuque. Was concluded yesterday afternoon and the argument
of the counsel commenced. The evidence for the prosecution is such
that there is no show for an acquittal. The only question is,
whether it will be hanging or a long term in the penitentiary.
Among the witnesses called was Robert Tate, first engineer of
the Dubuque, and who was on duty at the time of the riot. He saw
Lynch commence the quarrel with the colored men placed at the foot
of the stairs by the mate of the boat to keep persons from going up
while the clerk collected fare also saw Lynch and others strike the
colored men; saw him with coal in his hand; heard him cry “Kill the
d-d niggers.” When the negroes were chased overboard, saw Lynch
stand on the guard of the boat and throw coal at the poor men
struggling in the water for life. The witness identified Lynch as
the man “who took a stick of cord wood and punched a negro on the
head until he was drowned”; heard Lynch say he had “killed a negro.”
Irwin, a cattle dealer who lives at Aledo, Mercer county, Ill.,
was a cabin passenger on the Dubuque at the time, testified to the
riot, all of which he saw; identified Lynch as the prominent leader;
saw him with a knife in his hand chasing and cursing the negroes;
heard him say he would kill them, that they could not stay on that
boat, etc. This witness also saw the prisoner throwing stone coal
at the negroes in the water, and saw him punch one of the men in the
river on the head with a stick of wood till the poor fellow sank and
Eadelman, of Hampton, H. C. Wivill of Rock Island, and
others testified to much the same facts. Nearly all of the
witnesses for the state testified that Lynch was conspicuous among
the rioters. Yesterday, when the testimony was pointed and direct
as to his murderous conduct, Lynch manifested much uneasiness; the
color came and went from his villainous countenance, and his limbs
were continually moving about. Never was evidence more convicting.
Lynch, we think, has a sure ticket for Joliet, where he will find
some seven of his chums, who on the 28th of July 69,
assisted him in murdering four inoffensive men, just because they
Daily Davenport Democrat
The Lynch Trial
The lawyers handed this important case to the jury on Saturday
afternoon. About one o’clock and after a consultation of about two
hours that body returned, giving in a verdict of manslaughter. The
sentence was imprisonment in the penitentiary for ten years. All
things considered the prisoner has excellent reasons for thanking
his stars that the sentence was not death by hanging. Many a man has
tightened rope for a no less state offense.
The defense was conducted by Geo. P. Parker Esq. of this city, to
who’s superior ability as a criminal lawyer the prisoner in all
possibility owes his life as there was a settled determination on
the part of the prosecution to make it a matter of hemp.
Lynch the Murderer.
The jury in the
case of Lynch, for murder, on Saturday, returned a verdict of guilty
of manslaughter and named ten years in the penitentiary as the
penalty. Deputy Sheriff Paine will take Lynch to Joliet in a few
days. This makes eight of the rioters on the steamer Dubuque that
have been sent to the penitentiary, which is more justice than most
folks thought they would ever hear off in the case.
and Biographical Album of Rock Island County, page 698.
Indictments found against Wm. Dolan, Nicholas Schlirz, Wm Blair,
John Toomey,--Lynch, Timothy butler, Halsey Hammond, John Galagher, John
Campbell, Oliver Clandanis and James Cronan, at the January term,
1890, for causing the death of Moses Davis and Wm. Armstead
or Armstrong, on the 9th day of July, 1869.
Change of venue taken by all except Lynch.
After trying to have the indictment quashed, he was tried at the
September term, 1870, and sentenced to ten years in the
At the June term in the following year, the
defendants, except Butler, were tried, and each found guilty save
Hammond and Galagher; were sentenced to the penitentiary, their
terms ranging from one to three years. The case against Butler was
dismissed. This case created much excitement at the time. The men
indicted, in a row caused Davis and Armstrong to jump from a steamer
into the Mississippi River, hoping to swim ashore. They were
drowned in the attempt."
March 18, 1876
TOM BURKE, ALIAS LYNCH
A fellow whose name is Thomas Burke, was arrested last evening, and
an information for vagrancy filed against him before Justice
Kaufmann. After a hearing he was fined $15 and costs, in default of
which he was sent to the stone pile to work it out.
This fellow Burke is the fellow who ahs been representing himself as
Simon Lynch, the leader of the riot in 1869, on board the steamer
Dubuque, when some seven or eight negroes were killed. He arrived
in Rock Island a few days ago, stepped into the Harper House, told
Mr. H. that he was just out of the penitentiary, that his name was
Lynch, and that he didn’t have a cent in the world, and begged for a
pittance. Mr. Harper gave him fifty cents, and he went to other
places and told the same story, with more or less success. This led
to an interview with Lynch’s mother by an Argus reporter and she
said the fellow must be an imposter as her son was still in the
penitentiary, and she had just got a letter from him in which he
stated it would be ten months before he would e out of Joliet. The
bogus Lynch came over to this side and was playing the same game,
but the police spotted him, and arrested him as stated above. It
appeared he is an old penitentiary bird got acquainted with Lynch
while in Joliet but what earthly object he could have in trying to
palm himself for him we fail to see.