Life and Confessions of AJ Nash


BACKGROUND


Zanesville Township - In the year 1853, Andrew Nash and a man by the name of Lockerman had an altercation brought on by the too free use of whisky, during which the former stabbed the latter in a very brutal manner. Lockerman died immediately, and Nash, becoming alarmed, fled the country. Detectives were placed on his track, and succeeded, after several weeks diligent search, in finding him in Arkansas, where he was arrested, brought back to Carlinville, tried and sentenced to be hanged. A petition was put in circulation by his friends, praying the Governor to commute the sentence to imprisonment for life, which was accordingly done, but before the prisoner was made aware of this step in his behalf, a mob, or rather the appearance of a mob, gathered about the jail one night, which so frightened the poor fellow, that, rather than fall into their hands, he hanged himself with a sheet, which had been twisted into a rope and made fast to a beam overhead.


Source: HISTORY OF BOND &MONTGOMERY COUNTIES, ILL. 1882 PAGE 867


PETITION FOR CHANGE OF VENUE


Andrew J. Nash the defendant in this case by this his petition represents to the Honorable presiding Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, including said County of Montgomery, that he cannot as he verily believes have an impartial and fair trial in said County of Montgomery, for the reason that the minds of the inhabitants of said County are prejudiced against him. That the knowledge of this fact, and the existence of such prejudice, did not come to him until the morning of the 10th. day of the present month, and after the adjournment of the Circuit Court in and for said County of Montgomery; that he was at the same time that said fact was made known to him, informed that the States attorney for said Circuit had left said County, so that notice of this application could not then and there be given to him. He therefore prays that the venue of this case be changed to some County where the cause complained of does not exist.


PETITION FOR CHANGE OF VENUE GRANTED


It is hereby ordered and directed that the venue in the above cause be changed to the County of Macoupin. You are to remove Andrew J. Nash from the Jail of Montgomery County to the common jail of Macoupin County, Ill. Charles Emerson, Judge of the 17th. Judicial Circuit, IL.


LIFE AND CONFESSIONS OF ANDREW JACKSON NASH AS RELATED BY HIMSELF, WHILE IN PRISON IN CARLINVILLE, ILLINOIS, ON THE 19TH, 20TH AND 21ST DYS OF June 1854


PUBLISHED FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS FAMILY CARLINVILLE, ILL


J. L. &S. B. DUGGER, PRINTERS 1854


PREFACE


The editor of the following pamphlet was not called upon to take down the confession of AJ Nash until late in the forenoon of Monday preceding his execution. The process of taking the confession from the lips of the speaker was necessarily slow, as it was wished to have every statement in the words and forms of expression that should be entirely pleasing to him. The mode pursued was, first to hear his statement of an event, and then to write it down as near as possible in the language he used, then to read it over to him and let him point out whatever the writing varied from what he had stated.


After being shut up with the prisoner one day, it was seen to be a matter of impossibility, to have this pamphlet ready by the day of execution, unless assistance were obtained in transcribing the matter for the press. A friend generously offered his valuable assistance, to whom the public are indebted for what ever corrections of errors in grammar have been made.


The labor of taking the confession in the prison was not completed until late on Wednesday evening. Since which time, we have both been busily engaged in transcribing.


The limited time not having permitted, we have made not attempt at making the following pages in the least worthy the dignified title of a literary production.


Thus the time of publishing might have been deferred, but then on of the principal objects of the confessor’s consenting to make this statement, would have been defeated, that of selling the pamphlets the better to enable his family to pay several debts he had left for them to liquidate.


