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PAGE The Trial of TUCKER, ROBINSON, PATERSON, SCOT and
BAYLEY for Piracy, Charleston, South Carolina, 1718 . . 653 The Trial of SMITH, CARMAN, THOMAS, MORRISON, LIV
ERS, BOOTH, HEWET and LEVIT for Piracy, Charleston,
South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 674 The Trial of EDDY, ANNAND, ROSS, DUNKIN, NICHOLS,
RIDGE, KING, PERRY and VIRGIN for Piracy, Charleston,
South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 677 The Trial of ROBBINS, MULLET, PRICE, LOPEZ and LONG
for Piracy, Charleston, South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . 682 The Trial of ROBINSON, TUCKER, SCOT, BAYLEY, PATER
SON, SMITH, CARMAN and THOMAS for Piracy, Charles
ton, South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 684 The Trial of MORRISON, LIVERS, BOOTH, HEWET, LEVIT,
EDDY, ANNAND, ROSS, DUNKIN and NICHOLS for
Piracy, Charleston, South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . . 689 The Trial of BRIERLY, BOYD, SHARP, CLARKE, and GER
RARD for Piracy, Charleston, South Carolina, 1718 ... 694 The Trial of MAJOR STEDE BONNET for Piracy, Charleston,
South Carolina, 1718 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 710 The Trial of JOHN and SARAH ROBINSON for Kidnaping, Bos
ton, Massachusetts, 1837 · · · · · · · · · · · · · 723 The Trial of JOHN R. KELLY for the Murder of DAVID W.
OXFORD, Dawson, Georgia, 1871 . . . . . . . . . . 735 The Trial of THOMAS WARD for the Killing of ALBERT ROB
INSON, New York City, 1823 . . . . . . . . . . . . 853
THE TRIAL OF FRANCIS BURKE FOR THE MAN-
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 1832.
There existed in the first half of the Nineteenth Century a form of empiric medicine introduced by Samuel Thomson? which had numerous followers in all parts of the United States. The practitioners were not licensed physicians, but were popularly known as Herb Doctors and the system was known as the Thomsonian System. Its three great remedies were sweating, lobelia and capsicum, and one of the leading principles was that the human body was composed of four elements, earth, air, fire and water, and one of its apothegms was that metals and minerals being in the earth, extracting them from its depths and taking them into the human body had the result of carrying back into the earth those that so used them, while on the other hand the tendency of all vegetables was to spring away from the earth, and hence to keep those who consumed them from the grave.
The cholera raged in the City of Baltimore and other parts of the country in the year 1832 and the Thomsonian Method was supposed by its followers to be very efficacious in the scourge. Doubtless many fees were lost by the physicians of the old school on this account, and it was not strange that they should have tried to find an "herb doctor" to make an example of. They found two, Francis Burke and William Bell, whom they were able to prove had put one Hazelip through a course of intense sweating and enormous doses of their favorite remedies. And the patient having died, the Grand Jury was induced to indict them for manslaughter.
Burke, who was tried first, as a sort of test case, did not 1 1769-1843.
deny the treatment, but justified it, and although the regular physicians had any number of their members to testify that the treatment was all wrong and that Hazelip's life would have been saved had he employed a licensed doctor of medicine, they were confounded by the host of people that came forward to show that they had been cured after the regular physicians had failed and that during the cholera epidemic the old school had lost a larger proportion of patients than the new. The defense did not call all the people who were eager to give their testimony for Burke, and the jury took only a few minutes to return a verdict of not guilty.
HON. ALEXANDER NISBET,* Associate Justice.
December 12. The prisoners, Francis Burke and William Bell, had been jointly indicted by the Grand Jury for the manslaughter of
2 Bibliography. #Trial of Francis Burke, Before Baltimore City Court, on an Indictment for Manslaughter, by Administering to Benjamin M. Hazelip Certain Thomsonian Remedies. Baltimore: Printed by James Lucas & E. K. Deaver. 1832."
3BRICE, NICHOLAS. (1771-1851.) Born Annapolis, Md. Son of Judge John Brice, of Annapolis. One of the founders of the Baltimore Library, 1795 (since merged in the Maryland Historical Society). He took part in the defense of Baltimore, 1814. President of the Maryland Colonization Society (1 Md. His. Mag. 375: Sketch of Brice Family in Baltimore Sun, Jan. 13, 1907, p. 17). Judge of the Baltimore City Court when it was established in 1817, and served until his death, 34 years later, when he was its senior and chief judge (14 Monthly Law Rep. 164). President of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Baltimore, 1819-1841. At a memorial meeting of the Baltimore bench and bar, there was praise of a "life emi. nent for its integrity and industry.” (Baltimore Sun, May 12, 1851).
4 NISBET, ALEXANDER. (1777-1857.) Second son of Rev. Dr. Charles Nisbet, from 1785 to 1804 President of Dickinson College, where he graduated in 1794 (Wing's History 1st Presb. Church, Carlisle, 140). Became a member of the bar at twenty; a member of St. Andrew's Society 57 years, and its President 27 years, and
Benjamin M. Hazelip in violently making him submit to the application of steam externally and to taking internally certain poisonous drugs.
