Rochester, Monroe, NY
Union & Advertiser
Wed Aug 6, 1890
KEMMLER IS DEAD
(drawing of Wm. Kemmler)
He Died in the Electric Chair in Auburn Prison This Morning
He Was Shocked Three Times and Pronounced Dead When His Flesh Burned
The Physicians Say He Was Unconscious From the First Shock
and Suffered no Pain
He Directed the Adjustment of Himself in the Chair and
Counseled the Warden to Secure Safety
Auburn, Aug 6 - Between 6 and 7 o'clock this morning, in the basement of the state prison in this city Wm. KEMMLER was killed under the law by the use of electricity.
On March 29, 1889, he murdered his mistress, "Tillie" ZIEGLER, and his death to-day was the reparation for his crime. He breakfasted lightly between 5 and 6 o'clock, religious services were held. He made his own toilet. He was cheerful, cool and without apparent dread. He entered the death chamber about 6:30 o'clock. He assisted in preparing himself for death. He was placed in an ordinary chair by the warden, who introduced him to those present. He made brief farewell remarks. There were no prayers in the death-room. The man was evidently void of nervous tension. His voice, while speaking, had no tremor. He submitted to the straps quietly. He directed the adjustment of the electrodes. He made suggestions to the warden and finally sat without a tremor to await the stroke.
A convulsion marked the application of electricity -- noted by all the doctors present. The microscope latter must determine the exact conditions.
Particulars Of The Execution
At 5 o'clock this morning Landlord GREGORY of the Osborne House, holding in one hand a list of room numbers, stood in his office tapping push buttons that rang an electric fire bell in each of the rooms indicated upon his list. In them were sleeping the persons who had been summoned by the prison warden to witness the death of Murderer KEMMLER by electricity. Almost simultaneously porters were heavily thumping at the rooms corresponding to the numbers on the list. There was to be no mistake about the efficacy of the summons, and there was not. Doctors and laymen hurriedly dressed, and while they did so the sun was laying its bars of light level over the city of Auburn. The sky was cloudless, the air cool, and a slight breeze swayed the tree tops. The men of the press had been vigilant and they, too, came trooping from their rooms to join the others at a lunch before going to the prison.
In the pocket of each guest of the State was a card bearing an order of admission to the prison, and before retiring each had been privately warned to present himself at the prison gate not later than 6 o'clock this morning. Some were there at the hour named; others were not, and Warden DURSTON, under evident nervous tension, was pacing the halls and peering often and anxiously down to the big iron gate at the entrance, impatient of the delay.
The stated hour had expired and fifteen minutes more before Dr. SPITZKA arrived with a case of instruments in hand. Doctors SHRADY and JENKINS of New York, were yet missing. They were at the hotel table. At 7 o'clock the 1,200 convicts would be marched out from the mess room to the shops and then the belting to operate the dynamo way down in the loft of the marble shop could not be run on without the prisoners knowing that KEMMLER was about to die. No one could tell what spirit might be developed by the men in striped clothes if such knowledge was forced upon them. The agent and warden therefore grew momentarily more impatient. He would have the execution all over if possible before the men were astir in the shops.
"Gentlemen, I will not wait any longer for those who are not here," he exclaimed at length, after peering a last time down to the iron gate. "This affair cannot be made subject to personal convenience, and I think it unfair to me that I should have been kept waiting until this hour."
The big clock in the main hall then marked twenty-three minutes after six. Only thirty-seven minutes were left in which to take KEMMLER'S life before the convicts should be released to work.
Acquiescing and silently, those waiting in the cool, breezy hall, gathered about the warden, who led the way to the rear hall, where a guard, with a great key, stood to open and close the door to the basement region of the prison.
The huge iron bolted barrier swung back, the warden led the way and the silent party descended the iron stairway to the stone floored hall, where the fatal apparatus and its first subject were waiting.
The way lay through a low doorway in the massive basement wall into a room dimly lighted as yet by the early sunshine. In the semi-gloom the massive chair of death seemed to loom out of shadows a little distance from the entrance. As each guest passed it he might have noted that every strap and every buckle to bind the victim was carefully placed to avoid all possible delay. The electrode for the head hung in its place like the sprinkler disc for a shower bath. And such a shower as this modest appliance should soon pour upon the vitals of a human being was suggested mayhap to some as they entered and scanned the cumberous shamble of human death.
Chairs and benches stood about the room in a semi-circle. In the uncertain light of the fateful room they formed a horseshoe in whose opening stood the heavy chair with its dangling straps and buckles.
In the grim spot might have come to the mind away out from childhood days a memory of the Sunday school Bible class in stiff array with the good preacher sitting in the midst to teach. Even the sarcasm of the circumstances could not check a grim smile.
Down over one window toward the east a heavy shade was drawn, while through the bars in the other window the morning air came cool and fresh through the Virginia creepers that swept the iron with soft rustling touch. Some one whispered to his neighbor that it was too bright a day on which to die, and the neighbor responded that death could not be attended by too much sunshine; and both peered forth to where the dogs frolicked on the smooth lawn, and the grape vines moved in the shadow of the prison's high wall. A bird song drifted through the bars on the dew-cooled air.
Suddenly the room was lighted from within. The warden had turned up the low burning flame at one of the blackened gas burners on an ancient chandelier. In his final arrangements the warden had placed all the electrical apparatus in the ante-room, the wires being run over a casement to the death chamber. This ante-room the warden kept carefully shut save when he or some keeper passed hastily in or out. In charge there were three men, whom the warden refused to name. The purpose of the late change of the electrical volt-meter and the switches to another room became apparent. Those who should see KEMMLER die were never to know who had pushed the switch to send the death bolt to KEMMLER'S vitals. While final adjustments were being made Doctors SHRADY and JENKINS entered and the witnesses were all within the room.
In the meantime KEMMLER, in his cell, was being prepared for the ending of his life. He had gone peacefully to sleep early in the night and had slept soundly, and was snoring until 5 o'clock when he was awakened by one of his guards, Daniel McNAUGHTON. Pastor HOUGHTON, who has attended KEMMLER, as also Prison Chaplain YATES, was with him. They read to him from the Bible and he prayed with them. He dressed himself without aid in a suit of gray-mixed goods. About his neck he buttoned a turn-down collar, with a checked tie of lawn stuff. His hair he combed and brushed with great care. His shoes were well polished. And when he made himself tidy the warden and a tall stranger, a deputy sheriff from Buffalo, entered the cell. The stranger held by his side a pair of clippers. The warden explained to KEMMLER that he must have the top of his head shaved. The prisoner demurred. He had taken great pains dressing his hair and besides, as he explained to the warden, he did not want to be disfigured. He wanted the people to see and know that he was not a man of repulsive appearance as has been stated. KEMMLER'S hair is dark brown and wavy, with a hyperion curl that fell upon his forehead. Of this he was proud. In the shadow of death his vanity asserted itself. His hair, however, was cut, but the curl was saved, and, as the sequel proved, with no good result. The spot, 21/4 by 11/4 inches in size was not shaven but cropped fairly close.
While this was proceeding and the witnesses examined the chair of death the belt was run upon the dynamo, in the south wing of the prison, and the incandescent test lamps in the ante-chamber glowed faintly. The current was on. The strange power was coursing the circuit. The evidence was there, but how feebly they burned. Thus exclaimed Dr. McDONALD, who was the only one who got into the ante-room, and that while ignorant of the warden's desire to keep its secrets inviolate. And in response to the doctor's comment electrician DAVIS remarked that there was "something wrong about the machinery down there," referring to the dynamo end of the circuit.
This remark took place before the electricizing, it is well to remember, and was undoubtedly as true a few minutes later when the bolt was applied to KEMMLER. The condemned man, after having his hair cut on the top of his head, listened to the reading of the death warrant by the warden. None of the state witnesses were present, only the preacher and the warden. The prisoner was cool and collected. The last named condition, however, was discredited by the blanched hue of the man's face. "Come, Bill," commanded the warden when all had been done in the cell, and the little party of four -- warden, prisoner and the clergymen -- passed through the ante-room, past the electrical appliances, and the warden led the way finally into the death chamber. Close behind him trod the man he would soon kill. His hands swung from his side as though in some embarrassment and he stroked his long beard as he confronted the white, expectant faces of the twenty-five men, who, besides the warden, should soon see him die.
Mr. DURSTON placed a plain wooden bottomed chair directly in front of the other and different chair and bid KEMMLER sit upon it. He obeyed readily. There was no uneasiness about his movements. He seated himself leisurely. There was no nervous tension apparent; indeed not nearly so much as among the men about him. He was apparently the most composed person in the room.
The warden took a place beside KEMMLER after the latter had become seated in the kitchen chair placed for him, resting his arm over the prisoner's shoulder, on the chair back. Holding his hat in his hand and standing there in the silent chamber, the state's officer presented the condemned man to those present, introduced him, indeed, and this is what he said:
"Now, gentlemen, this is William KEMMLER. I have just read the warrant to him and have told him that he has got to die, and if he has anything to say he will say it."
There was surprise among those present. There was at that moment and place a shock from such a formality. KEMMLER, however, seemed gratified because he had an opportunity to speak, but as the warden moved back the prisoner glanced about the half-circle of curious or pitying faces before him.
With his feet wide apart upon the stone floor with a hand on either knee and elbows akmibo the simple fellow spoke: "Well, I wish everybody good luck in the world," he said in easy, steady tones, "and I'll go to a good place and the papers has been sayin' lots of stuff about me that ain't so." That was all, but into the poor wretche's face came an expression men have when they have acquitted themselves of some act that they had anticipated to do. And with all else depicted upon his face there was a something that evidenced submission to force. Those who looked into his face would not have wondered if he had said: "I'm fast and close here; I know I'm to be killed but don't hurt me, don't hurt me." There was apprehension without horror plain upon his face.
The prisoner glanced over his shoulder as he ceased speaking and Mr. DURSTON came to his side.
"Take off your coat, Bill," said he.
There was no word, but with easy, steady joints he pulled off one sleeve and then swung off the garment to the chair from which he had risen. The warden stood behind him, drew forth the bottom of his shirt and cut it off behind so as to permit easy adjustment of one of the electrodes. Meanwhile KEMMLER re-adjusted his necktie, which was already neatly fixed in a bow-knot.
"Are your suspenders all right," asked the warden, as he laid down the shears he had used.
"Yes, all right," was the answer.
"Well then, Bill you'd best sit down here," said the warden, whose heart is kind and whose tone was that of a parent to a child that should be corrected.
The warden was moved with compassion for the being who, obedient to a nod, seated himself in the great chair never to rise alive. His submission somehow seemed to have the element of patient and uncomprehending passivity of the ox when led to the killing. He trusted the officer who he knew was to kill him. It was an exhibition of the confidence found in animals.
