Imágenes de páginas


Thomas Johnson sworn.—-I was a neighbour to the Booms and Colvin. In the early part of the month of May, seven years ago last spring, I saw one morning Stephen Boom, Jesse Boorn, Russell Colvin, and his son, Lewis Colvin, picking up stones. They appeared to be in a quarrel. I had a full view of them, although they could not see me., I have never seen Russell Colvin since. Stephen said he was not in the field picking stones at the time Russell went off, but that he went off at that time. Jesse, while in imprisonment, told me that he was assisting in shoeing a horse when Russell went off. Stephen said the woodchuck they had for dinner the day Russell went off, was killed by him when mending fence for a Mr. Hammond. Having purchased the land where this quarrel took place, the children found and brought home an old, mouldy, rotten hat; I knew it to be the hat of Russell Colvin. In the cellar-hole stood a thrifty apple-tree, about three feet high, which was taken away the season after I noticed it.

Lewis Colvin (son of Russell Colvin) sworn.—He said that at the time Russell went, off, he was picking stones with him and Stephen and Jesse Boorn; that a quarrel arose between Stephen and Russell; that Russel struck Stephen first; that Stephen knocked Russell down with a club, and that he (the witness) ran away, and saw no blood; that Stephen told him not to tell that he struck Russell; that he has never seen Russell since.

[It appeared from the testimony of many witnesses that a jack-knife and a button were found in the old cellar-hole, which were recognised as having once belonged to Russell Colvin; that he had occasionally absented himself from his family, and was at times in a state of mental derangement; that bones had been found, which by some were supposed to be human bones, but which appeared, from the most conclusive evidence, not to be numan bones. From a large mass of evidence, that which relates to the accidental observations of the Booms before their arrest and imprisonment, and their confessions when chained in a dungeon, are deemed altogether the most important.]

Truman Hill sworn.—He stated that he had the keys of the prison in which the Booms were imprisoned; that he exhorted Jesse to tell the truth, and that if he told a falsehood it would increase his trouble; that he confessed that he was afraid that Stephen had murdered. Colvln, and that he believed he knew very near where the body was buried; that when the knife and the hat of Colvin were shown him, he was much agitated. He said he urged Jesse to confess nothing but the truth.

Daniel D. Baldwin, and Mrs. Baldwin, to the same effect, said that about three years since Stephen told them that Colvin went off in a strange manner into the woods at the time he, Jesse Colvin, and Lewis, were picking stones—that Lewis had gone for drink, and when he asked them where Colvin was gone, one answered, Gone to hell; the other, that they had put him where potatoes would not freeze.

[Numerous witnesses testified to the contradictory declarations of the Booms in regard to the disappearance or death of Colvin; but the testimony of Silas Merrill, to the extraordinary Confession of Jesse Boom, is in substance inserted.]

Silas Merrill sworn.—Testified that as Jesse was returned to prison from time to time from the court of inquiry, that he had been urged to confess; that one night in the prison we got up, and Jesse said that Stephen knocked Colvin down twice, broke his scull, and the blood gushed out; that his father came up three several times, and asked if he was dead, and said damn him; that all three of us took the body and put it into the old cellar, where father cut his "throat; that he knew the jack-knife to be Colvin's; that Stephen wore Colvin's shoes; that about a year and a half after they took up the bones, put them under a barn that was burnt, then pounded them up and flung them into the river; that father put some of them into a stump, &c.


[The following written confession of Stephen was rejected by the court; but, as its contents were alluded to by oral testimony, it was introduced by the prisoners' counsel.]

"May the 10th, 1812, I, about 9 or 10 o'clock, went down to David Glazier's bridge, and fished, down below uncle Nathaniel Boom's; and then went up across their farms, where Russell and Lewis was, being the nighest way, and sat down and began to talk, and Russell told me how many dollars benefit he had been to father, and I told him he was a damned fool; and he was mad, and jumped up, and we sat close together, and I told him to set down, you little tory; and there was a piece of a beech limb about two feet long, and he catched it up and struck at my head as I sat down; and I jumped up, and it struck me on one shoulder; and I catched it out of his hand, and struck him a back-handed blow, I being on the north side of him; and there was a knot on it about one inch long. As I struck him, I did think I hit him on his back; and he stooped down—and that knot was broken off sharp— and it hit him on the back of the neck, close in his hair—and it went in about a half of an inch on that great cord—and he fell down, and then I told the boy to go down, and come up with his uncle John—and he asked me if I had killed Russell, and I told him no, but he must not tell that we struck one another. And I told him, when he got away down, Russell was gone away—and I went back, and he was dead—and then I went and took him and put him in the corner of the fence by the cellar-hole, and put briers over him—and went h6me, and went down to the barn, and got some boards—-and, when it was dark, I went down, and took a hoe and boards, and dug a grave as well as I could, and took out of his pocket a little Barlow knife, with about a half of a blade, and cut some bushes, and put on his face and the boards, and put in the grave, and put him in, four boards on the bottom and on the top, and t'other two on the sides, and then covered him up; and went home, crying along, but I Warnt afraid as I know on. And when I lived to William Boorn's I planted some potatoes; and, when I dug them, I went there, and something I thought had been there, and I took up his bones and put them in a basket, and took the boards and put on my potato-hole, and then it was night, took the basket and my hoe, and went down and pulled up a plank in the stable floor, and then dug a hole, and then covered him up; and went into the house and told them I had done with the basket; and took back the shovel, and covered up my potatoes that evening. And then, when I lived under the west mountain, Lewis came and told me that father's barn was burnt up; the next day, or the next day but one, I came down, and went to the barn, and there was a few bones; and when they was to dinner, I told them I did not want my dinner, and went and took them, and there warnt only a few of the biggest of the bones, and throwed them in the river above Wyman's, and then went back, and it was done quick too, and then was hungry by that time, and then went home, and the next Sunday I came down after money to pay the boot that I gave to boot between oxens; and went out there and scraped up them little things that was under the stump there, and told them I was going to fishing, and went, and there was a hole, and I dropped them in, and kicked over the stuff, and that is the first anybody knew it, either friends or foes, even my wife. All these I acknowledge before the world.

"Stephen Boorn."

Manchester, Aug. 27, 1819. ,

Much other testimony was adduced, but cannot be introduced into this, which is again pronounced a mere "Sketch" of this singular prosecution.

The charge of the court to the jury was solemn, learned, and peculiarly impressive.

The jury returned with a verdict finding both of the prisoners Guilty.

They were sentenced to be executed upon the 28th January, 1820. •




lii February, 1822, Mr. Haynes removed to Gianville, New-York, where he passed the last eleven years of his pilgrimage. Towards his friends at Manchester, he cherished till his death feelings of unfeigned affection. He had found in them a generous and enlightened people, ever ready to minister to the wants of his numerous and dependant family. They attended upon his ministry with devout interest and with evident profit. The church in Manchester was enlarged under his faithful ministrations. It was now with him the even-tide of life. It could not be said of him as is recorded of Moses, when he was a hundred and twenty years old; "his eye was not dim, nor was his natural force abated." His physical and intellectual vivacity had perceptibly declined; and although there was entire harmony between him and the people in Manchester, yet it was natural for such a village to desire the labours of one who could bring into action the ardour and vivacity of youth. Accordingly, the church and people in Manchester yielded to the wishes of the Congregational church in Granville, that the setting sun of this holy and remarkable man should be witnessed among them. On taking leave of his. beloved charge at Manchester, he could adopt the language of the apostle Paul to the elders of the church in Ephesus, though he would be the last to class himself with the great apostle: "Remember that for the V

« AnteriorContinuar »