November 25, 1854
From the Mississippian: Pardon of Green. Gov. McRae has handed to us for publication, the material facts presented to the Executive, in support of the application for the pardon of Geo. N. Green. The Governor has not considered this necessary for the vindication of his own action, which he regards as sufficiently sustained by the facts set forth in the Writ of Pardon; but to satisfy a respectable public sentiment, which seems to call for it, in that section of the state where Green's offence was committed and his sentence pronounced. A number of letters and petitions in behalf of the application, with the names of the petitioners generally, amounting to some six or eight hundred, are omitted in the publication, as not being essential, and some of those published, as well as portions of the evidence, are not regarded as very material in determining the Executive action. Upon the facts presented in the original record of the case, the opinion of the Governor was made up that he could not extend to Green the Executive pardon, as was stated by him in his letter to Hon. Roger Barton. Upon the new facts presented, there was but one question for his consideration, that was, did these facts so altar the case as presented in the original record, as to acquit Green of the crime of murder, and reduce his offence to the grade of manslaughter, and would they, if presented to the Jury at the time of the trial, have authorized them to find Green guilty of a higher grade of crime than manslaughter. If so, he was bound to pardon. It was the opinion of the Attorney General of the State, and of two Judges of the High Court, with whom the Governor consulted, that these facts, ex parte, but with the evidence of credibility which they bore, did so alter the case as it appeared in the original record, as to acquit Green of the crime of murder, and reduce his offence to the grade of manslaughter, and if presented before the Jury upon the trial, they would not have been authorized to find Green guilty of a higher grade of crime than manslaughter. The Governor concurring in these opinions, granted the pardon. It was not his fault that the Law did not provide a remedy to inflict the punishment merited. That the evidence was ex parte, does not effect its merits, when its credibility was sufficiently attested. Its ex parte character could only go to the estimate the Executive might place upon it, and the respite of two months previously granted was public notice to everybody that such evidence would be taken, and afforded an opportunity to all who desired to do so to contest it. The Governor, in the exercise of the Pardoning power vesting in him by the Constitution, does not sit as a Court of Law, before which a new trial of the party applying for mercy, is to take place. His position is a peculiar one. He sits as a Judge with the powers and attributes of Justice and Mercy, to exercise both, in his discretion, for the best interest of society and humanity. In this spirit the Governor exercised the pardoning power in the case of Green, and he feels that he was not altogether influenced, on the one hand, by that sentiment of humane sympathy which, forgetting the dead, and the interests of society, directs itself solely to the living, in favor of human life, nor on the other hand, by that fierce spirit of revenge which thirsts for the blood of its victim, and demands a sacrifice not due to justice, but to satiate its own keen appetite. The Governor supposed the majority of the public sentiment, in that section where the excitement was produced, was against his action, but he relies upon the just judgment of that same sentiment, when correctly informed, to approve on his part a conscientious discharge of duty.
Testimony of L. M. Lane: On the day of the trial of George N. Green, at Holly Springs for the killing of Marmon, I was standing with some others at the south door of the court house, when Edins, the witness on the part of the State, came down stairs, and remarked that Green ought to be hung, for that he (Green) was so bad a man, that he could hardly give him justice. I asked him why Green ought to be hung, and he replied, because his father and brother were hung before him; that they had been hung in Texas, and that Green's brother had his head cut off and stuck on a pole. Some one present asked him if he wasn't a witness to the killing of Marmon, and he then said that on the day of the killing Marmon was sitting in his passage or piazzo, reading, and that he (Edins) started towards the cotton patch, when Marmon told him not to let Green pass by, for he wanted to see him, and that just as he got out of the house he saw Green coming, and remarked to Marmon that yonder comes Green now, whilst he (Edins) went around the house in the same direction, and as he got about half way to the fence, he heard loud talking between them Marmon spoke first, but didn't hear what he said; Green replied to him that if he wanted anything out of him, he could come over and get it. Marmon then immediately commenced getting over the fence, and Green commenced getting off his mule and drawing his fence, they ran right together, and Green commenced cutting with his knife and killed Marmon. Edins said the little boy remarked just as Green was drawing his knife, that Marmon was drawing his pistol, but that he (Edins) didn't see any pistol. This conversation between Edins and myself, occurred in the presence of others, and immediately after he (Edins) had giving his testimony in the case. L. M. Lane. --- Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 27th of September, 1854. Given under my hand and seal. Wm. Ragen, Sen., Justice of the Peace.
