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mmm '?m^ 7" ^ '; '" * '
H5|fc % :''" ;V?;V.-'^.-. ',Never
in tho history of Abbeville
county has so much interest been manifested
in a trial for homicide as has been
evinced by, tho public in the second trial
of Johh C. Ferguson for the killingof
Arthur Iiencdict. Full reports having
been made, by the papers, of the last
trial, great difiicujty was experienced in
securing a jury who had not formed or
expressed some opinion on the case.
ine prisoner selected ins jury trom
ninety-six of his country. The whole
of Tuesday and the greater portion of
Wednesday was taken up in securing the
jury. Nearly every juror that was presented
was put upon his voir dire, either
by the defendant or by the State. Finally
on Wednesday evening the following
jury was obtained :
A. 0. Grant, foreman; W. II. Powell,
Jerry Bacon (colored), T. C. Seal, H. 10.
Henderson, Sutnuel Wilson, 11. L. Ciink
scales, Kobert \\ . Hester, 1. M. Warren,
\V. F. Mngill, J. Strother Graves and
J. C. Jennings.
The evidence in the case was so tnnch
the same as that published at the last
trial, that we have abridged it as much
as possible, giving only the main points
testified to by each witness. The
speeches in the case were unusually
good, being full of pathos, feeling and
zeal on the part of the defendant, and as
fair and impartial as possible on the part
of the Stato.
Never do we remember to have seen
a Judge exercise such patience as was
done by His Honor, Judge Wallace.
Although the case was a very tedious
one, occupying four whole days, Judge
Wallace never exhibited the least impatience.
There were a great many ladies present
while the speeches in the case were
being delivered, and during the whole
trial there were large crowds of anxious
Mr. A. 0. Grant was made foreman of
Before the solicitor had put up the
lirst witness for the State, Mr. Denet
stated that he desired to make a motion
for the court to consider. The defend
ant had entered a special plea of unsoundness
of mind at the time of the
homicide, and he contended that bj' this
plea the defence assumed the burden ot
proof, and under the rules of tli2 court
was entitled to open and close, both in
the evidence and the argument. This
rule . has been established in the civil
court, hut it is not so well settled in the
sessions court. He quoted ltule 09 of
the court and continued: "When the
defendant admits the Slate's case he
cannot set up witnesses to disprove anything
about the killing. The plea of
/ unsoundness of mind is an affirmative
plea, and the defendant assumes the
burden of proof. We admit the State's
, case and the State is not bound to prove
anything, but simply to rebut the plea
of unsoundness of mind. What has the
jury to decide upon? The one question
raised Dy our plea. The nature of the
issue must control the opening and reply.
Our plea is one of alfirmation that
we stand here with the hope ot sustaining.
We are the actors and are entitled
to open and close. We admit everything
that may be proved to sustain the
indictment. There is'hut one issue before
the court, and we take the burden
of proof upon ourselves.*' He hoped
the court would grant them the privilege
of opening and replying.
Judge "Wallace "held that this plea
was similar to that of self-defence and
other like defences and overruled the
motion of Mr. Benet, to which he asked
his Honor to note un exeention ??n ?i??
X " *
part of the defence.
Testimony for the State.
WM. O. HILKY
testified that he was town marshal, and
at the time of the killing near Auerbach's
store. He met Benedict running
out of the store from behind the counter.
He said : "Oh ! he shot me."
y Saw John C. Ferguson in the store
7 with a pistol in his hand, who admitted
thai he did the shooting. Ferguson
asked if he could not give bail. Hammond
told him to wait and sec how
hftdlv RfinoHipt c.V.,-.*. T '
^ ,..Vv..w? ??tto onut. i iuunu oui
he was dying and took Ferguson to
V; Cross-examined : Have seen FerguM
> son drunk several times; was pretty
J drunk that day. Ho spoke of getting
bail on the street, and not in the
sheriff's office. Ferguson gave as the
/ '\ reason why he shot Benedict that the
rascal was trying to kill him. He
^ said afterwards that Benedict was tryiny
to cut him.
f.;: j. s. iiammond:
y Was at the time intendant of the town.
"*" He saw Ferguson that day go into
I v Auerbach's storo. Ferguson applied to
V him for bail. Said he wanted to give
bail as there would be a wedding at
; ; home that ho wanted to go to. There
H was a wedding at Mr. Brook's, Ferguson's
Cross-examined : Do not remember
':y / of ever seeing him drunk before. Did
not think that he drank.
