Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reasonable Doubt in the Warren Republican

The Front Page of the Warren County Republican (April 16, 1886) is currently on display in the front room of the Hackettstown Historical Society. It looks like this:

Warren Republican - H. Historical Society, November 2009
There is a lot of information on that one big page. Statements from witnesses are published. In the first column, it says this:
Miss Smith was a girl of remarkable physical vigor. Although her face was not comely, she had a beautiful form with magnificent shoulders and limbs. Her strength was a matter of comment among her fellow servants, and that she made a furious resistance is certain. She was overcome by the vise-like clutch of the hand upon her neck. That one man could have overcome her is not believed by those who know her. It is supposed that at least two were concerned in the crime.

So if one man could not have overcome her, how is it that James Titus, a scrawny little janitor, was found guilty and served almost twenty years doing hard labor for the crime?

I rest my case.

The Hackettstown Historical Society Museum is located at 106 Church Street, Hackettstown, NJ. The museum is open on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00-2:00pm; Wednesday and Friday from 9:00-4:00pm and Sundays from 2:00-4:00pm. It is closed on holidays. Special groups and other times may be accommodated by appointment.

When you're there, look at the calling card tray by the door. The calling card on top yesterday said Rebecca Titus. Go pay your respects.

Warm Regards,

Erik B. Anderson
Independence Township, New Jersey
Established 1782

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