EDITOR. CARLINVILLE, June 22d, 1854



CONFESSION OF ANDREW JACKSON NASH


I was born February 14, 1809, at Clover Bottom, Davidson county, Tennessee. My Christian name was given me by Gen. Jackson himself. While yet innocent child, my parents migrated to the State of Illinois and settled near Carmi, on the Wabash, in White When I had attained the age of 11 or 12 years my father died of a chronic affection), and only one short year intervened his death and that of my mother. The occupation of my father was that of a farmer; he pursued it unremittingly up to the time of his decease. Throughout the circle of his acquaintance he was known, and highly respected as the possessor of excellent business qualification, and enviable social and moral habits. After my father’s death, my mother, assisted by my brother, five years older than myself, conducted the business of the farm. I lived with them till the death of my mother, after which sorrowful event, I went to reside with my eldest brother, who was married. There I remained about one year, when I left him and went to reside with my brother-in-law, Mr. McCowan. With Mr. McC. I remained until I was about 15 years old . During these golden hours of my youth, I engaged with a gleeful zest in all the innocent amusements common to childhood; at the same time I thus enjoyed myself innocently, I purchased not my enjoyment with the neglect of my duties as a farmer’s boy.


It is a common assertion, that the youngest children are always favorites: I am the youngest of eight children. Whether the truth (If there is any,) of the above assertion extends beyond the family circle, I am unable to say; however it is, I was so fortunate as to gain the confidence and esteem of all my youthful associates, and I was universally a favorite among them. My parents were blessed with eight children, four daughters and four sons. All my brothers have died a natural death.


About the year 1824, I left the home of my brother-in-law, Mr. McC., and went into Clay county, Illinois, where being thrown for the first time in my life, entirely n my own resources, I began to ----- for a livelihood. For the first two years of this, to me new life, I was very unsettled, having lived at various places in the county. Here, being associated with young men of wild, rakish dispositions, and having no person to place any restraint on my conduct, I became somewhat dissipated; but I have no recollection of ever having been intoxicated more than twice, before I married my first wife.


In 1826 I engaged to work for Mr. Misenheimer, living in Clay county, who carried on extensive farming operation, was the employer of many workmen, and also kept a tavern on a the public road leading from St. Louis to Vincennes. At this tavern I resided two years, during which time I succeeded in making myself beloved, not by the members of the family alone, but by all with whom I became acquainted. Notwithstanding, I was considered by many somewhat of a rowdy, yet this consideration did not depreciate the value of my services; but in consequence of my being an extra hand in point of industry, honesty and fidelity, I could obtain two or three dollars more per month for my labor, than most other day laborers. While living at this place, I became acquainted with my first wife, Mary Misenheimer. She was a niece of Mr. Misenheimer, and in consequence of her mother being dead, and her father having married a second wife, she had left home and lived with her uncle. We were married the 7th September 1828 and removed immediately afterward to the vicinity of Hillsboro, Montgomery county, Illinois, where I erected a dwelling, and improved a small farm, which I afterwards sold to my father-in-law, Mr. Misenheimer. After selling my farm as above, I rented land for about two years from my father-in-law.


While living here, I was engaged in the first fight I ever had in my life. In 1830, Mr. Shirley and Mr. Grantham were candidates for the office of justice of the peace. On election day there was considerable excitement in the minds of the people, who were indulging freely in the use of spirits, as they usually did in those days on all similar occasions. As I was passing along the street, a man by the name of Dover I responded with a opposing hurrah for Shirley, whereupon Dover reiterated inquiringly, “You don’t go for Shirley, do you, Nash?”I answered him in the affirmative; he then replied “You are a d---d----, and I can whip you.”At this I told him “Clear me of the law, and I’ll whip you.”He said I was clear. I immediately struck him a blow with my fist which felled him to the ground, but he almost instantly sprung to his feet, grappled with and threw me, then gouged both my eyes so severely, that I could scarcely see for three or four weeks. During the scuffle, I bit off his little finger, and injured him otherwise so seriously with my fists, that he was compelled to cry enough, and I released him. We were afterwards summoned to appear before Esquire Rountree, who fined us three dollars each, which fine our friends paid for us. I resolved after this fight, never to involve my self in a like difficulty; however, I was not fortunate enough to keep, unbroken this resolution, for subsequently I had occasion to be in town, when a man by the name of Long, of Longbranch, who had brought some horses there to race, met me; as I was walking up street from Blockberger’s tavern, and addressed me thus-”I’ve been offering one hundred dollars to any man who’ll whip me.”I replied that I would whip him for nothing. With that we engaged, and continued beating each other until our friends interfered, and separated us. shouted “Hurrah for Grantham!”


