Friday, January 9, 2015

Trial of Wm Maxwell

 Pvt William Marshall Maxwell, Co D, 62nd Ill. Inf., went on trial in the Lawrence Co Courthouse in April 1866.  He was charged in the shooting of  a Mr. Young, with intent to kill, on about the 1st of November 1864.  The killing of his sister Elizabeth Maxwell, by a politically incited mob  trying to apprehend Marshall Maxwell was published on this blog on Monday of this week.

Date: May 12, 1866

Lawrence Circuit Court of Illinois convened at Lawrenceville on the 16th inst. Judge Aaron Shaw presiding, adjourned Tuesday 25th inst. A vast amount of civil business was disposed of both on the common law as well as the chancery side of the docket. Our bar was represented in Lawrence by Judge Baker, F. W. Viehe, Jas C. Denny and Messrs. Bowman and Pritchett. A number of criminal cases were disposed of, the principal of which were the People vs. T. Combs; the People vs. Marshal Maxwell and  the People vs. Pearce.

The case of Combs created considerable excitement. He was indicted for Bigamy, and when arraigned, plead guilty to the charge at first but afterwards retracted and entered a plea of not guilty. Combs being as poor man, not having the means to hire counsel, the Court appointed Mr. Pritchett of our city to defend him. The people were represented by D.S. Brewer, States Att'y, and Judge Baker and Mr. Abernathy. This case was handled with signal ability upon either side. After hearing the evidence and arguments of the counsels, the jury returned a verdict of "not guilty."

The case of Maxwell was a prosecution for shooting with intent to kill. Many of our readers are no doubt familiar with the facts and circumstances of this case. To be brief, after the alleged shooting by Maxwell, a mob was incited by political motives. In his endeavor to stop Young, Maxwell shot him and wounded him in the right leg, which renders him a cripple for life, and in the mob’s mad attempt at arrest, killed his (Maxwell’s) sister, and now adding insult to injury, that same actuating spirit, which has convulsed our whole country, indicted Maxwell and placed him upon this trial as before mentioned, but the protecting shield of the law, through the agency of a fair and impartial jury of Lawrence County has said that he was not guilty. This case was prosecuted by Mr. Pritchett of our city, and as we are informed, ably too. Messrs. Callahan and Abernathy and Judge Baker appeared for the defense. Mr. Baker truly merits praise for the marked ability evinced by him in defense of this young man.

In the case of Pearce, the defendant was acquitted, Mr. Callahan and Abernathy for the defense.

Judge Shaw presides with dignity, and makes an efficient judge. His decisions are uniformly correct.

*Editor's Note: ****Marshall Maxwell was found not guilty, but he died soon afterwards  from his wounds received in Nov. You might want to check to see if some of your ancestors were on this jury...

Date: January 20, 1866

GRAND AND PETIT JURORS FOR LAWRENCE COUNTY, ILL.—At the last meeting of the board of supervisors, (the proceedings of which occupy six columns of the Lawrenceville Globe) the Sheriff was ordered to summon the following persons as jurors for the April term of the Lawrence Circuit Court.

Grand Jurors .—William Adams, John Warner, Enos Organ, T. J. Kyle, James Adams, Josiah Tewalt, Victor Buchanan, I. J. Crawford, Philip Snyder, William M. Lewis, Rufus Umphleet, John Pickerel, Isaac Leach, John Steffey, Lawson Childers, George Gould, M. T. Lick, John L. Bass, Samuel Thorn, John Watts, Daniel Barnes, Daniel Liday, John Bates, Moses E. Barnes.

Petit Jurors .—John Jackson, David Wilber, William Carey, R. R. Sprott, John B. Tromley, Addison Snapp, Gabriel Clark, Thomas Baldwin, John Ramsey, Wm. Hockman, J. Jordan, Charles F. Allender, Owen Pinkstaff , Robert Dollahan, Ellis Shinn, John King, James Corrie, Pallas Moore, Harvey Lucas, John Moore, Marshall Stivers, Joshua Judy, Curtis Martin, T. P. Applegate.