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 The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) August 26 1807

Carlisle, August 21

Shocking Murder

On Monday last, a man of the name of Edward Donnelly, was committed to the jail of this county, on suspicion of a most horrid murder, of his own Wife. The circumstances attending it must have been uncommon tragical, and the presumptions of his guilt appear almost incontrovertible. He is said to bear a very character, to possess a brutal temper, and was considered a dangerous man in his neighborhood. He is said to have been long in the habit of beating and ill-treating his wife. On Saturday, the 9th inst., her screams were heard by the neighbors, supposed on account of his beating her, but since that time she has not been seen by anyone. He says she ran off, but it is extraordinary and unaccountable how she could have so completely disappeared, especially as she was far gone with child; and also having relations in this town, to whom she would most likely come if she had left her husband. These presumptions have been confirmed by others still stronger; on examining the fire place of his house, a number of bones, among which are two teeth, were found; hence it is concluded that the unfortunate wretch had burnt her, in order to conceal the horrid deed! Physicians and a dentist, declare themselves of the opinion, that they are those of a human being. He appears to have been in a kind of phrensy (frenzy?) on the day this abominable murder was committed. The treatment of his two little children denote either a deprivation of reason or brutal cruelty. He cut his eldest boy in the head with the scythe, in a shocking manner, the scull was laid bare for some inches. The eldest boy tells, that his father carried his mother in from the orchard, and laid her down on the bed, and then took him and his brother and locked him up in the barn. But there are so many stories about this last particular that there is no knowing the exact truth of it.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Wednesday, November 18, 1807

On Friday morning, Nov. 6th, the trial of Edward Donnelly, for murdering his wife Catharine, came before the Court of Oyer and Terminer in this place. Friday and Saturday till dark were occupied in the examination of witnesses on the part of the prosecution; on the part of the prisoner, none were adduced.

It appeared in evidence that the neighbors had heard her "lamentable cries, and screams as if in torment" for more than an hour, till they gradually died away, since which time (last August) she has never been heard of. Blood was discovered in the bed, and on the bedheads; a very unusual quantity of fresh ashes, were found in the fire place, all impreguated with something like lime; a great number of small bones were produced to court, which many Physicians of skill and eminence positively pronounced to be "human bones" which had borne effects of excessive heat. Some very material evidence against the prisoner was his own conduct since the affair, what he himself has said, and his various and contradictory accounts of it. A great variety of other evidence and circumstances all concurred to convince the minds of every person of the prisoner's guilt, and place it beyond a doubt. Donnelly's son, a child of 7 years of age, who was the most material and only positive evidence, could not be admitted on account of his extreme youth and ignorance.

A very able defense of the prisoner was made by Messrs, Duncan and Watt. Not once did they appeal to the passions, or attempt to excite the feelings of the jurors in favour of the prisoner; but all their eloquence and ingenuity was directed to the point, (and with ability they supported it) that the evidence was but presumptive, andnot such as would justify the jury convicting the prisoner.

Mr. Metzger, the prosecutor was not deficient in his exertions, on behalf of the commonwealth. He has gained much credit by his conduct on this cause. To his honour may it be said, that, not once through the whole trial did he suffer one word of resentment or abuse of the prisoner to escape him. He displayed his talents at the same time that he established a proper degree of calmness as well as firmness. He contended that though there was no absolutely postitive evidence, yet as the presumptive was so violent as to be equal to positive, the jury could not avoid finding a verdict against "the pore, the unfortunate Donnelly."

The Judge's charge was not concluded till after two o'clock on Sunday morning. The jury after retiring near an hour returned with a verdict of Guilty. At 10 o'clock the prisoner was brought to the bar to receive his sentence; but objections were filed by his counsel and an arrest of judgment prayed for. The case remains undecided till the first Monday in January next.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Wednesday, February 3, 1808

The execution of Edward Donnally for the murder of his wife is to take place at Carlisle on Monday next.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Wednesday, February 17, 1808

On Monday the 8th inst., Edward Donally was executed, agreeable to the Warrant issued by the Governor. A few days before his death he acknowledged the murdering of his wife, and afterwards consuming her body by fire. For sometime before his execution, he appeared to be in a deranged state. The Clergy of different denominations called to see him in the prison, but there was little appearance of repentance, and there is too much reason to believe, that his insanity was in a great measure feigned. Before he was taken out of the jail, it took six men to hold him, and he had to be carried to the cart. On his way to the gallows, he was heard to express himself in the most violent manner against two or three persons, which it seems he thought were active in bringing him to justice, and spit at others who were near him. He pretended at sometimes he was God Almighty, and that they could not hurt him, but at another time he was heard to say, O God destroy us all - but one thing that betrayed his pretended insanity was, when the cap was drawn over his face, he said "I am gone" - this did not look like the want of reason, but sober reflection. He was launched into eternity 20 minutes past 12 o'clock. A vast concourse of people attended; it is supposed not less than between 3 and 4 thousand were present, although the weather was so disagreeable that it must have prevented a great number from attending that otherwise would. -- Cumb. Reg.