EMJAH VANCK, COLORED:
tSaw Ferguson on the day of the shooting
leaning against the counter in Auer'
-w_ .. aatm vunu il
frota his back hip pocket. A few minfafej
utes after that the shooting took place,
tife- Cross-examined : Fergurson said
P$;V nothing that he heard, neither did Benedict.
|&>.\ HETTIK BELTOU, COLORED:
V' WftR in Anerbach's store on December
; 24,1884.. Wont in there to get shoes;
I When she asked for the shoes BeneI
diet was on the left-hand side of tho
m store. He then came out and went on
down the right-hand side to the shoe
box, which was in the middle of the
store between tho counters. Ferguson
and Benedict were on the opposite sides
of the box. Could not hear what Ferguson
said to Benedict, but Benedict
said, "What did you say ?'' Tho shooting
then took place.
LUCY SANDERS, COLORED:
"Went to Auerbach's store to get shoes
on the 24th of December, 1884. Ferguson
was leaning against tho righthand
counter when the shooting was
done. Benedict was on the'left-hand
side of the store. Did not hour either
Ferguson or Benedict say anything.
When 1 first saw the pistol it was
cocked. I was not ten steps otF.
Saw Benedict coming out of the store.
He asked me to catch him. He had his
n tt rl itii Uiu linurf Unl nn/1
him to the hotel. He lived twenty or
thirty minutes. Benedict had nothing
in his hand. Witness had had a difficulty
with Ferguson about a year before
the shooting. There was no provocation
for the row that ho knew of.
Ferguson at the tiino looked natural.
He saw nothing wrong with him. We
tr> blows. T thought ho
foolishly. Pretty hard words passed
between us. He struck the first blow.
1 would have hit him first if he had
given ine a little more time.
D. J. JOKDAX,
Saw Benedict and Ferguson on Saturday
before the homicide. The shooting
was on Monday. Heard words pass
between them. Ferguson said to Benedict
you are a d d liar," and Bcnepict
replied : "You are another." They
then separated. Ferguson looked like a
man that had been drinking.
M. K AM.SKI
said that Ferguson came into his store
on the day of the homicide and asked
for cartridges. IJe culled for thirtytwo
or thirty-eight. Told him ho did
not have any. Ho then felt
in his pocket and said ho had enough to
kill a man. This was not more than
fifteen minutes before the shooting.
Ferguson was drinking. lie talked well
and appeared in a good humor.
Said that he was seventeen years of
age. Was in town the day before
Christmas. He saw Ferguson in Rube
Haddon's barroom sitting on a box. He
saw Ferguson with Stark Martin near
Knox's corner. Ferguson asked Martin
I to "come on down here if you want to
sue ino kill a d il Jew." Martin
told him not to do it. Ferguson said
what he did in his regular voice. He
lokect like a drunken man. lie was not
noisy. Witness had never seen him
Kvidctioe for tlio Dcfcnce.
The State closod here, and the defence
put up as their first witness,
PUOK. J. ft. RILEY,
n*Vi A 5 k? n ?v? * V? T>?- ? ~ 1?-1
n UV7 111 a All I UlOiUl UI LIIU I I t'SUVl^riiUlj
church but who has been enguged in
teaching for some time. Ferguson had
boarded with him, and he also taught him
at Adger College in 1880. The first tiuie
ht noticed jany thing wrong with hi in
was in the class room. He turned pale
and seemed to be about to fall over.
Witness could get no intelligent answer
from him. Another time was at
the breakfast table at witness's house,
when he was aifectod in the same way.
He turned pale. Witness asked him
about ihe matter and he snid that he
had frequently had similiar attacks before.
He frequently came to be excused
from recitations on account of his
Cross-examination : Ho said he had
those feelings though he did not always
get down. He had strange sensations
ubout the head. He was punctual at
school and made considerable progress.
He was ordinarily diligent. Have had
boys to make excuses, but they were
not of the same kind as Ferguson's.
The motions of his body were the same
as if he had fainted. Noticed nothing
but a peculiar paleness. Did not know
what he was suffering from. Knew it
was some disease of the head. Did not
say on former trial that it was vertigo.
Saw no indications of weakness of
mind except at those two times.
When he had those attacks water was
put on him. Saw him after class adjourned
and he was about us usual.
'I'ho nlfimVr ?t llio toViln ?.?* >? .<>
vere as the other one. Never noticed
any mental weakness.
MANTUA WHAU'fON, COI.ORK1),
Used to nurse Ferguson when he was
a bahy. He was more than a year old
when she began to-, nurse him. She
nursed him about five years. He was
given to .those spells. He would full in
the yard, and she would have to carry
him in the house and rub him to bring
him to life. When he gut l?rge enough
he would put his hands to his head and
complain. She was 7 or 8 years old
when she began to nurso him. She c?in
remember right smart about his spells.
