Limerick Roughs: the Political Killing of young John Hubbel

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John Philip Hubbel, son of a German snuff maker and roughly nineteen years old, was shot and killed at a half-past ten o’clock the night of 12 October 1859 in front of Jackson Hall. “The ball entered near the right ear and came out on the left side of the head.” (DE, 14 October) He died only “one hundred and fifty feet from his father’s house” on Constitution Street (Sun, 14 October). Living in Limerick (8th Ward Baltimore), Hubbel made the brash decision to vote the Know-Nothing Ticket in the stronghold of the Democratic Party.

  • Frank Shaw [Francis Sholl], a youth, living on Somerset street, between Chase and Eager streets, met the deceased on Wednesday at the Central police station, and proposed to go to the 11th ward polls; deceased said he was afraid to go there; witness left him and went there, but had not been there long when [Hubbel] came up; heard him say that he had voted in the 11th ward, also saw him at the 10th ward polls; did not know whether he voted there (Sun, 14 October); leaving the latter place after 5 o’clock, deceased going off by himself; heard that he had voted the Know-Nothing ticket; deceased had said that he was almost afraid to go in his own neighborhood, as there were some who had a grudge against him.” (BAnC, 14 October)

  • Miss Chrysenthia Constance of No. 7 McElderry; around 3 pm, a slightly intoxicated Hubbel: “first stopped at the house next door, and called to witness at an upper window in the rear, and told her that he had voted the American ticket;… and like to have been killed, that a young man named Philip Davis offered him a reform ticket at the 8th ward polls, which he refused to take, and then Davis told him that he would kill him on the first opportunity (Sun, 14 October); had not intended to have got tight, but meeting some of his companions they had induced him to drink. [H]e took supper at witness’s house (BAnC, 14 October); witness induced him to remain at the house until 8 o’clock [Sun gives the time as half-past ten]; he told witness that he was afraid to go home (DE, 14 October); witness asked deceased to stay all night, but he said he could not (Sun, 14 October); he had not been [home] since morning, and his mother would be in misery” (BAnC, 14 October); before going he remarked that the man Davis was watching for him, and he expected to be killed” (Sun, 14 October)

  • “Mrs. Catherine Miskelly, …Lives at 55 Front street; heard hallooing, and on looking out of the window saw deceased running; also saw the flash of a pistol and deceased fell; at the time there were four men standing on the corner of Centre and Front streets (DE, 14 October), under the lamp post from whom the deceased was running; when he was shot; they immediately ran away down Centre and back by High.” (BAnC, 14 October)

  • “Mrs. Mary Cox of 46 French street: “the report [of the gun] did not excite any surprise, as they had been shooting in the street all night.” (Sun, 14 October)

  • “Sarah Ann Cape, resides at the northeast corner of High and French streets… was sitting with her daughter awaiting the return of her son, when she was aroused from sleep by the report of firearms from the direction of Centre street (Sun, 14 October); when she went to the door, saw a party of men coming from the tannery toward High; saw three others pass from Front street down High; witness heard some screaming at the house of Mrs. Rock’s (BAnC, 14 October); She saw the deceased lying on the pavement opposite, when she exclaimed, ‘My God, there lies a man dead!’ When she used the expression a man dressed in light clothing passed her house, stopped, gazed in her face, and although she repeated the exclamation he passed heedlessly on. (DE, 14 October)” Cape owned a grocery and the same corner store was the site of Jourdan’s death two years earlier.

  • “Philip [Daley] visited the house of a Mrs. Slee, on Forrest street, near Eager” (Sun, 14 October); Coroner Sparklin with officer Talbott went to Mrs. Slee’s where they learned he lived in Willow Street. Arriving there, “his mother stated that he was not at home” (DE, 14 October).

The next day on the 13th, at his mother’s house, “Thomas alias Philip [Daley] was arrested between ten and eleven o’clock” (DE, 15 October). Thomas Daley was only eighteen years old and born in Ireland. The police arrested Samuel Donohue, nineteen years old, as a witness and at his bail-hearing Nativist politics surfaced. Samuel’s bondsman was James Donnelly, “‘who said he owned eight houses in the eighth ward.’ Judge Henry Stump responded, ‘In Limerick? (Laughter.)'” I have found nothing indicating this case went to trial. Thomas is listed in his father’s household in the 1860 census. This is the last record I have for him.

