25 March 2011

A Friend of Friends Friday: Negro Man Named Bob Brought to Jail

Augusta Chronicle, Georgia
24 April 1840
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)

BROUGHT TO JAIL, on the 15th instant, a negro man by the name of BOB, and says he belongs to Samuel Felder of Perry, Houston county, Geo. Said negro is about five feet nine or ten inches high, of light complexion, no scars, except one on the breast by the whip. The owner is requested to come forward, pay charges and take him away. JAMES HALL, Sheriff

22 March 2011

Samuel Felder's Confederate Application for Presidential Pardon (Amanuensis Monday Tuesday)

Yesterday I posted a transcription of Edward Lewis Felder's Confederate Application for Presidential Pardon. Today I will bring you his father's. Samuel Felder was born 24 November 1796 in South Carolina, possibly a son of Henry Felder and Margaret Standmeyer. In 1860 he was living in Houston County, Georgia with a combined real and personal estate valued at $107,152. He was the owner of twenty slaves.

Samuel's son (Samuel Felder, Jr.) enlisted and fought with Company C, Georgia 6th Infantry Regiment. Samuel, Jr. died from wounds 1 June 1862, most likely in Virginia as a result of the Battle of Seven Pines.
[Pg 1, Left Side]
Houston Co Georgia
Aug 16th 1865

Felder Samuel

Applies for Pardon

_____ Dist of Columbus
Macon Georgia
Aug 16th 1865
Respectfully forwarded
Jno Thorton
Brig Genrl U.S.V.

[Pg 1, Right Side]
Houston County
Samuel Felder
_____ application for pardon

Executive Office
Provisional Govt of Geo
Milledgeville, Sep 8, 1865
This applicant makes what I believe to be an honest confession of his great sorrow in favoring the secession of Georgia. He is represented as a reliable and conscientious man, and certainly takes a proper view of the results of the war. So, I believe he will in future make a peaceable & loyal citizen. I recommend his pardon.
J. Johnson
Pro Gov of Ga

Eli Warren Atto for applicant & his address is "Fort Valley
Houston County

[Pg 2]
Perry, Houston County, Georgia
August the 12th 1865,

To His Excellency Andrew Johnson, President of the United States -- J.C.

I am a citizen of Houston County Georgia, residing in the town of Perry. I am Sixty eight years old & have a wife & five living children - I am excluded from the benefits of the Amnesty Proclamation of your Excellency of the 29th May last and under the 13 chapter therein only & Because I was a voluntarily participant in the late Rebelion of the South against the United States - and was on the said 29th of May & am now worth in taxable property over the sum of Twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars besides slaves, and respectfully ask that your Excellency grant me a special pardon, that being the only exception in said proclamation _____

The government of the United States has no property of min it its possession -- nor am I aware of having any property of the Government of the United States in my possession -

No proceedings have been commenced against me in any of the courts of the United States for Treason - or for conspiracy against the Government of the United States - so far as I know, or believe or ever heard of -

I am neither a politician or professional man and never held a civil or military office in my life except some 40 years ago I was a Justice of the Peace, - I ever & always have been a farmer and have devoted the most of my time & attention to that business -- And I know less about the Constitution & political matters than those [Pg 3] should know that have made them their study. An unfortunate strife has long since existed between the North & the South upon the slavery question -- Many leading politicians of the South professed to believe - & so assured the people, that for Georgia or the slave states to secede from the union would put an end to that strife, be a complete remedy for that evil -- That it was a rightful & peaceable remedy, that instead of causing a war between the two sections that it was a measure of peace between them - & would result in good to both North & South - because it would restore & establish peace between the two sections. -- This was what many of the leading politicians in the South assured the people -- Those to whom I had been in the habit of looking for advice on political matters & who had my confidence assured me that no war - but peace between the two sections on the slavery question would result from secession - and confiding in their opinions & judgement on the subject of secession & wishing to see the strife so long & so unhapily existing between the North & the South on the slavery question put an end to - & that to peaceably - I was for that cause, in favor of Georgia's seceeding from the Union - & so voted for members of the Convention that passed the Ordinance of Secession. -- In giving that vote, I am satisfied that I at least made a great mistake - for I was deceived as to the effect of secession upon the peace of the country - & my conduct in that regard I regret. ~

