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I submitted these questions and answers, with a statement of JEAN PIERRE's case to Dr. SPENCER, and he, governed by the rules which have controlled him in the present cause, pronounced the impostor's answers to be evidence of insanity, because they showed a decay of memory.
Again, gentlemen, look at the various catechisms in which this prisoner has been exercised for two months, as a test of his sanity. Would any sane man have propounded a solitary one of all those questions to any person whom he believed to be of sound mind? Take an instance. On one occasion, Dr. WILLARD, a witness for the people, having exhausted the idiot's store of knowledge and emotion, expressed a wish to discover whether the passion of fear had burned out, and employing Mr. Morgan's voice, addressed the prisoner thus : “Bill, they're going to take you out to kill you. They're going to take you out to kill you, Bill.” The poor creature answered nothing. “What do you think of it, Bill?” Answer: “I don't think about it, I don't believe it.” “Bill," continues the inquisitor, with louder and more terrific vociferation, “they're going to kill you, and the doctors want your bones; what do you think of it, Bill?” The prisoner answers: “I don't think about it -I don't believe it.” The Doctor's case was almost complete, but he thought that perhaps the prisoner's stupidity might arise from inability to understand the question. Therefore, lifting his voice still higher, he continues : “Did you ever see the doctors have any bones ? Did you ever see the doctors have any bones, Bill ?” The fool answers : “I have.' “ Then where did you see them, Bill ?” “ In Dr. Pitney's office.” And thus, by this dialogue, the sanity of the accused is, in the judgment of Dr. WILLARD, completely established. It is no matter that if the prisoner had believed the threat, his belief would have proved him sane ; if he had been terrified, his fears would have sent him to the gallows; if he had forgotten the fleshless skeleton he had seen, he would have been convicted of falsehood, and of course have been sane. Of such staple as this are all the questions which have been put to the prisoner by all the witnesses. There is not an interrogatory which any one of you would put to a child twelve years old. .
Does the prisoner feign insanity? One hundred and eight witnesses have been examined, of whom seventy-two appeared on behalf of the people. No one of them has expressed a belief that ke was simulating. On the contrary, every witness to whom the
inquiry has been addressed, answers that the sincerity of the prisoner is beyond question.
Mr. John R. HOPKINS says: “I watched him sharply to discover any simulation, but I couldn't. There was no deception. If there had been I should have detected it."
ETHAN A. WARDEN, President of the village of Auburn, with whom the prisoner had the most extended conversation, says: “ I suppose he thought he spoke the truth.”
ĪRA CURTIS, E-q., testifies: " It did occur to me whether the prisoner, with his appear. ance of sincerity, was attempting to play off a game of imposture. The thought vanished in a moment. There was too much before me. I have no doubt of his sincerity. I don't believe it is in the power of all in this room to teach him to carry on a piece of deception for fifteen minutes, because he would forget what he set about."
Dr. HERMANCE says: “He spoke with so much sincerity.”
The Rev. John M. AUSTIN says: “He did not dissemble. I should suppose him the shrewdest man iu the world if he did dissemble. I bave not the slightest doubt that there was no attempt to dissemble."
The tenor of the testimony of all the witnesses for the prisoner, learned and unlearned, is the same.
The witnesses for the people, learned and unlearned, concur. Dr. BIGELOW says: "He has betrayed no suspicion of me. He has manifested entire docility to me.”
Dr. SPENCER describes the manner of the witness in giving all his answers, as “ entirely frank.”
Dr. Clary concludes the question of sincerity against all doubt. He says: " It seemed to me that he either thought he was reading or that he meant to deceive, and I don't think the latter, for he always seemed to be very frank."
It being thus absolutely settled, gentlemen, that the prisoner does not simulate insanity, I pass to the second proposition in this defence, which is, that
IT IS PROVED THAT THE PRISONER IS CHANGED.
I shall first ask you to compare him now with himself in the earlier and happier period of his life.
NATHANIEL HERSEY, a witness for the people, a colored man, knew the prisoner seven years ago
and “ He was a lively, smart boy, laughed, played, and was good-natured; understood as well as any body; could tell a story right off; talked like other folks.”
This is the testimony of an associate of the prisoner at the age of sixteen.
John DePuy is a brother-in-law of the accused, and has known him more than twelve years. This witness says: the prisoner“ was an active, smart boy, lively as any other you could find, a good boy to work; set him to work any where and he would do it; sociable and understood bimself, and had some learning ; could read in the spelling book pretty well; could read off simple reading lessons in the spelling book, smooth and decent."