He would complain a day or two before
he would have one of theso spoils. He
never complained of thorn after they
were over. He always camplained before
hn lind thpm Wn niKKad
with camphor a'nd things. Ho would
lay still like ho was dead, perfectly
quiet, still and motionless.
MRS. A. . FERGUSON,
Is no kin to the defendant. She
knew him in 1870. He went to school
to her. He wag about ten years of age
then. He was with her two sessions of
five months each. The first time she
noticed anything wrong with him was
when he was reciting a lesson. She
gave him a word to spell. Ho said
nothing. She saw that he was very
pale. He fell to the floor. She sent for
his father, He had other speils. She
can remember three. Ho was quiet
when he had these spells. A little water
and camphor would revive hiin.
DR. OEOROE JI. WAI>DKI.L, .
Testified that epilepsy was classed
among the nervous diseases. It has va-,
rious symptons. The sy^ptons are
V' .'"1"^"^ ' v> ' i.
/> ri v'? ? > * '
characteristic. Tho principal ones are
grand tnal and petit mai; grand nml is
the severest form of epilepsy, during
an attack of which the patient falls
down. Potit mal is the mildest form,
commencing with fainting. There is
a distinct lino between the two forms,
yet they are recognized as the same
affections. In cases of this kind it is
usual I'orJj doctors^ to inquire into tho
hereditary taint in the blood. Where
a person had a sister, uncle or other
kin who died with attacks that looked
like epilepsy, it would aid in tracing
the disease. In grand tnal tho patient
is seized suddenly ; he becomes pale
and falls to the ground. Every muscle
becomes as rigid as a board ; especially
in this case with the muscles
of the throat, rendering it diflicult for
the air to pass into the lungs. Then
come clonic spasms, succeeded by lethargy.
After the spasms the blood becomes
black and the face purple. After
recovery the patient is apt to become
moodv and mnrnsc A
after a paroxysm a person may not be
himself. Petit mul is harder to describe,
as there are so many degrees of
it. A person may be talking and suddenly
he would ci*ase speaking, and
after a short time would go on as if
nothing hud happened, and if accused
of it would den}' it. Swimming in
the hond is fainting in its incipioncy.
There is such a thing as epileptic vertigo.
Vertigo is no disease. It depends
upon something that immediately
preceedos it, like derangement of
the stomach. Epilepsy is recognized
as a disease. Paleness of the face does
not necessarily go along with vertigo.
Vertigo accompanied with pallor and
unconsciousness would be pronounced
epilepsy. A person has no premonition
of vertigo. A person seized with grand
nuil is harmless, certainly, during the
attack. The mind of an epileptic, in
neither grand or petit nial, is free between
the attacks. If it was there
; would he no inoro attacks. The disease
is supposed to be in the brain.
That is a matter of opinion, though.
Persons suffering from epilepsy are
possibly liable to act under delusion or
illusion. The mind may verge on insanity
in epilepsy, l'ersons suffering
frnm nnilnn?v ni*t h
....... ..-JV ....... ...V..
liberation ami without mental aid. but
they remember nothing, even in
crime, after the attack is orer. A tendency
to homicide and suicide are not
the general features of the disease.
The disease sometimes manifests itself
in deeds of violence. Petit mal predisposes
most to acts of violence.
Gross-examined : A great deal of
his information was derived by witness
from books. There are theories in the
books that we cannot adopt' In a practice
ot twenty-five years had only met
with one case of petit mal, and did not
recognize that at llrst. Petit inal was
not common in his practice. Koaming
at the mouth was another syuiplnn of
grand mal. Never saw a case of petit mal
make a patient violent afterwards.
Willi vertigo one might or might not
have pallor. Pallor is a sign of epilepsy.
Vertigo is a temporary unconsciousness.
Persons with vertigo
would fall, become nale imd nmron
scions. The efleet of pettit mnl upon
the brain is more or less unconsciousness.
It is very uncertain whether a
person suffering with grand or petti tnal
could conceive or perforin any independent
action. A person subject to
epilepsy for a number of vuurs would
show it. He would look stupid and
beefy, and his expression would be
MUS. SUSAN FEUGUSOX,
The mother of the defendant, corroberated
the statement of Martha Wharton
as to the fits that Ferguson hod
when he was a baby, but she recollected
little or nothing about the attacks.
She never sent for a doctor when he
had the attacks. She also testified to
other members of her family having
siieiliar attacks, especially as to Lizzie,
who would foam at the mouth and turn
Klnpl; in thn fu/?u T.i?/??U trno ??>.
then and she died when she was 33.