But what assumed to be a Confederate Government having soon thereafter been established - I then felt it to be [Pg 4] right to aid to some extent the country of my residence in the war that it seems so unexpectedly to me, resulted from or _____ out of secession -- In this though I never took up arms or in any way entered the service of the Confederate States - so called - but did contribute something in money & supplies to sustain the confederate soldiers in the field - this I did though to a limited extent. ~

But the war has terminated disastrously to the South & I most heartily wish it never had commenced & I pray your Excellency to grant me a special pardon as I desire to be restored to all the rights & privileges of a citizen of the United States. ~ I recognize the fact that slavery is dead & cannot be revived -- I have taken an Amnesty Oath hereto attached & will in good faith conform to all the obligations thereby imposed.
I am very Respectfully
Your Obedient Servant
SamL Felder

Houston County

Before me personally came Samuel Felder of said county & state and being duly sworn says on oath that the facts stated in his foregoing petition are true. ~
Sworn to & subscribed before me, this August 12th - 1865
W. T. Swift Ordinary
Houston Co Ga
Samuel died a couple of years later on 3 October 1867. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery at Perry, Georgia. His epitaph states he was A Baptist 40 Years.

21 March 2011

Edward Felder's Confederate Application for Presidential Pardon (Amanuensis Monday)

Edward Lewis Felder was born 3 May 1826 in South Carolina to Samuel and Ann Felder. In 1860, he was living in Houston County, Georgia and was the owner of thirty slaves. Here is a transcript of his Confederate Application for Presidential Pardon:

[Pg 1, Left Side]
Application for Special Pardon by Edward L. Felder
of Houston County State of Georgia
Within 13 Exception
Sept 28 / 65
Worth over $20,000
Perry, Geo

[Pg 1, Right Side]
Executive Officer
Provisional Govt of Geo
Milledgeville Sep 2 1865
I recommend pardon & amnesty for this applicant, as I am satisfied from his character and petition, he will prove a peaceable, loyal & useful citizen.
J. Johnson
Pro Gov of Ga

[Pg 2]
Application for Special Pardon
State of Georgia
Houston County
Town of Perry
August 26th, 1865

To His Excellency Andrew Johnson
President of the United States

The Petition of Edward L. Felder respectfully showeth that he is a resident citizen of said county and state, that he is thirty nine years of age, that he has a wife and six children, and that he is excluded from the benefits of Amnesty Proclamation of May 29. Eighteen Hundred and Sixty five. only by reason of his holding property of the value of Twenty Thousand Dollars, though Petitioner is _____, but little if any over that amount.

Your Petitioner respectfully showeth that none of his property is in possession of the United States Government and that no proceedings have been instituted against him in any of the courts of the United States, for treason or conspiracy against the Government of the United States.

Your Petitioner further showeth that in Eighteen Hundred and Sixty, he voted for delegates to the state conventions to consider such measures as might be necessary, to [redress? reduce?], what all professed to _____, grievances to the South. with the understanding however, that said delegates were not in favor of secession, as the only remedy. And your petitioner [Pg 3] now sees that secession was a great and fatal mistake. Your Petitioner has never been in the service of the Confederate States, and fully recognizes the authority and dignity of the United States and acquiesces in its policy.

Your Petitioner has informed his former slaves that they are free, and made a fair and liberal contract with them, which has been approved by the Commandant of this post. and realizes and acknowledges the fact, that slavery is forever extinguished.

Your Petitioner has already lost greatly by the war.

Your Petitioner has taken and subscribed the oath hereto attached and will faithfully observe its obligations, and desires to be restored to all the rights and privileges of a citizen of the United States. Therefore your Petitioner prays that your Excellency may grant him a Special Pardon, and your Petitioner will ever pray & c & c.

E. L. Felder

(Affidavit and Amnesty Oath over.)

[Pg 4]
State of Georgia
Houston County

Ordinarys Office in & for said County

I Edward L. Felder of said county and state do swear before Almighty God, that the facts stated in the foregoing petition to which my signature appears are true.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day August 26th 1865.
W. T. Swift
Ordny Houston County Georgia

Apparently, Edward was able to maintain his lifestyle even after the war, as the 1870 Houston County, Georgia federal census shows his real estate plus personal estate combine to be valued at $72,000.

Edward died 25 August 1872 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery at Perry, Houston County, Georgia.

19 March 2011

Julia Force is Dead (A Southern Family Secret Finale)

Final part of A Southern Family Secret, the saga of Julia Force.