And so the doomed man took his place, and some who witnessed, admired what they styled his "nerve," and others pitied and dreaded the end each spectator after the manner of his sensibilities.
And the hour was 6 o'clock and 38 minutes.
"Take it cool, Bill, I am going to stay close by you all the while till the end." said the warden, as though to a child who pleads with its mother to stay by the bedside at night till sleep shall have come. Then he buckled a strap at one shoulder.
"I'll take it cool," returned KEMMLER, and then, with his elbows upon the great arm of the chair, he drew himself firmly back on the seat so that the electrode pressed him hard at the base of the spine.
When the straps had been adjusted to the body and limbs the warden placed his hand on KEMMLER'S head and held it against the rubber cushion which ran down the back of the chair. KEMMLER'S eyes were turned toward the opposite side of the room. Before they had followed the warden in his movements about. Then the condemned man made one or two remarks in a perfectly clear, composed tone of voice. "Well, I wish everybody good luck," was one of them, and, "DURSTON, see that things are all right," was another. Deputy VIELING unfastened the thumbscrews which held the figure four at the back of the chair in place and began to lower it, so that the rubber cup which held the saturated sponge pressed against the top of KEMMLER'S head. The warden assisted in the preparation by holding KEMMLER'S head. When the cup had been adjusted and clamped in place KEMMLER said: "Oh, you'd better press that down further, I guess. Press that down? So the head piece was unclamped and pressed further down. While it was being done KEMMLER said: "Well, I want to do the best I can. I can't do anything better than that."
Warden DURSTON took in his hand the leather harness which was to be adjusted to KEMMLER'S head. It was a muzzle of broad leather straps which went cross the forehead and the chin of the man in the chair. The top strap pressed down against the nose of KEMMLER until it flattened it down slightly over his face. As the harness was put in place Dr. SPITZKA, who was standing near the chair, said softly, "God bless you, KEMMLER," and the condemned man answered "Thank you," softly. The door leading into the room where the switches were arranged was partly open. A man stood in the doorway. Beyond him there were two other men. Which of them was to touch the lever and make the connection with the chair was not known. Warden DURSTON says it never will be known. The dynamo in the machine shop was running at good speed and the volt meter on the wall registered a little more than 1,000 volts. Warden DURSTON turned to the assembled doctors, those immediately around the execution chair and said: "Do the doctors say it is all right?" Hardly a minute had elapsed since the adjustment of the straps. There was no time for KEMMLER to have weakened even if his marvelous courage had not been equal to the test of further delay. But there is no fear that he would have lost courage. He was as calm in the chair as he had been before he entered the room and during the process of his confinement by the straps which held him close. At the warden's question Dr. FELL stepped forward with a long syringe in his hand and quickly but deftly wet the two sponges which were at the electrodes, one on top of the head and the other at the base of the spine. The water which he put on them was impregnated with salt. Dr. SPITZKA answered the warden's question with a sharp "All right," which was echoed by others about him.
"Ready?" said DURSTON again, and then "Good bye." He stepped to the door and through the opening said to some one in the next room: "Everything is ready." In almost immediate response and as the stop-watches in the hands of some of the witnesses registered 6:43 1/2, the electric current was turned on. There was a sudden convulsion of the frame in the chair. A spasm went over it from head to foot, confined by the straps that held it firmly so that no limb or other parts of the body stirred more than a small fraction of an inch from its resting place. The twitching that the muscles of the face underwent gave to it for a moment an expression of pain. But no cry escaped from the lips which were free to move at will. No sound came forth to suggest that consciousness had lasted more than an infinitesimal fraction of a second -- beyond the calculation of the human mind. The body remained in this rigid position for seventeen seconds. The jury and the witnesses who had remained seated up to this moment came hurriedly forward and surrounded the chair. There was no movement of the body beyond that first convulsion.
It was not a pretty sight -- this man in his shirt sleeves bound hand, foot, body, and even head, with a heavy frame work pressing down on the top of his skull, still with the stillness of death. Dr. McDONALD held a stop-watch in his hand, and as the seconds flew by he noted their passage. Dr. SPITZKA, too, looked at the stop-watch and as the tenth second expired he cried out "Stop!" "Stop," "Stop," cried other voices about the room. The warden turned to the doorway and called out "stop" to the man at the lever. A quick movement of the arm and the electric current was switched off. There was a relaxation of the body in the chair - a slight relaxation - but the straps held it so firmly that there was not a quarter of an inch variation in the position of any part of the frame. The quiet little group around the chair grew business like.
"He's dead," said Dr. SPITZKA, calmly.
"Oh, he's dead," echoed Dr. McDONALD with firm confidence. The rest of the witnesses nodded their acquiescence. There was no question in the mind of any one but that the stiff upright object before them was lifeless. This was the programme, this the inevitable effect.
The next question was what was to be done with the body? Dr. SPITZKA stepped forward and called attention to the appearance of the nose, which, he said, had an undoubted post mortem color. No one disputed this. Dr. SPITZKA turned around in a business-like way, and pointed to the harness, said: "Oh, undo that. Now the body can be taken to the hospital." The warden replied that he could not let any of the witnesses go until he had their certificates. All of this conversation took but a minute. Dr. BALCH was bending over the body looking at the exposed skin.
Suddenly he cried out sharply" "Dr. McDONALD, see that rupture." In a moment Dr. SPITZKA and Dr. McDONALD had bent over, and were looking where Dr. BALCH was pointing at a little red spot on the hand that rested on the right arm of the chair. The index finger of the hand had curved backwards as the flexor muscles contracted and had scraped a small hole in the skin at the base of the thumb. There was nothing strange in this alone, but what was strange was that the little rupture was dropping blood.
"Turn the current on instantly. This man is not dead," cried Dr. SPITZKA.
Faces grew white and forms fell back from the chair.
Warden DURSTON sprang to the doorway and cried, "Turn on the current." But the current could not be turned on. When the signal to stop had come, the operator had pressed the little button which gave the sign to the engineer to stop the dynamo. The dynamo was almost at a standstill, and the volt meter registered an almost imperceptible current. The operators sprang to the button and gave a sharp, quick signal. There was a rapid response, but quick as it was it was not quick enough to anticipate the signs of what may or may not have been reviving consciousness. As the group of horror-stricken witnesses stood helplessly by, all eyes fixed upon the chair, KEMMLER'S lips began to drip spittal and in a moment more his chest moved and from his mouth came a heavy sound, quickening and increasing with every respiration - if respiration it was. There was no voice but that of the warden crying to the operator to turn on the current and the wheezing sound, half grown, which forced itself past the tightly clenched lips sounded through the still chamber with ghastly distinctness. Some of the witnesses turned away from the sight. One of them lay down faint and sick. It takes a long time to tell the story. It seemed a long time reaching a climax. In reality there were but seventy-three seconds in the interval which elapsed between the moment when the first sound issued from KEMMLER'S lips until the response to the signal came from the dynamo room. It came with the same suddenness that had marked the first shock which passed through KEMMLER'S body. The sound which had horrified the listeners about the chair was cut off sharply as the body once more became rigid.
The current was kept on the second time until the body fumed and gave off unpleasant odors.
The doctors unite in the belief that death was painless -- that all consciousness was destroyed at the moment of contact.
The sight in the execution room was sickening.
At 7:30 the witnesses left the execution room under agreement to return at 8:15.
The autopsy will be performed at 8:30.
KEMMLER displayed great bravery and helped to adjust the fastenings that bound him to the chair.
After KEMMLER was electricized Warden DURSTON took from his inside pocket a prepared certificate of death, which the law requires shall be signed and filed in the office of the county wherein the conviction was had, together with the post mortem statement, within ten days after the execution takes place. Each witness, twenty-five in all besides the warden, signed his name to the certificate of execution before he left the death room. This certificate reads:
Court Of Oyer And Terminer in and for Erie county - People of the State of New York against Wm. KEMMLER, otherwise called John HORT.
State of New York, County of Cayuga, s.s.; I, Chas. F. DURSTON, agent and warden of Auburn State Prison, at Auburn, Cayuga county, State of New York, do hereby certify pursuant to section 508 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the State of New York, that in obedience to, and in conformity with the judgment and sentence of the above named court and the warrants of said court, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, I, said agent and warden at the said State prison at the city of Auburn, county of Cayuga, State of New York, on the 6th day of August, 1889, did attempt upon the execution of the said judgment and sentence, and that the said Wm. KEMMLER, otherwise called John HORT, the convict therein mentioned, was then and there, to wit, at the place and time last aforesaid, executed in conformity to said judgment and sentence of said court, and in accordance with the provision of the code of criminal procedure of the State of New York. I do further certify that the persons whose names are hereinafter signed were the persons invited by me as such agents and warden of such state prison to be present at said execution; and that said persons were all the persons present and witnessed the execution of said judgment and sentence upon the said Wm. KEMMLER, otherwise called John HORT.
(Signed) Charles J. DUNSTON
Agent and Warden.
We, the undersigned, being the persons, and all the persons, present and witnessing the execution of the judgment and sentence set forth in the foregoing certificate, do hereby, pursuant to statute in such case made and provided, and at the city of Auburn, county of Cayuga, State of New York aforesaid, on the 6th day of August, 1890, subscribed to the foregoing certificate.
Louis BALCH W. J. NELLIS
J. M. JENKINS W. I. JENKINS
Joseph FOWLER Henry ARGUE
C. M. DANIELD A. P. SOUTHWICK
O. A. HOUGHTING C. R. HUNTLEY
H. E. ALLISON T. K. SMITH
Robt. DUNLAP E. C. SPITZKA
Carlos F. McDONALD G. E. FELL
Oliver A. JENKINS Jos. C. BELING
Horatio YATES Tracy A. BECK
M. CONWAY Geo. Granthan BAIN
Frank W. MACK Geo. SHRADY
Geo W. IRISH
ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF THE KILLING
Auburn, Aug. 6 - The trial of the new means of taking human life resulted in a sickening spectacle, presented by a pinioned wrench, at whose vital center was kept pounding for some moments an alternating current of electricity, which, though it ultimately destroyed his life, subjected the criminal to a torture of which no living being has knowledge, and which none can describe. Imperfect registry of the current's pressure, or faulty contact of the electrodes, prevented instantaneous death. The laymen may gain some conception of the process of this killing when the statement is made that a person whose body should be shaken into fragments could not have suffered such pain as did KEMMLER, whose nerve cells and tissues were disintegrated, not in a flash, as designated, but by the relatively slow strokes of the electric hammers upon them. Whether the blood yet retains its normal consistency, or whether it is partially or wholly fluidized by divorce oxygen from the blood corpuscles can only be determined by the autopsy which is about to be commenced. Only a deliberate pen can adequately describe the scenes and this detail will soon follow.
