— A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE OR DEATH — Jacob Harris sat in his cell waiting for an escort to the gallows. A door clanged open and shut. He squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed. The sound of urgent footsteps drew closer and stopped at his door. “Jacob.”
“The Last Sunset” is a short story about a prisoner awaiting an escort to the gallows, sentenced to hang for the killing of two […]
Continue reading “THE LAST SUNSET”
The journey from Missouri to Arkansas was long, tiring, and generally uncomfortable aboard the steamboat Ella Hughes, its passenger cabins nothing more than wooden bunks with curtains for privacy.
Among its passengers was the newly-appointed judge for the Western District of Arkansas at Fort Smith. The man’s family, who stayed behind in Missouri, would loin him sometime later.
Judge Isaac Parker wasted no time in establishing his presence. He arrived at Fort Smith […]
Continue reading He Sentenced 160 Prisoners to the Gallows
AT 1:26 PM ON A WARM AND SUNNY July 7, 1865, a special signal alerted two soldiers standing beneath a gallows to knock away the supporting beams with long poles.
A second later, four trapdoors snapped downward, and four bodies dropped a few feet through the openings before the ropes around their necks jerked them back up with a savage swiftness.
All four were hanged as convicted conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. […]
Continue reading The Hanging of Mary Surratt