David WINNER, a colored man, was the friend and companion of the parents of the prisoner. He says: “ When this boy was twelve or thirteen years old, he was a pretty sprightly lad, sensible, very lively. I saw no difference between bim and any other buy of sense, at that time."
NATHANIEL LYNCH, a witness for the people, in whose house the prisoner was an inmate at the age of eight years, says: “He was a lively, playful buy, almost always smiling and laughing, and appeared to be a lively, laughing, playful boy.”
DANIEL Andrus, a witness for the people, testifies that he employed the prisoner eight years ago, and talked with him then as he would with any other laboring man.
Mary Ann NEWARK has known the prisoner from childhood, and says: "He was a lively, smart boy."
Honest Adam Gray was a friend of the prisoner's parents, and says: "He was a smart boy, was very active; always thought hin a pretty cuuning kind of a boy.”
Dr. Briggs knew him twelve years ago, as “a lad of ordinary intelligence for boys of his condition."
Robert Freeman was a fellow servant with the prisoner, at the American Hotel, eight years ago, and though he never entered into any argument with the prisoner to find out İnis mother-wit, he says: “ He was playful betimes, seemed to understand every thing, and very active."
Dr. Van Erps knew the prisoner in his early infancy, and says: “ He then appeared as bright and intelligent as children generally are at that age.”
Thomas F. MUNROE, a witness for the people, certainly not partial to the prisoner, says: “ In his youth he was quick and active, and not much different from other black boys."
A. A. VANDERHEYDEN, a witness for the people, represents the prisoner as “active and intelligent" in his youth.
ARETAS A. SABIN, å witness for the people, knew the prisoner fifteen or sixteen years ago, and says that he was no more or less playful than other boys, and that he wept un entering the State Prison at the age of sixteen.
JEFFERSON WELLINGTON, a hostile witness, testifies that the prisoner was sociable and talked freely upon general subjects at the age of sixteen.
LEWIS Markuam has known the prisoner from childhood, and declares that "he was a smart boy, pretty actice, quick, sprightly, shrewd, attentive and faithful, without any lack of conversational powers.".
Etuan A. WARDEN received the prisoner into his family fifteen or sixteen years ago, as a bright boy, and took him for the reason that he was so," and now declares that “ he was then a lad of good understanding, and of kind and gentle disposition."
Sally FREEMAN, the prisoner's mother, gives this simple account of him: “When he was young he was a very smart child, before he went to the State Prison. He was always very playful and good-natured. About understanding things he was the same as other children."
Finally, DEBORAH DEPUY, who is of the same age with the prisoner, of the same caste, and moves in the same humble sphere, testifies that she knew him before he went to the State Prison, in childhood and youth;" that “his manners, action, and mind were very good—as good as other boys ;" that she “ associated with him; he was as bright as any body else; he was very cheerful;" she had “ been with him to balls and rides : he acted very smart on such occasions ;” she had “ talked with him often, and never discovered any lack of intelligence."
Such, gentlemen, is a complete picture of the childhood and youth of the prisoner at the bar. Its truthfulness and fidelity are unquestioned, for all the witnesses on both sides have drawn
it for you.
Look on that picture and then on the one I shall now present, and, since I must speak of a class lowly and despised,
" Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their humble joys and destiny obscure:
The short and simple annals of the poor.” You have seen that the prisoner wept, as well he might, when he entered the State Prison at the age of sixteen. It was the last manifestation he has ever given of a rational mird.
Ethan A. Warden says : “ I saw the prisoner in the State Prisn. He appeared Hitipid and different from what he used to be, and from what I expected he would be, I cannot describe the difference; it was so peculiar. I said to bim, · Bill, are you here ?"
and repeated the question two or three times ; at first he did not understand, but at last said, · Yes.' He appeared changed.”
John DePuy saw the prisoner in the State Prison at five different times, but was not allowed to speak with him. Depuy says the prisoner“ was carrying something on his back like a knapsack, and walking back and forth in the yard. He did not appear as he did before he went to prison. He appeared stupid, took no notice of anything. He did not know me, and took no notice of me. I saw him at other times when at work and when idle, and then thought there was something the matter with him. I thought he was not in his right mind.”
