The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga,
August 1, 1880
THE CEDARTOWN TRAGEDY
Yesterday evening about four o'clock, Amanda Robinson, colored, ran down
Main street to the store of Jud Crabb, excited, with a ghastly looking gash
in her throat, with the blood streaming over her clothes. Being asked what
was the matter, she replied that Jack, her husband, had tried to kill her.
Mr. Crabb, together with Mr. Ab. Hogg and Mr. William Knight, proceeded at
once in the direction of Jack's house, which is a one-room house in rear of
the Baptist church, and facing a small alley, with a view to arresting him.
Mr. Knight was to go to the foot of the alley and the other two of the party
were to go immediately to the house. When Mr. Crabb and Mr. Hogg reached the
house they entered it and were confronted by a most ghastly spectacle. The
body of Jack gasping in the last throes of death, with the blood copiously
flowing from a gash in his neck that extended from ear to ear, almost, lay
before them. The blood covered the floor for several feet around him.
Excitement soon became intense in the neighborhood and a considerable crowd
soon gathered to see the ghastly sight. Jerry Thompson, the coroner, soon
summoned a jury and an inquest was held over the body. A Negro named John
Fincher was sworn and testified that he was working near Mrs. Walthall's and
saw Jack run down the alley from his house. When he got to where the alley
entered the street he placed the muzzle of his pistol to his ear and fired,
then placed the muzzle to his left breast, as if to shoot himself in the
heart, and fired again. Then he ran back to the house and went inside.
Another Negro, Sam Wilson, who also witnessed the shooting, testified in
about the same manner as Fincher. When found in his house after the deed had
been committed, his pistol was seen on the bed, and a barlow knife, very
sharp, and with blade bent, lay near his body on the hearth. The coroner's
verdict was in accordance with the facts elicited from the testimony as
above. There is no doubt of the Negro's purpose to kill himself after first
having made way with his wife, was most determined and desperate for it is
the belief of the physicians that either pistol shot would have proved
fatal, and the deadly manner in which he cut his throat after having twice
shot himself is enough to almost stagger belief. The windpipe was almost
entirely severed, the gash extended almost from ear to ear, and the head
looked more than half severed from the body. Jealousy seems to have been the
cause for his committing the deed, as it had been known among the Negroes
for some time that he and his wife were not getting along smoothly. Her part
of the story is that Jack came home in the evening, and while she was
ironing, told her he was going to leave her that evening and he wanted to
hug and kiss her once more before he left. She remonstrated, when he
immediately rushed at her with his knife open, and catching hold of her he
began to cut her throat. He made the first gash when she seized the knife by
the blade and struggled so hard to get it from him that she cut her hand
badly, and bent the blade of the knife, then jumping from the window and
clearing, she don't know how, a high paling fence, she rushed excitedly for
help. Her wounds, though the windpipe was cut, are not considered likely to
prove fatal. (The Daily Constitution, Atlanta, GA, August 1, 1880)
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