The rest of her testimony was the same
as that given on the previous trial.
A. J. FKUOUHON,
The father of the defendant, sustained
the testimony of Martha Wharton,
lie testified to a number of attacks that
he had seen John have, hot he knew
very little personally of his drinking,
although he knew that he had been
drinking very hard for at least two or
three months. He tried to keep .John
awny from town the day before the
shooting, as he condsidered him er:?zy.
Did not kilow he was drinking, but saw
the indications. Never tried to get the
pistol away from him. Did not try to
keep hiin awuy from town the day be
I Tore the killing to keep him from got[
ting whiskey. He was drinking, and
i lots of'it, when he came from Ninety.
1 Six. The rest of his testimony was
tho same as on the former trial.
l.OUIS DKLCllttit, COI.OKKO :
Was ploughing corn with Furguson
about two years ago. When Ferguson
got to the end of the road ho fell down
and said : "Oh ! my head; oh ! my
head." IIo did not lie down.
rn t? 1
x win i??rrv, coioruu : was the m:in
that Ferguson collared and triedv to kill
with an axe. Ferguson said nothing.
Mrs. Ferguson came out and caught hold
of John and he let him go then. Fergu-1
son never got the axe in his hands;
Joseph B. Ferguson : Is a brother to j
?1. _ 1 . -S * *
me ueienaani. we were in the woods,
he said, putting a log on tho wagon and
John staggered and fell and complained
of his head. 'He saw tho Tom Berry
affair in the yard, and he was the one
that John requested to hand him the
axe to kill that nigger. Ho testified to
other attacks and to John's drinking
heavily at various times. Heard him
say he was going to kill himself, and
he went in the bouse and got his pistol.
Thomas F. Ferguson, also a brother
of the defendant, testified to tho sumo
fats as did Joseph B. Ferguson.
Mrs. Mury Kennedy, a sinter of John
Ferguson's mother, testified that wiu-n
ho was at her houso he talked, looked
and acted strangely. The remainder of her
; ' y-y ; / i; 7 .
testimony was the same as on the former
Mrs. W. H. Brooks : Is the mother
of John C. Ferguson's wife. Sho was
not examined on the former trial. She
noticed he was drinking for six months
before the shooting. She never saw
him put the bottle to his mouth, but
she knew he was drinking. On Wednesday
before the homicide he was
drinking bad. Was at his house often,
from the empty bottles and jugs and
the way he acted, she knew he was
drinking. Her daughter and the baby
went home with him Tuesday and the
next morning he brought them back to
John Frith : Lived with Ferguson
about a month before the killing took
-.1 \\r 1? :?
[iuiui:. \.mi u vuiicnimj' iiiuriiii:^ r urgnson
looked like ho was affected.
John had been drinking heavy. lie
sometimes bought whiskey lor .John,
nit. f. r. oaky :
Hoard the examination of ])r. Wnddell.
The doctrine laid down by Dr. Waddoll
agreed with his experience and
, knowledge of such matters.
Marion Fair, colored : Saw Ferguson
very drunk on one occasion.
Mrs. Carrie Hichov testified as to the
mental condition of her stepfather, who
wns an uncle of Ferguson. This testimony
was the same as on the former
j liurt J'illifs, colored : Worked with
Ferguson Inst year, and the reason he
j left iiiin four mouths before Christmas
| was because Ferguson was drinking so
bad and besides he had tried to shoot
hiin.Fvery time he came to town he
Richard Jackson, colored : Saw Ferguson
the da}' before he killed Benedict.
Knew he had been drinking then,
because he smelt it on him.
John Cheatham : Had seen Ferguson
take drinks, and several times he
sent to town for whiskey b}' him,
Thinks he drank a good deal last year,
James Smith : Met Ferguson in the
load in 1881. lie went to put his hand
on his hurst's neck, but missed and fell.
He was on horseback and so was Ferguson.
Ferguson was not drunk. Saw
no reason for his falling oil'. Denies
that he told J. F. Livingston that nothing
was the matter with Ferguson, but
that he was drunk.
DAVID H. IIADDON :
Clerk in a barroom hero last yenr,
Ferguson drank there frequently, and he
took big drinks and a good many oi
them. When he would' come in from
home in the morning he would take two
barroom glasses at a time. This was in
November and December, 1884. and
January and February, 1885. Saw him
011 the morning of the homicide. lit
did not attract 1113' attention. Looked
like I10 had been drinking before he
is. D. haddon:
Last year before Christmas Ferguson
would come to the bar two or three
tinins 11 uwi'k mill Knv IVrviii ?? i.i
""J .. 4-...v
a half gallon. Drank more in the fall
than during Ihe rest of the year.
