The Preliminary Hearing at Salem
Gideon F. Mattison and Jeremiah McCarthy Testify
Gideon F. Mattison sworn: Says I am some acquainted with Baldwin; saw him and had a conversation last court week at Salem; he commenced telling me the story about Lansing’s ox; said that there was a witness who, if he came up and swore as he had before, he (deft.) would have to go to States Prison, he supposed, but if he escaped States Prison, that witness should never have a chance to swear against him again; he told the name which I have forgotten; I don’t recollect of hearing the name before.
Cross-Examined: This conversation was at the Salem Hall, on the north end of the steps; I never heard the name of McCarthy before, to my knowledge; he did not say the witness had sworn false; I heard him mention Lansing’s name; he said nothing against Lansing as a witness.
Direct Resumed: The name of McCarthy is not a familiar one to me, the name of Lansing is; and so also are the names of Williams and Scott.
Cross-Examined: I thought from what defendant said that he would put the witness where he would not swear against him again; I thought the witness would be in danger. Williams was not the witness defendant alluded to as material.
Jeremiah McCarthy sworn: I am brother of deceased; I was at Salem at the October court; I saw Baldwin there; on Wednesday I met him between Robinson’s store and Howe’s tavern and had a conversation about the Lansing ox suit; I asked if they had found a bill against him; he said he didn’t know as they had, and if they had not found a bill against him, by Jesus, I will make some of them jump; I said give it to them; he said I will and you will hear of it; I then told him that my brother had not sworn to anything that would hurt him; I told him what my brother Patrick had told me that he had sworn to; he told me that Patrick had sworn that he turned in the ox safe, how did the damn fool know the ox was sound inside; that Patrick should have sworn that the ox was sound as far as he knew.
Cross-Examined: I did not mean anybody when I told him to go ahead, I said it in fun; I know that my brother and the defendant had no friendly feeling towards each other.
The examination of Baldwin was finished late last evening. We shall give the testimony for the defense in full hereafter. He was committed for trial.
This will be the last in this series for a time.
The Preliminary Hearing at Salem
James Brownell recalled, Edward Neif testifies, Nehemiah Williams recalled.
James Brownell recalled, Cross-Examination resumed: Prisoner said McCarthy was the principal witness against him and would not make anything out of it; I understood him to mean that the grand jury would not find a bill against him; I did not hear him say that he was going to prepare a complaint against him for perjury; he complained more of Lansing than McCarthy; his only complaint against McCarthy was for swearing false; I did not see the blood on his pantaloons in the morning; should not have noticed it had it been there; it is not uncommon to see blood on one’s pantaloons on ordinary occasions; saw no blood on the clothes of no other one that day; I went with Hitchcock and others to examine the premises of Baldwin on the day of the murder; we examined the blacksmith shop and the houses of Perry, Caffrey, Williams, Arnds, and Baldwin; found nothing to create suspicion; Baldwin and his wife were both cheerful and made us welcome at the door; during the examination of his premises the defendant maintained his usual appearance, and I thought he did till it was mentioned to him that there was blood on his pantaloons; he then exhibited no other appearance than any one would who believed himself suspected of murder.
Direct resumed: The mark of blood on his pantaloons were perfectly apparent when the attention was called to it; am quite positive it was blood.
Edward Neif sworn: Says I reside at Buskirk’s Bridge; know defendant, was at his house on either Wednesday or Thursday evening of last week, I went in about 6 o’clock and staid only a few minutes, perhaps five or six, and then went home; defendant was then home and doing nothing; he made no preparation to go to bed while I was there; I saw nothing that induced me to think he was going to bed; he didn’t act as if about going to bed; I did not go there again that evening.
Cross-examined: I live about 15 rods from defendant; I seldom go there, not more than once in a week; was not there but once last week, and then I just walked in and then walked out; I am in the habit of going to bed about 7 o’clock; I know the defendant’s daughter, Catherine, saw her at home that evening.
Nehemiah Williams recalled: I worked for defendant one year ago last summer, had a conversation with him in reference to a complaint that he supposed was going to be made against him by Mr. Bowen for selling spirits; he said if Bowen did inform against him he would kill or be the death of him; that it was no worse to kill an informer than a dog; that any man that would inform against another for selling liquor ought to die.
Cross-Examined: I did not hear him say he would kill McCarthy; the conversation a year ago last summer was had in the presence of Harmon Quackenbush; Quackenbush and I have talked it over a number of times before this murder was committed.
Evidence on the Claim of DONALD MUNRO, late of White
Creek, Albany County, N. York.