Julia died 30 March 1916, still an inmate of the Georgia State Sanitarium. An obituary:

Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Georgia
27 April 1916
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


State Stirred by Crime for Which She Was Convicted.

Atlanta, Ga. -- News was received in Atlanta Wednesday of the death of Julia Force, at the state sanitarium at Milledgeville. She was the central figure in a tragedy that stirred the entire state in 1893, when she killed her mother [sic] and two sisters following family quarrels. She was judged insane.

News was also received that she had been buried in the city cemetery there in the lot of a former matron of the hospital. [End]

Julia was indeed buried in the same lot of a former matron of the hospital, Mrs. Johnanna Mitchell Darnell. The cemetery is Memory Hill in Milledgeville, GA. Mrs. Darnell also happened to be the granddaughter of a former Georgia Governor, David Brydie Mitchell. Johnanna and Julia are buried in the governor's lot. The former governor died in 1837. I wonder if he could ever have imagined a "murderess" would be interred less than six feet from his remains almost 80 years after his death.

Some additional notes:

Central State Hospital (the name it is currently known by) in Milledgeville, Georgia was founded in 1842. It is still active and a well-known facility to this day.

Julia's sisters, brothers, and parents were all laid to rest in Oakland Cemetery of Atlanta. Julia's mother died in 1900, her brother Albert died in 1917, and her brother George died in 1921.

18 March 2011

To an Asylum Goes the Murderess Julia Force (A Southern Family Secret Part IV)

Part IV of A Southern Family Secret, the saga of Julia Force.

Here are a few newspaper accounts of Julia Force's commitment to the State Insane Asylum at Milledgeville, Georgia:

Savannah Tribune, Georgia
8 July 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)

SUBTERFUGE was practiced in Atlanta by sending the woman Julia Force who murdered her sisters recently to Milledgeville as an insane person. It is said by many that she is not insane, but that this was done only to keep her family from being humiliated.

Kalamazoo Gazette, Michigan
19 July 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


Goes the Murderess Julia Force, a Former Leader in Atlanta Society.

Miss Julia Force, who slew her two sisters in Atlanta last February, was committed to the State insane asylum at Milledgeville last week. When Miss Force was introduced into the asylum parlor she greeted the superintendent, whom she had known previously. She told him that she was not and never had been insane; that she had been driven to desperation by the ill-treatment of her family, and that she had killed her sisters. She said the legal proceedings which held her back from conviction were acceptable to her family and she submitted, if that would do them any good. She explained that she would like occupation while in the asylum and as she was a trained nurse, graduated from a Protestant Episcopal convent in New York, she would do duty in that capacity. It is likely that her request will be complied with, as she seems to be perfectly sane...

Afro-American Advocate, Kansas
28 July 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)

JULIA FORCE of Atlanta has been acquitted of the charge of murdering her two sisters, the court deciding that while she was so crazy as to make the killing no crime, she is not crazy enough to be restrained of her liberty. As the gentle Julia has some more relatives that she doesn't like it behooves them to buckle on their armor or emigrate. [End]

Julia H. Force can be found in 1900 and 1910 federal census records as an inmate at the Georgia State Sanitarium in Baldwin County, Georgia. Ages listed as 51 and 61, respectively.

Tomorrow, the finale.

Part II: Miss Julia Force's Story: Why She Murdered Her Two Sisters

Part III: Julia Force Will Not Be Hanged, to Be Placed in an Asylum

17 March 2011

Julia Force Will Not Be Hanged, To Be Placed in an Asylum (A Southern Family Secret Part III)

Part III of A Southern Family Secret, the saga of Julia Force.

New York Herald
27 June 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


Insanity Successfully Pleaded in the Trial of the Girl Accused of Double Murder.


Notwithstanding the Strong Defense the State Will Try Hard to Secure a Conviction.


ATLANTA, Ga. June 26, 1893 -- Miss Julia Force will find herself an inmate of the insane asylum to-morrow. Her trial for the murder of her two sisters opened today in the criminal courts of the county of Fulton, and before the day's work was over it was apparent to all that the crime was committed because of the woman's insanity; that the State almost abandoned the case...It is a certainly that a verdict of insanity will come within fifteen minutes after the jury retires...

The prisoner, dressed in a claret colored street costume, with her face heavily veiled, walked into the court room leaning on the arm of her aunt, Mrs. Conley. The two women took seats in the centre of the room, immediately opposite the Judge. Miss Force closed her eyes, rested her hands on the arms of the chair and sighed...