Press Cheatham : Knows that Ferguson
drnnk a good deal last year.
Sometimes looked like he would drink
nearly half a pint at a drink. He is my
Thomas C. Christian Helps his father
in the barroom, Sfw Forguson in
the barroom in the fall once or twice a
II. L. Williams : Saw Ferguson on
day ??f killing. Witness called him a
drunk man on that ' . He hail seer
him when he did no think he had quite
as much whiskey in him as at other
The defence closed hero and the
State put up in reply
nilm I.. T? I -
1UC CIIUIC 1U
l)lt. T. J. MABKY,
who testified that ho had practiced
forty or forty-five years. Practiced in
the family of A. J. Ferguson for fifteen
years, and has known .John C. Ferguson
all this time and longer. Has nevei
treated Ferguson for epilepsy, or any
disease of that kind. The symptoms ol
epilepsy are falling down, spasms, convulsions,
which last from a few minutes
to an hour. In petit mal the limb*
are not still. There are general convulsions,
of the whole body. It is said
that persons have premonitory symptoms.
Sometimes there are pains in the
head. Can't say that the patient would
be aware <?f it. The effect of epilepsy
is to destroy the mind. It tends tc
lunacy. The books say it tends to violence.
but he has never seen it. Hi1
recognizes no form of epilepsj' without
unconsciousness. A person suffiM'ing
from petit mal is unconscious. Continued
epilepsy would create an idiotic
expression; but he has seen cases where
theie was no perceptible difference.
When a person has had petit mal from
the age of one year old up to manhood
it would make * di/ference. Petit mal
causes a cessation of occupation for n
little while. Has seen Ferguson in an
irrational state caused by whiskey. This
was only one time.
dr. J. w. widkman:
lias linen nrartif.inn' fV?r fwnlwrt
There is no epilepsy without unconsciousness.
It amy last for a moment
only or for some time. If a person hid
anything in his hand at the time the lit
came on he would either grasp it tighter
and hold it in the same position or drop
it* A person would not know what was
going on during the attack. A person
in one of these fits cannot conceive or
perform. The rest of his testimony
was about the same as that given on ?he
previous trial and he corroborated the
position as taken by Dr. T. J. Mabry.
Dr. J. L. Pressley : Huh practiced
thirty-four years. Anion}? other S3'inptonis,
he stated that there was a distressed
and unnatural cry when a portion
was attacked with epilepsy. The witness
gave in subwtance the same testimony
as Drs. Mabry and Widemnn.
UN. I/. T. IfJT.T,
' I - iii< ) ?>.</ of o,on.vc.;ovi:h4s ; is f.
ueues?:ir,v syittpiu.u ot epilepsy, ilii*
person suffering from epilepsy would
not be aware of what had happened dur*
ing the fit. He corroborated the other
doctors examined by tin; State.
Jones F. Miller, merchant: lias
known Ferguson ten j'ears. lie traded
at his store. He managed his business
like any other man and was a close
buyer. Never saw anything wrong
with him. Never hoard anything about
the epilepsy till the trial.
\V. T. McDonald : Has known 1'Vrguson
for a number of years, lie never
heard anything a hot: t the epilepsy till
the first trial. He bought like other
li. II. Hill : lias known Ferguson
eight or ten years. Never heard of this
epilepsy till the first trial. He hough*
like other people.
lames Chalmers, Jr.: Has known
Ferguson six years. Went, to school
with him. Never saw anything Strang*
about him. lit; wits u fjiir srlinhsr Suw
him only once under the influence ?>!
Robert M. I!il! : Has known Forgnson
for yours. Has don 11 with him
lie hought with good judgmelit am
managed like any one else. Novel
hoard of epilepsy until after the shoot
in jr. Never saw him drunk.
T. Ij. Douglass : Never saw anything
strange in his conduct. Heard of epi
lepsy at the first case.
J. L. Perrin, S. (i. Thompson and W
II. Smith testified that they ha<
known Ferguson for some time, bul
knew nothing strange about him.
The testimony hen? closed, and Courl
Jndjournod until Friday morning, nr
ranging in tho meantime that cacli sid<
should have four hours in which t<
make their argument to tho jury.
Speech of Gen. E. W. Moise.
The State lias established all the facts
which are necessary to uiake good the churgi
' as laid in the indictment. This is not denie<
: by the prisoner or his counsel. Hut as a mat
tcr of defense it is claimed that the prisuuei
was not guilty of nTurder, because ot an un
sound condition of mind, supposed to exist a
I the time when the killing was consummated
With a view to establish this condition, it i,
I attempted to show that the prisoner from ai
early ape was liable to occasional attacks o
some character of sickncss which the defons
claims were in the nature of epilcpstoid seiz
iirou nr fnili) oHnnL'o ?\I" f hof .