The Murder of Robert Grayson

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), February 14, 1810

Carlisle, Feb. 7

Died on Friday the 2d instant about one o'clock in the afternoon in the 56th year of his age, Mr. Robert Grayson, formerly high sheriff of this County. The manner in which he came to his untimely end, was as nearly, as we can gather as follows. John B. Graves, sergeant in the U. States army, had some time before, at the Globe Tavern, disputed with Mr. John McConaughy, formerly waggoner, and had that evening, called at the Globe, enquiring for him; he was absent; he again called and had with him, James Smith, Thomas Manley, and ___ Mott, Corporals in said U. States army, but was told McConaughy was not there, he enquired where he lodged and was informed at Grayson's, he said he would see him before he went home, or something to this import, and immediately went to Mr. Grayson's; it was nearly eight o'clock, when they came there, Sergeant Graves and one of the others went in, the other two stood at the door, Graves asked Mr. Grayson for some gin, he told them he had none; Graves then told him to bring some Sangaree; Mr. Grayson then said it was time for them to go to the barracks; that he did not think proper to give soldiers drink at that time of night, and stepped towards Graves to push him to the door, upon which Graves gave him a push back to the stove, from which Mr. Grayson took up a stick to defend himself; Graves then called, "come on boys" and seized the stick that was in Grayson's hand and took it from him: at his call the other three came forward. The candles were put out, but it appears that every one picked up a bludgeon or whatever came to hand. McConaughy, who had, as yet, said nothing, was attacked. George Grayson and James Cakin was also in the room; the candles being out, it was not known who struck Mr. Grayson, but when the light was brought in he was lying speechless; McConaughy was also much bruised. As soon as the light was brought the assailants fled; but Grave and Manly were pursued and beat very severely; Manly was takne and committed to jail that night, and the next day, after Mr. Grayson died, the magistrates sent warrants to the barracks, for Graves, Smith and Mott; the two former were delivered up and sent to prison, but Mott made his escape. Mr. Grayson's scull was fractured - he spoke but a few words after until his death, which took place about 17 hours from the time he received his wounds.

In the above narrative, we have only given a general sketch of the outlines of what has taken place, having no desire of saying anything that might prejudice the public mind, one way or the other, as they are now mostly in the hands of justice, and will be tried by a jury of their country.

Cumb. Reg.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), April 18, 1810

Carlisle, April 11

On Friday the 6th inst., came on the trial of Sergeant John B. Graves, corporals James Smith and Thomas Manley, of the U. States' army, for the murder of Mr. Robert Grayson, on the night of the first of February last; the trial continued two days after the charge was given by judge Hamilton, the jury went out, and in a short time, brought in a verdict Guilty of Manslaughter. The next day the following sentence was pronounced. J. B. Graves to be confined in the penitentiary house, Philadelphia, for the space of four years, five months of which time to be confined in the solitary cells, corporals Smith and Manley, two years, two months of which time to be in the cells.


The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 20, 1813

Carlisle, Jan 13

On Thursday the 7th inst., at a Court of Oyer and Terminer and general Jail delivery, for the county of Cumberland; came on a second time the trial of Edward White for the murder of negro Samson. The trial continued three days; on Saturday evening the President charged the Jury, who after retiring from the bar for about 4 hours, returned with a verdict, the Edward White was guilty of Murder in the first degree, which was so recorded. The counsel for the prisoner, Messrs. Watts and Duncan, again moved an arrest of judgment founding their arguments on certain defects in the indictment and in the precepts directing the Sheriff to summon a Gran Jury.

The practice of many years of this and other courts had functioned the manner and form in which the precept was drawn, but the gentlemen on behalf of the prisoner contended it was not agreeable to the strict letter of the law. The court having heard the arguments on both sides; remanded the prisoner and postponed giving any opinion until the second Monday in February.

Until which time we will defer giving any account of the evidence in this important trial.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) February 17, 1813

Carlisle, February 10

In the cause of Edward White, who was tried at a Court of Oyer and Terminer, held in this Borough in January last, for the murder of Samuel Sampson, a man of color and found guilty of Murder of the first degree, he was yesterday brought before the Court, which had adjourned until that time to consider the reasons assigned by the prisoner's counsel in arrest of judgment - the Court over-ruled the objections; and the President of the Court, in a very appropriate, solemn and impressive manner stated to the prisoner, the magnitude and enormity of the offence of which he had been convicted and besought him to turn his attention to religion and seek pardon for his sins by an unfeigned repentance. After which sentence of death was passed upon the prisoner.

Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 4 1822 Page 2

Carlisle, Nov. 28

Five men were committed to the jail of this county, yesterday, charged with having robbed a wagon at the house of Jacob Hocker, on the Walnut Bottom road, in Dickinson township. - Volunteer

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 17, 1823 Page 3

Carlisle, Dec. 11

On Wednesday last, Joseph Nelson, who had been confined in the jail of this county for some months, was taken to Perry county to be tried for the supposed murder of his brother in July last. His counsel were Samuel Alexander, and Charles B. Penrose, Esquires; those for the Commonwealth were Henry M. Campbell and ___ M'Clure, Esquires. The trial lasted till Sunday morning, when the jury brought in a verdict of murder in the second degree. He was sentenced to the penitentiary for the term of twelve years. He is at present in jail of this borough, but will be shortly taken to Philadelphia. - Volunteer.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) September 1 1824

Carlisle, Aug. 23

Horrible Murder

A few days ago the body of a man supposed to be a drover, was found on the North Mountains, a few miles below Sterrettt's Gap, in Cumberland county, with his throat cut, and his body stabbed in several places - no papers could be found on his body, or anything to tell who he was or where he came from. - Dem. Repub.

Robbery of Mr. Leeper's Store

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) December 7, 1825


On Thursday night, the 24th ult., the Store of Mr. Geo. R. Leeper of Shippensburg was broken open and robbed of a considerable quantity of dry goods. Among the articles taken were 3 or 4 crape Robes, 4 or 5 large crape shawls, a small white merino shawl with a border, a large imitation do, a large black silk vail, some small bar'd silk handkerchiefs and silk gloves. Mr. L. has offered a reward of $100 for the detection of the thief. Franklin Repos.

Infant Murdered

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) November 2, 1825

Carlisle, Oct. 27

On Thursday last a young woman was brought from Newville and committed to Jail of this county, on suspicion of having murdered her infant child. A young man said to have been concerned was likewise imprisoned at the same time. The court of Quarter Sessions commences on the 2d Monday of November when all the circumstances relative to this unfortunate affair muse necessarily transpire. - Herald.

Court News: Sarah Lynch Acquitted, Abraham Mickey Convicted of Horse Stealing; Alexander Grimes Convicted of Burglary

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 25, 1826

Carlisle, Jan. 13

The court of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Terminer, for this county commenced on the 9th instant. Not much more than half of the criminal business was disposed of. The Grand Jury were not discharged till Saturday which was never the case before since the organization of the court. There were six true bills in the Oyer and Terminer which is an unusual thing in this court. There were 23 bills altogether presented to the Grand Jury, 18 of which were returned true bills and 5 ignored: for murder, 1; horse stealing, 1; burglary and larceny, 4; larceny, 7; bawdy house, 1; bastardy, 1; fornication, 2; riot, 1; conspiracy, 1; assault and battery, 4.

Sarah Lynch, the young girl who has been in prison since October last for the alleged murder of her infant child was acquitted by the jury of the horrid crime laid to her charge, after an absence from the box of about an hour. The court house was thronged during the trial, which lasted about two days and a spontaneous burst of applause rung through the court house when the verdict of acquittal was pronounced. Penrose for the commonwealth - Carothers and Alexander for the defendant.

Abraham Micky was tried and convicted of horse stealing; but the sentence was not passed upon him, he having another trial to receive for a similar offence committed in Lancaster county, where he will doubtless be tried at the April court. If the prisoner be not an old offender, he is certainly a proficient in his new vocation for he appears to have been engaged at horse stealing on a large scale. Penrose for the commonwealth - Metzger for the defendant.

Alexander P. Grimes was arraigned on six different indictments for burglary and larceny. His trials drew crows to the court house in consequence of the celebrity of the man. He was tried and convicted on two of the indictments and sentenced to 14 years at hard labor in the Philadelphia penitentiary. The court remarked that they would hold over the remaining indictments and prosecute them if the prisoner should ever return. Penrose and John L. Mahon for the commonwealth - Carothers and Alexander for the defendant. - Gazette.

Harry McElhenny's Store Robbed
Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, Pa, January 6, 1914
Mechanicsburg, Pa., Jan. 6
When Harry McElhenny, a blind man, who conducts a restaurant near the Square, opened his place of business yesterday morning, he found someone else had been there first. Robbers effected an entrance by prying the lock on the front door and rifled a slot machine. It is not known how much money they secured from that source and nothing else was taken, but traces of the marauders were in evidence all over the place. It is thought they were frightened away.



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