The State of Mississippi, Marshall County, Circuit Clerk's Office, September 25th, 1854. I, Joseph O. Walker, clerk of the Circuit Cout of Marshall County, and State aforesaid, do hereby certify, that I am personally acquainted with L. M. Lane, the within named deponent, and have no hesitancy in stating that I would believe him in any Court of Justice. Given under my hand and seal of our said office, day and date above written. J. O. Walker, Clerk.
Testimony of A. D. McDuffie. Whereas, at a trial of one George N. Green, for the murder of W. L. Marmon, I, A. D. McDuffie,of the county of DeSoto and State of Mississippi, certify, that I do not believe he had a fair trial. I deem it my duty to make a few statements in regard to what I know about the case, hoping thereby that these facts may not be too late to have their due weight with his Excellency, the Hon. J. J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi. I saw Green on the Sunday previous to the killing of Marmon and he told me that one A. J. Edins had killed one of his oxen and had shot two others, and that he, Green, had applied to a Magistrate for a warrant for Edins and Marmon, both, as he believed Marmon had them shot, and was in the field at the time they were shot. He said that the Magistrate would issue the warrant for them on Monday, and that, he, Green, did not intend to say a word to them about the affair, unless Marmon proposed a compromise to him. He said, if he got reasonable pay for his oxen, he would be satisfied. I also heard Edins say, that Green came to him soon after he had shot the steers, while he was loading his gun, and asked him what he shot his steers for, and he (Edins) told Green that he shot them for getting in the field, and if he (Green) did not leave there, he would shoot him. I also heard a statement from Edins on the morning before the coroner's jury met. He said that he (Edins) was sitting in the entry of the house when the fight took place between Green and Marmon. He said that Marmon was sitting on the fence when the quarrel commenced, and when he heard loud words he started out to where they were, and he saw Marmon jump off the fence and Green jump off the mule, and he saw then clinch about ten feet from the fence, and he saw Marmon strike Green three licks and he saw them disengage, and Marmon walked off one way and Green the other way, and as Green walked off he saw him put up a knife. I respectfully submit the above to the Hon. J. J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi, this 3rd of October, 1854. A. D. McDuffie
The State of Mississippi, DeSoto County. Personally appeared before me, Aug. T. Walton, an acting Justice of the Peace, of said State, the above McDuffie, who, after being duly sworn, deposeth that the facts, as above stated, are substantially true to the best of his knowledge, belief and recollection, being sworn to and subscribed before me this 3rd day of October, 1854. Aug. T. Walton, Justice of the Peace.
The State of Mississippi, DeSoto County, October 13th, 1854. I, Thomas W. Pugh, of the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify, that I am personally acquainted with deponent, and have no hesitancy in stating that I would believe him in any Court of Justice. Given under my hand, the day and year above written. T. W. Pugh. I subscribe to the above certificate.
Testimony of Wm. G. Daniel: Whereas, at a trial of one George N. Green, for the killing of William L. Marmon, the said Green was convicted of murder, and sentenced to be hung; Therefore, I, W. G. Daniel, of the County of DeSoto and State of Mississippi, do hereby certify, that I believe that the said Green did not have a fair and impartial trial. My opinion is based upon the following considerations, (viz:) certain facts have developed themselves since the trial, which were not brought before the jury. Some of these facts are in my possession. I therefore deem it my duty to make this statement, hoping it will have due weight and influence in determining the future action of his Excellency, the Hon. John J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi. I know that Andrew J. Edins, the important witness on the part of the State, was at deadly enmity with the accused, and from what I know of the said Edins, I could not believe his oath in a case where his feelings or interest was involved. On the day prior to the killing myself and the said Green's mother, went to the house of W. L. Marmon, for the purpose of getting the said Marmon to make a compromise in relation to the killing of an oxen by the said Edins. Several other oxen were at the same time badly injured by being shot. The oxen belonged to Geo. N. Green. Mrs. Green persuaded Marmon to go to her house and try to settle the matter. Marmon said he did not know nor care who did it. I replied that he had better care. He said he did not fear consequences. In the afternoon, I talked with George N. Green, in relation to the oxen. He said he was not going to have anything to do with either Edins or Marmon, only by a due course of law. I thought George rested as well that night as usual. Marmon went to Mrs. Green's house and saw the oxen that were shot, at which time the above detailed conversation between myself and Marmon occurred. The oxen that was killed was yoked at the time. A short time before the difficulty occurred, Marmon (being the overseer of the road) came to Mrs. Green's, for the purpose of warning the hands to work. George Green not being at home, he (Marmon) requested me particularly to tell George to come on the road. From the manner of Marmon, I apprehended that some personal violence was intended George Green. I therefore apprised him of the fact, and advised him to stay at home, which he did. I knew James Suddith, (who was a man of dissipated habits) the other important witness on the part of the State, and think he was intoxicated, at the time he was giving in his testimony in the case. I would respectfully state one other fact, that may have some bearing in relation to the whole case. On the day before the trial of Green, one William McMahan, Jr., (one of the counsel on the part of the State) came to me, and remarked, that there was two thousand dollars waiting for me, if I would swear certain things. I replied that I should swear nothing but the truth. Whereupon he turned away and left me. I have been intimately acquainted with Geo. N. Green, for a considerable time, and know him to be a quiet and peaceable young man, rather timid than otherwise. All of which is respectfully submitted, &c. William G. Daniel.
