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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Trial & Conviction of Richard Johnson

Little Murders

This one has the potential to become a big murder and I will dig deeper when time allows. But for now all I have is the front page of an 1828 murder pamphlet and a brief summary of the crime.


Uncorrected text from the pamphlet:

“A correct copy of the trial & conviction of Richard Johnson for the murder of Ursula Newman, on the 20th Nov. 1828, by shooting her with a pistol loaded with buck shot or slugs, nine of which entered her body; together with the charge of the court, and the confession of the prisoner of his entention to have added suicide to the horrid and appalling murder for which he is to suffer an ignomenious death, and his letter to a friend in Philadelphia previous to his conviction. New-York, printed and sold wholesale and retail, by Christian Brown, No. 211 Water-street, N. York”

Summary of the crime from The Annals of Murder:

“Johnson had been living with Mrs. Newman for several years. He had urged her to marry him, and, although she had had a child by him, she refused to wed him, nor would she even acknowledge that the child was his. Apparently distracted by this and business worries, Johnson shot and killed her. He was hanged on Blackwell’s (now Welfare) Island at the same time as Catherine Cashier.”

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