[Mrs. Force, the mother of the prisoner, and Julia's brothers (G. H. and A. W.) testified in support of insanity.]

...Chief of Police Connolly testified that when he met Miss Force in his office she refused to say anything to him about the crime or who committed it. Soon afterward, however, she unpinned from her throat a breastpin containing her father's picture and handed it to him, saying she was unworthy to wear it...

...Witness told her of the awful crime, but she seemed to take it as an everyday affair, and said she had been maltreated by those who should have loved her.

[While speaking to a doctor the morning after the shootings]...She had told him then that her brothers were cruel to her and she had to get her sisters out of the way, as they were instrumental in the treatment given by her brothers. She said she prayed for deliverance and added, "But it had to be."

[Two doctors] said in conclusion he believed Miss Force was a monomaniac. [From Wikipedia: "In 19th century psychiatry, monomania is a single pathological preoccupation in an otherwise sound mind...In 1880, it was one of the seven recognized categories of mental illness." Example = Paranoia.]

[Julia was age 38; Florence was age 30; and Minnie was age 25.]...The news of the tragedy created intense excitement, owing in some measure to the prominence of the Force family, two members of which, G. H. and A. W., are successful shoe manufacturers in Atlanta. The general impression was that Miss force was insane, and her erratic conduct on many previous occasions seemed to furnish good grounds for such an impression.

...This gray haired woman with the strong but stern face was brought before a jury on February 28, and heard a writ read, in which the members of her family expressed their beliefs that she was insane...[doctor stated she was "under the influence of an insane delusion" that "her family were her enemies..."].

Mrs. Force then testified that her daughter Julia had not been mentally balanced since October 16, 1892, on which day she had acted very strangely and altogether like an insane person. Finally Mr. Albert W. Force testified that his sisters's mind was unsound, that all her grievances were imaginary and that for some days before the tragedy he had fully expected to be shot down every time he went home to dinner or opened the door. He also pointed our that one of his brothers was in an insane asylum and that his aunt's mind has been at one time unbalanced. In regard to his sister's complaint that storekeepers had been instructed not to give her credit, he said that he had given such instructions, as he did not consider his sister responsible. The jury then questioned Miss Force and in reply she said that she was not insane, that her family has always wronged her, and that, though she had a high temper, she had ever tried to do right. The jury declared her insane, at which she protested loudly, saying "I am not insane!" Finally, on March 9, the Grand Jury indicted her for murder. [End]

Tomorrow: To an Asylum Goes the Murderess Julia Force.

Part II: Miss Julia Force's Story: Why She Murdered Her Two Sisters.

Part V: Julia Force is Dead

16 March 2011

Miss Julia Force's Story: Why She Murdered Her Two Sisters (A Southern Family Secret Part II)

Part II of A Southern Family Secret, the saga of Julia Force.

The State, South Carolina
28 February 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)



Slighted All Her Life by the Other Members of the Family -- Details of the Horrible Tragedy

ATLANTA, Ga. Feb 27 -- Today's sensation is the publication of the full statement of Julia Force who murdered her two sisters. It is a statement probably ten thousand words in length, and was found by the police in possession of a friend of Miss Force, to whom it had been entrusted, but who knew nothing of its contents.

It is the story of the life of a high-strung, sensitive child, who grew to womanhood and to mature maidenly years in the belief that her mother, sisters and brothers at all times slighted her. She goes into minute details of many happenings in the family, which she takes as corroborating all she has claimed.

"They all loved my sisters better than they did me," the story goes. "Of course, they were younger while I was growing older. Everything in the house was for 'Sister Minnie,' or for 'Sister Florence.' A new dress or a new ornament would always look so well on them, without ever once referring to how it would look on me. I had the trouble of helping to raise them, because I was the oldest, and it made my blood boil to see them preferred before me in the love of brothers and mother. I could not stand it; no, and nobody else would."

After summing up a great many instances of imaginary wrong she goes on: "I was willing to bear my private griefs in private. I did not wish to harrow the public with the story of my personal griefs. But when public disgrace is piled upon me by notifying merchants not to credit me, the limit of endurance has been reached. When the clerks along the streets can thus point at me, for what have I to live? Just think of it! I am thus marked out, while my sisters are favored and fondled and petted. Public disgrace is too much, and I can't, will not, stand it."