The State of Mississippi, DeSoto County. Personally appeared before me, Aug. T. Walton, an acting Justice of the Peace and said State, the above William G. Daniel, who first being duly sworn deposeth and saith that the facts set forth in the above are substantially true to the best of his knowledge, belief and recollection, having been first duly sworn and subscribed to the above before me, this 3rd day of October, 1854. Aug. T. Walton, Justice of the Peace.
The State of Mississippi, DeSoto County, Oct. 13th, 1854. I, A. D. McDuffie, of the county and State aforesaid, do hereby certify, that I am personally acquainted with Wm. G. Daniel, the within deponent, and have no hesitancy in stating that I would believe him in any court of justice. Given under my hand, the day and year above written. A. D. McDuffie
The State of Mississippi, Tippah County. Personally appeared before me, M. Clark, an acting Justice of the Peace, in and for said county, Ephraim Ashcraft, who, after being duly sworn, deposeth and sayeth, that some time in the last days of March, or the first of April, in the year 1853, he, the said, Ashcraft, fell in company with one A. J. Edins, and he, Edins, stated at the time he was in W. L. Marmon's employ, the said Edins stated that Marmon instructed him to shoot the damned oxen, which belonged to the said Green. Edin's father stated that the shooting of the oxen was the cause of difficulty between W. L. Marmon and said Geo. N. Green, and also stated the said W. L. Marmon told Green to go from the big gate to the smaller gate, and there he, Marmon, would give said Green a damned whipping. He, Ashcraft, states the reason why he asked Edins the above question, he, Ashcraft, was acquainted with the Green family, and understood, he, Edins, was the main evidence against said Green. Is anxious to know the particulars of the case, therefore made the inquiry. Ephraim Ashcraft's Mark. Sworn to and subscribed before me, M. Clark, Justice of the Peace, this 29th September, 1854.
The State of Mississippi, Tippah County. I, Daniel Hunt, clerk of the Probate Court of said county, certify, that Mr. Clark, whose genuine signature appears to the within affidavit, is and was at the date thereof, an acting Justice of the Peace in and for said county, duly commissioned and qualified, and that all his official acts as such are and ought to be entitled to full faith and credit. Given under my hand and the seal of said court, at the office, the 3rd day of October, 1854. Daniel Hunt, Clerk.
State of Mississippi, Tippah County, October 3rd, 1854. To the Hon. J. J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi: This is to certify that Gabriel Edins, the father of Andrew J. Edins, signed the petition to pardon George N. Green, of the murder of W. L. Marmon. He said he understood I had a petition, and that he wanted to sign it, and then he stated to me that his son A. J. Edins, was a witness on the part of the State, and he also stated from what he could learn, that he thought Green had suffered enough. Your humble servant, J. S. McIntire.
Gabriel Edins is a man of high standing, a professor of religion, looked upon by all as being an honest highminded man, and he was disposed to do justice between man and man, and God. We believe he thought it was his duty to sign it, from the facts of the case. J. S. McIntire; E. M. Ward; T. K. Frazier.
