||JRN: IL-MO: 1883 Combined history of Randolph, Monroe and Perry counties, Illinois . With illustrations descriptive of their scenery and biographical sketches of some of their prominent men and pioneers |
||JRN: IL-MO: 1883 History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry counties, Illinois |
||McDonough, J.L |
||McDonough, J.L., & Co., Philadelphia |
||p. 159 |
||TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF GABRIEL J. FORSEE. |
Gabriel J. Forsee was not a resident of Monroe county. He had been indicted by the grand jury of Randolph county, Illinois, at the September term, 1865, for murdering Elizabeth Darwin, whose throat he had cut with a knife "for the value of one dollar," on July 13th, 1865. He obtained a change of venue and was tried before judge Silas S. Bryan, at the May term, 1866. He was defended by Underwood and Hood. The jury who tried him, was composed of the following citizens, to wit: William Nagel, W. W. Wallace, Michael Finnerty, Joseph Proctor, Joseph W. Hilton, Renke Renken, Arnold Herchenroeder, Frank Varies, Henry Schmidt, Christian Henry, Jacob Heer and George L. Ditch.
The verdict of this jury is very brief, and bears no date or signatures. Its file mark is as follows : Filed May 7th,
1866. William Erd, clerk.
His honor, judge Bryan, closed his brief sentence of death with the words, " May God have mercy on you."
Gabriel Forsee was a bad man, had served a term in penitentiary for some other crime, ahd as he had been convicted, mainly on the evidence of Elizabeth Darwin, he murdered her from motives of revenge.
The execution took place, as the sheriff's certificate states, on the 2d of June, 1866, between the court house and jail at Waterloo. It is signed by Lewis N. Wilson, sheriff, and witnessed by Dr G. Hoffmann, Dr. H. Rothstein, Engelbert Voerster, M. D., and a "jury" composed of William Henley, Charles W. Meyer, Samuel Waddle, Christopher Fults, John Hirz, Martin Dunn, Valentine Briegel, C. H Kettler, J. H. Wilson, Theodore Repp, Daniel O'Leary and Charles Frick.
It should be stated here, that judge Lynch held court, time and again, during this period. His work was speedy and terrible, and, it is feared not just in several cases.
This information was given to the writer from hearsay, and as this chapter is" wholly made up from documentary evidence, the details of cruel and monstrous mob law must be excluded from these pages, The passions during and immediately after the war ran high, life was considered cheap, and the evil deeds of lawless persons exasperated the people to such a degree, that the word " not " was stricken from their sixth commandment.
Several efforts to bring judge " Lynch " into court proved futile, and it seemed that the people generally were satisfied with what judge Lynch had ordered and decreed.
||Elizabeth Ann BURNS|
John Granville DARWIN
- copy kindly provided by Michael Atchison