"It is enough," she writes. "I have borne all I can bear. May God avenge, and, for every insult that has been given me, heap the crushing weight of insult, mortification and suffering, moral and physical, upon the heads of those scoundrels and traitors (meaning her brothers). Oh, my Father! help your child."

Thus was the climax reached on Friday. Miss Julia according to the story as told by herself, resolved to immediately execute the vengeance she had been plotting so long. She gave no sign of her intention. Her mother left home early in the morning to be gone until after noon. Miss Julia seized upon the opportunity to do the terrible deed. She went up town and purchased a good pistol and a box of cartridges. She loaded the pistol and laid it aside for use.

She then took from her trunk the statement which she had been preparing for so many months. She wrote a final entry upon its pages, and drawing a heavy line across the bottom of the page, signifying that the end had been reached, she hurriedly left home and went to a friend's house and left the statement. She then returned home.

The time for her deadly revenge had come. She sent Lula Jenkins, the house girl, off on an errand. The cook was first sent to the grocery store, and then after her brothers.

With the cook and house girl away, Miss Julia was alone in the house with her victims. No one knew of her fatal purpose. Without the quiver of a muscle she made her last preparations for the slaughter. Across the hall was her sister Minnie. The young lady was engaged in doing some fancy needlework, and as she worked she sang. Scarce ten feet away her murderous, maniacal sister was loading a revolver. Outside the sunlight gleamed and the street was full of noise of the noon of day.

Miss Julia crept across the hall into the room in which Miss Minnie, all unsuspecting, sat alone. Miss Julia held the pistol behind her. Miss Minnie looked up with an expression of displeasure as her elder sister entered her room. Her relations with her sister were always of an exceedingly acrid nature and she greeted her sister's appearance with disgust.

"Minnie, why did you tell the storekeeper not to sell me anymore goods?" asked Miss Julia venomously.

The young lady started to reply, but before she could do so Julia threw the pistol from behind her, and, placing it almost against Miss Minnie's head, fired. The young lady dropped to the floor with a groan. She writhed a little in the death agony. Blood spurted from the bullet hole. Julia bent over her dying sister and watched her expiring struggles. While she stood over her with the smoking revolver in her hand, Miss Minnie died. After being shot she never spoke once.

Miss Julia then locked the door and walked upstairs to Miss Florence's room. The invalid was standing beside the fireplace in her nightgown. Julia was in a terrible mood and Miss Florence received her coldly, Julia spoke to her sick sister roughly.

"Julia, will you leave the room?" Miss Florence said.

Julia's eyes gleamed with an expression of deadly hatred. She made a move toward her trembling sister. Miss Florence started toward her bed. Weak as a babe from long sickness, she tottered as she walked.

Behind her come her sister, bent on her terrible revenge. The younger lady reached the bedside in safety.

Florence had turned as she reached her bed to see if her sister was leaving her. Julia was beside her, the fatal pistol in her hand. Florence threw up her hands. There was a sharp report, and Miss Florence fell back upon the white sheets with a bullet in her brain.

Julia saw the blood stream from her sister's head and left the room. She locked the door behind her, and walking downstairs and out of the house she made her way to police headquarters. There was no undue haste; she was calm. The rest is known.

Miss Force will be tried on a writ of lunacy tomorrow. [End]

The articles posted so far were from the time Julia spent before the Grand Jury. She was indicted for murder and the trial was set for the summer.

Tomorrow, the verdict.

Part IV: There Goes the Murderess

Part V: Julia Force is Dead

15 March 2011

Crazy Julia Force Shoots and Kills Her Sisters: A Southern Family Secret

When reading through the Summer 2010 edition of Georgia Backroads magazine, I became thoroughly interested in an article by Gaynie G. Guy and Hugh T. Harrington entitled "Julia Force: Victorian Murderess." The crime depicted took place more than 11 decades ago and rocked not only the state of Georgia, but the nation.

Julia Force was the oldest daughter of B. W. and Julia Force. In February 1893, she shot and killed her two sisters, Florence and Minnie, in Atlanta, GA. She claims this was in retaliation to the treatment she received from not only them, but her mother and two older brothers as well. Julia claimed she was physically abused and treated like a slave. The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, however, came in the form of public embarrassment. This occurred when her brother Albert instructed a local merchant to no longer extend credit to his sister Julia.

In Julia's mind, killing her two sisters not only would greatly pain the family, but also humiliate them. In the end, the family had to deal with the sorrow and loss of the two young women to be sure, but they managed to get back at Julia as well. They had her judged to be insane and committed to the state asylum. Instead of public humiliation, they received pity from the communities around the state, which likely also extended to the state of South Carolina, as they were a well known family there, as well.