Holly Springs, Oct. 17, 1854. Hon. John J. McRae. Dear Sir: Capt. Taylor visited me on this morning at my house, informing me that at the earnest solicitation of the mother of George N. Green, he was going to Jackson to make one more appeal to your clemency on the behalf of poor George. His case invites deep sympathy in this community, and I do assure you, his pardon would be received kindly by the masses. He is too young to die, he is not hardened in wicked deeds. He has greatly improved since his confinement, in intelligence, morals and religion, having long ago made a profession of religion and if his case is not one for the interposition of the pardoning power I know not what it was given to the executive for. Roger Barton.
Byhalia, Miss., Oct. 13, 1854. Dear Sir: We would not have troubled you with a communication of this character, but for the great effort that has been made to mislead your mind in reference to public sentiment in the case of George N. Green. In the immediate neighborhood of where the murder was committed, a large majority of the citizens who are conversant with all the facts connected to the case, think he ought not to be hung. To prove what we have here stated, we think it is only necessary to present one fact. Wm. L. Marmon, while living in this community, was a member of Byhalia Lodge, No. 115, of Free and Accepted Masons, and Geo. N. Green was not a member of the order. By referring to the petitions which have been previously sent you from this neighborhood, and comparing them with the minutes of the last Grand Lodge, in which you will find the names of all the members of the Byhalia Lodge, you will find there sixteen or more, members of the Lodge signed the petition to pardon Green, as near as we can ascertain, only five signed the counter petition. We would not have adverted to the above form, but for our having been informed that efforts have been made, not only to mislead your mind in reference to public opinion, but also, so to the character and standing of the petitioners that went up from this neighborhood. In conclusion we will only say, that, after having duly weighted the certificates, that will be handed you, your Excellency will feel entirely justified in pardoning the unfortunate youth. Very Respectfully, &c., J. M. Boyce, T. W. Pugh.
To His Excellency, J. J. McRae. Dear Sir: Permit me to address you this letter in regard to the case of George N. Green, who is under sentence of death, and confined in the jail at Holly Springs. And allow me, my dear sir, to say to you, in the outset, that, I am one, decidedly in favor of the enforcement of the criminal justice of the country, and this has always been my mind, my judgment, and my feelings upon the subject. Crime has been too common in our State, and it has rarely been visited with condign punishment. This state of things has produced a feverish excitement in the mind of many of our best, as well as in some of our very worst citizens, so that now it has become somewhat, a difficult matter to get many of the people to look into any extenuating circumstances, in favor of the culprit. As desirous as I am, and trust ever to be, that the criminal laws shall be enforced, I hope and trust in an all-wise and merciful God, and in the clemency of your Excellency, that the sentence, which has been pronounced in the case of Green, will not be enforced, because there is not one case in twenty, if one in a hundred under all the circumstances of his case, that would have acted otherwise than he did. Let me say to you, here, that I was one of the coroner's inquest, held over the body of poor Marmon, that I live in the immediate neighborhood of the scene of this tragedy, that I have not the remotest connexion(sic) with, or relation to Green, or any of the parties, and that as a Christian man, and unworthy member of the same church that poor Marmon belonged to, I am actuated by no motive on the earth, but that of justice and humanity in addressing to your Excellency this communication. Let me say to you now, that an entire change has taken place in my own mind, and in the minds of many in this neighborhood since the inquest, trial, conviction, &c. I beg leave to state to you, as fully, as clearly, as truly and as briefly as I can, the circumstances, from which this homicide originated, and I hope you will look into them. Far better it is said, that ninety-nine guilty should escape punishment than that one innocent person should suffer. In the year last, the poor unfortunate Marmon moved down from Tippah county, and purchased a place in DeSoto county, within a mile of Green, the convict, who was living with his widowed mother. The fence around the plantation purchased by Marmon, and where he lived was entirely insufficient to keep out stock, and he should have repaired it or not attempted to make a crop there. Mrs. Green's oxen, without any, or very little difficulty, got into Marmon's field, I suppose from time to time. A man of the name of Edins, who came from Tippah with Marmon and served him in the capacity of a cropper, shot three of Mrs. Green's oxen with a rifle, and killed one of them; failed to repair the fences, or to make any compensation for damages done to the oxen. In this way, bad feelings arose between the parties. Green applied to a magistrate for a warrant in behalf of his mother, against Marmon, but the Constable had died and there being no one appointed to execute the warrant, the matter dropped. Some time after this, Green went accompanied by a little boy, his nephew, to the house of an old man of the name of Suddith, this was on Sabbath morning and in the month of September or October 1852, or about that time. Marmon and cropper, Edins, also went to Suddith's house on this same Sabbath day, and being invited by Suddith who was fond of company, they all remained until after dinner. Although the parties remained until after dinner, they did not, and would not eat together. Suddith stated that some unfriendly discourse passed between the parties at his house, and that some threats were made on the part of