, ...o... ....... ... c|iii..|is
which is known ns petit mal. The defense ha:
failed t?? make lcpal proof of this disease, ni
matter how mild in its nature at any time
' The most it has accomplished in that line ha
been the production of evidence going: to sliov
that in the early stage of the prisoner's life
! to wit: From one to five years of age th
( prisoner had been subject to certain spells o
some character of sickness very temporary ii
1 its nature and of so mild a type that nieriica
I skill lnftl never been invoked with a view t<
i suppress it. In these infantile spells tin
, patient is said to have exhibited pallor and t<
nave lost consciousness for some very shor
' period, but there is no evidence clearly estab
1 lishinpr the supposition that such attacks wen
of epilepsy in any form. The pallor which i
iciivu upon, in not rcgurueu u\ me uuinoritj
which the defense place its most utmost confi
donee in as an infallible sign of epilepsy ii
unv form. Sec Hamilton on medical Juris
i prudence, page 241, nor was there any othe
> conclusive evidence that these spells, as the]
are spoken of were epileptic in their nature.
In order that the accused could succeed ii
establishing the defence interposed in thii
case it is necessary they should prove aflirma
lively that at time the crime was committee
the prisoner was not of sound mind, and this
cannot be done by showing a certain conditioi
of facts from which un hypothesis might b<
formed that he might have been of unsoum
mind at such time ; nor even that he ntigh
reasonably be supposed to have been affectei
bv disease previously existing. The burdei
1 of proof is upon them to show not that In
probably was, but in point of fact, that he re
i ally was imbecile or ot unsound mind at tin
particular time when the offense was commit
The next stej> in the chain which the defense
* has sought to torge in tins case is that durin|
the school days of the prisoner he had bcei
seen on one or two occasions to exhibit symp
toins which might have indicated disease o
! some character, or fainting spells, at least, bu
in 110 case has it been shown or even attempt
ed to be shown that any medical man hai
been called in, ami had expressed the opinioi
that. that the orisoner had at hiiv time in 1>5
life labored or suffered under the diseus
[ known us epilepsy in any form, that it i
not proven by any competent testimony thu
the prisoner at the bar ever was an epilepti
at any period of his life, but 011 the contrnn
it appears that both his parents are now livinj
and neither of them are tainted with such djs
ease. That he himself is before the Com*
. and does not present the appearance of on
who has suffered therefrom. His father';
family physician has been examined, and in
states that he never heard until this trial tha
. the prisoner was affected, in that manner. I
is said however that he had a sister who ha<
' suffered somewhat in tier youth from siinila
> disease but it is a well recognized doctrine tha
disease does not descend from sister to breth
? er. Nor is there the slightest proof that tin
sister ever had an attack of eplepsy in an;
shape, or bad ever been trente*' therefor. 1
is alleged that *he had been given verutrun
> in solution, but it has not been shown tha
this medicine is peculiarly adopted to epilep
, tic cases. On the contrary it appears tha
the evidence that is used in that larire class
of ailments which are known as diseases o
It is said lie threatened to commit suicidt
. when reprached with his selfish indulgence
ardof neglect of duty to those dependent 01
him. His father says that on that, night In
remained in the same room with him. II(
says the hoy wan restless. Could not sleep
and to use his own words, appeared to b?
[>luui crazy. Well, if it he true that he hat
>oen upon a deb'anch, that he was getting so
her, his condition of mind might naturaili
have been excited?too much so for sleep, am
if to this he added the reproaches of a con
science awakened then to a sense of the follj
and sin of the course he was pursuing, his de<
ineanor migrhf naturally have been such as t(
alarm the father's heart. If ho had put 21
thief into his mouth to steal away his oraic
he might well be regarded as irratioual, even
if thai father to aid his son in his dire extremity
may have painted (his scene in a lighl
rendered .sombre bv his woes, the record me
angel would with a tear obliterate all the traces
of that father's sin, even if he had yielded
to nature's voice, auo sought to shield bit
first-born by an exageration of the facts.
It seems that, the father did not wish him tr
come to Abbeville on the following day, made
arrangements whereby his wife could attend
a wedding at her father's whilst he, the prisoner,
could remain at his lather's house, away
from the temptations of the town, but the
young man wua not resolute enough to carrv
out his arrangement. The thirst of dissipation
was upon him. He came to town, left his
wife and child at her father's and at once begun
to inflame himself with poisoned alcohol
Having by this menus drowned all compunctions
of'conscience ho sets to work delib
erately to carry out tlio purpose entertained
In his'hourt. of .^hiviuc the man with whom bo
had qisarre'.led a|IVw oaV:-, bai ..