William P. Smith was a foreman of one of the shops in the State Prison during the third year of the prisoner's confinement there, and had charge of him. He describes him as “ passionate, sullen, and stupid." This witness relates that the prisoner had oiled his shoes neatly and set them upon a wood pile, that a convict accidentally disturbed the shoes, and that the prisoner struck the convict with a billet of wood with great violence, for which offence he was punished; that at another time, with as little provocation, he attacked another convict with great fury for displacing some yarn on a reel
The witness says : “ When I sent him op an erran, he required repeated and very particular instructions. I considered his intelleet at the time very low indeed. He knew very little, not much more than a brute or beast”
THERON R GREEN, who was a keeper in the prison and bad charge of the prisoner, declares that he had very little mind, was a balf-day man, was slow, awkward, dull, downcast, and would have frequent freaks of laughing, without any observable cause of laughter.” The witness tried to instruct him in his cell on Sundays, but he could learn nothing” Mr. Green says: “He was irritable, malicious, and of bad temper; often violated rules, for which I did not punish him, because I thought him irresponsible. I think that he had as much capacity as a brute beast. I don't know as he had more. If more, there was none to spare. I remarked when he left the shop, that he ought not to go at large."
HORACE HOTCHKISS was a teacher in the Sunday School at the State Prison, and says that the prisoner was dismissed from the school because he could not be taught to read."
Such is the imperfect history of the prisoner at the bar, while we was shut up from the observation of men, and deprived by the discipline of the State Prison of the use of speech and of the privilege of complaint.
He was discharged from prison on the twentieth of last September.
Alonzo Wood, the new chaplain of the State Prison, visited him in his cell there twice during the last month of his confinement, and asked him questions, which the priBoner noticed only by inclining his head. The chaplain expressed a hope to him on the day of his discharge that he might be able to keep out of prison thereafter, and inquired whether he wanted a Bible.“ I understood him to say," says the witness, “ that it would be of no use—that he couldn't read.” At the Clerk's office he received the usual gratuity of two dollars, for which he was required to sign a voucher. He answered, " I bave been in prison five years unjustly, and ain't going to settle so."
The officers, including the reverend chaplain, laughed heartily at what they thought gross ignorance.
The prisoner's faithful brother-in-law, John DEPUY, was waiting in the hall to conduct him homeward. His narrative is simple and affecting “I sat down,” says Depuy, “ on the long chair in the hall. He came out and passed me as if he didn't kuow me.
I went up and touched him, and asked him if he knew me, and he kind o' laughed. We came along to Apple
gate's, where I stopped to assist to raise a new building. He sat down on a pile of boards. He sat there and acted very stupid and dull and said nothing. They asked me what damned fool I had with me sitting there?
“He didn't know the value of his money. He had received four half dollars, and thought they were quarters. We went to the hatter's for a cap—found one worth half a dollar; he threw down two halves. I handed one back to him, and told him to come out. After he came out, he insisted that he had paid only half enough for the cap, and that they would make a fuss about it.” All the leisure hours of that day and the next were spent by the prisoner, according to DePuy's account, in giving relations of the injustice and cruelty he had suffered in the prison. He was very deaf, and assigned as the cause of it, that Tyler, one of the keepers in the prison, had struck him across the ears with a board, and had knocked his hearing off so he couldn't hear, and his hearing had never come back. “I asked him," says the witness, “ if they had done anything for his deafness. He said, 'Yes, they put salt in my ear, but it didn't do any good, for my hearing was gone and all knocked off.'"
Again. The prisoner told DEPUY that while eating, he har broken his dinner knife in the prison, and the keepers had threatened to put him back five years for that; and savs DEPUY, "he asked me if they could do it.” He complained to DEPUY, as we shall have occasion to see hereafter, that he had been wrongfully imprisoned, and wanted to find the people who had done him such injustice, for the purpose of getting pay from them.
Such was the change which had come over the prisoner. The bright, lively, social, active youth of sixteen, had become a drivelling, simple fool.
The prisoner remained with DEPUY some two or three months. He asked for esqnires, to get warrants for the people who put him in the state prison; at one time said the justices refused to give him warrants; at another time, that “ he had got it all fixed," and he wanted DEPUY to go down and see that he got his pay right; at another, said that “he couldn't do nothing with them—they cheated him all the time, and he couldn't live so." He followed DEPty seven miles, to Skaneateles, and brought him back to Auburn, to help the prisoner in a dispute with Mr. Conklin, the harness-maker, about sawing some wood, for which he claimed