Newspaper Page Text
* The Last White Man Hanged in
* Laurens. *
** ***** ** * ******
The Laurens Herald of several days
go contained an interesting aceount
f the conviction and execution of a
white man, Dr. Thomas W. Kininan,
at Laurehs, for nergo stealig, in
1854. The story is as follows:
Sometime in the springy or summer
of 1853, Dr. Thomas Kinman was
->ught here from Greenville county
lien district), a prisoner and lodged
jail, charged wi-th capital felony,
that he had stolen and carried
wav a certain negro. the property of
a citizen of Laureis district.
A few days after his imprisonment
Kinman was admitted to bail under a
heavy bond,-for his appearance at the
approaching term of court for trial.
The sessions court at that time was
eld only twice a year. March and
On Sunday evening before the op
ing of the October term, Kinman
as prompltly in attendance. stopping
t Simmons' h.el. ippirentiy in thli
best of humor and spirits, where the
Writer saw him for the first time. iH
was a man of rath1r fine personal ap
pearance. quite six feet in height,
florid complexion. with li-h- r saidy
iiur, a man of imelligence. in passes
sion of considerable prorerty7 in land
and n'egroes. and up to the -time of his
arrest bore a good character and was
highly respected. Notwithstandiig
these facts. and the gravity of .the
charges against him, the case had ex
cited little or no interest until he
-went to jail Monday , morning of
court; and even then no one seemed
to think that he would be convicted,
and hanged, as, under the law of
South Carolina at that time, no Other
penalty attached to the crime of negro
stealing-slightly different now.
There was very little direct or p~os
itive proof against Kinnman-nearly
all circumstantial, but the circumstan
al evidence proved in the end dam
-gig and fa6tal, as will be seen later
:1 It developed in course of the trial
1ithat Kinman passed through this
plaee in possession of a new, light
two-horse Cox & Gower wagon, the
cover of which was tightly drawn by
trong' cords at front, rear and sides,
so that no one couild see- i.ts interio.r.
.itnesses testified that the same de
scriptioni of ma'n and wagon crossed
the Saluda river at Swansey 's ferry.
-Another witness, a citizen of :the
town of Abbeville, testified that the
igentieally described man and wagpn
passed through that' place. It so hap
pened that? the Abbeville .witness
:wanted just such a wagon'as the de
~fenda'nt had, wanted it at once, and
offered to pay a much lar.ger sum for
it than the usu.al cost of vehicles of
~that size, but he was forbidden to
look inside the wagon, when he at
empted. This action on 'the part of
the defendanat for some reason, it
~eems, excited the suspicion of the
~witness, and he so testified, identify
ng Kinman as the man in charge of
the wagon. And it was firmly be
lieved, though not proven, that, that
said negro was secreted in said wagon.
If transpired from the evidence
that Kinman adopted the scheme of
the great "Land Pirate,'-as the no
torious John A. Murrell used to be
called-made repeated sales of the
same negro. He or his confederate
with him would sell the stolen negro
at, a certain place, secretly give him a
pass, with instructions to meet him
at another point a few days later,
where the negro would be sold a'gain,
signing, of course, a ficti-tious name to
the pta.s. These sales 'were give~n in
eaeh instance. And it was these pas
ses t at betrayed him, and finally
e the neck of the accused.
ne of the Witnesses testifying
'nst ~Kinman was from Alabama,
was one of the unfortunate pur
s of -the stolen' negro, but was
'able to identify Kinman as the
from whom .he bought the negro.
passes given the negro, three of
'eh the prosecution managed to
cure, were signed with the ficti
s signature of "J. H. Smith,''
ept one of :the three, which was
ed "J. M. Smith.'' Why this
uge of initials from "J. H.' "to
M.'' shon'ld have been t.aken by
"prosecution as suspicious circum
etces was not apparent at the time,
that all three passes were proven
to .1r2e been 'wrtiten by the saime
t.and: and witnesses familiar with
Kinman's hand.writing swore that all
three of the passes were written by
him. This seemed to "pin the bask
et"' against the defendant, and was
'the State's case. It is not remember
ed at this lapse of time whether the
dfense introduced any evidence. but
ink none was offered. though the
's5oner was badly detendedi by the
atHon. Chas. P. Sullivan, one of
hable lawyers of the Laurens bar.
tthat thue" .nstiy rainking as one ot
eablest in thle State.
