Weekly Mississippi Pilot clipping

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Boulden, Jesse Freeman, 1820-1899; Lowndes County (Miss.); Columbus (Miss.); Capital punishment--Mississippi

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An Immense Crowd Present to Witness the Death Scene.

From the Columbus Press, July 31.

At an early hour yesterday morning, all the thoroughfares leading to the city were thronged with people, coming to witness the execution of Green Henry. Many were on foot and had walked as far as twenty miles. The crowd in town was variously estimated at from two to three thousand.

The prisoner had been unshackled at eight o’clock in the morning, and shaved and dressed in white pants and shirt. He seemed perfectly resigned to his awful fate. At eleven o’clock the Sheriff proceeded to the jail with his deputies, and, ascending the stairs brought down the prisoner to the scaffold in the rear of the jail, clad in his dark death mantle. Dr. J. F. Bouldin lead in a hymn, which was joined in by many of the assemblage, after which he offered up an eloquent prayer in behalf of the condemned. Rev. Mr. Harrison then preached a short and very appropriate sermon, abounding in words of consolation and hope for the doomed man. In response to questions propounded by Dr. Bouldin he said his faith in the saving grace of the Saviour, was unshaken, and he relied implicitly upon Him. The Sheriff then read the


and asked the prisoner if he had anything to say before the sentence of the law was executed upon him. He stepped forward upon the trap, immediately underneath the gallows, and in a clear and steady voice addressed the multitude. He said he was ready to die. He had made up his mind that he must die, and set about making his peace with God. He believed he had full pardon, and rejoiced in the sweet peace it gave him.

He protested this his shooting of the jailor, in the attempt to escape last winter, was accidental – which, we believe, is now generally conceded to be true. He then with scarcely a tremor in his voice.


shaking hands with those upon the scaffold. He placed his hands behind him to be tied; this being done his feet were also tied, the rope was put around his neck, the black cap over his face, the trigger was sprung, and the culprit


when, to the horror of all, the knot, which the Sheriff had procured a professional to tie, slipped, and he fell to the ground. He was placed upon the scaffold immediately, being perfectly conscious, and indeed, not seriously hurt, and while another knot was being tied, drank some water and talked. At this moment came a


in response to a petition for commutation which had been sent in the morning. The Governor


and Green Henry was again placed under the gallows and the rope adjusted. He gave directions to the Sheriff to “be certain and have everything right this time.” Again the trap was sprung and with a fall of four feet his neck was broken and he died without a struggle.

After hanging fifteen minutes, Doctors R. E. Lanier and P. J. Maxwell pronounced him dead, and he was placed in his coffin and delivered to his relatives to be buried at Tabernacle Churchyard, twelve miles East of Columbus, beside his mother, in obedience to his last request.




Weekly Mississippi Pilot, “Weekly Mississippi Pilot clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed December 5, 2023, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/2249.

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