Green, whether conditional or absolute I will not be positive, but my best recollection and impression is that they were conditional on the part of Green. Shortly after dinner Green called for his mule which he had rode there and which had been taken to water by his little nephew and which was subsequently not at hand, remarking that he must go home. Marmon and Edins had started before, and it is believed and admitted, that they had gotten home before, or about, the time of Green's leaving Suddith's house, for Suddith and Marmon only lived a few hundred yards apart. And the parties could and did travel the same road home, the path by Marmon's fence being Green's nearest and usual route to his mother's place, who did not live more than one mile from Marmon's. Now this man Edins was the only direct witness as to the conflict, between Marmon and Green, and if his character, and his testimony were above all doubt, and suspicion, the public mind might acquiesce in the verdict, but I have just learned (for I did not attend the trial at Holly Springs) that as many as fifty persons in Tippah, where Edins was known, had been heard to declare that they would not believe him on his oath. This fact, I have from a Christian man of the very first respectability. Edins' testimony before the jury of inquest was that, as Green passed by Marmon's place, on his way home Sunday evening (in some few minutes after they had gotten home from Suddith's) Green stopped after passing by Marmon's gate, by the fence side along which his path lay and called to Marmon, who was at his house, or near it, a distance of 75 or 80 yards from where Green was. That Marmon went out to Green and crossed the fence, and that Edins seeing them engaged in conflict, ran away from the house as fast as he could, to the place of combat, when he got there Marmon fell, being badly wounded and died in a few minutes, and that Green escaped on his mule. And this is the testimony upon which Green was convicted and upon which the Coroner's jury ended. Green had no witness to the fight, his little nephew who was about twelve years of age, and who accompanied him that day, rode slower than he did or did not start so soon from Suddith's. He consequently did not see the parties engaged. The jury, upon examination of Marmon's body, found two wounds either of which would probably have proven mortal made with a knife or dirk. Now wilst it has not doubted by me, or by any, so I know that the wounds were given by Green and that they produced death. The circumstance under which the wounds were inflicted there is none to testify to, Green cannot be a witness for himself, and yet these circumstances may have mounted to a justification on his part. I have learned from testimony the most unexceptionable that Green, though an illiterate, unfortunate young man, as to his raising, was nevertheless a very peaceable, quiet young man, and very industrious and obliging, and a man of truth. That he had never before had a quarrel or fight in his life, and that he is consequently a very unfit subject for an example of public execution, as a terror to evildoers. He was not of age at the time of the conflict. And although he had gone into the State of Arkansas and might have remained, or gone further, after this, he voluntarily come back to Memphis, in a very short time after, and almost surrendered himself to the law, for he made no effort to escape, but was on his way to his mother's home, where he was met in the day time within a few paces of the main road leading from Holly Springs to Memphis. Now as to the peculiar circumstances under which he used his knife on Marmon there was no one to see, or testify. Edins was at the house, 80 yards off, could not see, nor could he know much about it, for there was a fence and bushes intervening, and such was the distance of the house from the spot, that precisely what was said and done, cannot be known. Who commenced this fight, who made the attack, is very important. It is admitted that Marmon was a larger and a more powerful man than Green, and an abler man. Green was a minor at the time and no man. It is believed that so far from Green's calling Marmon that Marmon was on the look out for him, knowing that he would be along on his way home, and that he would have to pass close by the fence, that Marmon was on it waiting for Green, or near to it, and that he himself stopped Green and commenced the quarrel, and challenged Marmon to fight, that, as Marmon jumped the fence, Green in getting off his mule made a misstep and staggered, come near falling, that when in this state he was seized by Marmon, who had gotten the advantage of his position and who was pelting Green heavily that Green tried to get his coat off, seeing that Marmon was advancing upon him, and that he got entangled and could not for some time get his coat off or on, and that as he saw Edins running up to them, he used his knife, solely to release himself, and save his own life, which he thought in danger, that he had no desire to kill Marmon, that he first struck him lightly (and told him to let go), about his thigh, that upon refusing to do so, he stabbed, merely to save his life and avoid a fight and combat with Edins and Marmon. That this was his sole motive in using the knife. It was admitted on the trial, I understood, that Green had a pistol at the time he used his knife on Marmon, if so, (and that he had, I have no doubt). If he Green stopped and called out Marmon with intent to injure or hurt him, we think he would not have dismounted from his mule at all, but would have shot Marmon with his pistol as soon as he came in reach, and before he Marmon, could have crossed the fence. It is believed that if Green had had an influential connexion(sic) or position in society he never would have been found guilty I humbly trust and believe; my dear sir, that you will do right in this matter. His, Green's statement may be true, God only knows. He has been long confined and has suffered much. Many more guilty that he have escaped. I am, Dear Sir Yours &c., William L. Miller.