The case was tried before Judge
reaL who was then a circuit
udge. and bef-'re his elevatioln to I110
court of appeals. Jacob P. Reed. an
able prosecuting oicer, was the soli
eitor. The ciarge of Judge 0 'Neall,
however, was'much stronger against
the prisoner and had more influence
with the jury than even the very able
speech of the solicitor, as at that
time a presiding judge was permitted
to charge on fact. or on evidence, a
well as on -The law. (And it inight be
as well, or perhaps better. if former
prerogatives were in voglel now.)
Judre O'Neall was thoroughly con
vinced of the prisoner's guilt, and the
jury saw it, vIlli doulbtTess mater
ially aided them in ar-riving" at a
quick agreement. retturning- as tlhey
did. witliinl less thai half aii hour
with :the fatal verdiet of guilt Of
the crime as charge, t1he onL ex
I pia-fion of whicih was death o)l th1e
galowxs. Thl-e were no de:_T-ees or
modificti'm, in those Jays for tIre
crime of negro stealing.
Among other 11h1ilgS ill the cou1rSe
of Jn(1e vNehl lar.:e. he t()hl1
hi jury. . ab amially. le i:nself
():ne(imes, tnd to fe n,sea ale
*1aa % . i ! 1 fl~e IV
When theC verdiet of thies jury was
announced. Mr. Sullivan made Imtion
for a new trial, which. bein- denied.
gave noti c of appeal and carried the
ease to the appeal court, which body
Istained tie action ' verditt v xvhe
lower court, and t-he sentence of death.i
was. pronounced upon the defendant.
Mr. Sullivan fought the case with his
characteristic energy and persistenee.
and unless the writer's memory is at
fault, succeeded in getting it before
the appeal court more than once, but
with the same result. Yet he did
succeed in getting two respites for his
client, but upon what ground is not
When all hope was abandoned, Kin
man set about trying to get his lib
erty by breaking jail. Some weeks
before the day of execution he man
aged in some way to get a pocket
knife, a long key hole saw and a
rope. With these tocols lie went to
work energetically, not. being shack
eled,. and came very near cuttingZ his
way out; but. unfortunately for him,
the sheriff, who slept in :tihe jail, was
awakene:d by the noise and thwarted
the attempt to escape. The prison
er, it seems, had become over-confi
dent and bold in his -efforts. The slher
iff (the late Oswall Richa rdson) stat
edl that Kinman would have escaped
in two hours or less but for the timely
discoverv on his p)art. It was supi
posed that the prisoner's faithful
wife, who had been permitt-ed to s-is
it him a few weeks previously, had
conveyed the means of eserpe to the
prisoner's cell, concealed in her cloth
ing. The prisoner's effort to escape
was detected and defeated less than
a week before the day of execution.
On the day of the execution a pe
uliarly strange, if not an analogous
and gruesome incident occurred. As
Kinman was being conveyed from the
jail to the gallows, -the writer was
standing on the sidewalk in front of a
store on grounid now occupied by the
Peoples Loan and Exchange bank as
he passed. sitting on a seat with the
driver af a troohor'se w'agon, h.is cof
fin. which lie was soon to fill. just in
rear of him. The negro for whom he
was soon to be hanged for stealing,
stood on the same sidewalk, and not
ten steu's from the writer, and seemed
to gaze with, gleeful satisfaction on
the doomed enlprit.
It was suspected that Kinman was
associated with gnd one of a clan
whose business was to- steal both ne
groes and horses and run them off, the
headquarters of whieh clan was just
across the line of La.urens in Green
ville district. But this was mere sus
A moment before the death trap
was sprung, Kinman was asked by his
spiritual -adviser (Rev. David Wills),
who went on the scaffold with him
and offered prayer for shim, whether
or not he was guilty, .that it was a
duty he owed his family, himself and
friends to make the statement as his
last utterance on earth, and said to
him: ''Kinmna,n, are you guaulty. or in
nocent ?'' His irep.ly was. ''Guilty only
n part.'' These were his last words.
and as the signal handkerchief drop
ped from his nervy hand and flutter
'ed slowly to the ground. 'he wa's
launched into eternity. He was pub
licly hanged the latt-er part of Sep
tember, 1854, publi'e execution t'hen
beng the law or custom, and the
co d in attendance was immense.
some of themi fromi adljoining districts.