NOTES:

  • Other witnesses to Hubbel’s murder included: Mrs. Ellen Houseman [Howser], resides no. 44 Front street; Mary Smith, 12 years old, of the corner of Front and Lefferman’s alley; Miss Elizabeth Jackson, daughter of Mrs. Cape; and Eva Bunce of Lefferman’s alley.
  • Judge Stump was removed from office in 1860 because of routine intoxication on the bench, and the frequent laughter from the gallery was cited as an example of the contempt he held for the court.
  • In 1870, Thomas’s brother Hugh Daley was sentenced to six months in jail with John alias Dixon Woods and Barney Barnes, and levied a fine of $50 and costs each, “for assaulting officer James E. Roberts, on Saturday night, 20th instant, on Monument street” (Sun, 29 August 1870).

SOURCES:

Baltimore American and Commercial. 14 October 1859. GoogleNews. 

Baltimore Sun. 14 October 1859; 29 August 1870. Proquest.

The Daily Exchange. (Baltimore, Md.), 14 October 1859, 15 October 1859. Chronicling America.

The Removal of Baltimore City Criminal Court Judge Henry Stump, 1860, Maryland State Archives, Govpub Image No: 821075-0001. MSA SC 5339-41-8.

The Fateful Life of Harry Taylor: Murder on the Sparks Farm

B Co. Seventh Dist. p44-45

Alfred Sparks’s farm lies on the road which follows the ridge from Hereford. Here you can see it is to the West of Hereford close by the Schoolhouse where Alfred taught. Atlas of Baltimore County, Maryland. Seventh  District, G. M. Hopkins, Philadelphia, p44-45, 1877.

There were warnings. They knew the illegitimate child had slaughtered two dogs, perhaps when his employer had angered him, as would be the case in the 1898 murder. They knew he killed some calves of Micheal Armacost because they would not go into the stable. He had been hired after he had left the House of Refuge. The African-American community knew there was something in Harry Taylor and it was best to avoid him. Sarah Lee had lunch with Taylor and Morris two days before. And even then she could tell Taylor held alot of rage within. The lunch was completely silent.

At around seven in the morning on the 16th of June 1898, the men headed into the thick woods to fell and load timber to make ties for the nearby railroad. Despite the hour, Taylor cracked jokes and appeared ready for the long day. They were going to load the wagon and drive it North to a sawmill in Parkton from the farm of Alfred Sparks on Mt. Carmel Road near Evna Road. Lemuel Morris hired Harry or Henry Taylor, 22; George Wills, 19; and John Talbott, 14. And in the early morning light a load of logs waited for them. George and John hopped into the wagon and began grabbing logs from Lemuel and Harry.

The murder

Exact details differ of the murder. A log slipped and fell to the ground. The young boys called, “Look Out!” And Taylor took offense, yelling up at them. Morris tried to placate Taylor and ended up heightening the tension. Morris turned his back to continue with the job, when Taylor, in a fit of uncontrolled rage, grabbed an ax and cracked Morris’s skull with two blows, felling the older man.

OR “Taylor said to Morris, “You’re a fool,” and Morris replied that if he were not still, he would strike him a blow, and when Morris had bowed down to the log, Taylor had hit him with the ax.” (Der Deutsche Correspondent. [Baltimore, Md.], 26 Oct. 1898.)

OR “Mr. Morris remonstrated with Taylor for allowing the end of a log to fly up. Taylor made a surly reply, Mr. Morris then said in a jocular manner. / ‘Don’t fly off the handle so quick or I’ll take my fists to you.’ …he killed Mr. Morris in self-defense. He said that they quarreled and both grabbed for the ax, which lay between them.” (Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.)

OR “Morris, he held his fist under [Taylor’s] nose and seemed to have the intention of attacking him.” (Der Deutsche correspondent. [Baltimore, Md.], 18 June 1898.)

In any case after Morris fell, Talbott and Wills moved toward Taylor and may have struggled with him:

“…the two boys made a start to interfere, Taylor turned savagely on them and they ran. He then threw the axe at them, but failed to strike them. He then picked up the axe, and, saying “Well, I’ll finish this one any way,” returned to where Morris almost lifeless body was lying and dealt the prostrated man three more terrific blows with the back of the axe, crushing in the skull.” (The Democratic Advocate. [Westminster, Md.], 18 June 1898.)