To His Excellency, John J. McRae: Dear Sir, Permit me to address you a few lines of introduction to Col. Wm. S. Miller, who wishes to address you on the subject of the case of Green, who being under sentence of death, and Col. Miller being one of the Jury of Inquest, and having informed himself fully in relation to the circumstances of the case, feels some solicitude on the part of Green. Col. Miller is my neighbor, with whom I am intimately acquainted, and any statement he may make in relation to it, is entitled to full credit, being a highminded, honorable gentleman, and reliable in every particular, and permit me to state further, that Col. Miller has not the remotest connection with Green, and is prompted to this act solely through humanity, and I hope you will give his statement full consideration. Please present my kindest regards to Mrs. McRae, and permit me now to remain, your friend and obedient servant, B. L. Rozell.
Hon. John J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi: Deeply compassionating the suffering condition of the bearer of this letter the mother of George N. Green, condemned for the murder of W. L. Marmon, I write to implore your honor's clemency. Carefully have I examined the testimony in the case, which was adduced on the trial; also that which is herewith brought forward to stay the mandates of the courts of the country; and am satisfied that the constitutional power which was invested in you, as Chief Executive, for wise and merciful purposes, is loudly called for. The youth of the convict his unprotected orphanage rearing the tears and prayers of the widow claim the exercise of the mercy which I know abounds in your heart; while the facts set forth by the affiants, whose depositions are herewith filed, strongly impress the mind that malicious poison was infused into the ears of the jury, by inimical witnesses. It is useless in me to solicit, at your hands, a careful investigation of all the acts that attend the case, for well I know when life is in the balance, and that life, the stay and comfort of a heart-broken widow, declining in years, you will lament the day which by the laws of the land, you were made the dernier Judge, should stern duty compel you to turn the aged mother from the only earthly door of MERCY, to go down to the grave with sorrow and disgrace. Where was the murder perpetrated? At Marmon's own house in the presence of his own friends, and the witnesses of the State, who were guilty of perpetrating deeds which led to the fatal reencounter. It is not supposable that Edins, the overseer, who had killed the oxen, would be disposed to screen one who had shed human blood in defense of his own act. The corruption of the human heart the anxiety to stand harmless before the world, and the evil passions of revenge all militate against a truthful statement by this chief witness, by whose testimony Green was convicted. Now take into consideration the testimony of L. M. Lane, whose standing in this community is unimpeached, and a more respectable citizen lives not among us. He states that Edins, immediately after leaving the Court House after the trial, declared that he did not know that he could do Green justice, that he was a bad man, and ought to be hung. Look carefully at the fact that a quarrel was going on, and both parties engaged in fighting. Is this murder? Remember that Green was invited to a road meeting, in such a manner as to impress the witness with the belief that Marmon intended bodily harm. That propositions of adjustment were made, which Marmon refused, and that Green said he would only rely for satisfaction in the law, and would not trouble either Marmon or Edins. Sir, if there ever was a case which calls loudly for your interference, it is this. A beardless boy, for the first offence, about to be hurried into eternity, when your word would save him, and perhaps in the world to come! Will you allow your word to take what you cannot give? I ask you to ponder well, and think how a mother's petition would have been before earthly tribunals, in such a dilemma, for you. You have the boy's life in your hands. Will you take it? Governor McRae Sign the pardon, and you do in this world, an act of mercy, which men in power are placed there to do. J. H. R. Taylor, October 15th, 1854.
