Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jail Break

Home News, December 14, 1861:

Evacuated - A general jail delivery took place at Winsor Castle at an early hour on Thursday night when the iron parlor was evacuated by all its involuntary tenants, seven in number. This room, for the better security of the boarders, had been faced with boiler iron, but the stone floor had been left as it was. A large stone slab behind the stove had been laboriously sawn in two and a part removed , large enough to afford exit to the ground below. In this dungeon place, about four feet high, they worked at the outside wall with a piece of iron bar until a sufficient portion had been displaced to get through to the earth.

Everything being in readiness, soon after dark on Thursday night the slab was removed for the last time and dropped down, and the jail birds quit their comfortable quarters, leaving the hold covered with a piece of sheet iron. Quick work was made of the dirt between the wall and the top of the ground, and the prisoners scattered. One of them, Bob Griggs, went immediately to Camp Tupper and notified Capt. Chandler of what had occurred. He, accompanied by Capt. McCormick, hastened to the jail and communicated the information to the astonished sheriff that his boarders had taken French leave.

Measures were taken for instant pursuit, and before nine o'clock several horsemen were on their track. One of the prisoners, Henry Elder, was under indictment for murder, four others for penitentiary crimes, and the other two for minor offenses. We hope they will all be retaken.

Home News, December 21, 1861:

Recaptured - Three of the prisoners who effected their escape so adroitly from our jail on Thursday evening of last week have been recaptured and returned to their old quarters. Richard Taylor, indicted for burglary, was arrested at his own house on Bear Run, Lawrence Township, on the same night by Nathan F. Smith and Josiah Cline, and returned to jail early on Friday morning. These gentlemen received the reward of twenty-five dollars offered for the recapture.

Henry Elder, under indictment for murder, was taken in Lawrence Township at the house of a man named Reeves on Saturday forenoon by Messrs. William Hamilton, John Skinner, Matthew Rake and Elijah Rake, who received the reward of Fifty dollars.

Lafayette Lagrange was captured in Williamstown, Virginia, on Monday night by C. F. Nellis and J. W. Metcalf, to whom was paid the reward of twenty-five dollars. He is also indicted for burglary. 

Four others are at large, only two of whom it is desirable to retake. These are William Swank, committed for grand larceny, and Harvey Fletcher, for burglary.


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