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Chisolm, William Wallace 1830-

Jurist; born in Morgan county, Ga., Dec. 6, 1830; settled in Kemper county, Miss., in 1847. In 1858 he was made chief-justice of the peace; in 1860-67 was probate judge; and subsequently was sheriff for several terms. During the Civil War he was a strong Unionist, and this fact made him an object of suspicion to the Confederate authorities. Early in 1877, John W. Gully, a Democrat, was murdered near Judge Chisolm's house, and Judge Chisolm and several of his Republican friends were arrested. Later the jail was broken into by a mob, one of whom shot Judge Chisolm's young son John. Thereupon the judge immediately killed the assassin with a gun that had been left by a faithless guard. The cry was now raised, “Burn them out.” Believing that the jail had been set on fire Judge Chisolm descended the stairs with his family, who had accompanied him to the jail. As soon as he appeared the crowd opened fire upon him, and he fell mortally wounded. His daughter also, a girl eighteen years old, received several wounds. The father died, May 13, 1877, and two days later his daughter succumbed to her injuries. Though the leaders of the crowd were indicted, not one of them was ever punished. In December, 1877, the real murderer of Gully, Walter Riley, a negro, confessed that he was guilty of the crime, and also declared that neither Judge Chisolm nor any of his friends had tried to influence after which they gradually ceded their him.

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