In the winter of 1831, I removed to the vicinity of Farmington, St. Francois County, MO, and bought a small farm which I sold the following fall. While I remained there, I was respected by all who knew me, and nothing worthy of mention occurred, except two fights. The first occurred at a card table; four men were engaged in the game, while I was keeping count for them, when a man by the name of Williams, a notorious fighter in that neighborhood, came in and swore he “could whip anything in the house.”I told him to go away for these men were playing for money; he replied, “I’ll be d----d if I can’t whip you.”Those who were in the house not wishing any disturbance, put him out-while I remained in the house, he with his friends kept hammering and shouting at the door until I told those with me to let him in, for I would soon satisfy him; they did so, and I knocked him down and he cried enough-we shook hands and called for something to drink; while we were drinking he said he could whip me, whereupon I put down my glass and felled him the second time, and finally succeeded in making him cry enough. I suffered him to get up; after he had gained his feet, we discovered that a small piece of his ear was gone-but whether or not, I bit it off I cannot say, for I do not recollect biting him.


The second difficulty originated a short time after this while I was attending with many of my neighbors, a husking party at Mr. Madkins. During the evening we were jesting with each other, as it customary at such parties, and I with others was jesting old Mr. Madkins, concerning an affair he had had with some man’s wife; he became angry. I told him I would say no more about the matter; afterwards while justly engaged in husking corn, he threw and ear at and struck me on the forehead. Some one told me to knock him down. I told Mr. Madkins that I did not wish to inure him, as he was old enough to be my father. His nephew then remarked that he would whip me. I told him to shut up or I would settle with him soon; immediately a Mr. Burnet, son-in-law of Mr. Madkins, said that he would whip me; to this, I replies, that I would not engage him there, but if he desired to fight and would come to town, I would meet and whip him there, on any day he might see proper to appoint. He accordingly set the following Saturday. At the appointed time I was on the ground, so was my antagonist, but he declined fighting; I then sprang upon a stump near by and crowed. Things passed off peaceably until towards night, when the brother of Mr. Madkins began to boast of what he would do if he were young. I told him it was fortunate for him that he was not a young man; at this. His son stepped quickly up behind me, struck me down, which he repeated twice and dealt a fourth blow, which missed me. I sprang to my feet, seized him, threw him to the ground, and bit two or three of his fingers so severely that he shouted to the bystanders to take me off.


After remaining in the vicinity of Farmington about one year, I removed to the lead mines at Lamote, Madison county, Missouri, where I worked the greater part of one year in the mines. Here I became addicted to horse racing, by which evil habit I lost the greater part of $400, which I had brought with me to that place.


I now came to the narration of a portion of my eventual life, the very recollection of which give me much mental anguish; and were this not my dying confession-were I not in duty to God and man bound to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth-were I not desirous of holding up to view the corrupting influences which have conspired to bring me to my present degraded position that others may see them and take warning thereby; I say, were it not for these consideration, I would willingly withhold this great error of my life from publication to the world. Unfortunately for me my wife’s sister accompanied us to Missouri; here, on a certain occasion, during the absence of my wife, the imprudent conduct of my sister-in-law led to the establishment of an illicit intercourse between us, which was continued remitingly, for some time, not, however, at my solicitation. Three children were the fruits of this unlawful cohabitation. For this criminal ----- I have a most profound regret, and while I consider her conduct very culpable, I do not wish to exonerate my self from blame, as well as the guilt of producing the most intense suffering in the bosom of one of the most affectionate of wives.