RECORD OF KEMMLER'S LIFE
KEMMLER was a man of low mental and moral qualities. The surroundings of his birth and early life were very bad. His father was a butcher in Philadelphia, where William, the murderer, was born in 1860. The boy grew up in the shambles and in the market place. His parents sent him to school for a brief period, and several times he saw the inside of a church and heard the service there. These feeble influences constituted the only contact the boy and man ever had with things pure or good. KEMMLER'S was a life that grew rankly. On no side did it bear the impress of polish or any training or efforts to ennoblement. He was a sample product of conditions existing to-day in all large cities.
He worked in the slaughter-house with his father, then he became a brick-yard worker, and finally he became a huckster on his own account. Of his rascally devices to cheat customers, while huckstering, KEMMLER since his imprisonment has told with chuckles and much gusto.
In 1887, KEMMLER married a worthless woman named Ida PORTER in Camden, New Jersey. Two days later he found she had been previously married, and he left her to live with Matilda ZIEGLER. They moved to Buffalo, N. Y. KEMMLER frequently found his mistress purloining money from his clothing, and he suspected infidelity on her part. They quarreled, blows were exchanged; KEMMLER became a hopeless drunkard.
On the morning of March 29, 1889, all Buffalo was shocked by the news of the brutal butchery of a woman at No. 526 South Division street. The woman killed was "Tillie ZIEGLER," and the murderer was the Philadelphia butcher's son, KEMMLER. The murder was the first that had been committed in the State of New York after the law to kill murderers by electricity had become operative.
KEMMLER was arrested, and in the meantime the unfortunate woman was removed to a hospital. Her face, arms and breast were covered with blood, and she was quite insensible. A casual examination resulted in the discovery of twenty-six distinct gashes on the face and head, and five bad wounds on the right hand, arm and shoulder, she having evidently tried to defend herself from the savage attack of her paramour. She lingered in a comatose condition until the next day, when death ensued before she had once regained consciousness, and she was, therefore, unable to make an ante-mortem statement. The only eye-witness was the 4-year-old daughter of the victim, who said: "Papa hit mamma with the hatchet when she was lying on the floor."
The couple in Buffalo had lived under the name of HORT. The victim's father, a Philadelphia huckster, named TRIPNER, came to Buffalo and identified the body of the dead woman as his child. With him came Henry KEMMLER, the murderer's brother, who had married a sister of the dead woman.
The woman was described by the Buffalo papers at the time as a prepossessing brunette of about 135 pounds, and quite stylish-looking.
After his arrest the murderer refused to talk of the crime and at one time there were doubts as to his sanity. He made no attempt to escape after the assault. When pressed to give a reason for the deed he only said. "I wanted to kill her, and the sooner I hang for it the better." Nearly $500 in cash was found at his room. The coroner's jury pronounced KEMMLER a murderer, and immediately after the inquest he was taken from the jail to the police court and arraigned on a charge of murder in the first degree. He pleaded guilty, saying he had no use for a lawyer.
Judge CHILDS sentenced him to die within the week beginning June 24, 1889, by the application of electricity as provided by the code, at Auburn State prison. Counselor HATCH took exceptions to the sentence, upon the ground that the punishment was cruel and unusual and contrary to the spirit of the constitution. KEMMLER reached Auburn Friday, May 24th, at midnight. A writ of habeas corpus was served upon Warden DURSTON just before the fatal day arrived, and upon June 25th an exhaustive argument was heard by County Judge DAY. The whole argument was as to the constitutionality of the law substituting electricity for the gibbet, upon the ground of the former being cruel and unusual. Judge DAY dismissed the writ, and the case was taken to the General Term of the Supreme Court at Rochester, where the constitutionality of the law was upheld. The last resort was the Court of Appeals, and here, too, the decision was adverse to KEMMLER'S counsel.
The criminal was re-sentenced to die in the week beginning April 28, 1890. It is likely KEMMLER would have been electricized on April 30th, but on the 29th a United States writ of habeas corpus was served on the warden, and the case was then carried to the United States Supreme Court on the point of constitutionality of the law on the same grounds as urged in the State courts. The New York courts were upheld in the final appeal and KEMMLER was again sentenced to be killed in the week beginning August 4th.
The Source of the Death Current
By a small window in a loft above the marble shops in Auburn prison is rigged a dynamo which takes power from the shop below. It is a fifty horse-power machine, which is the mechanical force, allowing for waste in gearing and transmission, deemed necessary to maintain fifty of the arc, or big white street lamps. The qualifications of this dynamo are:
Commercial voltage force current......................1,600
Speed (revolutions of armature).........................1,500
This machine is so constructed as to generate what is known as an alternating current. In lay terms it may be said that in alternating current dynamo the electric force undergoes rapid periodic changes, being one moment at zero, increasing to maximum, diminishing to zero; then, reversing in direction, it again rises to a maximum, to fall again to zero. The average of these rapidly changing strengths is sometimes called the electromotive force of the dynamo. The Auburn machine is capable of about 280 of these reversals every second, or about 14,000 every minute. When applied to the criminal, as in KEMMLER'S case, these rapidly alternating throbs have each about the physical force necessary to lift 137 pounds one foot in one second. The nerve cells and tissues are believed to be racked and smitten, first in one direction and then another, by this terrific and mysterious force, about 14,000 times every minute. It is like beating on an object with a heavy hammer alternating on either side, with great force, very rapidly. In the case of electricizing, the nerve cells are believed to be torn from the glands, or the ganglin, disintegrated - killed.
Edison has stated, under oath, that one-tenth of an ampere (the electrical unit of quantity) and 1,000 volts (a volt being the electrical unit of pressure) would be enough to kill a man.
If Edison is right then the silent machine in the left of the prison marble shop has within its mysterious thews the generative power to decimate a great city in an incredibly short space of time.
A fifty-horse power machine would produce a quantity equal to 37 amperes at a pressure of 1,000 volts. If Edison's statement that a tenth of an ampere at 1,000 volts will kill human life then the machine which was used on KEMMLER might have destroyed 869 other men at the same moment it did KEMMLER. There are however, well informed electricians who will not fully accept Edison's figures, but they say the conditions he names "might" result in death. However, there is ample margin above the force required to kill, for the dynamo has a possible force of over 2,000 volts, which, while it reduces the quantity at a given point of the circuit at a given instant of time, means double the pressure cited by Edison as effective for electricizing purposes. The effect of increasing voltage is like that of placing an inch nozzle on a 4-inch pipe through which water is flowing. A less quantity of water would escape each instant, but its force would be vastly increased.
As indicated, the dynamo in use is of vastly greater power than needed to kill one man instantly. A machine that could be placed in a waste basket might be constructed to do all that is required. If allowance is made for loss in the friction of necessary gearing, and in the process of transforming to electricity, it is probable that a dynamo might be constructed which might be operated one minute by a weight of about 800 pounds falling 10 feet. During this electrical energy sufficient to kill a man in from one to ten seconds would be generated. This possibility is cited to bring the lay mind to a mere vivid and practical appreciation of mechanical force involved in the killing of a human being by electricity.
From the dynamo in the loft of the marble shop in Auburn prison heavy wires lead through a gauge on the wall up to the top of the building which is known as the south wing. Thence they trail along the roofs, over the main part of the prison, and creep their way stealthily among the vines that cover the prison front, down to the basement and through a square window into the fateful room.
The Electricizing Chair
Since its construction, under direction of Warden DURSTON, the chair in which KEMMLER sat to be killed has been in care of a convict clerk in one of the prison departments. He held the keys to the store room in which the chair was hidden, and guarded it with great care. Convicts made it, and a convict kept it from curious inspection. To bring it from its hiding place was the last act of preparation for KEMMLER'S execution.
The chair is not of horrid appearance. It has no lines of beauty, but with its foot-rest it affords comfortable position to the occupant. There is not a curved line on its sturdy frame. Upright and cross bars, arms and rungs are of heavy hard wood, square and upright.
And the arms of the chair! They are wide, very wide. Not for comfort of the occupant, no. Why then? See the broad, heavy buckles on the outer lower edges, and the equally broad, stout straps on the inner side - one where the wrist falls, the other where the elbow would rest. These might bind a fore arm very, very close to the broad chair arms.
The chair has a perforated wooden seat. The side posts of the back reach above where a human head would rest. There are more buckles too, and straps on these posts, just below where the shoulder would rest, to pinion the upper arms. The central rest to the back is furnished by a stout broad bar of wood at the top of which, above the sitter's head, is mortised in a stout stick which is braced from above. The outlines are nearly those of the figure 4. Through the stick thus projecting forward from the back bar and over the sitter's head, is a one-fourth inch hole directly above the head. It is a little aperture, yet through it passed the current which was the agent of KEMMLER'S death.
The back bar, crowned with its miniature gibbet, is moveable, up or down, through iron-clamps at the back of the seat and of the broad head rest. Through the hole in the projecting stick above the head is passed the heavy wire stem of the electrode that rests upon the head, and through which the death-current flows. Opposite the base of the spinal column another hole in the upright back bar admits the current wire to the other pole and its electrode.
The electrodes are heavy yet flexible rubber cups, about four inches in diameter, and having inside a copper disk or coil of copper wire - in this case a coil. The heavy current wire is introduced into the rubber cup through the apex, and is connected with the wire coiled around the inside of the cup. A sponge is fitted into the cavity of the cup, closely against the wire coil. The sponge will hold a gill of water. One electrode is pressed down upon the head of the criminal, clinging somewhat, because of exhaustion of air.
Thus, when the electrode is in position, there is practically only a gill of water between the wire coil and the subject's flesh. The sponge is the ultimate conductor of the charge, and dripping with one of nature's best conductors, surely fits every wrinkle, into every pore, over every excresence. Contact is perfect upon the skin previously sponified.
Fastened to the head-rest is a pad, heavily insulated with rubber, fashioned to fit the curves of the neck and upper spinal column. The criminal's head is drawn back hard and tight into this neck saddle, by the heavy leather mask that fits the forehead, shades the eyes and envelops the chin, but leaves the nose and mouth exposed. There are straps upon the mask that buckle back about the upright central bar. The head is fixed and fast. The arms are pinioned, the wrists, the elbows; the legs are bound, a stout broad strap circles the waist and holds it fast; the electrode for the head is connected through the stick projecting above the head. The other through the bar to the bared base of the spine, and the occupant of the chair has been made part of a circuit through which, when the current is switched on, flashes the force that kills.