HF!i. laemnie reply as t. his Quilt in
dited that if hie dlid be!''ii :": I
'i&vini' elan he wva- true to9 it. IIe
div~ulgred no~ thingr save as !"' hhnmself.
ad lit tle of that &even. KinmanN
w:..: no ,nly a .ad ca- but a1 peia
The ado'ln nw!rr was noned by the
the iegro had been sold several times
ill s41out\hwestern Ger ia and Alaiba
ma. recovered hi.; property and the
slave was bioug1ht back. The negro
was a fine looking fellow. full six feet
in heig'ht. and as the price oft ieroes
rated then would have sold for fif
te oli ( l i' teell hundred (dollars in
t wIe negr inar-t-: (f Nv Orlea li or
The 1ornill. after hlle execlltiol tiIhe
writer left here on his waY to Able
ville, via Newberry, at which point
Judge O'Neall boarded the train and
I(Poh a seat just in frifnt of ihe former.
$if wilom tl' judge imnediately ill
1luird whether K man had been
'a-ll(ed the lay before. B(ill' an
swem'd ill the alirmative lie re:rheI.
maIn was Ied befo re me. I w:a.4 ctoIn
vinced( thlat hle wa guailty. oL' h
iriie zia4 char.,ed,t ain1 muf iuffer the
WeMay. Th, Luw mv seemi sftein.
a er -:v I 'hin 'th ha g in:
SOUTH CAROLTA'S QO.RY.
Mr. A. S. Sally, Jr., Sas This
State's Pr-td Record ShoLed be
Made Commen Know
To l Edit r of The State
Like rself. I d> it wi h : en
,'jv ~ ~ w al' t 4 0U~. Uc
. '~ .la Um.13 t he (eaionI we*~ aie so
misrepreseited and misunder
hvI i outsideri v,that - do not
;i*<1:.ly p1Ce.t our Uwin s:de ofou
istry to .tLhe linvestigating world.
We -sh.ould not qua-rel with people
who hold coniiitra.ry opinion, to ocs
u-inle;s we know those opinions are
not nJoniest. and we shuld not won
der at opinions based on invesitgaa
tions made at. improper sources when
we, ourselves. having the proper
sources -at our comm-and, do not put
them within the reach of those who
would know abouit us.
Our people can become indignant
and hurl'out Jhot word. of defiance
at strangers who mi.'epresent us
(ei he:- i& nrant ly or analiciously'l un
til tUe daiy ot judgumen.: without bij~t
teri'ng' the~ m i:uatnin in the least. what
we 'hould (10 is to pub)lish in accessi
ble for'm. skillfulyx edited and present
ed 'the ev idenc es o.f our past culture
and 'tihe argonelnts based on those evi
dences a-s.to tihe results obtained fro :n
the evolu:jinS <-r progressive develop
ment of that 'culture.
A consi)cuio: ease in p:).nl isthi
itf Chiarles Pinaekney anmd tie contst itu-l
t:ion of the Unitedl States. When the
cenltion met in 1787 iharl.es
Pinekney.; one of the five delegates
elected by Souh Ci(arolina. pr:esentred
h imnsel f had pr~nepa1redi. Such a K'ingm
w"as very mms.~ual in thiose days.
Paswere usualy fr:muhate d by (con
x'ent:is or' other bodies and r's!ndi
tions prescribi.ng what ought -to b)e
cone embodied the ideas agzreed upon.
That was .the ease wit'h the other'
plans su'bmitted ito .the cojnvention,.
but Mr. Pi'neknevy's pl:n w'as an ad
vance:ment.:andl it wvas u.niqme and( i;i
gial. Along with the 'other plans
submitted to the c'onv'entumn it wxas
sent to lie committee c'hargzed with
wor'k of drafting a 'constitu.ion. John
Rutledge of Sou:th Carolina was
chairman of tihat committee. In time
it became common 'talk in South Car
olina that: more of the- ideas of
Pinekn'ey's consttntion were a.dopted
than of 'any? other plan. It is likely
that Rutledge spread tha t rumor.