This affair came very near separating me from my wife, and was a source of continual disturbance, until my sister-in-law and I told the truth in the case to my wife, who forgave me, and never after alluded to the matter in my presence.


In the fall of 1835 I left Missouri and returned to White county, Illinois. Shortly after my return I went to Greenup, in Coles county, now Cumberland, to attend to some business, where I learned that a man by the name of Lynch had whipped an old man twice that day. When I saw the old man who was bleeding profusely, I remarked, as anyone would, that it was a shame to abuse an old man in that manner. This remark caused an altercation between Lynch and myself, when his brother –in-law, Joseph Bright, interfered, by saying that he could throw me down. We grappled: I took him with a side trip, and threw him with out any difficulty; he arose and said that I could not do that again; I took him by another hold and threw him a second time. When he arose the second time he came toward me and shook his fist threatingly in my face, saying at the same time, that he would whip me. I told him that I could whip him with more ease than I had experienced in throwing him at which he drew off his coat and advanced toward me. I dealt him a blow which knocked him into the fire-place of the grocery in which we were at the time. He cried enough, and I supposed the difficulty was terminated. At this time I was not aware that Bright and Lynch were brother-in-laws. As I was leaving town that evening, in company with a large number of persons on horseback and while we were passing the same grocery in which I had the difficulty with Bright, Lynch, who was standing in the door of the grocery, said that he could whip any man in the crowd. I paid no attention to the banter, and was about to ride away, when lynch remarked angrily, “there’s Nash, God d---n him, I can whip him.”I told him if he wanted me he could have me, and dismounting my horse, approached him. My friends held him; he struggled to get at me until he became considerably fatigued. I requested my friends to let him come on, they did so; I struck him a blow on the head with my fist which brought him to his knees, we rolled and scuffled for some time. He bit me and injured me considerably otherwise, yet with one strong effort, I hurled him into a puddle of muddy water, where I soon succeeded in making him cry enough. We then arose and made friends; but a few days afterwards, when I was again in the grocery, he said he could whip me. I replied that I could whip all such men as he, that he only whipped drunken men. At this, he remarked that if he fought me again he would do it with the intent to kill me, at the same instant he sized a piece of plank, dealt a blow at my head which I warded off with my arm, and instantly grasped a rifle that was standing against the wall of the grocery; with this I struck him a heavy blow across the head, the stock cutting his head very severely.


We were arraigned before the Magistrate and both fined’ but the citizens, in consequence of Lynch’s notoriously quarrelsome disposition, paid my fine for me.


In January, 1836, I moved to Leach’s mill, Wayne co, and hired to Mr. Leach, who carried on a very extensive steam distillery and flour mill, for $300 per year, to superintend his business, while living here, I sold a horse on credit, to a man who lived in Sangamon county. I went thither to receive payment, but on my arrival there, I learned that my debtor had gone to Fulton county, where after much difficulty, I succeeded in find him. While in this county I stopped at an old acquaintance, Mr. Higgins. Here I became acquainted with a Mr. Israel, grocery keeper and notorious character in the neighborhood in which he lived. Among my acquaintance of this place were two boys, brothers, both excellent performers on the violin. Having become very well acquainted in the neighborhood, I received one evening, an invitation to attend a wedding. One of the above mentioned boys was there for the purpose of making music for the party. After the performance of the marriage ceremony and those gentlemen and ladies, so disposed, had joined in the dance, and all appeared in the height of enjoyment and happiness. Israel staggered in, beastly intoxicated, and ordered the violinist to perform such tunes as he wished or he would destroy his violin. As no one manifested any respect for Israel, the boy did not wish to be controlled by him; however, he was considerably frightened and came and told me. I advised him to let Israel destroy the violin, if he wished, as it was an easy matter to compel him to pay for it. The boy remarked that the violin was a present from a brother who was now dead, and that no amount of money could induce him to part with it. While we were thus conversing about the matter, outside the door of the house, the boy having stepped off a few paces from me, Israel just then came up behind him, and knocked him down. I asked him what he did that for. He inquired of me if I took it up? To which I answered that I did. Immediately he struck me a blow which brought me to my knees, as I was getting up I saw him draw a dirk about six inches long. I shouted to those who sere gathering around, that he had a knife; I ran to a pile of wood near by, seized a stick, with which I struck Israel and felled him to the ground, then in company with others re-mounted our horses and rode off; -----of this company had been previously whipped by Israel. Col Stillman sent me word not to leave, that it should not cost me a cent. That it was something in which all the neighbors heartily rejoiced; but as I had settled my business there, I returned home.


