27 April 2013

Hanging at Macon: the Sheriff Never Did a Neater Job

The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
26 May 1894, pg. 3

HANGING AT MACON.

Henry Miller, one of John Braswell's Murderers, Dies on the Gallows.

A MEMBER OF A DESPERATE GANG

Though He Declared He Was Innocent When on the Scaffold He Had Confessed Some Terrible Crimes.


Macon, Ga., May 25. -- (Special) -- Henry Miller, colored, was hanged today, at 12:17 o'clock, for the murder of Mr. John Braswell, a well-known farmer of this county. The execution was private, in the jail yard, in this city. He was hanged on a new patent iron gallows, which worked perfectly under the manipulation of Sheriff Westcott. There was nothing bungling whatever about the hanging. The sheriff never did a neater job. Within six minutes after the trap was sprung Miller was pronounced dead by the attending physicians, J. C. Johnson, E. G. Ferguson and J. H. D. Worsham. His neck was broken by the drop. Soon after the hanging the body was carried to Miller a former home, in the Warrior district, a few miles from the city. Miller was twenty-six years old. He has always claimed that he was innocent of the crime, and he died on the scaffold today protesting his innocence. He said that his blood would rest on the head of the jurors and all others who had anything to do with sending him to the gallows. He declared that on the night of the murder, when he left the several negroes, who were arrested for the crime George Troutman had the gun, but he didn't know who fired it. Miller was tried several months ago, found guilty and sentenced to death.

The case was appealed to the Supreme court, but a new trial was refused, and Miller was resentenced to die today. One of his associates in crime, Wash Boston, is serving a life sentence in the penitentiary. The other negroes, who were charged with the crime, have been discharged from custody.

In the latter part of last year, one night, Mr. Braswell while in his wagon, en route home, was waylaid murdered and robbed. The crime was traced to Miller and Boston.

Miller stated today that he was one of a band of negroes who styled themselves kuklux and had committed numerous crimes. He intimated that he had killed the negro, Pink Ryan at the street car stables several months ago and participated in the murder of two men whose bodies had been thrown into the river. He said the members of the kuklux band had sworn never to tell on each other.

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