The Murder at Buskirk’s Bridge, Part 9.

The Preliminary Hearing at Salem

James Brownell, Daniel Hitchcock and Huldy Scott Testify


Between Part 7 and this part is the section I originally posted first by mistake. Ted

James Brownell sworn: Knows the defendant, resides about half a mile this side of Buskirk’s Bridge; had a conversation with Baldwin about three weeks previous to the murder, it took place in Baldwin’s corn field; I told him I thought his corn was light; he said it was caused by Lansing’s cattle, which Lansing had turned into it; he then told me of his difficulty with Lansing; I asked him how he came on with the suit in relation to his cutting the leg of the ox; he said it was all got along with, that they could not prove anything against him; he said the last witness they had was McCarthy and that what he had testified to was false in two points; he said Lansing had treated him to make him his witness; that he was under the influence of liquor at the suit; he told me McCarthy had sworn false but would not make anything out of it; he did not tell me how he would not make anything out of it, nor did I understand it as a threat at the time; I was at McCarthy’s early on the morning of the murder; defendant was there, he was looking on; we all went away and came back again; defendant had his coat on in the morning; I saw defendant there about 11 or 12 o’clock, was in his shirt sleeves; Mr. Hitchcock directed my attention to some blood on his pantaloons, it was on the back side of his hip, half an inch wide and one inch and a half wide; it was of a bright red color as if fresh, the stain was not deep; the skirt of his coat would cover it, it was crosswise of his thigh; I had a conversation with him after he was arrested, about half an hour after; he said he supposed he was arrested because McCarthy was a witness against him; had further conversation with him in the evening; asked him where he went the day before the murder; he said he went in the morning to Edwin Hays; from there to Mr. Houghton’s, where he got a horse and wagon, thence to Charles Gifford’s and by way of Waite’s Corners to North White Creek where he saw John S. Crocker and from there he went directly home; I saw defendant pass about 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon; I asked him if he went away again that afternoon or evening; he said he could prove that he was home until bedtime by Edwin Neif, that Neif was at his house as late as 8 o’clock in the evening, and that he was preparing to go to bed when the young man left, he said he had not undressed himself, but the young man knew from his appearance that he was just going to bed; I was a member of the committee appointed to investigate the murder.

Cross-Examined: The conversation in the corn-field was two or three weeks before the murder; defendant told me Lansing had hung his (defendant’s) geese under the rail fence.

Daniel L. Hitchcock sworn: Says I reside in Hoosick, near Buskirk’s Bridge; an acquainted with defendant; I was at the home of deceased near the middle of the day after the murder, saw Baldwin in the yard, I saw some blood on his pantaloons behind, on the left side of his left thigh, appeared two and a half inches long, half an inch or more wide, and looked as though it had been wiped off his fingers, it was across the hip, there were other stains upon his pantaloons having the appearance of blood, the large spot had a fresh bright appearance. I called the attention of James Brownell and others to it; defendant’s attention was called to it after his arrest and I saw him scratching to get it off; when his attention was called to it he was considerably agitated; I took hold of his pantaloons and looked at it; it appeared to have been done by a persons fingers and one part of it was clotted blood.

Cross-Examined: There was blood on McCarthy’s body, on his left elbow and as large as a man’s hand on his side; when I called Baldwin’s attention to the spot on his pantaloons, he said he didn’t know it, guessed there was no blood there, if there was it had come off his finger.

Direct resumed: I saw the place where McCarthy’s body was found, there was a large spot of blood, also blood on his outside clothes.

Huldy Scott sworn: Says I am acquainted with defendant, and now reside in Shaftsbury; I left Mr. Lansing, at Buskirk’s Bridge, two weeks ago. I recollect when the court was at Salem, was there; shortly before that I had a conversation with defendant about the ox affair; it was in the road; I was going up to the bridge and met him; he said he understood Lansing was going to sue him in the ox case and that he would kill anyone that went against him as a witness.

Cross-Examined: I was a witness in the examination about the ox and went to Salem as a witness in the same affair; I did not know there was to be a suit before this conversation; I don’t recollect ever telling anyone what I heard Baldwin say; I have told no one this week till today; I told Mr. Lansing today; I was subpoenaed in this matter yesterday; I apprehended no danger from his threat until I heard of the murder; defendant and I have been on good terms previous to that suit and have had no difficulty since.


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