Courier-Journal clipping

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Rev. J. Allen Ross, of the A. M. E. Church at Jericho, On Trial.

A Host of Serious Accusations Brought Against Him By the Presiding Elder.

The investigation into the charges preferred against Rev. J. Allen Ross, of the A. M. E. Church at Jericho, Henry county, by W. W. Locke, presiding elder of that church, and others, was begun in the little church at Jericho yesterday morning.

The defendant, J. Allen Ross, is a one-armed mulatto, shrewd, sharp, with a decided tendency to "fly off the handle." He has many partisans among the Jericho colored people. The charges against him number seven. The first one charges him with "indulging in sinful temper," and contains four specifications. The second charge is "using intoxicating liquors as a beverage;" two specifications. Third, "imprudent and unchristian conduct;" two specifications. Fourth, "embezzlement;" three specifications. Fifth, "immoral conduct; encouraging a young woman in adulterous intentions." Sixth, "lying;" eight specifications. Seventh, "forgery;" two specifications.


Ross claims that he is innocent on every charge, and says that, being a Democrat, and having voted the Democratic ticket, he believes politics has something to do with the case. In support of this he quotes the third charge, which says he left his own precinct last August and voted in another precinct, and also charges him with voting for the sale of liquor. Ross says, in relation to the woman in the case, that, on July 27, he received a misdirected letter from Lou C. Mason, who had been living with the family of W. W. Locke, the presiding elder, and the prosecuting witness in the affair, stating that she was in a bad fix and wanting some medicine. This letter, he says, was intended for Locke. He gave the letter to Locke, after taking a copy of it.

November 27, 1887, he preferred charges against Locke. November 25, a dark and rainy night, Locke, Ross says, waylaid him and attempted to get the copy of the letter and also attempted to kill him, cutting his coat to pieces. Miss Mason, he said, lived with Locke as private secretary. Locke wanted her put in as a school teacher, but the trustees of the church refused her the appointment on account of incompetency, but Locke claimed that Ross had prevented it by using the letter he had. Ross further says he has copies of certain letters of an exceedingly compromising nature that passed between Locke and the Mason woman, plainly showing questionable relations in his own house. He believed Locke's object was to get him disgraced before the annual meeting of conference in April next, so that his prosecution of Locke would fail. Ross has letters of advice from Bishop S. M. Merrill, of Chicago, advising submission under protest in case the verdict is against him.

Locke, on the other hand, denies that he ever assaulted Ross, and, in fact, denies the truth of all he says, and states that he has befriended him in various ways, having stood for two suits of clothes for him at Deppen's, in this city, for both of which he had to pay, besides at one time giving him his overshoes, and at another his hat, taking both from his own person.





Louisville Courier-Journal, “Courier-Journal clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed May 26, 2024,

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