I read several historical newspaper accounts of the crime and decided to transcribe and place some here. The story is quite fascinating and definitely part of Atlanta, Georgia (and consequently Milledgeville, Baldwin County) history. While it is clear the media is definitely slanted toward Julia being insane, I truthfully cannot decide one way or the other. What do you think? This will be a series of posts.

St. Louis Republic, Missouri
26 February 1893
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


Crazy Julia Force Shoots and Kills Her Sisters.


A Maniac's Hatred That Had Been Nourished for Years.


The Murderess a Physically Perfect Woman, but "Queer."


Special to The Republic.
ATLANTA, Ga. Feb 23 -- Miss Julia Force, a monomaniac, whose one fatal delusion, cherished for years, was that her mother and sisters were her bitterest enemies, to-day noon wreaked vengeance, which she had plotted for years, by putting a bullet into the brain of each of her younger sisters.

Miss Julia was alone in the house at the time, and it is believed that she crept behind her sisters and shot them while they were not looking. Miss Minnie Force, aged 28, was killed instantly and Miss Florence, aged 32, lingered in great agony for two hours.

Locking her victims in the room in which they had been shot, Miss Julia quietly donned her street costume, and walking hurriedly to police headquarters she surrendered herself. She had lost none of her steady nerve and the officers did not notice the maniacal gleam in her calm eyes. She told the officers of her deed without a quiver.

At the inquest held to-day it was found simply that the two young women had met their death at the hands of their sister.

Miss Julia Force, who did the killing, is the eldest sister of G. H. and A. W. Force, the proprietors of a shoe store on Whitehall street. She is about 34 years old, and is a fine specimen of physical womanhood, though not beautiful in face. Since the family removed here, some years ago, Miss Julia Force has made her home with her two brothers. She received every situation that brotherly love could prompt. She had always been regarded as queer, was willful, and would become melancholy and wretched for days at a time over some fancied slight. She was of an extremely jealous nature, and it was a favorite delusion of hers that her mother and two younger sisters were her enemies and were continually plotting to make her unhappy.

The family is one of the oldest and best of Charleston, S.C. Before the war they were prominent in the social life of the Carolina city, and were types of the old Southern aristocracy. After the war George H. Force and his brother Albert W., came to this city, and have lived here since. They are excellent business men.

11 Jun 1880 Federal Census
Atlanta, Fulton County, GA
After the death of their father they brought their mother and three sisters here to live with them. Of recent years they have lived at 44 Crew street, on the corner of Woodward avenue. The elder of the two brothers, Mr. A. W. Force, has been married for 22 years, but lost his wife two months ago. He has two sons, about grown. Mr. George Force has never married, although he is past middle age. He has devoted his time to the care of his widowed mother and fatherless sisters. The only shadow that hovered over the happy home was that thrown by the peculiar delusion of the eldest sister, which was as unfounded as it was unreasonable. On all other subjects she was perfectly sane. But her mad idea that her own mother and sisters were against her poisoned all her life and made her morose and discontented. It grew upon her to such an extent that she became insane.

This mania is responsible for today's terrible tragedy. After her mother had left the house this afternoon, Miss Julia sent the two servants off on errands, one to a grocery store near by, the other to her brother's store, sending him word that his sister Minnie was worse and for him to come home. As soon as the servants had left she seems to have set about to take terrible revenge for her fancied wrongs. Quietly she stepped into the room where her sick sister lay. Placing a pistol at her right temple, she fired. Death may have been instantaneous.

Quickly she stepped into the next room and put a bullet in the brain of the other sister, who was doing some light work.

...After the shooting she laid the pistol down, put on her hat and cloak and walked leisurely to the police station, and there she announced what she had done. The officers thought she was simply crazy, that there was no truth in the story, but soon came confirmation from the brother, who had rushed home, as he thought, to the sickbed of his sister.

Miss Force is calm and serene. She declares that she is perfectly sane and what she has done has been simply to get even for her wrongs. This tragedy, coming as it did as a climax to a week of blood and sensation, has caused the greatest excitement here. [End]

Tomorrow, Part II: Miss Julia Force's Story: Why She Murdered Her Two Sisters.

Part III: The Verdict.

Part IV: There Goes the Murderess

Part V: Julia Force is Dead