W.i-if. i ! ;us to I' t. jiliu1-1 ct* but.iui.ft.-'
ol ?i>.. ,-c?>i*ed ? >ii-! h.; so tir-rc tY,,'/
Why ivurr I r i u. " Why ihs;?
f>;tin! it, tV. ,>no p4k'kyt io .1
rivii'.i convftuii-sit ?v.(> 7 Why wr.it p.triuitMv
until his victim approached ? If those acts
were dono in a state of somnambulism, 01
when the mental powers were suspended, sc
ry??n iiBw.'u-ctn swvrst xmvszaamm
that he was unconscious of what lie was- doing
hmv doos it happen that alter firing the fatal
shot, he realize*! thai what lie had done was
wrong and needed excuse ? How was it that
ho eon Id frame excuses three in number, e.ther
one of v. would have been a defense to
him if true'.' iloxv was it that lie changed
them i?s in V.ilitv of maintaining them
1 appeared ? i" lie were nnsoniid of mind or
epileptie, an.I these facts were known to his
family wliv was it not then announced to-, the
Imrror-strickoii j;eople id' Abbeville that such
was his condition Why were not physicians
callid to examine him then and ? Flow was it
lliat his unnatural appearance did not manifest
i'self to the Marshal and Intcmlant with
whom he conversed? How was it that lie
could so well remember the necessity for giving
.vcurity for his appearance and otter bail?
Why was it that llio.tu symptoms did not manifest
themselves when lie was being taken to
jailWhat were those words which he spoke
I t.? his victim before taking his life? No one
I l:ut he could tell, and lie liaa chosen to stand
i mute. it would seem from what has
j been said that the defense lias
tailed to establish the facts upon which their
!* theory rests, and were this all against which
the prosecution had to contend it would seem
that there would hi! no <l<nil>t ?i.S-?
diet, but there is silence more eloquent than
speech, unci there ure voices which are heard
I though they speak not. llenedict is dead, and
i- the prisoner lives. Human sympathy naturally
tends to the living as ay;ainsi the dead.
The stricken parents of the prisoner, his
young wife and younger children, appeal to
C this jury for the;r sympathy, and it is given
. in no measured degree. All of ui> must feel
for them, and it' this were the place, and this
were the time for the exhibition of such feel*
itip, none would commend il more than me.
1 The misfortune of these people does not arisu
t front the posit ion which t lie prisoner now
holds at the bar. Their trouble cannot be relieved
by anything that you can do. It is not
t the jeopardy of the prisoner which atllicts
their hearts or his. ft. is his guilt. That /
consciousness of the great wrong which he
i has committed burns into his mini ami tlmir*
} If tliL-ru is ? blot upon the escucthcou of
South Carolina M)is day, it is, that lawlessness
pervades over the laud. If there is a
blemish on her fair fame, it is thai the laws of
the laud are not fearlessly enfoieod by the juries.
We do not ask you to tiixl an innocent
man guilty for any such reasons as these, hut
we do ask that you do that which your conscience
demand. We ask you to say on your
oaths whether the prisoner is guilty ot tbu
' , charge or not guilty, and blinding yourselves
j i to all outward considerations, wo call upon
_ j you now to write such a verdict in this case
r I as will make the law hereafter what it should
i be, a terror to all evil-doers. It is not veuk
1 geauce that we seek. The State docs not
1 crave the blood of anv of her children. It is
i ?lw. i
^ , v..?. >?muu it> lu'cuvu. unless you llo
, your'diitv hcre^next week may have its tale of
e blood to record in your county. It' you turn
e this prisoner loose you >rive him u carto
' blanche to slay whom hu chooses. Your verdiet
will have established a fact that he is not
j responsible to the law. Yet you will give
him perfect freedom to walk your streets, to
carry deadly weapons, to take any life or de^
! strov any propertv without the fear of consev
I quetices. Are you prepared to do this'-' If
! so , the future historian of your country will
^ write that liberty in your land wai sacrificed
f to license and freedom, driven from her udopt[,
: ed home by the uncurbed passions of your
1 rising generntion. . <
H Si?eecli of L. W. Smith, Esq.