“Talbott and Mill then grappled with the young murderer, who fought like a madman and succeeded in breaking away from them.” (Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.)

The boys ran to alert as many people as possible in Parkton, including Lemuel’s father Nicholas and the local doctor, Dr. A. R. Mitchell. The doctor later testified Morris lived some 15-20 minutes after he arrived. The doomed man lay unconscious and breathed out whatever he had left in him. One account reports that blood and brains stained the forest floor. A grand jury quickly held conference over the body and charged Taylor with the murder. After the inquest, Morris’s mother and brother arrived to kneel over him and plead for him to speak.

Taylor fled toward the nearby Pennsylvania border. He lived with his mother in Rayville not far from the border. Once the community found out about the murder they began hunting Taylor along the roads. Feelmeyer and Whittle arrived at the scene and set out in pursuit. Lemuel Carr saw Taylor on foot and, ignorant of the murder, gave him a ride in his wagon, which is where Constable Grant Hare, riding, overcame Taylor and pointed his pistol at the murderer. Taylor offered no further resistance but instead later pleaded for Hare to kill him instead of turning him over to the lynch mob. “Constable Hare says that when he arrived at Parkton with his prisoner he was surrounded by an angry crowd of men, who expressed bitter feeling against Taylor, and he therefore boarded the first train for Baltimore.” (Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.)

The trial

“The trial was before Judges Fowler and Burke. Taylor appeared unconcerned, even careless. He was neatly dressed in a dark coat and rough gray trousers. His brother was in the courtroom. He was represented by Emanuel W. Herman, with whom was associated Frank I. Duncan. State’s Attorney John S. Ensor, in his opening statement to the court, gave an outline of the crime. Mr. Duncan, for the defense, filed a plea of insanity, and on that theory the defense relied almost absolutely. […]

Taylor was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to the penitentiary for 18 years.” (The Democratic advocate. [Westminster, Md.], 05 Nov. 1898.)

The life before and after

Born around August 1875, Henry’s father abandoned the family or the mother never knew the father. Illegitimacy tainted the young boy. To the farming community he was “weak and wayward temperament, morose and eccentric, without any softening influence of home life, he grew up moody, morbid, with an almost total lack of moral sensibility” (The Democratic Advocate. [Westminster, Md.], 05 Nov. 1898).  He moved in and out of charity houses. In 1880 Henry lives with the elderly Robert Eareckson and his wife Julia with the United Brethren preacher, J. T. Knapp. Able to read and write, perhaps the preacher taught him some. At his trial the Baltimore American describes him thus: “both in manner and appearance is a typical farm hand. When taken to jail he wore a large hickory hat, blue-checkered shirt, overalls, and clod-hopper’ shoes. He was very nervous and appeared to realize his position.”(Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.)

From the Penitentiary in Baltimore City, where he resided in 1900, he was moved to the State Hospital for the Insane. Despite the 18 year sentence, Taylor went on to live the rest of his life institutionalized. As late as 1940, Taylor resided at the Spring Grove State Hospital in Catonsville, Maryland.

Lemuel

Lemuel left four children to be cared for by his father and mother-in-law. “One year ago his wife died [from an operation] and shortly afterwards his home was swept away by fire. One month ago his youngest child died. He was well-known and very popular among his neighbors.” (Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.)

 

SOURCES

Baltimore American. 17 June 1898.

The Democratic Advocate. (Westminster, Md.), 18 June 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038292/1898-06-18/ed-1/seq-3/>

The Democratic Advocate. (Westminster, Md.), 05 Nov. 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038292/1898-11-05/ed-1/seq-2/>

Der Deutsche Correspondent. (Baltimore, Md.), 17 June 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045081/1898-06-17/ed-1/seq-6/> translation by Google Translate.

Der Deutsche Correspondent. (Baltimore, Md.), 18 June 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045081/1898-06-18/ed-1/seq-6/> translation by Google Translate.

Der Deutsche Correspondent. (Baltimore, Md.), 26 Oct. 1898. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045081/1898-10-26/ed-1/seq-7/> translation by Google Translate.