To the Governor of the State of Mississippi: We, the undersigned, hope that your Excellency will not think it unbecoming the character of females, to implore your mercy, in behalf of the youth, George N. Green, now sentenced to an ignominious death, for an offence which contrasted with the crimes of many, possessing the advantages of age intelligence and moral training, who have purchased a full pardon, may, at least be esteemed venal. We take the liberty of saying to your Excellency, that it is not without hope, we make this appeal; for, if a case can be presented for Executive clemency, it is the one which we now lay before you; and we have an earnest of success in the character you bear for those virtues, which so well become your exalted station, of firmness, united with a feeling generous heart, to such qualities, we feel our cause will irresistibly recommend itself; and what we desire is, a full and impartial investigation, free from prejudice and extenuation. George N. Green is yet a minor. Since his imprisonment, we are informed, he has greatly improved, both mentally and morally. From the illiterate boy, who could scarcely write his name, he has become a fair scribe. He has acquired a taste for reading, and what is far above everything earthly, he has become a devout Christian. The worst features in his case, even if true, do not stamp it with great wickedness and depravity of heart, as to place him beyond the pale of human sympathy, and justify his condemnation, to suffer the extremity of the law, without a fair and impartial trial. In view of all these things, and remembering he is the only son of a widowed mother, surely if your Excellency appreciates the constitutional power of pardon, you will incline to mercy, and exert it in this case. The above petition, and others of the same kind, were signed by more than one hundred females.
To the Hon. John J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi: Your petitioners would humbly ask of your Excellency, the pardon of George N. Green, charged and sentenced with the murder of W. L. Marmon. In consideration of the following facts at the time of the alleged crime, he was but a boy of eighteen years of age. He is a poor orphan boy, without a male friend to aid him in preparing for his defense, while he was confined in jail. He has been hunted down with great ferocity by his enemies, and he is a kind-hearted inoffensive young man, who was never accused of crime. In view of all these facts, we earnestly beg that you will extend to him the Executive clemency. The above petition, having the following endorsement, and with others of the same kind, signed by several hundred. If on the Governor's review of all the facts of this case, he thinks the prisoner entitled to his clemency, then I subscribe the above petition. A. M. Jackson.
Jackson, October 21st, 1854. After a careful examination of the papers in the case of Green, on application for pardon, I give it as my opinion to the Executive that the application ought to be granted. C. P. Smith.
Jackson, October 21st, 1854. Sir: I have duly considered the written statements of L. M. Lane and others, presented to the Executive, with a view of procuring the pardon of George N. Green, convicted of murder, and now under sentence of death in the jail of Marshall county. With the facts as embodied in the record before the High Court, I am familiar; and upon the case as presented by that record, my mind remains unchanged as to the grade of crime which the unfortunate individual was convicted. I am, however, of opinion that if their testimony contained in the statements of the above named persons, had been introduced on the trial of the prisoner, the jury would not have been authorized on the trial of the prisoner, the jury would not have been authorized in finding him guilty of any higher offence than manslaughter. The question, therefore, comes up for the consideration of the Executive, whether he will permit the sentence of death to be executed, when the prisoner is guilty of no crime punishable with death, or whether, having no power to commute the sentence, he will grant the prisoner a full and free pardon. Of these alternatives, while it may be regretted that the penalty of the law adapted the crime of which the party is really guilty cannot be inflicted, I feel no hesitation in advising the pardon. Very truly, your Excellency's ob't serv't, E. S. Fisher. His Excellency, J. J. McRae.
Attorney General's Office, 18th October, 1854. Hon. John J. McRae. Sir: Upon a careful examination of the papers presented in connexion(sic) with the application of George N. Green, for pardon, as well as a due reflection upon all the law and facts of his case as it now stands of record in the High Court of Errors and Appeals, I unhesitatingly give it as my opinion that the Executive clemency should be exercised in his behalf. I am, &c., D. C. Glenn.