Successful use of this means of death depends upon perfect contact of the electrodes. Imperfect contact causes burning of the flesh, and slow and awful dissolution. The physical fact in such a case would be, that the current flowing continuously is dammed up when it reaches the skin by imperfect contact of the conductor with it. The current hurrying forward with terrible force and great volume must be expended. This must be done in light or heat. In a case of electricizing by the methods employed it would expend itself in heat, an arc or break being formed, and burning of the flesh would result. By use of the sponge electrode, as above explained, perfect contact is secured and instant death is certain.
The Chamber Of Death
Once the convicts - there are now more than 1,200 in Auburn prison - eat in the space which is now the room where KEMMLER died. It used to be part of the mess-room. Near one of its high square windows the writer once saw ex-bank president FISH, at a narrow shelf running along the wall, eating his plate of beans and tin mug of soup. The room thus taken from the mess hall is about 18 by 30 feet in size. A bath tub and sink are in one corner. The walls and ceiling are white, the floor is of stone, the ceiling is ten feet high and the two windows eastward look out upon beautifully kept lawn within the 20 foot high prison wall 100 feet away on the street. Through the heavy iron barred gate people passing in the street may be seen from the windows of the death room. The front windows, the sills of which touch the level lawn without, are iron barred, and heavy wire netting is also placed across them. The fresh green of newly grown creeping vines droop down over the lintels. On the other side of the room are two guarded openings upon the corridor through which the convicts shuffle, shuffle and tramp, tramp to their mess room fare. Shades are drawn over these windows.
Near one corner of the room is a low, broad and heavy door. It opens into a short corridor leading to the solitary chamber with its iron cage, where KEMMLER awaited death, and where, doubtless, others will do the same.
An old-fashioned chandelier drops from the ceiling and reaches out two rusty arms in awkward curves to hold at the end of each blackened gas burner.
Between the windows on the street side of the room the wall is faced with matched boards to hold the electrical apparatus. The wires from the distant dynamo lead in through the corner window to a volt or force meter fastened against the board facing. By this the swiftness of the death current was measured. On the circuit also is a case of twenty-four incandescent lamps. These lamps glow when the current is there, and give a tangible assurance that the silent agent of death is throbbing along the copper arteries. At the right of the lamps is a switch which, when shut, closes or completes a sub-current which lights the lamps, but does not involve the death chair and its appliances. The current in this circuit is reduced so as not to overflow or burn out the lamps, by means of an instrument known as the re-ductor.
Quite near and at the right of the lamp switch is the all-potent switch of the main circuit. The lever is about 14 inches long and has a rubber handle, so that the executioner may not be electricized instead of the criminal in the chair. The closing of this lever into the mental jaws that receive it establishes a circuit through the electrodes of the chair.
From the ceiling near the ancient gas fixtures depends the death-carrying wire, the criminal sitting with his right side to the street windows facing northward. The back of the chair is toward the door where the criminal enters, so that walking obliquely from the door he takes the seat without turning.
A button on the wall, when pressed, sounds a signal in the dynamo room; the belt is put on the machine to innocently do its terrible errand, and upon signal it may be at once turned off after its work is done.
Dramatic Incidents In The Passage Of The law
Dramatic scenes attended the passage by the New York Legislature of the measure under which KEMMLER to-day suffered death. The bill came from the hands of a commission, which had been appointed to consider a change in New York's method of executing murders. It was first presented in the Assembly, and gray-haired SAXTON - he of the electoral bill - as chairman of the Assembly's Judiciary Committee, had assumed its championship.
It was a winter night and the great Capitol was thronged. A measure which should abolish the noose and the gibbet was to be placed on its final passage in the House and Charles T. SAXTON, an able lawyer and a respected man would make the chief speech in its behalf. That a struggle would be made against "the new-fangled notion" by those who always oppose innovations was well known. The committee hearing on the bill had foreshadowed this. There was another and more powerful influence pitted against the measure, for it was well known that Catholic members would bitterly oppose the clauses of the bill which consigned the murderer's remains to the prison yard with quicklime to hasten dissolution, and that without religious rites.
Every member was in his place. The floor, the galleries and the Speaker's platform even held curious spectators. The bill to substitute the mysterious force of electricity for the rope was moved, and SAXTON, standing in his place in the brilliant chamber, made a plea for its passage. Then came the battle, and it was hotly waged. Ridicule and taunts were leveled at the commission which framed the bill- one of them sitting beside Mr. SAXTON. Men grew angry, some insulting, others used vicious sarcasm; and at each onslaught the gray-haired SAXTON, with magnificent voice and keen mind, stood ready.
Finally, within ten feet of the bill's defender, arose war veteran LONGLEY of Brooklyn. He cited the agony of pain relatives must suffer at not being able to bury their dead, though the dead be a murderer. Then he referred to the war time and to the sad comfort afforded those who were permitted to receive and bury the bodies of the loved ones killed in battle.
"I move to amend," concluded Mr. LONGLEY, "that friends or relatives may reclaim the body of the executed man."
There was both heart and brain in the response to this.
"When a man by his crime forfeits his life to the State," spoke Mr. SAXTON, "the State has undoubted right to dispose of the murderer's body as public policy may direct. What comfort can be afforded those who loved the criminal by viewing the remains which in life had failed of self-respect, and which in death bear the stamp of the State's righteous desecration?"
"In Chicago," continued the speaker, "the bodies of executed criminals were exposed to relatives and to the public, and that city was brought very close to an insurrection. Public policy would have been better served had the provisions of this bill been operative there."
There was a pause, in which the throng was hushed, and Mr. SAXTON, turning forward LONGLEY, looked into his eyes.
"Finally," he broke forth in a searching monotone that reached every ear, "does the gentleman wish to force upon me, who served as did he in the Union armies, a comparison of the sacred sorrow for the dead soldier with the passion of regret over the corpse of a dead murderer?"
Interest of the crowded chamber was too intense for cheers. The crowd just waited in silence. This was broken by new anticipations as Mr. ROESCH - who since, as Senator, passed the weekly payment bill - arose to speak. It was known that he would voice the Catholic opposition to the bill. Said he:
"I hold that where relatives claim the remains the state has no right to retain them. Property exists in human bodies, and besides (and his voice rose) this bill takes away the right of burial in consecrated ground."
Here was the challenge made by religious convictions.
"Consecrated ground!" thundered SAXTON. "Is the plea here made that hardship follows retention of a criminal corpse from consecrated ground? The criminal who in life would not respect the flesh protected by the law he broke may not in death have demanded for it that which himself had forfeited."
"But," shouted Mr. ROESCH," was not the body of Christ stamped with the mark of the law's desecration, and was it not afforded decent burial?
The inquiry was launched upon the air with vehement emphasis. There was not a sound in the chamber where hundreds waited in suspense to catch the response. SAXTON stood a moment with bowed head, his face as white as his hair, and then, tossing back his locks like a mane, with quivering lips and reverent tone he said:
"I will not stand here to answer a question based upon the association of the Holy Savior's memory with that of men executed by the State of New York for murder.
He looked squarely into the face of Mr. ROESCH, who had remained standing, but who, after a moment of intense stillness, slowly resumed his seat.
The tension of the listeners was relaxed, the bill went through with some amendments, and was sent to the Senate. After a less dramatic history there it passed, and Gov. HILL signed it. It took effect January 1st, 1889, and KEMMLER was first to commit murder in this state after that date; hence, first to suffer death under its provisions.
Inception Of the Law
In 1886 the Legislature of New York became interested in the subject of capital punishment and its methods, and a commission was authorized "to investigate and to report at an early date the most humane and practical method known to modern science of carrying into effect the sentence of death in capital cases."
Three men constituted this commission -- Elbridge T. GERRY, A. P. SOUTHWICK and Matthew HALE; the first a lawyer, the second a physician, and the third a lawyer. The commission entered upon a course of painstaking research and investigation. All facts bearing upon the subject with which they were charged were carefully studied. All criminal law from earliest history to the present day was examined and the methods of judicial killing from the days of the Mosaic law to the present were examined in detail. Europe was visited by one or more of the commissioners for study, and at home patient and exhaustive experiments were made.
Mr. GERRY was deeply interested was deeply interested in the applied uses of electricity. he is commodore of the New York Yacht Club, and his steam yacht, the flagship Electra, was so named because of her being furnished with all the electrical devices possible to a craft afloat. Another of the commissioners was likewise much interested and had much knowledge of electrical matters. Hence, naturally, the suggestion of capital punishment by means of electricity received close attention.
The deterrent effect of capital punishment by various modes, from the days when as many as 100 offenses warranted death, to the present day, was studied as a basis of deduction. So careful was the quest of the commission, that comparison was made in its report between the morals of a New England colony in 1650, when seventeen offenses (among them obstinacy of children) were punishable with death, and the present time, when the usual methods prevail in what is now the State of Massachusetts.
Each of the thirty-four methods of causing death judicially, which have been employed since history began, was weighed and studied for possible suggestions in the line of the commission's duty. The reasons why the great list of thirty-four death methods in the past have been reduced to five, which are in vogue to-day, were reduced to conclusions, of which the chief are:
First -- That the effort to diminish the increase of crime by the indiscriminate application of capital punishment to various offenses involving different grades of moral turpitude: or, in other words, by the enlarging of the number of offenses to which capital punishment is made applicable, has proven a failure.
Second -- That any undue or peculiar severity in the mode of inflicting the death penalty neither operates to lessen the occurrence of the offense, nor to produce a deterrent effect.
To the method of hanging to cause death the commission objected, finally, because
1st, Of the demoralizing effect of giving stimulants to the condemned immediately before execution.
2d, The incidental danger of an attempt to commit suicide and of some subsequent horrible scene, instances being cited in which a wound in the throat with suicidal attempt had become an avenue for respiration after the drop had fallen and while the condemned swung in air.
3d, Resistance or suffering by the offender.
4th, Unskillfulness, or brutal indifference of the executioner.
5th, Misconduct of the bystanders.
6th, Sympathy of bystanders occasioned by the great age or other personal circumstances of the condemned.
7th, Complication of the process caused by a supposed necessity of executing more than one person at one time.
The commission, in view of all, concluded that the time had come when a radical change should be effected, and the commission's research narrowed its choice to four methods of judicial killing:
2. Prussic acid, or other poison.
3. The guillotine.
4. The garrote.
Upon these the commission invited expression of opinion from Supreme Court and county judges, district attorneys and sheriffs throughout the state, the final result being these recommendations to the Legislature:
1st, That the present method of inflicting the death penalty be abolished, and, as a substitute, that a current of electricity of sufficient intensity to destroy life instantly, be passed through the body of the convict.
