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[341] Captain Brown, in his last written will and testament, bequeathed to me his Sharpe's rifle and a pistol. Furthermore, on the night before his execution, Captain Brown and his wife, upon my invitation, took supper with me and my family at our table in our residence, which was a part of the jail building.

2. I have no recollection that the Sheriff said to Captain Brown ‘you are a game man,’ and received the reply quoted in the above paragraph, or that any similar remarks were made by either of the parties. I am sure that neither these remarks nor any like them were made at the time. The only remarks made by Captain Brown between his cell and the scaffold were commonplace remarks about the beauty of the country and the weather.

3. The statement that ‘he kissed a negro child in its mother's arms,’ is wholly incorrect. Nothing of this sort occurred. Nothing of the sort could have occurred, for his hands, as usual in such cases, were confined behind him before he left the jail. He was between Sheriff Campbell and me, and a guard of soldiers surrounded him and allowed no person to come between them and the prisoner, from the jail to the scaffold, except his escorts.

4. Respecting the statement that he ‘walked cheerfully to the scaffold,’ I will say that I did not think his bearing on the scaffold was conspicuous for its heroism—yet not cowardly.

5. Whether he was ‘thankful that he was allowed to die for a cause, and not merely to pay the debt of nature as all must’ or not, I cannot say what was in his heart; but if this clause means, as the quotation marks would seem to indicate, that Captain Brown used any such language or said anything on this subject, it is entirely incorrect. Captain Brown said nothing like it. The only thing that he did say, at or on the scaffold was to take leave of us, and then, just about the time the noose was adjusted, he said, ‘Be quick.’


John Avis. Charlestown, W. Va., April 25th, 1882.

I, Cleon Moore, a Notary Public in and for the county of Jefferson, State aforesaid, hereby certify that John Avis, whose name is signed to the foregoing affidavit, this day personally appeared before me, in my county aforesaid, and made oath that the statements contained in said affidavit are true, to the best of his knowledge and belief.

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