Among my acquaintances in the neighborhood of Leach’s Mills, was one Mr. Parker, a native of the State of New York. I had become acquainted with him before my removal to Missouri, to which State he accompanied me, and I left him there when I returned to Illinois. He was a man of very intemperate habits, and I had frequently taken care of him whilst in a state of intoxication, because I desired to see him prosper. One morning he came to me and said that he intended to return to New York, where his relatives resided. On the day preceding this conversation, I had received $20, which I placed in the breast pocket of a new cloth coat, which cost me but a short time before, $25. I hung the coat up in the sitting room of my house, with the money still in the pocket. The conversation above alluded to took place in the kitchen while I was conversing with my wife and niece. I advised Parker to return to his native State, as I thought he would probably live more happily in New York, among his relations and old acquaintances, and do better than he was doing at the Mills. He went into the sitting room, and returning in a few moments with his overcoat on, bade us good bye. A few moments after, I thought of the money I had carelessly left in the coat pocket, and on repairing to the room in which I had left it, in order to get and put it away, I could not find my coat. After my wife and self had searched for it, we concluded that Parker must have taken it with him, as his old patched coat was left there. I immediately got my horse and pursued him; after going a short distance I overtook him told him he had taken my coat, and I wished him to return it to me. He exclaimed in apparent astonishment, “Have I got you coat?”I replied that he had, and it would be best for him to five it up to me immediately, as I felt convinced that he could not have been deceived, as he was a much larger man than me, and it was with much difficulty that he could get it off. He gave back the coat. All the money I found in the pocket, after which I told him I never wished to see him again, nor should he again cross my threshold.