2d, That every such execution take place in a State prison, to be designated by the Court in its judgment and death warrant, and that the time of the execution be not fixed by the Court, except by designating a period within which it shall take place.
3d, That after execution a post mortem examination of the body be made, after which dissection, or burial without ceremony in the prison grave-yard with sufficient quicklime to insure immediate consumption of the remains.
The report of the commission was submitted to the Legislature of 1888, and a bill embodying the above recommendations, was presented in the House, the same to become operative January 1, 1889. It was passed in 1888.
Other Ways of Judicial Killing
The wretch who died in Auburn prison to-day was a pioneer. His death inaugurated a new method of judicial killing. Since history began men have known to have been killed, under the law, by thirty-five methods -- that first employed to-day being the last. The list of offenses which were punishable by death has grown smaller since the time of Moses, when thirty-three acts of crime and indiscretion were capital offenses, and the ways of meeting our death have diminished until, in substance, exceptions at the present day are either by the guillotine, as in France, Bavaria, Hanover Belgium and Saxony; by the garrote, as in Spain; by decapitation or hanging, as in Russia; by strangulation or decapitation, as in China; by beheading, as in Switzerland and Denmark; by shooting, as in the ordinary cases of military law and in some portions of Germany and South America; by decapitation, as in Prussia; and in other countries, and particularly in the United States, universally by hanging, that being the old common law method of execution inherited by the colonies from Great Britain.
Time was, away back in the years when human blood was held literally so cheap that a murderer might buy back his life, as in China, where dread of death was so slight and life so worthless, that there are recorded instances in which substitutes were bought by a bonus to their families, to undergo the penalty of death instead of the murderer.
In England, down to 1832, housebreaking and horse stealing were capital crimes, and not until so late as 1861 was the gamut of capital crime narrowed to two offenses, murder and treason. In Massachusetts, in 1650, seventeen offenses were punished with death; 140 years later there were only seven capital offenses, of which there were only four of the original seventeen; and to-day the old State stands with her follows in the list of extreme sins.
In the time while Massachusetts was killing obstinate children and persons who swore, William PENN was founding the State of Pennsylvania. At that time the earth knew of 200 capital offenses, but PENN cut down the list when making the laws of the now Keystone State, to one murder. And here are the means employed under the law since history began, of killing State criminals.
1. AUTO da fe, meaning "act of faith," used at the public executions of persons condemned to death upon trial and sentence by the Spanish Inquisition. (A designation rather than a mode.)
2. BEATING WITH CLUBS -- In very early times South African tribes, particularly the Hottentots, who had no written laws -- only the laws of usage -- put their condemned to death with clubs, the chief of the kra?l or village striking the first blow, and the populace ending the execution. Greek slaves also were beaten to death.
3. BEHEADING, DECAPITATION -- The Greeks and Romans cut the heads off their capital offenders. John Baptist died thus, Earl WALTHEOF, beheaded by William the Conqueror in 1075, was the first Englishman to die by beheading, which was deemed the most horrorable way of receiving capital punishment. The real lords of 1745 were the last to die thus in England. China and Japan employed this method of capital punishment, and do now. Swords and axes, as distinguished from the guillotine, were used in olden days.
4. BLOWING FROM CANNON -- Death thus came to criminals bound before the cannon's mouth or thrust into the bore and fired out as part of the load -- India.
5. BOILING -- The Bishop of Rochester, in 1531, was poisoned by his cook, John ROOSE, and ROOSE was boiled to death. Several executions took place by boiling under Henry VIII, water being usually the fluid, also melted lead and sulphur.
6. BREAKING ON THE WHEEL -- Germany contrived this mode of death away back in the tenth century. It was, however, only a special form of beating to death. The prisoner was bound upon the periphery, or upon the cross-bars or spokes of a wheel, and arms and limbs were crushed by blows of bludgeons, or iron rods, the vitals being untouched. Thus death was slow. France and England also used the wheel in the sixteenth century.
7. BURNING -- The faggots of death first burned in the name of religion, though civil governments have employed names as executioners -- instance the Romans and Jews of ancient times. The old Britons punished heinous crimes by burning the offenders in wicker baskets. This form of death was suffered in the colonial times of this country. Chinese Emperor TEHEON, instigated by his favorite concubine adopted a brass cylinder upon which criminals were bound and roasted by fires within the cylinder. Sefi H., Shah of Persia, stretched victims upon a slab, bored innumerable holes in their bodies, in the holes lighted tapers were inserted in fluid oil.
A Gallic and British method was to burn criminals in cages of wicker work in the form of some well-known idol.
8. BURYING ALIVE -- Barbarous tribes and civilized have buried criminals to the hips or to the neck and shoulders, then they were beaten to death or left to starve.
9. CRUCIFIXION -- The exact origin of the cross is in doubt. Semiramis is credited with its invention. It is held also to have been a gradual growth among barbarous tribes as a cruelty of war. Nearly all records say its use was very ancient and very general among almost all communities but the Jews. Crucifixion was abolished for Christian countries by the Emperor CONSTANTINE, and at the present day its use is confined to the Mohammedaas. A punishment analogous to crucifixion was once practiced in the West India Islands. The offender was suspended upon a post by a huge hook inserted under his shoulder or under his breast-bone.
10. DECIMATION -- Visited upon military offenders, notably mutineers. A whole regiment might be involved, and death to all would have been slaughter. The massacre of a whole regiment might not be wise on the eve of battle. Every tenth man was chosen, in a mutinous troop, for death upon a given occasion. None knew at the fatal discharge who was to fall; thus, the entire troop was kept under terror of death until an entire command should have decimated.
11. DICHOTOMY -- The operation of cutting in two parts -- bisecting, familiar in Bible records, and also a Babylonian custom.
12. DISMEMBERMENT -- Tearing the body forcibly assunder, as in the case of RAVAILLAC, who assassinated Henry IV, in 1610. Not so much a distinct mode of punishment, as an atrocious accompaniment of a death penalty. Drawing and quartering was an adjunct.
13 DROWNING -- Syria, Greece, Rome and Persia employed this method in former times. The usage was to weigh the body and then cast it into deep water. The Duke of Clarence, who protested against unjust acts of his brother, Edward IV, it is said, was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.
14. EXPOSURE TO WILD BEASTS -- Bible records tell of this method, and in Oriental countries this form of death is said not to be obsolete. Thirty years ago British prisoners were delivered to a den of serpents by Sepoys. In Cochin-China adulterous women were trampled to death by an elephant trained for the purpose.
15. FLAYING ALIVE -- Stripping the skin from the body of the condemned while he yet lived was formerly done in England. It was scarcely regarded as a punishment in the judicial sense.
16. FLOGGING -- KNOUT -- This means of inflicting death included the forms of scourging and whipping, and was primarily used in European countries. Russia still uses the knout to kill criminals, saving the vitals for the final strokes.
17. GARROTE -- This mode of execution seems to have been originally devised by the Moors and Arabs, and to have been taken from them by the Spaniards, from whom it has been transmitted to the Spanish colonies in America. In the earliest form it consisted in simply placing a cord round the neck of the criminal, who was seated on a chair to a post, and then twisting the cord by means of a stick inserted between it and the back of the neck, until strangulation was produced. Afterwards a brass collar was used, containing a screw which the executioner turned till its point entered the spinal marrow where that unites with the brain, causing instantaneous death. This method was seriously considered by the commission which prepared a new form of capital punishment for this state, and which chose the electric bolt instead.
18. GUILLOTINE -- Decapitation by means of an instrument first urged, if not invented, by Dr. Ignace GUILLOTINE, of Lyons, France, to supplant the axe and block. GUILLOTINE himself barely escaped death by his own machine during the reign of terror. The neck of the criminal is fastened between two groved posts, down which shoots a heavy knife, the section being made at the root of the neck. In 1793 twenty-one Girondists were dispatched in thirty-one minutes. At a later date it was the boast of a French executioner that he disposed of sixty-two subjects in forty-five minutes. Germany, the Netherlands, Rome, Italy, England and Scotland have each used the guillotine or like instruments since 1551. France using it now.
19. HANGING -- This method was probably introduced in the Roman dominions soon after Emperor CONSTANTINE abolished crucifixion.
20. HARI KARI -- A curious punishment attributed to Japan. It consists in the condemned man disemboweling himself by ripping his abdomen open with sword thrusts, first upwards, then across. It is said this is done in obedience to a judicial sentence. Other statements are that the criminal, pending proceedings against him, is given the option of thus committing suicide, in which case his family, and not the State, may enjoy his property.
21. IMPALEMENT -- The subject was thrust downward upon the point of a spear fastened in the ground. In Siam a stake of wood was driven lengthwise through the body of the criminal, the point coming out at the stomach or shoulders. The body was then lifted and the stake was driven into the earth.
22. IRON MAIDEN -- A contrivance for causing death by sheer compression. Used in Scotland.
23. PEINE FORTE ET DURE -- This consisted in placing upon the chest a weight that should suffice to gradually reduce the breathing to a minimum. Not strictly a capital punishment, but a means of compelting accused to plead to indictment.
24. POISONING -- Death caused by poisonous drugs. The death of SOCRATES made the mode familiar.
25. POUNDING IN A MORTAL -- The Bible is held as authority for the use of such means of death.
26. PRECIPITATION -- Romans cast criminals to death from mountainous projections.
27. PRESSING TO DEATH -- Bending together of the legs to the thighs, the thighs on to the belly, and pressure applied till the criminal had no form save that of a globe. Also pressure between iron plates.
28. The RACK -- Chiefly used as an instrument of torture, the limbs being torn from their sockets by means of windlasses.
29. RUNNING THE GAUNTLET -- A military punishment most familiar in Russia. The condemned passed between two rows of soldiers, each of whom was forced to strike the naked offender with a rod or whip. An authenticated case involved 2,619 strokes to produce death, the subject being torn to shreds.
30. SHOOTING -- Method of executing military offenders.
31. STABBING -- A military method of killing in Rome, France and Germany. The subject was made the center of a circle of spearsmen who, narrowing the circle, finally filled the condemned with spear-heads.
32. STONING -- A Mosaic form of inflicting death.
33. STRANGLING -- By the bowstring, as in the land of the Ottoman; by the cord, as in Portugal and China, and by immersion in mud or clay, after which the cord was tightened, as done by the ancients.
34. SUFFOCATION -- Among the Persians, by shutting the criminal in a tower, where a wheel constantly cast up ashes about him. In Algiers criminals were smoked to death.
35. ELECTRICIIZING -- For the first time in history upon KEMMLER at Auburn.
Ten powers or States to-day use the guillotine, 19 the sword, 3 the gallows, 2 the musket, 1 the axe, 1 the cord, 1 electricity; in 29 executions are public, and in 7 they are private.