Executive Office, Jackson, Oct. 22d, 1854. To the Sheriff of Marshall County: Whereas, on the 19th of August last a temporary respite from Execution was granted by me to George N. Green, sentenced to be executed on the 25th of that month, until the 27th of the present month, based upon the application of many good citizens of the State praying the pardon of said Green, and upon representations of the counsel of said Green, and others, that facts discovered since his trial and conviction, unknown at the time, and which if they had been produced upon the trial would have gone to mitigate his offence, or to acquit him, and that these facts might be laid before me. And whereas, these facts have been presented to me upon the oath of credible witnesses, and have produced in my mind the conviction of a doubt as to the guilt of said Green of the crime of murder, which construed in favor of human life, connected with all the facts of the case the original provocation; the youth of Green, and the sufferings he has already undergone, calls for the interposition of Executive clemency and whereas, upon the facts presented, after mature consideration, the Hon. D. G. Glenn, Attorney Genery, the Law Officer of the State, and legal adviser of the Executive has given it as his opinion that the said Green is entitled to the Executive pardon and whereas, as the law authorizes the Governor to do in such case, I have consulted with the Hon. C. P. Smith, Chief Justice, and the Hon. E. S. Fisher, Associate Justice, Judges of the High Court of Errors and Appeals, and they have both severally given it as their opinion that upon the facts presented, the said Green should receive the Executive pardon and whereas, I have consulted with others, in whose opinions I have much confidence, and they have advised the Executive pardon. And whereas, a great number of good citizens of the State, have in consideration of all the facts prayed said pardon and concurring myself, after mature and anxious deliberation, in the above opinions, and if erring at all, erring upon the side of mercy, and in favor of the life of a human being, which if improperly taken away can never be restored. Now therefore, I, John J. McRae, Governor of the State of Mississippi, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State, in consideration of the above facts, do hereby grant to the said George N. Green, a full and free pardon for said offence; and do moreover require you, on presentation hereof, to set him forthwith at liberty. Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi, at the city of Jackson, this 22d day of October, 1854, and of the Sovereignty of the State the thirty seventh. John J. McRae, By the Governor, Wm. H. Muse, Secretary of State.
The following Prophecy is from an old volume of Predictions:
In twice two hundred years the Bear
The Crescent will assail;
But if the Cock and Bull unite,
The Bear shall not prevail.
In twice ten years again,
Let Islam know and fear,
The Cross shall stand, the Crescent wane,
Dissolve and disappear.
Deal gently with those who stray. Draw them back by love and persuasion. A kiss is worth a thousand kicks. A kind word is more amiable to the lost than a mine of gold. Think of this and be on your guard, ye who would chase to the grave an erring brother.
Celebration The 17th inst., has been fixed upon by the citizens of Wytheville for celebrating the arrival of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad cars at that place.
Married On the 21st inst., at the residence of her father, Jos. G. Smith, by the Rev. E. F. Hyde, John W. Logan to Miss Ellena J. Smith, all of this county.
Died In this County on the morning of the 16th inst., at her residence, Mrs. Elenor Wilkins, relict of the late Aaron Wilkins, and daughter of John and Rachel Jeffries, of Union District, S. C., aged about sixty years. Chronic disease of the chest and lungs had been making their inroads upon her system for many years, which she bore with Christian patience, and died in the triumph of Christian faith, leaving a numerous circle of children and relations to mourn her irreparable loss. Son.
Died On the 11th of October, James Jeffries, infant, and only son of M. F. and S. S. Wilkins, aged about one year.
Military The following gentlemen have received the various appointments assigned them, by order of Major General James H. R. Taylor, of the 5th Division Mississippi Militia:
James L. Autry, of Marshall, Division Inspector, with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.
James L. Hoole, of Marshall, Division Quartermaster, with the rank of Major.
Walter Fernandez, of Lafayette, Aid de Camp, with the rank of Major.
William Coopwood, of Monroe, Aid de Camp, with the rank of Major.
Look Out Save Cost Those who are indebted to Solomon G. Rhine, are respectfully requested to come forward without the least possibly delay and pay up, as he is compelled to have money, and does not wish to put his customer to cost. Solomon G. Rhine.
Sheriff's Sale By virtue of an Execution to me directed from the Circuit Court of Marshall county, Miss., I will proceed to sell at the Court House door, in the town of Holly Springs, on Monday, the 6th day of November, 1854, to the highest bidder for cash, the south part of the west half of section 9, township 5, range 2 west, containing 182 acres, one yoke of steers and wagon. Levied on as the property of Josiah H. Abston, to satisfy executions in favor of the Northern Bank and others. J. R. McCarroll, Sheff.
For Sale The splendid building spot and grove lying East of and adjoining the residence of the late Jos. W. Chalmers. Also a quarter section of land 90 acres cleared and two thirds valley, lying North of and adjoining Caswell Cock's plantation, just three miles from the town of Holly Springs. Jas. R. Chalmers, Exr.
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