The Murder at Buskirk’s Bridge, Part 7

The Murder at Buskirk’s Bridge, Part 7.

The Preliminary Hearing at Salem

Thomas Arnds and Harmon Quackenbush Testify


Harmon Quackenbush sworn: I remember the night McCarthy was murdered. I heard guns in the direction of McCarthy’s, between 9 and 10 o’clock; I heard steps passing by my door a few minutes before, at the same time I heard steps in the road. I again heard the steps a minute or so after I heard the guns; some appeared to be going down the road and some down the hill. A man could cross the brook if no bridge had been there.

Cross-Examined: In going from Lansing’s to McCarthy’s they would go by my door, or else clean around by the blacksmith shop. After I heard the footsteps a person would have had time to go up to McCarthy’s. There might have been one, two, or three who passed my door. I could not have heard Baldwin’s door open and shut for the brook makes a noise. I heard the footsteps a little sooner after than before the guns.

Thomas Arnds sworn: Says, I knew Patrick McCarthy in his lifetime, and Baldwin. I saw the defendant at McCarthy’s the next morning after the murder. I saw some blood on defendant’s pantaloons, on the left side of his hip. Daniel Hitchcock called my attention to it. When the defendant was in my shop at one time I asked him how he came on with his suit; he said he hardly knew; but in speaking of McCarthy he said he had sworn to a lie, and d—-n the bugger. I will make him suffer for it. When I saw the blood on his pantaloons it looked fresh, and as if it had been washed off. The murder was committed between 9 and 10 o’clock. There was blood on McCarthy’s mouth and on his arm.

Cross-Examined: He said d—-n the buggers, he would make them suffer for it. The spot of blood was about an inch long and half an inch wide. I think I saw another little spot of blood on his leg behind.

(In some of the previous testimonies, the name McCarthy was variously spelled McCarty and McCarthy – I stuck with the most commonly use spelling – Ted)

Washington County Post, Issue of November 14, 1850:

We omitted in our report last week the testimony of Matthew Hurley – it related to a gun that belonged to James Caffrey and that had been taken from Jacob Chase’s, in Hoosick, one night previous to the murder. Owen Thompson and James Caffrey entirely explained this gun business in their testimony. The gun was owned by James Caffrey and was taken by him at the time alluded to, to his employer, Mr. Ostrander, in Hoosick. He was not acquainted with John Caffrey.


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