He however returned to the neighborhood and some one told him I accused him with stealing my coat and money, which accusation I never made. When informed of what I had not said, he swore that he would kill me at sight. There had been erected a grocery and gambling house near the mill, and happening in there one day shortly after the affair with Parker, I met the gentleman himself. He asked me to drink with him which I did. Some conversation passed between us in which he bantered me for a horse race. I told him my horse could outrun any horse he had or could get; but I would not race with him, as he had no money, and I did not race with a man for nothing. Our conversation had ceased, when I lay down in the doorway; while in this position, Parker came towards the door with the intention, as I thought, of going out; but as he passed, he kicked at my head, and sent my hat out into the yard. I sprang to my feet, and asked him what he wanted, to which he answered that he was ready for anything that I whished; at this, I sprang toward him and knocked him down with my fist. He arose and drew a pocket knife; but I did not apprehend any danger, until he had cut me twice on the head, and once on the breast. I then drew a pocket knife I had, and cut him on the shoulder, when some persons took me away from him. I told those who stood around, if they would take away his knife, I would put up mine. After he was deprived of his knife, he exclaimed, “I will kill him,”and ran for an ax that was lying near by. As he was raising it, I threw a mallet that I had found near by, which brought him to the ground and ended the difficulty. After this I was placed under a guard of three men, by the constable; but I escaped from the guard, and while running one of them fired a shot after me, which did not touch me. I fled to Montgomery count, to remain until after court; not because I feared any harm in a court of justice, but for the reason that I did not wish to defray the expenses of a law suit. While I was at Hillsboro, Parker came there and sent a Mr. Busann to request that I should come and see him-that he desired to renew our former friendship, as I had assisted him when he was unable to help himself. I went; we made friends and I returned to Wayne county, and remained there until the following January when I removed to Hillsboro. My father-in-law had promised to give me 40 acres of land and assist me in building a house’ but he died before any deed was made, and there being many heirs, I got nothing from the. I rented land of Mr. John S. Hayward for the period of two years, during which time I was brought to reflect seriously on my past conduct, and felt the necessity of making preparations for a future life. While my father and mother lived, they taught my infant lips to a prayer daily; but when I was thrown a penniless orphan on the cold, callous hearted world, without the protecting care of those dear ones to whom I am indebted for my very existence, bad company and its corrupting agencies rendered the influence on my conduct, of those early impressions, less and less potent; but never in my wildest moments, has their influence been entirely withdrawn. Often, after any misdeed, would memory recur to the kind admornitieties of my parents and cause me to reflect; and frequently have these reflections led me to pray to God that he would enable me to pursue a new life, and forgive my past sins and transgressions. But these influences were transitory, and when I mingled again with my old wicked companions, they were entirely forgotten. At this time two of my brothers had lately died, and a revival of religion had commenced in the neighborhood. One of my family, my wife’s brother, became deeply anxious for his soul’s salvation; the conversed with me on the subject of religion, and desired me to attend the meetings that were then progressing. At first, I was inclined to make light of the subject before him, and as he was only a boy, I jested with him concerning the matter; but his firm determination and earnest piety, caused me to think more seriously on the subject, and I resolved to accompany him to a meeting the following evening. A few months after this, I obtained a hope that my sins were forgiven through the merits of the Savior. I was then immersed and became a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. I tried to lead a pious life until temptations surrounded me, that, unfortunately, I could not resist. While living on the farm of Mr. Hayward, a man by the name of Johnson rented the farm of my late father-in-law, and as my hogs had been raised on that farm they still frequented the place. His fences were in a bad condition, and consequently my hogs were frequently in his corn field, when he would set his dogs on them and injure them very severely. I requested him several times to desist from injuring my hogs, but he paid no attention to my request. I was heartily tired of disturbances, and made these requests that I might settle the affair without any difficulty. Afterward in town, I met Johnson, told him I wished to avoid all difficulty but if there must be one he might be assured that it would be a sever one. Still desirous of preserving peace, I told him that I would take a part of my hogs and secure them in pens, and as I was a poor man and unable to keep all my hogs enclosed, the remainder I would sell to him for ten dollars less than any two persons he might select, should say they were worth. To this proposition he remarked, that he did not know but that he would take them, but that he must see his wife about it first. I told him I would call at his house as I went home that evening. I accordingly called, and inquired of him if he had concluded to purchase the hogs; he replied, that he believed not; I then told him that he must ease having his dogs chase and injure my hogs, or there would be some difficulty.


A short time after this instance with Mr. J., I went to assist Mr. John Kirk to drive some mules to Mr. Cress, where I found two of my best hogs lying in the road with their ham strings cut; in a moment I was extremely angry, and while in the heat of passion returned home as quick as possible, snatched down my rifle, but fortunately reflection came with timely aid and I determined not to injure any person’ but would shoot Johnson’s dog at the first opportunity. After I had reached the spot where the hogs were lying, I determined not to interfere with J. or his dog’ but would drive, if possible, my disabled hogs home, and do the best I could with them. As I was driving them past J’s house, I saw him thrust his head out the door and laugh; this again aroused my anger; I walked up to the gate in front of the door and demanded of him payment for the hogs he had disabled. He replied that he had nothing to do with my hogs; at this moment I discovered his dog lying in the shade of a tree. I raised my rifle to my shoulder and shot him dead. Johnson ran back into the house and seized his rifle, while I re-charged mine, he declared that he would shoot me, but his wife and children clinging to the gun prevented him; not successful in his attempt with the gun, he relinquished his hold of the weapon, ran and grasped an axe; I leveled my rifle and told and told him if he did not lay down the axe I would shoot him, he obeyed, and the difficulty ended, and I went home with my hogs. Afterwards I was returned by Johnson to the grand jury, and they found a true bill against me.