THE OLD PRISON
Two towers thirty feet high, with battlements; a stone arch between with massive stone posts for support; between the stone posts a great iron barred gate whose key is a foot long; trailing vines over the towers and shading the sullen gateway -- such is the entrance to the grounds of Auburn prison. The towers are the sentry boxes, and guards within rifles pace the iron-railed top of the wall lest convicts shall escape. Inside at the gate a one-armed warden stands with key in hand all day. When people should be admitted from the street the big key grates within one of the stone posts, the huge bolt is shot back and the guard uses the strength of his one arm to pull open the hinged bars that make the gate. Between the flagstones of the street walk and the curbstone grass grows green, kept trimmed by convicts' hands. Inside the gate a broad stone pathway leads up to the flight of twelve or fifteen iron steps to the office floors. There is a broad and scrupulously neat veranda where great oak rocking chairs invite to rest.
Sitting there you view the beautiful lawn, the entire length of the prison front, and having a width of 100 or more feet between the prison wall and the prison front. Off to the south there is a vari-colored lawn tent pegged down near the prison front. Before it is a great star-shaped bed of plants. The inside of the prison wall is smothered with well-pruned grapevines, while the entire facade of the brown old prison, to the height of its five stories is softened by ivy creeping over it. A great dog kennel is on the lawn, and two big Siberian hounds are there, gentle yet alert. At the north end of the lawn are apple trees, and beyond them a tiny vegetable garden. Convicts do all the work, and are happy to have the opportunity. The lawn and all the gardening, both flowers and vegetables are under supervision of the warden's wife.
On either side of the walk from the gate to the front prison steps are mounds three feet wide and twelve feet long, visible from the street. In one mound red and silver leaved plants are so set as to form the word "Auburn," and in the other the word "Prison."
The main entrance is to "the main hall."
On the right are the warden's offices, and above them, one flight, are his living apartments. A government vessel could not be more neat and tidy than the halls and offices, the stairways and the cases of muskets in the rear hall, directly back from the entrance. Glimpses are had through the barred door and windows of the inner court, which is a thousand feet in depth and of great width. Directly from the rear steps you look down the entire length of this court along a graveled walk beneath an arbor of great maples, that hedge it on either side with their trunks. Along this leafy green corridor the convicts, in squads, march in lock-step from cell to shop, from shop to mess, and cells again. A guard, well armed, paces this pathway, to see that no convict appearing from the shops upon an errand shall proceed other than with folded arms. Folded arms may conceal weapons, but they are more easily detected then when thrust in blouse or pockets. The shops range down the length of this great green court on either side from the main prison, and across its lower end. Outside all is the high sentried wall, along the base of which, outside and on the south flow the green waters of Owasco lake outlet. The main prison has battlements and a turreted tower or cupola, above which is the heroic figure of a Continental soldier at "present arms," and whom the citizens refer to as Copper John. Why, they do not seem to know. Those who once knew are probably all dead.
The execution of KEMMLER, which took place early this morning, was in a peculiar degree a triumph of law and a development of justice. Under the old law which would have regulated his fate he would have been hanged; and hanged, probably without unusual delay or any attempts to stay the execution of his sentence. The crime of which he was convicted was one which under our laws incontestably merited death. There were no extenuating circumstances about it and no reason why the law should not run its course. But KEMMLER'S case happened to be the first under the new law, and no legal stone was left unturned to prevent the taking off that the Legislature had directed for him. A rich corporation had decided that it was prejudicial to its business interests that its electrical apparatus should be used for the execution of criminals. It does not appear to the Union that there were reasonable grounds for such an opinion. The wires of the company were demonstrating day after day their death dealing capacity. Everyone knew the current that ran through them would carry instant death, but for some mysterious reason the company preferred that only innocent men should perish by the agency of its machines and tooth and nail it opposed the execution of the law in the case of KEMMLER. The opposition started by the electrical company was aided and shared by the opponents of the death penalty on general principles. The execution has been fought in the courts and in the Legislature, but the law has finally proved stronger than all opposition, and KEMMLER'S sentence has been carried out.
The reports of the execution are likely to stir up further controversy as to the fitness of the electric current for the execution of criminals. If such a controversy could be conducted on its merits, the Union would have no particular desire to take sides in it. It is a matter fit for experts to determine, and it was because experts had determined that the electric current was the fittest agency that modern science knew for taking lives forfeit to the state, and because a law in accordance with such opinion had been duly passed and had gone on the statute book, that the Union has argued and demanded that KEMMLER'S sentence should be carried out. The Union has not now, and never has had, any prejudice in favor of the use of electricity in capital punishment, but it saw, as all intelligent individuals must have seen, that executions by the rope as they have been conducted were barbarous and demoralizing spectacles, and it has favored the new law that has promised to improve them. Furthermore, though the Union has no prejudice one way or the other about electricity it has very decided feelings in favor of enforcing the laws of the State of New York, and very decided objections to allowing the operation of such laws to be defeated when they happen to run counter to the business interests, real or imaginary, to individuals or corporations. It is because KEMMLER'S execution is a vindication, not only of justice, but of the power of the State to enforce its own statutes, that the Union is glad that it has duly taken place. Under all the circumstances it would have been a disgrace to the State of New York if the execution had fallen through.
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Rock Stream, Yates Co., N. Y., Aug 6.
--Lightning yesterday afternoon struck the barn of Wm. L. SHARP and burned to the ground his barn, wagon-house and shed. The contents of the barn, consisting of hay and wheat, are a total loss. The horses, wagons, sleighs, harnesses and implements on the lower floor of the wagon-house were saved. By the well directed efforts of his neighbors his fine dwelling was saved, although in extreme peril for more than an hour.
FRED LENT'S DEATH
Demise of the Principal of No. 17 School
The many friends of Fred E. LENT, principal of No. 17 School, will be deeply pained to hear of his death, which occurred this morning near De Land, Fla. For a year prior to his departure to the south he had been in failing health, which gradually turned to bronchial consumption. His friends warned him of leaving the rough climate of the lake region, but his love for his school work and his affection for his pupils caused him to linger too long. He left last spring for the South, accompanied by the best wishes of his fellow-teachers for his recovery. Occasional letters received from him showed him to be cheerful and hopeful of recovery, but the disease had too firm a grip upon him and finally conquered him this morning. Mr. LENT leaves a wife and an infant child.
THE BURNED MILL
Dansville, Aug. 6 - A rumor on the street yesterday was to the effect that Hon. A. J. WHITEMAN had offered a reward of $5,000 for the arrest and conviction of the person who set the paper mill on fire Sunday morning, which on investigation proved to be unfounded, in part, as Mr. WHITEMAN had not made it as a reward but said while in a company of men that he would be willing to give that amount to know who the party was. Mr. WHITEMAN also states that about a year ago he was the recipient of several anonymous letters threatening to burn, but he paid no attention to them, and the matter entirely passed from his mind until he received word that the mill had been destroyed. The exact amount of insurance was $113,000, distributed in twenty-six different companies, Hanover, L. L. & Globe and Orient having the largest amounts, $10,000 each.
The general opinion at present seems to be gathered from the conversation of the principal ones connected with the mill is, that the mill will be rebuilt. The machinery, with the exception of the boilers and rotary, is completely wrecked, and is fit only for old metal. No more complete a ruin could have been accomplished.
A Cloudburst Washes a Bridge Away in Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, Aug. 6 - A cloudburst in the mountains Sunday night washed out a bridge two miles west of Yucca. A freight train was precipitated into the river, killing Fireman Wm. NEIL, slightly wounding Engineer HURSHER and seriously scalding Brakeman SUTTON. The San Francisco express was delayed by washouts near Williams, Arizona, and only reached Yucca a few minutes after the freight accident, having had a narrow escape. After the bridge was fixed up the train came on, closely followed by the Los Angeles express, which had overtaken the first one. When near Needles, and running fast, a Pullman car on the San Francisco road jumped the track, throwing the car over on its side and killing two unknown passengers.
Louisville, Aug. 6 - Near Harlan Court House, Sunday James MIDDLETON was shot and killed from a bush. Bascom BAILY was fatally wounded on Clever Fork in the same county. They were both witnesses in the trial of William JENNINGS, a leader of the Howard faction, which is soon to come up at London.
Miss Ida M. CRUMP left yesterday with her brother, Angelo L. CRUMP, and family for an extended visit in West Bay City, Mich.
Mr. Stephen M. SMITH recently removed to Spokane Falls, surprised his friends by a visit to his former home this week, and brings favorite reports from the west.
Miss Isolene C. YOUNG, of Herkimer county, is the guest of Mrs L. B. TRUE.
DEATHS AND FUNERALS
-Mrs. Jane ANDREWS, widow of A. T. ANDREWS, died last night at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. C. W. McDONALD, 15 Pearl street. Deceased leaves three sisters. two living in this city and one in Oswego; also two brothers, one residing in New York and the other in Newport, R. I. Mrs. G. H. BLELOCK of Springfield, Mass; Mrs. George S. CLARK, Mrs. James ROBINSON, Mrs. Thomas McMILLAN and Mrs. C. W. McDONALD, all of Rochester, and James ANDREWS of New York are children of the deceased.
-George B. WHITE died at 6:30 o'clock this morning at his mother's residence on Adams street, at the early age of 23 years. Mr. WHITE had a large circle of acquaintances who will receive this announcement with sincere regret. The deceased was a young man of sterling qualities, which endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. He first entered railway life in the Erie freight office, and May 1st, 1887, was appointed depot ticket agent of the same company in this city, in which position he continued until November 26, 1889, when he was compelled by failing health to resign. All that a loving mother and kind friends could do to stay the ravages of his dread malady was done, but all efforts proved unavailing and he breathed his last this morning. The funeral will take place Friday at 2 p.m., from the residence of his mother, Mrs. F. W. COTTRELL, 67 Adams street.
-Jacob WINSLOW died this morning at his residence, 285 Plymouth avenue, aged 84 years. Deceased was a former resident of Henrietta. The funeral will take place from the house at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.
-William J., infant son of Michael and Sarah QUINLIVAN, died last evening at the family residence, 165 Kent street. The funeral services will be held at 4 o'clock to-morrow afternoon at the house.
-Frederick, infant son of Christ and Adeline RAUSCHENBERG, died last night at the family residence on Ries park. Funeral services will be held at 9 o'clock Thursday morning from Holy Family Church.
Temple Lodge, No. 412, I. O. O. F., at a meeting held July 29th, adopted the following resolutions unanimously:
Whereas, It has pleased our Heavenly Father to remove by death J. M. COOPER, father of our esteemed brother, J. H. COOPER, be it therefore.