Thomas Jennings and R. W. Gill,6 Deputy Attorneys General of Maryland, for the State.
George R. Richardson? and David Stewart,s for the Prisoners. President of the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad, 1833-1835 (Howard's Monumental City, 814). Last surviving member of the bench of the Criminal Court of Baltimore under the old constitution. Died suddenly at his residence in Baltimore County, early in the morning of November 22, 1857—the result of an accidental fall from the open window of his chamber. He filled his judicial position with much credit. In every relation of life he was a highminded and honorable gentleman (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 24, 1857). He was buried at his seat, Montrose, near Baltimore, where his tombstone bears the following epitaph: “Alexander Nisbet, born at Montrose, Scotland, June 26, 1777; came to the United States in 1784; died Nov. 22, 1857. Judge of the Baltimore City Court. President of the St. Andrew's Society for 26 years. As a husband and father, devoted and affectionate; as a friend, confiding and faithful; as a judge, upright and impartial. “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.'—Matt. 5-9." (Ridgely's Historic Graves of Md. 133.)
5 JENNINGS, THOMAS. (1766-1836.) At a memorial meeting of the bench and bar of Baltimore, it was determined to wear mourning 30 days for “the polite gentleman, accomplished lawyer, and eloquent advocate" in whose death the profession had "sustained a heavy loss." (Baltimore American, April 13, 1836.)
6 GILL, RICHARD W. Son of John Gill, of Alexandria, Va. Appointed, March, 1834, one of the trustees of the Bank of Maryland, on its suspension. “And now began a war of pamphlets and newspapers which lasted for 18 months with ever increasing violence; the public grew to believe the whole affair a gigantic swindle," and a mob, which controlled the city some days, destroyed the houses of the bank officers. (Scharf Hist. of Balt. 784.) At the time of his death he was clerk of the Court of Appeals, Annapolis, which held memorial meetings, at which one of the speakers said: “I have never known one who more deservedly and universally possessed the esteem of all who knew him.” (Warfield Founders of Anne Arundel Co., Md. 131.) In collaboration with J. Johnson (probably Chancellor John Johnson) he prepared cases in Court of Appeals of Maryland, 1829-1841; 12 Volumes, Baltimore, 1829-1845. (Allibone's Dictionary of Authors.) Died in January, 1852.
7 RICHARDSON, GEORGE R. (1803-1851.) Born Worcester County, Md. Admitted Baltimore bar, 1825. Deputy Attorney General, 1836; Attorney General, 1845-1851. Was one of the most brilliant criminal lawyers of his day. "He never had his equal at the Balti
Mr. Richardson asked that the case of William Bell be proceeded with first.
Mr. Jennings objected. Burke was the principal offender and should be first tried.
The Court ordered the trial of Burke to begin and that the Clerk call the jury.
Mr. Jennings suggested that each juror, as he came to the book, should state to the court if he had formed and expressed an opinion on the case; and the questions were propounded in that form. Some of the jurors candidly stated in reply, that they had formed an opinion favorable to the prisoner, and retired from the box. On the question being propounded to John E. Stansbury, he replied that he had not formed nor expressed any opinion upon the subject.
more bar, probably, in the force of his appeals to the jury, not to mercy, but to vindicate the majesty of the law. His searching, vigorous cross-examination, his keen sifting and analysis of testimony, his bold arraignment and scathing impeachment made him the terror of the criminal and the dread of the criminal's counsel. He was manly, brave, generous.” (Scharf Hist. Balt. 714.) Dedicated to the ministry, he graduated at Princeton with high honors. “His ambition was lofty; his intellect was clear and his diction was of purest English; his voice sweet and melodious; his presence commanding and magnetic; his face handsome and expressive; his action graceful and attractice, and his eloquence swayed the minds of the jury as with a wand." (Nelson Hist. Balt. 254.) At a meeting of the Baltimore bar the day after his death, Reverdy Johnson said: "He had a mind of great vigor, and a power of condensation rarely if ever surpassed. He had an ardent love of his profession. He justly stood in the front rank of the Maryland bar, as he would
the masculine vigor of his thoughts; his close-knit, cogent logic; his intense, impassioned eloquence.” (Baltimore Sun, 12 Feb. 1851.)
8 STEWART, DAVID. (1800-1858.) Born Baltimore. Occupied many positions of honor and trust; was member of house of delegates and State Senate, of state reform convention, and of United States Senate, 1849; was in atiluent circumstances. (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 6, 1858.) At a meeting of the bar, the day following his death it was said that he had been engaged in extensive practice for many years, and was a citizen who had taken deep interest and exercised large influence in public affairs; that he had been a benevolent man, in all the courtesies of life a model; a ripe and finished scholar; that few men had attained so high rank at the bar; that his death was a great public calamity. (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 7, 1858.)