In Washington city
, on Thursday evening last, Miss Mary Harris
, of Chicago
, killed Mr. Burroughs
, a clerk in the Treasury Department, by shooting him through the heart.
The tragedy has created a good deal of sensation in the United States
The young lady's statement, made after her arrest to a reporter, says that Burroughs
had promised to marry her, and she killed him for not keeping his promise.
The dead man is exonerated in this statement from any charge of seduction.
She had loved him, she said, since she was a child, and though he had at one time urged her to marry him, which was opposed by her parents, he had since married another.
She first determined to prosecute him for breach of promise, and sought him out for that purpose.
The statement says:
A few days before starting from Chigago (two weeks ago), I was walking along the street and saw some pistols in a shop window.
Having learned that many of the ladies in Chicago
carried pistols, especially when traveling, I determined to buy one, and at once bought the one.
I did not know how to load it. The morning of the day that I left Chicago
I examined the printed directions upon the wrapper accompanying the pistol and cartridges, and by following them, succeeded in loading it. I was then called to breakfast, and, putting the revolver with my things, forgot to unload it. After I started I concluded to keep it loaded, but had then no intention of using it when I got here.
After my arrival here I became almost frantic with a desire to see him, and put on a "nubia" (which I was not wont to wear) and a veil, and, so disguised, went to the Treasury.
When I went into the Treasury building
yesterday morning I inquired for the room in which Mr. Burrough
was, and having learned that, walked up and down the hall for some time.
Once I went to the door of the room, opened it a few inches, and saw him at his desk.
The moment I looked at him, sitting there so comfortably, the thought of all I had suffered, and of his being the cause, enraged me, and my hand involuntarily pulled back the trigger of the pistol in my pocket.
I closed the door, and, stepping away, moved about again, I know not how or where, except that I kept my eye on his room until the men began to come out of their rooms.
Then I placed myself where I know he would have to come near me in going to the staircase.
When he appeared, "I felt suddenly lifted up, my arm was extended as stiff as iron, and I saw him fall.
I knew nothing more until I was called back as I was leaving the building.
Pray, sir, what will they do with me. If it was not for my poor father and mother I would not care."
She repeatedly reiterated her asseveration that there had been nothing improper between her and Mr. Burroughs
Accepting the above to be true, the reader will readily decide upon the measure of justification contained therein.
After hearing it, we deemed it our duty to the public to visit some of the friends of the deceased, and to obtain from them such information as they might be willing to give.
From them we learned that Mr. Burroughs
was the brother of Dr. Burroughs
of the Douglas College
, a Baptist seminary, at Chicago
; that he did beside for a considerable time at Burlington, Iowa
, where he became acquainted with and much interested in Miss Mary Harris
, befriended her in various ways, especially against religious persecution by some of her relatives, who were Catholics
; subsequently aided her by his social influence and otherwise in Chicago
, and that she attended his brother's seminary at Chicago
They also State that Mr. Burroughs
frequently told Miss Harris
that he could not reciprocate her attachment, and could not marry her; notified her of his intended marriage to the lady (now left a widow by his sad decease) a short time before the wedding, called upon her with his bride soon after, and was well received.
We are also informed that when Mr. Burroughs
started to go to Chicago
to be married, in August, 1863, he told a gentleman here, who had been his warm friend, that he had a great struggle between inclination arising from the affection of early years and duty, but had decided to marry the lady who soon after became his wife.
His friends claim that he has ever been a gentleman of unblemished morals and of the tragical honor.
He attended the Baptist church in this city with his wife every Sunday.
He always spoke in terms of strong commendation of Miss Harris
, and ever expressed the most friendly interest in her welfare.
He said that upon one occasion, when the subject of his own marriage was mentioned to Miss Harris
, she told him that she was engaged to Mr. Devlin
, a brother of the ladies with whom she had her home in Chicago
yesterday stated that about twelve months ago Mr. Burroughs
received, through the mail, a strange newspaper, in which was a marriage notice marked, and that Mr. Burroughs
requested her to cut it out and preserve it, which she did. The notice which she produced and showed to some friends read somewhat as follows: ‘"Married, by Bishop
, Mr. Charles Devlin
, of Baltimore
, to Miss Mary G. Harris
, of Burlington, Iowa
,"’ Mr. Burroughs
, upon reading it, said "he was glad to learn of the marriage; hoped she had married well, for she was a good girl, and had seen some hard times."
appeared to be a few years older than she is said to be; is of good figure, rather slight; has a well-formed head, dark hazel eyes, fine hair, which seemed, in the light in which we saw it, to be black, cut short and worn in curls; is graceful in her manners; naturally intelligent, with a highly sensitive organization, and appeared, as she to have but few educational advantages.
She, however, employed good language, and was not superfluous in the use of words.
Among those who visited her in prison were said to have been Senator Hale
, Mr. Wilson
and four other Representative from Iowa
, Mrs. Cornelius Wendell
and a number of other ladies.