Claimt. Sworn :
Says that he lived at Mahiche in 1783, and sent his claim to
England by Coll. Cuyler.
He is a native of Scotland. In 1756 he came to America in
the 60th Regt. He remained in the King’s Service until 1764. The
latter part of that time he was a conductor of waggons.
When he went to White Creek and settled there, where he re-
sided until the war broke out.
Says he at no time joined any party of the Americans.
He was confined for not joining them and furnishing arms to
the King’s friends and gave £300 bail.
In 1777 he joined the B. Army and never went home after
wards. He was employed as Conductor of Wagons. At the Con-
vention he came to Canada and was employed in the Commissary
Department and still continues in that employ at Chaleur Bay.
Produces a Certificate from John Craigie, Esq., Commss. Gen
eral of his being employed as Issuer of Provisions to the Loyalists,
and that he acquitted himself therein with Honesty, diligence and
sobriety, and that he believes him to be an honest Man and a Loyal
120 Acres of Land at White Creek. He purchased it in 1767
of Capt. John Munro when Wild Land. He had cleared 60 acres
and had a House &c., on it.
It was taken possession of by a rebel. Thinks he could have
sold the land and House in 1775 for £200 Hal. Cury. He left
grain one half in Barn £100 cury.
Stock, 14 Cattle, 2 Horses, Hogs and Sheep, Furniture, Farm-
ing Utensils, all these are lost to him and his family.
Produces affidavit of Dd. McGill to Claimt, being a person of
Credit, being a freeholder and having a house, furniture and Stock.
Wits. CAPT. MUNRO, Sworn: Montreal
Knew Claimt., he lived near White Creek. He was a Loyal
He purchased a tract of Land of Wilson in 1767. In 1775 he
had cleared 40 or 50 acres. He paid £200 York for this in ’67.
Thinks it was worth £200 H. C. in 1775. He had a mare and colt
and cattle, an industrious man and was in a good way.
Capt. Munro has a letter from a person whom he can depend
upon, who says that this land was sold under confiscation.
FIRST REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF ARCHIVES FOR THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
Printed by Order of
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario
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.
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.
The Murder at Buskirk’s Bridge, Part 6.
The Preliminary Hearing at Salem
Nehemiah Williams and Mrs. Polly Quackenbush Testify
Nehemiah Williams Sworn: I live within two rods of where deceased lived and probably thirty rods from Baldwins; I was in White Creek on Thursday, I staid all night there; I had a conversation with Baldwin on Wednesday night last; we talked in relation to his suit with Lansing, of its management; he said deceased had sworn falsely against him; he may have said it was a d–d lie; he said deceased wouldn’t gain anything by it; he said that he had never misused deceased and that deceased should not misuse him; that he would be sorry for it; he asked me if I had been subpoenaed; I told him I should go away; he said if I wanted to go he would carry me away on Sunday night. In all talks I have had with Baldwin, he has invariably complained of the testimony of McCarthy; he told me that I had better go away; he said McCarthy had better look out.
Cross-Examined: Mr. Baldwin and Lansing are hostile to each other, the difficulty arose from a quarrel about some geese; he told me he could or should get McCarthy indicted; I went before the grand jury and testified against Baldwin; I have felt in danger for so doing; the reason I wanted to get away was that I feared Mr. Baldwin would injure me in some way; I went occasionally to Baldwin’s house to spend an evening, have been there since the suit; Mrs. Baldwin ordered my grandson to leave her place because he had been a liar and had sworn false; Mr. Baldwin said the poor cusses had all sworn false for a drink of rum.
Direct Resumed: Baldwin said that all McCarthy swore to was false, that he could get him indicted; I have heard McCarthy say that he did not pretend to go to Baldwin’s; that Mrs. Baldwin once took a butcher knife and said she would be the death of him if he entered her house; that he did not go there as he did not want to be butchered.
Mrs. Polly Quackenbush Sworn: I live but a little ways from McCarthy’s; Baldwin is our nearest neighbor; I have conversed with Baldwin; I have heard him say McCarthy had given a false oath; there is a crossing over the creek near our house; I heard someone walk by that night, they passed our door, it was after late bed time; I heard the report of a gun and walking a little time after; there was walking up in the road; they were walking fast and appeared to be more than one; they passed my door just after I heard the gun; to go from McCarthy’s to Baldwin’s they would go by my door.
Cross-Examined: Baldwin’s house is close to mine; I can hear their door when it opens and shuts; they were hurried steps I heard; I did not hear Baldwin’s door; I cannot hear their gate; our family and Baldwin’s are on good terms.
Direct Resumed: I don’t think I could have heard Baldwin’s door had it been opened that night.