Resolved, That the members of this lodge desire to express our sorrow for him and his family in their great loss, therefore be it
Resolved, That we tender our afflicted brother and his family our deepest sympathy in this their bereavement, and pray that our Heavenly Father will give to them the comfort which he alone is willing and able to give to the afflicted.
Resolved, That these resolutions be entered upon the records of our lodge, and a copy of the same seal of this lodge be sent to our brother.
P. G., Geo, K. BRACE,
P. T., Philip ARNOLD,
In Memory of James C. Wilcox
At a meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Greece, at Falls Hotel, on Saturday, August 2, 1890, the following resolution relating to the late James C. WILCOX of East Hamlin, was unanimously passed:
Resolved, That in the death of Mr. J. C. WILCOX we feel it our duty to put on record our regard for him as a citizen, neighbor and friend. He was for eight years a member of the Board of the Town of Greece. He worked faithfully during that time for the interest of the people of the town. He was a man of high character, and his associates in the board all learned to esteem him for his general acts of kindness, and yet also for his firmness when a question of principle was involved. About three years ago he moved to East Hamlin, much to the regret of his friends and neighbors. We wish as a board to convey to Mrs. WILCOX and family our sympathy to them in the loss of a husband and father.
It was resolved, That a copy of the above resolution be sent for publication in the Rochester papers.
signed T. H. EDDY, Supervisor,
T. T. SPRAGUE, J. P.
D. D. BUDD, J. P.
Aaron GARRETT, J. P.
Jacob SMITH, J. P.
Henry BURROW, Town Clerk.
Sudden Death of an Estimable Lady
Spencerport, Aug. 6 - Mrs. Joseph A. SPENCER of this village died suddenly last evening. The cause was heart failure. Mrs. SPENCER was much esteemed by the entire community and her sudden death in the midst of apparently robust health will be a great shock to all her friends. Funeral services will be held at the residence Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock.
TWO FINE PAINTINGS
Admirable Work of An Artist on Views of Niagara Falls
The large and notable painting of Niagara Falls by Mr. HOTTES, recently completed in this city and described in the Union several weeks ago, has been placed in one of the rooms of the Mechanics' Institute, where it will be on view a short time to accommodate a number of artists and several others invited to see it. A Union representative saw the painting in its new location yesterday, together with another smaller and beautifully executed painting of "Terrapin Point" falls at Niagara. The smaller painting is eight feet high by six feet wide and is the work of the same artist, designed as a companion scene to the large canvas, and showing as it does a section of the cataract in detail at short range. The effect produced, showing the great mass of water just rounding the brink of the gorge -- green, glassy and quivering with motion, is marvelously natural. The falling water dashing on the rocks beneath surging and rebounding, full of commotion, and loosing itself in the dense mist, is so full of life and movement as to stamp the work on even the casual observer as one of unusual interest and merit. The same careful drawing, picturesque composition and remarkably natural and effective coloring seen in the larger work is at once noticeable in this. A gentlemen posted in art matters and familiar with Church's celebrated painting of Niagara, stated to the Union representative that Mr. HOTTES is without doubt superior to Church in his treatment of the subject, and that HOTTES' productions are undoubtly entitled to the distinction of being the most artistic and meritorious paintings of Niagara yet produced. It is understood the artist will soon remove both pictures of New York or Chicago, where they will probably be placed in some permanent exhibition. They will not be on public exhibition here.
New Grand Opera House
The New Grand Opera House opens its regular season Saturday night, August 9th, with the spectacular sensational comedy drama, "One of the Bravest," which will be presented all of the following week with matinees Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The play, while of the sensational order, is still interesting, telling a natural story and illustrating the life of the old-time firemen. The company is said to be clever, and the introduction of a number of specialties adds much to the entertainment as a whole. The place is very handsomely mounted. The fire scene with real horses, steam engines and life-saving appliances, is one of the finest ever put on the stage. The box office opened this morning for the sale of seats. The regular prices of this theater will be 10, 20, 35, 50 and 75 cents.
Looking For Opium
Kansas City, Aug. 8 - Revenue officers and United States detectives arrived here yesterday in search of 2,000 pounds of opium which were smuggled into the United States sometime ago. The opium came through California and the smugglers got as far as Phoenix, Ariz, when the detectives got on their trail and scared them into Canada. A few days ago it was learned that the contraband goods had been shipped here. The detectives made a thorough search of all Chinese laundries but did not find the opium. The duty amounts to $20,000.
WESTERN NEW YORK NEWS
Gathered By Union and Advertiser Special Correspondents
The Latest Reliable Reports of Interesting Local Events Occurring in the
Pleasant Villages and Thriving Towns of Monroe and Neighboring Counties
Friends of Mrs. George KENDALL, a former resident of this town, now of Beaver Falls, Pa., will be shocked to hear of the death by shooting, of her daughter Maud, on Friday, August 1. The report of the affair, which is from a responsible and perfectly trustworthy person, is very meagre. It simply states that Miss Maud E. KENDALL was shot by a young man last Friday and was buried Sunday, Miss KENDALL is well remembered by Alexander people as a bright little girl when she removed with her mother to Beaver Falls, and her tragic death is a severe shock to them.
The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles ZWETSCH is dangerously sick.
Clinton MERRITT is quite ill.
Rev. R. L. WAITE will take charge of the Methodist Church while Rev. Frank KING is absent on his summer vacation.
Mrs. GIFFORD of Avon, mother of Mrs. C. H. VAN ZANDT, is reported very sick and her recovery is quite doubtful.
Miss Etta WATSON of Medina, who has been an invalid at the Sanitarium of Allen & Carson at Avon for several years, died yesterday, aged 42 years. Her remains will be taken to-morrow to Medina for interment.
E. H. CLARK and Jesse T. WALLACE of Avon commence to-day a division of the stock of hardware goods purchased of H. L. MONROE, preparatory to a removal to their stores.
Mrs. H. L. MONROE of Avon is reported quite sick.
Steven BAKER, employed at Wagoner's grocery house, killed a centipede two and one-half inches in length Tuesday morning. The insect was concealed in a bunch of bananas.
Friday of this week occurs the grand firemen's excursion and gala day on Lake Keuka. The six leading hose companies of Western New York will enjoy the cool breezes and fine scenery in the region of Grove Spring. In the afternoon they will proceed to this village. After a parade through the principal streets, the firemen will march to Court House Park, where an address of welcome and other speeches will be delivered.
The annual school meeting of the taxpayers of Batavia Union School District No. 2 was held in the Ross street building Tuesday evening and was largely attended, unusual interest being felt on account of the faction fight between the adherents of President WIARD and Prof. FULLER, which has extended throughout the district, Wm. TYRRELL., was made chairman, Clerk BRUDISH read the annual report, which was adopted. The estimates of the board for the ensuing year called for a tax of $14,000, which was voted with but one dissenting vote. Mr. WIARD offered a resolution that hereafter special meeting be called by a notice published two weeks in each of the village papers instead of by personal service as heretofore required. It was adopted, as was also a resolution that the new board be empowered to elect a clerk not one of their own number. Immediately after the adjournment of the meeting a caucus was held to nominate two candidates for trustees in place of George WIARD and L. C. McINTYRE. Mr. WIARD had been considered a candidate for re-election up to the appearance of the News a few hours before, which contained a card from him withdrawing from the contest. The caucus was entirely unnecessary, as it was well understood that two tickets would be in the field, but it was believed there would be some advantage to the ticket receiving a regular caucus nomination. The FULLER party nominated Robert B. PEASE and D. W. TOMLINSON; the WIARD, or anti-FULLER party, presented Frank RICHARDSON and Dr. J. W. Le SEUR. A ballot was called for and 112 votes polled, of which Dr. Le SEUR received 64, RICHARDSON and Le SEUR received 64, RICHARDSON and TOMLINSON 56 each, and PEASE 48, so that neither party received any decided advantage.
Mrs. M. DAYTON of Prattsburg is spending a week with Mrs. J. ARDELL.
Paul MOOR is very sick with bilious fever and neuralgia.
James ROUSE of Custer, Pa., is visiting friends in town.
Mrs. Walter BRIGLAND is visiting Mrs. J. C. WETMORE and other friends.
Black and red raspberries are about gone. There is a large acreage here and there has been about one-half crop. Black berries will be very plentiful. Other fruits in this vicinity will be very scarce.
The school trouble has been amicably settled. Prof. JACOBS resigns, and Rev. Wm. H. ROGERS, wife and son will constitute the faculty, with competent assistants.
William A. WOOD of Syracuse is in town for a few days, the guest of his father, Ex-Supervisor Myron WOOD.
The Presbyterian Society give their pastor, Rev. A. D. McINTOSH, a three weeks' respite from pulpit labor, and he is enjoying life at Thousand Islands.
Mrs. Herbert PERKINS has been confined to her room for several weeks by a compilation of diseases that seem to baffle the skill of the physicians.
The excellent yield of hay has been secured without a particle of rain, and the tobacco crop looks fine in this section.
Mrs. YEOMANS and the Misses Millie and Fannie YEOMANS and Jean FOSTER left to-day for a two weeks' sojourn in the Adirondacks.
Mrs. WILBUR of Brooklyn, is spending the month of August with her daughter, Mrs. Carlton M. HUNT.
Miss May PARKER left to-day to spend a few weeks at Ocean Grove.
The Misses Clara STODDARD and Mabel HOPKINS are enjoying a visit at Pultneyville this month.
A meeting of the officers and directors of the Palmyra Union Agricultural Society will be held at the Courier office on Saturday afternoon, August 9th, at 2 o'clock.
Mr. George BAKER, Jr., formerly of Conesus, has been here with his family for the past week. Yesterday morning they departed for Chicago, where they intend to make a permanent home.
Several cars of a north bound freight train were wrecked here Monday morning, caused by the breaking of an axle tearing up several rods of track and blockading the road all day Monday.
The Rev. Mr. HARSHA and family of New York and Mrs. Joseph RIPPEY of Nebraska are visiting with the family of Rev. John RIPPEY, Mrs. Joseph leaving for the west this morning.
Miss Stacia O'KEEFE returning Saturday after several months' sojourn in Rochester.
Quite a drought prevails in this neighborhood at present, especially in the hills, where pastures have dried up and beans and potatoes will not be much more than half a crop. The threshing of wheat is in progress, which will yield from fifteen to twenty-five bushels per acre, for which 90c is being paid.
Mr. BROWN, business manager of the WHITEMAN paper mills, states as his opinion that a new mill will be erected on the same site occupied by the one just burned.