Nevertheless, outsiders paid lititle at
tention to the claim, because Pi-nek
ney 's d'raft was not in evidence~; a.ny
body who desired .to see it could not
find it. When President Madison de
sired to prepare this account of t.he
federal convention he got Mr. Jothn
Quiney Adams to write to Mr. Pinek
ney for a copy of this plan. Mr.
Pinc.kney sent on a copy which was
pronounced by Adams .to 'be a com
pilation from memory, with many of
the f'eatu.res of the constitution] there
in that could .not :possibly have been
in Mr. Pinekney 's plan. That to a
great extent discredited Mr. Pinek
ney before athhe world w'en it was
publisihed years afiter Mr. Pincknrey'-s
Some years ago Dr'. J1. Franklin
Jameson, then of .the University of
Chic'ago, took uip the study of. Pinek
nev and the eonstriution. He 'called
upon me for help 'at this end of t.he
line. Our records had never been
sihaped up so tha.t I 'could find whait
we had bu'i It I .fou-nd a coin-ider'able
mnmber) it scratps t hat helped'~ D'r.
'd'-. t Pr , > t. leL mmchlin'\ f 'ei ~:v r
a1 ' \1r t 3 IiN.ne mvId Wil's
esoll lil-ell ave mo(*e credit to Pilk
Ilev Glaln -had ver been given by an
"UtSider of pi-nii-nce -before. Now
colmes Judge Not.t. of the District of
Columbia with a boofk v-indiealting
and extoling,- Pinckney.
Of conse. some may say that there
i almple material rabout Gei. Lee.
Tlat is trei. hIm Biss By\smi canl not
e expei)ted 1i S>k upon Le as lie
rea ;n.a,n we know hinn to be. S-he
hi.as beeni raised up ro look upon him
as an ceemy. Consequently The has
benraihlir 4roacd in givng him the
praise that she has. but if hec' had had
fill acess .to t-he sidelights of South
(1ii hisl:( he li.- wo umld hav.e avoided
manV !f., tlie error of fact of wie:b
e is e-uiSv. For instanee. if th? re
eIs of' our e'dica;:ional attiainments
hai been well woirkel up in the past.
iW woldl1 not have saidl that the peo
ple (r .the Soilih wer densely ig or
lit. Let is take tie single case of
Pinekine. If wve had lo-n- ago let. the
XX~ I. i' I 1)- I I V C, Yvor
ii 1 1 * ~ I : -' \von"i' 1, 1
ItF III a I a I I' 1,eL'iIi 'I l
ftherol td the world ::bat he lived to
:nlMs hasas to t he co:istiinii ion
- I r half a century -after play'
g - > p:-ninlent a part in the mak
1 . i t ,: in) nU t an1 d tiat
Ji, ,:ine-- wvas f: the s:nne effect as
I-ai 1f %i:l s 5iue)r. John C.
cahoui. praps the extremie views,
of State rights i:.hat Miss Boyson and
others hold would .have been modified
by the more g-n-.eral assimilation of
the Southein views.
What we need is not railing at
those xho :honestly err, but the pat
ience and :-he cunsideration to teach
inm by placing wit,hin their rea'h
tic. evidence bearing on our side of
The historia-el commission of South
Carolina is publishing a great many
re-nods that are now having and will
in the years to come have great
wei:!z.t with lt.ho:se who sit down to
write some.thing about us. The South
Carolina Historiael society is doing
the' samne thing. IDo the 15eople of
Suth Carolina help to put those :re
e:ords i.n circulai>ion by buying them?
i takes finaueial- suppo.rt -to carry on
any sort of work. At presenit -mt
of tihe ordiers for 'the publications i's
sued by .tihie hist-orical -commssion
come from libra,ries and -educat ional
institutions i-n the Nouth and West.
Perhaps in the course of time these
:eords will be examined by Miss
B-iyisoni and conviaew her that Sou h
hiarolina wvas not sn-elh a benighted
State a-s she has been ta-ught to be
leve it was in t.he days before the
nero was freed, but will our own
people kniow as muco abo)nt their piast
t!:en a.s Miss Bnvyson xwill k-now ~?
