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trines of divine sovereignty, total depravity of the sinper's heart, and the way of recovery only in and by the blood of Christ, through sanctification of the spirit. He appeared to be ever actuated by a grateful temper; always, upon the Sabbath morning, when convened with his people, returning thanks that so many were preserved to meet for the worship of God, when almost every day brought us intelligence of some called into eternity, the victims of sin and death, making the world "one great Bochim;" and acknowledging our desert of the same visitation. He seemed to have much of a submissive temper, although, under the providence of God, there were circumstances calculated to depress him. He ever held the station of a man without blemjsh,—never appearing to repine that God had not made him without a stain upon his skin: nor was he often called upon to remember it, unless more than ordinary tenderness, manifested by others in their intercourse with him, should have reminded him of it. I recollect, in conversation thirty-five years since with the Reverend Dr. Swift, who was then a firm pillar of the church )n Vermont, and one that all delighted to honour, he said, that in all their ecclesiastical meetings Mr. Haynes was first noticed,* and in such manner that every disagreeable feeling arising from the peculiarity of his situation should be done away. With respect,
F, Skinner. Rev. Dr. Cooley.
During the residence of Mr. Haynes at Manchester, there was an occurrence which has scarcely a parallel in the history of civilized man. There resided in this town a man by the name of Russell Colvin, who had been for many years in a state of mental derangement. JJeing incompetent to attend to the concerns of his family, his children were dispersed among his relatives, and Colvin was a wandering maniac. It was his custom to go and come as he pleased; and in some instances he was absent from his connexions for several months. In the year 1813 he disappeared "suddenly, and somewhat remarkably, and nothing was heard of him. Years passed away, and he neglected to return to his friends. At length there, began to be serious suspicions that Col-' vin was murdered, and that Stephen Boorn and Jesse Boornj the brothers of his wife, were the murderers. The more the subject was investigated, the darker the case of the unfortunate Booms appeared.- At length they were brought to trial upon an endictment for murder; and after a careful and impartial investigation of the case, a verdict of guilty was found by the jury. Accordingly, the court pronounced the sentence, "That the crimirlals be remanded back to prison, and that on the 28th of January next,- between the hours of ten and two o'clock, they be hanged by the neck Until each of them be dead; and may the Lord have mercy on their souls." ,'.
* In meetings of councils and associations, where it was necessary to put two in one bed, one and another would say, "/ will *Utp with ifr.
Mr. Haynes felt deeply affected with the condition of the unhappy convicts, and visited them daily in the prison. It was for the purpose of awakening their at^ tention to their state as ruined sinners, and le"aJj ing them to the Saviour as their only hope, that his visits were continued. With the tenderness of a parent, and the charity becoming a faithful minister of the gospel, he spent many hours with the unhappy sufferers in religious instruction, and prayer and supplication at the throne of grace in their behalf. In the course of his visits to the prison, from the conduct and conversation of the prisoners, he became convinced that they were innocent of the crime for which they were sentenced to suffer an ignominious death, although for many long weeks not a ray of hope dawned upon their dark and loathsome prison. At length, thirty-seven days before the arrival of the time appointed for their execution, strange to relate! one evening, just as the sun was setting, there was a cry through the village— "Colvin is come! Colvin is, come!" and it was soon ascertained that the man who was supposed to have been murdered years before, and for whose murder two innocent men had been convicted, was still alive, and had suddenly appeared in the village!
The whole of the circumstances connected with this most extraordinary affair, and the measures which it became necessary to pursue in consequence thereof, may be fully learned by a perusal of the following narrative, which was written mostly by Mr. Haynes, and from his sermon preached on the occasion of the re-lease of the now evidently innocent prisoners from confinement.
Mystery Developed; or, Russell Colvin, supposed to be murdered, in full life; and Stephen and Jesse Boorn (his convicted murderers), rescued from ignominious death by Wonderful Discoveries. Containing, I. A narrative of the whole transaction, by Rev. Lemuel Haynes, A. M. II. Rev. Mr. H.'s Sermon upon the development of the mystery. III. A succinct account of the endictment, trial, and conviction of Stephen and Jesse Boorn.
TO THE READER.
- The unusual excitement of the public feeling, in consequence of the recent conviction of Stephen and Jessb Boorn, for the murder of Russell Colvin, more than seven years since—the discovery of Colvin, in full life— his return to the place where his mouldering bones were supposed to be discovered, and the narrow escape of the Booms from ignominious death, induced the publisher to resort to the most authentic sources of intelligence to obtain all the light that was possible upon a subject enveloped in doubt, darkness, and mystery. The highly respected and reverend clergyman of Manchester, Vt. (the scene of this mystery), has furnished what the publisher ventures to pronounce altogether the most satisfactory account of these strange occurrences.
The impressive discourse delivered upon the return of Colvin, and the happy rescue of his supposed murderers from impending death, will be read with interest by all.
Copious materials were obtained of the trial of the Boorns; but it is deemed inexpedient at this time to give any but a brief statement of it.
The wonderful occurrence that has lately been exhibited at Manchester, in relation to the supposed murder, may be ranked among those rare events that seldom, if ever, take place. The public mind has been uncommonly agitated. Reports have been circulated tending to create prejudices and lead astray. That many things without any foundation in truth should be spread abroad in a matter so astonishing and interesting, could hardly have been unexpected. The writer of this narrative believes that there are many things in relation to the event that may be useful and entertaining, and calculated to throw some light upon this mysterious subject.
Mr. Barna Boom and his wife, the parents of Stephen and Jesse Boorn, are advanced in age, have been residents of Manchester for about 40 years, and are perT
sons of respectability: they have three sons and two daughters; they all have families. Sally Boorn was married to Russell Colvin eighteen years ago. They have children: their eldest son's name is Lewis; another is Rufus. Of the latter his father was very fond, and used often to carry him from place to place on his back. Colvin had been in a state of mental derangement for a long time, by which he was incapacitated to attend to the concerns of his family, who were dispersed among the connexions. Colvin's parents formerly resided in Manchester, but are both dead. He has a brother supposed to live in the western country. He has a sister, named Clarissa, who is mentioned in Mr. Chadwick's letter. The sudden departure of Colvin, which was seven years ago the 7th day of May last, excited some inquiry about what had become of him; but as he had frequently absented (at one time he was gone nine or ten months, and was heard of at Rhode-Island), it was expected he would return as usual. There were, however, some surmises that possibly he had been murdered. Many observations were made by Stephen and Jesse Boorn which excited jealousies that they were
fith respect to dreaming, about which so much has been said and published, it may be remarked, that there has been much said about the murder, and conjectures where it was committed, and where the body might be deposited. By this the mind was prepared to receive similar impressions when asleep; and there was nothing miraculous in the matter, about which so many strange things have been circulated. The dream is here related for the sole purpose of correcting those fabulous reports, of which the human mind is too susceptible.—A Mr. Boorn* dreamed that Russell Colvin came to his bedside, and told him that he had been murdered, and he must follow him, and he would lead him to the spot where he was buried: this was repeated three times. The deposite was the place talked of previous to the
* Uncle to the aforesaid Stephen and Jesse, and a gentleman of respectability, whose character is unimpeachable.