Geo. VORHEES, an old and highly respected resident here, died at his home on Jefferson street, Sunday afternoon after a prolonged illness. He leaves one son and two daughters. The funeral took place to-day from his late residence.
Martin HARRISON died in Geneseo Saturday and his remains were brought here and buried from St. Patrick's Church Monday morning.
Hon. A. J. WHITEMAN offers a reward of 42,500 for the detection of the incendiary who fired the building, and he will doubtless rebuild the plant.
Mr. and Mrs. W. E. BOOTH and family left yesterday for the North Woods, where they will stay for two weeks.
The scholars of the Sunday school of the Baptist Church will hold their annual picnic at Conesus lake on Friday.
A long-needed rain arrived here yesterday. This will be a great help to the crops and the farmers are jubilant. The crop of hay around here is very good this year.
The death of Mary Ann, widow of the late Anthony P. DAY, occurred at the family residence, corner of Genesee and Colt streets, yesterday afternoon about 5 o'clock. She was about 70 of age and leaves one daughter, Mrs. Edwin HARRIS of Geneva; a sister, Susan, who was with her when she died, and three brothers who are in the west. Mrs. DAY in her younger days was the leading soprano singer of the Presbyterian Church. She was a daughter of John HALL, one of the early residents of Geneva, who was a jeweler and watch maker, with a store on the east side of Main street, near where is now Dr. COVERT'S office. He was a member of the board of trustees of Geneva that presided over the election under the new charter of 1812. He was a brother of Abram B. HALL, who is remembered by many citizens now in Geneva. Mr. HALL went west where he died at an advanced age. Eunice, his wife, died September 14, 1828, aged 43 years, and is interred in the Pultney street cemetery.
News was received here yesterday announcing the death of Mrs. Charles P. MOSHER at Skaneateles. She was formerly a resident of Geneva. A husband and daughter, Miss Lillian, remain.
Charles DAMONTO, an Italian fruit dealer, was arraigned before Police Justice SWEENEY yesterday charged with petit larceny. It appeared that on July 25th John NOONAN, a teamster, lost a hunting case' silver watch from his pocket and on the same day Mrs. Lizzie GORDON and Annie KRAFT picked up a watch in front of Powers' alley; DAMONTO came out of his store nearly just as this GORDON woman picked it up; he asked her what she had found, and when she told him a watch, he claimed it as his and she gave it to him. In court the woman described the watch they had found as a hunting-case silver watch with a cracked crystal. DAMONTO claimed that the watch they found and gave to him was an open-face silver watch. The trial was by jury and three ballots were taken. The first resulted three for conviction and three against; the next five for and one against; the third found him guilty. Justice SIV?RNEY fined him $25 or twenty-five days. DAMONTO at first decided to go to jail, but he finally weakened and paid his fine.
The Thirty-fourth Separate Company's new band will make its first appearance in public on Friday evening, when they will make a parade. The members of the new band are; Herbert C. MEAD, cornet, leader; Fred DeMOTT, A. E. ROBINSON, Charles WELLS, cornets; George CADAWALTER, E flat clarionet; L. L. MEAD, solo alto; Edward CROWLEY, Clark FRANCIS, Wesley SMITH, altos; Samuel DAYKIN, baritone; Louis BUSHMAN, first tenor; Charles BEARD, second tenor; Louis J. PARKER, base; Mell GAYLORD, snare drum: Fred LANE, bass drum; Robert BOYD, cymbals. There are sixteen members and other additions are expected.
Messrs. H. F. FOX, B. W. SCOTT, L. S. SPENDL??E, Levi CANFIELD will represent Post Swift, G. A. R., at the National encampment at Boston next week. They go on Saturday night. Joseph WAGNER will accompany them.
Mrs. Susannah STORGERS, widow of the late Hubert STORGERS, died at the old homestead, two miles west of Holley, Monday, August 4th, and was buried to-day in Hillside Cemetery. Mrs. STORGERS was 62 years of age and leaves one child, a daughter. Funeral services from the house, conducted by Rev. W. B. WAGONER.
Rev. Mr. TAYLOR, pastor of the Baptist Church, has gone to Maine for a few weeks. His wife, who has been spending the summer there, will accompany him home.
The farmers in this vicinity who have threshed find that oats and barley are a very light crop.
Monday evening as Thos. Perry, a stone mason, was returning home from work, he became so prostrated by the heat as to fall from his wagon, the wheel passing over his head, inflicting a painful scalp wound.
Mrs. H. FLINT of New York city is spending a few months with Mr. and Mrs. W. FISK.
Last Sunday evening John COLEMAN went to the Nellis Hotel and engaged in a quarrel with Charles NELLIS, whereupon NELLIS beat COLEMAN severely with a club. It is thought that his injuries may prove fatal.
Some fishermen from Olcott are at Straight lake taking out large quantities of fine sturgeon which are shipped from here.
Michael MURNAN met with a bad accident Monday. A horse which he was leading in the rear of his carriage became unmanageable, and he was pulled or thrown to the ground. The carriage was turned over. The injured man was removed to his home, and it was found that his hurts, while not of a serious character, may permanently injure him owing to his advanced age.
Though not unexpected, the death of Miss Julia DOREY, which occurred on Monday occasioned profound sadness in the minds of her numerous young friends, who were attracted to her side by her kind and genial disposition and endeared to her by her manifold Christian virtues. Untiring in her efforts to please all who knew her zealous in caring for the welfare of others, devoted to her religious duties and a friend of all things pertaining to sweet charity, she was stricken down in her young womanhood and now rests in an untimely grave, yet "The world is better for her short life." Her disease was a fatal form of that dread malady, consumption, which the hand of her physician endeavored vainly to stay. The sympathy of all is extended to the bereaved family. The funeral occurred from St. Peter's Church this morning. The interment was made at St. Francis cemetery.
Mrs. Eugene McENTEE, an aged lady residing north of Le Roy, died after a long illness yesterday.
Miss Emily LATHROP of Northampton, Mass, is the guest of her aunt, Miss Ruth LATHROP.
The death of Mrs. Thomas HEAMAN occurred yesterday morning. She was ill for a few days only.
Base ball this week will be as follows:
On Wednesday the Sodus club will play the Red Stockings of Oswego on Eagle Island; on Thursday the Sodus club will play the Pultneyville club at the Main street grounds.
Bartle JOHNSON has purchased the omnibus, horses, sleighs and business of J. VANTASSEL and will hereafter run the omnibus to and from all trains.
The Sodus Teachers' Association held a very pleasant and profitable session both morning and afternoon in the public school house.
The past two days have been excessively hot here, the thermometer registering 98' in the shade.
It is said that John D. PROSSUS, who was taken to the Buffalo insane asylum some time ago, has almost fully recovered and will soon be brought home.
Mrs. Franklin HANFORD left for a visit to New York yesterday.
S. H. DORR of Buffalo, formerly of Scottsville, was in town Sunday and yesterday.
Mr. J. B. LEWIS leaves town for Cincinnati, O., to-day. He will be absent about four weeks.
John QUINCY of Knoxville, Tenn., formerly a well known resident of Scottsville, is visiting old friends and relatives in town.
The Manchester and Shortsville Sunday schools will unite in an excursion to Willow Grove on Canandaigua lake Thursday of this week.
Mr. and Mrs. C. P. BROWN are in Owosso, Mich., visiting their daughter, Mrs. A. M. BENTLEY.
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. PETTIS and family and Rev. Mr. LENHART and family have gone to Foster's cabin on Canandaigua lake for four weeks.
Miss Stella TITUS returned Saturday from an extended visit with friends in New Haven, Conn.
The Manchester Band will unite with the hose company of Clifton Springs in an excursion to Watkins Glen the 14th of this month.
The Acmes of Clifton will play the Empires of this place on the latter's ground Saturday afternoon of this week.
Miss Minnie TERWILLIGER, who has been employed as stenographer in the Empire Drill Office for the past two years, has returned to her home in Pennsylvania. Miss Flora HOFF succeeds her.
Sixteen members of St. Margaret's boy choir of Toronto, accompanied by the minister and rector, arrived via the Eurydice, Monday, and are now camping out at Lake Island Park.
A very heavy rainfall visited this section yesterday forenoon, which was the first of any amount in some five weeks, and it was very much needed for growing crops, such as corn, potatoes, beans and grass, and also to enable farmers to prepare for seeding, and in these directions it will be of inestimable benefit. Tomatoes, of which there is quite an acreage grown here, were showing the effects of the drought badly.
Charles HANER of this village has received the papers confirming his appointment to a clerkship at Suspension Bridge by Major James LOW, Collector of Customs, and he will enter upon his duties to-morrow. Mr. HANER is a young man who is greatly respected in this his native town and his selection to this position will be pleasing to his many friends here and elsewhere.
Wm. McCARTHY of Pittsburg, Pa., is visiting relations here.
Burt ARNOLD and wife of Lockport are visiting friends in this village, and Misses Vinnie and Ellie POMEROY, also of Lockport are guests of Mr. and Mrs. HANER.
What might have been a very destructive fire was started in a most peculiar manner near here a few days ago. A farmer in Reading, while drawing a load of hay to his barn, loaded the rigging so that an iron brace rubbed against the tire on one of the wheels of the wagon. As he drove to the barn the iron became re-hot from the friction, setting fire to the hay and it was with difficulty that the load was taken away from the barn and the horses unhitched in time to save both from being utterly destroyed by the fire.
Miss Linda DRAKE, a former preceptress of the Watkins academy and who is now in Seneca Falls, has been in town during the last few days.
The bids for lighting the streets of Watkins with electricity are to be opened to-morrow.
Arthur WICKHAM, who has been visiting in town, has returned to his home in Jersey City.
Miss Cassie STERLING of Elmira has been in town for the past few days visiting friends here.
Bert WICKHAM and wife of Elmira have been lately visiting in this place.
Dr. JOHNSON of Newport, Kentucky, father of Mrs. William N. STEWART of York, arrived in town on Tuesday. The doctor is one of the prominent practicing physicians of that city. Mrs. JOHNSON has been spending the summer with her daughter.
Clan McINTYRE will hold its annual reunion at the home of Joseph McINTYRE in the northwest part of the town of York, on Thursday the 14th inst. An interesting programme will be rendered, and a good time generally is anticipated.
Arrangements have been made for a reunion of teachers and pupils of school district number eight in the town of York, on Saturday, the 16th inst.
The funeral of Mr. William EDGAR, whose death took place at his home in the village of York, on Sunday night last, after a somewhat protracted illness caused by an injury received some months since, was held from the house yesterday, the 5th inst., at 10 o'clock. Mr. EDGAR was a native of Ireland, but came to this country when quite a young man, and had been a resident of York for many years. He had reached the advanced age of 78 years.