were so planted as to sweep every approach to the jail, and to blow the prisoner into shreds upon the first intimation of tumult.
held her breath until she heard that the old man was dead.
rose at daybreak, and continued writing with energy until half-past 10, when he was told to prepare to die. He shook hands with the sheriff, visited the cell of Copeland
, to whom he handed a quarter of a dollar each, saying he had no more use for money, and bade them adieu.
He next visited Cook
and Coppoc, the former of whom had made a confession, which he pronounced false; saying he had never sent Cook
to Harper's Ferry
, as he had stated.
He handed a quarter to Coppoc also, shook hands with him, and parted.
He then visited and bade a kindly good-bye to his more especial comrade, Stevens
, gave him a quarter, and charged him not to betray his friends.
A sixth, named Hazlett
, was confined in the same prison, but he did not visit him, denying all knowledge of him.
He walked out of the jail at 11 o'clock; an eye-witness said--“with a radiant countenance, and the step of a conqueror.”
His face was even joyous, and it has been remarked that probably his was the lightest heart in Charlestown
that day. A black woman, with a little child in her arms, stood by the door.
He stopped a moment, and, stooping, kissed the child affectionately.
Another black woman, with a child, as he passed along, exclaimed: “God bless you, old man!
I wish I could help you; but I can't.”
He looked at her with a tear in his eye. He mounted the wagon beside his jailor, Capt. Avis
, who had been one of the bravest of his captors, who had treated him very kindly, and to whom he was profoundly grateful.
The wagon was instantly surrounded by six companies of militia.
Being asked, on the way, if he felt any fear, he replied: “It has been a characteristic of me from infancy not to suffer from physical fear.
I have suffered a thousand times more from bashfulness than from fear.”
The day was clear and bright, and he remarked, as he rode, that the country seemed very beautiful.
Arrived at the gallows, he said: “I see no citizens here; where are they?”
“None but the troops are allowed to be present,” was the reply.
“That ought not to be,” said he; “citizens should be allowed to be present as well as others.”
He bade adieu to some acquaintances at the foot of the gallows, and was first to mount the scaffold.
His step was still firm, and his bearing calm, yet hopeful.
The hour having come, he said to Capt. Avis
have no words to thank you for all your kindness to me.”
His elbows and ankles being pinioned, the white cap drawn over his eyes, the hangman's rope adjusted around his neck, he stood waiting for death.
,” said the sheriff, “you are not standing on the drop.
Will you come forward?”
“I can't see,” was his firm answer; “you must lead me.”
The sheriff led him forward to the center of the drop.
“Shall I give you a handkerchief, and let you drop it as a signal .”
“No; I am ready at any time; but do not keep me needlessly waiting.”
In defiance of this reasonable request, he was kept standing thus several minutes, while a military parade and