After this difficulty I removed to Macoupin county, and rented a house at Honey Point, and purchased of John Perkins 12 acres of corn, for which I gave him a horse. He attempted to cheat me out of the use of the house, by inducing his uncle to claim it, over which affair we had a dispute, which resulted in fisticuffs. There was no other difficulty noteworthy, until Henderson Hall and Henry Dickerman, relatives of Perkins, expressed a desire to whip me. When on a certain day, as Dickerman, Hall and myself were riding together, they bantered me for a fight. I told them I was rather too wise to engage to fight them bother, when the matter was dropped until we reached Hall’s house, where Dickerman dismounted, but Hall rode on 50 or 60 yards with me; when I past him some distance, he hallowed after me, and said that he could whip me and that I durst not come back to him. I replied to him, that if I came back he would not fight. I rode back, however, and he dared me to dismount. I alighted; simultaneously he raised an axe which he had concealed behind his person; I ran around my horse to avoid the blow, he pursued me, and while thus running in a circle, and I being more active on foot than he overtook and dealt him a blow with my fist, that brought him to the ground, and while engaged in repeating my blows, Dickerman ran up behind, and struck at me with a knife; but it only passed through my clothes and produced a trifling scratch on the back of my shoulder about four inches in length; I seized the axe, frightened both of them into the house, mounted my horse and rode home.


Hall and I subsequently became friends. I sent word to Dickerman that a fair fight would give me satisfaction; but every time I saw him thereafter, he would take his knife from his pocket and commence whittling. Things passed off thus, for some time, when on going in Carlinville one day and stepping into the post office for the purpose of getting a letter. I met Dickerman in the door, with his knife out whittling, as usual’ I seized a fire shovel and struck him. He instantly repaired to the office of the Justice of the Peace and sued me, erroneously as Andrew H. Nash. I employed John M. Palmer to defend me, and he succeeded, by showing that I was not the man named in the summons. New proceedings were immediately commenced against me before the same justice, Mr. Samuel Keller, a jury was empanelled; but Mr. Palmer cleared me the second time.


For a period of nearly two years, nothing worthy of a place here, transpired in my history. Occasionally I was engaged in a drunken brawl. I had been in the habit of taking intoxication drinks all my life, but never to excess, till the autumn of 1840, about the time I removed from Hillsboro to Macoupin county. I was then, in the portion of country in which I resided, a stranger, and fell into the company of those who were habitual drunkards; still I must admit that upon this period, I had scarcely ever been involved in a difficulty, that intoxication drink was not to a greater or less extent, the cause of it.


On the 1st of July, 1848, I was in Carlinville. I had been visiting Queen’s grocery, and as a natural consequence, was much intoxicated, when Col. Anderson, now deceased, called me to one side and said, “Andy, I wish you to join the Sons of Temperance.”So this humane request, I made some frivolous answer; that they would not have me as I had no money to pay my initiation fee. The Col. Remarked that I was too good to be throwing myself away in this disgraceful manner, that I was just the man they wanted. At this juncture, Mr. Lofton stepped up and said that he would assist in paying the initiation fee that he desired very much that I should join, and Dr. Woods, who had joined the party, also joined with the other in soliciting me to become a Son of Temperance, and saying that they would pay the dues in the division. I still persisted, by saying that if they would permit me to have the spree out; I would then turn my serious attention to the matter. This remark did not in the least shake their friendly importunities; they continued their solicitation until I was finally induced to take a sensible view of the matter. I reflected that my best friends were here using every