Something Concerning the Exercise of Executive Clemency in Illinois.
A List of Pardons Issued to Prisoners Under Sentence for Manslaughter and Murder
Clarissa Baldwin; April 1868; murder; 14 years; White County. Pardoned January 1875, Served 7 years. This pardon was granted on request of the Penitentiary Commissioners upon the certificate of the prison surgeon that she was unable to work because of atrophy of the left arm, caused by injury; and further that she was gradually becoming demented. Her conduct in prison was uniformly good. Longer imprisonment could serve no good purpose. [Inter-Ocean Springfield, January 17 1876, submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]
A MURDERER CAPTURED AFTER THIRTEEN YEARS.
[From the Denver News.]
Sheriff Thomas J. PORTER, of White County, Ill., arrived here Monday evening, having in custody a man named John AIKEN, who is charged with the murder of one Tesh STUART, in While Co., Ills., in 1864. The crime, which was committed so long ago, was one of unusual barbarity; in which this prisoner had as associates two men named Thomas and Andrew GLIDE. The victim was a wealthy farmer, and the killing was prompted by the hope of securing a large amount of money which he was supposed to have in the house. AIKEN confessed his crime, and was to have been executed, but he succeeded in breaking jail before the day arrived for the hanging. Coming at once to Colorado, he has since resided in the Territory and State for some years living in Custer county, where he has a cabin, from 75 to 100 head of cattle, and a family of nine children. The officer and his prisoner left yesterday on the east bound train. Sheriff POTTER thinks there is but a slight chance to escape the gallows, as there are still living two of the murdered man’s children and a hired man who witnessed the shooting.”
This John AIKEN, spoken of above by the Denver News, was well and unfavorably known in Williamson county, and, it is supposed, wrote a few pages of our county’s history in blood. In Erwin’s History we read of AIKEN’s as follows:
“After George AIKEN was frustrated in his efforts to sell out the 128th at Cairo, he went to Missouri and got Allen GLIDE and Charley GLIDE and came back here. These, and his son John, are the ones supposed to compose the “AIKEN gang” This gang flourished here in the spring of 1863, in the north part of the county, during which time several murders were committed, and no less than fifty of our citizens robbed. Dr. BANDY was taken out and whipped unmercifully, and George COX was attacked in his house and fired on several times.”
One by one the outlaws are coming to time, and the law being honored by sacrificing the wretches upon the altar. There are yet others at large who in the fullness of time will receive a “just compense of reward.” [July 19, 1877 , Volume 4 Number 4 - submitted to Genealogy Trails by Shauna Williams]