A. S. Salley, Jr.
(:flumbia, Feb. 11, 1909.
Not Only in Aiken.
Aiken Journal and Review.
Aiken ha-s -a:n an ti-spitting law, and
o'e of the first steps of the Anti
Tbernlona~ league shoulid be to .try
ad h-ave tihis law en-forced.
BLUE RIDGB SCB'EDULES.
No. :8, leaves Anderson at 6.30 a.
n., for connection at - Belt on with
outhern for Greenville.
No. 12, -from Walballa. leaves Ar
derson at 10.15 a. mn., for connection
at Belton with Southern Railway for
Columbia and Greenville.
No. 20, leaves Anderson at~ 2.20
p. in., for connections at Belton with
Southern Railway for Greenville.
No. 8, daily eieept Sunday, from
Wahalla arrives Anderson 6.24 p.
in., with connections at Seneca with
Southern Railway from points sonthi.
No. 10, from Walhalla, leaves An
derson at 4.57 p. in., for connections
at Belton with Southern Railway for
Greenville and Columbia.
~No. 17, arrives at Anderson at 7.50
1. in., from Belton with connections
No. 9, arrives at Anderson at 12.24
p. in., from Belton with connections
from Greenville and Columbia. Goes
No. 19, arrives at Anderson at 3.40
p. mn.. from Belton with connections
No. 11, arrives at Anderson at
6.29 p. mn., from Belton with con
netions from Greenville and Colum
bia. Goes to Waihalla..
No. 7, daily except Sunday, leaves
Anderson at 9.20 a. mn., for Walhallo.
with connections at Seneca for locaul
Nos. 7.218 19. and 20 are mixed
tryn beteenAnderson andi Belfor:
Nos. 7 and S are 1local freight
trains, carrying passengers. hetweer
Anderson and Walhalla and bet wc'
Wialal ane Anderson
The Commercial Bank of Newberry, S. C., con
densed from report to State Bank Examiner Novem
ber 27. 1908.
Loans................... ............... $268,751 87
Furniture and fixtures....................... 3,116 93
i Overdrafts .............................. 12,645 6o
Cash and due from banks..... ................ ioi,i8i 65
Capital stock........................... S50,0oooo
Profits less expenses taxes paid ............... 54,677 53
Dividends unpaid. ........... . ............ 1,277 00
Cashier's Checks........................... 255 00
Re-discounts ... ......................... 15,000
Banks............ .. ...... -- 3,486.49-$264,486 52
The Comnrci Bank,
JNO. M. KINARD, 0. B. MAYER, J. Y. McFALL,
President. Vice-President. Cashier.
SOME OF OUR POLICIES:
To be conservative.
To pay four per cent.
To calculate interest semi-annually.
To bond every employee.
To be progressive and accommodating.
To lend our money to our customers.
-To treat our patrons courteously.
To be liberal and prompt.
To secure business from all classes.
TO BE THE VERY BEST BANK FOR YOU
TO DO BUSINESS WITH.
Our institution is under the supervision of and regularly
examined by the State Bank Examiner.
SThe Bunk of Prosperlig,
Pr osperity, S. C.
R.vGEO. Y. HUNTER, DR. J. S. WHEELER,
President. V President.
JF.BROWNE, J. A. COUNTS,
Cashier. Assistant Cashier.
*The Pirsi Cough of the Seen
Even though not severe, has a tendency to irritate the sensi
*tive membra.nes of the throat and delicate bronchial tubes.
Coughs then come easy all winter, every time you tat the
i ightest cold. Cure the first cough before it has a chance to .
* inet up .n Inflamation in the delicate capillary air tubes of theg
* lungs. The best remedy is QUICK RELIEF COUGH
NYRUP. It at once gets right at the seat of tr uble and --e
m noves the cause. It is free from Morphine and is as safe ?or.
MAYES' DRUG STORE.*
WE, STOP THE LEAKS.
Jones & Gleason'
PLUMBING, TINNING and GUTTERING
STEAM and HOT WATER HEATING
REPAIRl WORK( A SPEGALTY
UNDEiR CROTWELL HOTEL
1218m College St. NEWBERRY, S. C