:? After addressing himself to the Court as to
' , the law applicable to the defendant's caae, Mr.
p ! Smith spoke to the jury itx substance as t'ols
1 lows :
f i Gentlemen of the Jury :
- ! Notwithstanding the great diffidence I feel
i ! in raising my feeble voice in a case of such
- i magnitude and importance, still I am glad to
r I bo here, not glad that poor John Ferguson
j , should by a seeming rash act have involved
! his family and himself in so much trouble and
i j woe, but glad to do my little part in aiding tlio
s ! defense of one so oppressed and so deserted,
. I in a ease which not only involves his lile, but
1 ' uttects the lives and liberties of rts all. Ilia
* cause is my cause?Our cause is yours, and
i I yours involves nothing loss than the liberty
i? | and happiness of every citizen of t It its grand
i : old County. Not only gentlemen do you pass
t j upon the uoleinu issue, whether John *0. Ferl
j guson is guilty of murder, but your deliberai
| lions have a still higher and nobler aim, you
i! are to prove to this State and County alter all
- that has been said iti this case, wncther a man
cau receive a fair and impartial hearing at the
- hands of a jury of his e?untryuMru and peers 'I
Can you listeu alone to the evidence heard
5 upon that stand and apply the law as ex5
pounded by his Honor, or do the solemn facts
i told here by reliable witnesses, conic to j-our
- ears under the heightened pressure of a mi?f
taken public zeal V Is John Ferguson to b*i
t convicted as matter of public expedience, or
- is he to enjoy the great and uoble protection
1 the law allows, and receive from you an unii
biased and impartial verdictV If such then is
s the issue, truly is his cause ours and wo
i should see to it that lie be allowed all the bens
elits and urivileires the law in it.
t dom allows.
e Tliis gentlemen, yon no doubt have resolved
>- to do when taking the until as a juror, but no
X matter how pure and just your intentions you
- may bo unwittingly led astray.
t An horrible and revolting homicide has
ij been committed. AVe admit all the gentlemen
s may say on this point; it may have few equals
L* in t he anuals of crime, but if you allow any
t other considerations to enter your minds than
I the facts in this case, you will be committing
i a more horrible, more cruel and more deliberr
ate murder than any I can paint; and while
t you may not answer at this bar for the same,
- still there is another tribunal where 110secrets
e are id, before which you must appear, and
r Ond gi'unt you may acquit yourselves well.
t (Mr. Smith here commented 011 the nuiner1
ous array of attorneys for the State as nnt
precedented. and inquired into the reason of
- this diirre:4sion. After uxhortiuir tl??? inn* ???
? ^ p J-" J '
t brace themselves against the eloquence of n
s State's counsels unci tho power of the press,
f he continued):
All we ask is for you to give us an impartial
i hearing. As God is my witness we are sin,
cere in our defense, and while the defense of
i unsoundness of mind is always viewed with a
i suspicious eye by the public, you have no ali
ternative but. to listen to it,and the gravity of
, this case should admonish you to be patient,
; that you may hear.
1 We do not contend that John Ferguson qver
- way or is even now a lunatic or iiisaue being,
but that at the time of the homicide his mind
1 was so diseased by epilqpsy, rendered more
violent in its destructive force by long-conf
tinned and habitual drinkihe. that."hi? r?nurtn
- wus dethroned and John was unconscious and
> therefore irresponsible of the crime lie was
i committing. Epilepsy and alcoholism are
i either sufficient to dethrone the reason and
i render mind unsonnd. How long do you sup
pose one's mind can last if both these loatht
some diseases operate at once?
; (The speaker then entered into a discussion
of epilepsy?its divisions, symptoms, predisposing
i The only source of accurate information wo
have is from the medical bot.Ks on t his suh>
ject. No doctor who has testified on the stand.
* Willi ins practice confined to an area of ten
1 miles square in some country district, will
f retond to have had the experience and pracice
of one of the many authors wc present to
? you this morning through their works. Our
' tloctors, for whose intelligence I have the
highest regard, may do very well in cases of
i ordinary sickness; but when you come to
nervous diseases?a hraueh of the mcdici.l
science upon which, Dr. Waddell says, notwithstanding
the great strides which have
lately been made, the. medical profesfion is
onlv on the threshold of ir'Vh unci certainty?
for'my pat; mu the opinion and practice
ol .i man of uxporieucii. Th" State, we judge,
l will suv Vx.t iueo n*>n ; of the i< ciors who testi'
::t:J could givo ar. tht iv exrerionee cases like
Joikj'k, thou there is n') .suoii thing bs epilepsy
i in inilu t un l John i.s not subjcct to the
disease in any shape or form.
i f'Mr. Smith then reviewed at length the
' evidence of the case, and continued):
> Now, gentlemen, you are to dtcide what
' ' ' ' ' f&,