Monday, January 6, 2020

For Those Disposed to Go Astray

One thing I have learned in tracking those kinfolk who migrated away from here is, we are the West.

While 'tracking the killer of Asa Henson, one G. W. Harwell, I came across a series of newspaper articles that tell a story on their on. All connected, and with these, I begin a tale that will be a series of several posts.


 -

CLIPPED FROM
Russell Register
Seale, Alabama
17 Jan 1878, Thu  •  Page 1

The above appears like a suicide note. But keep reading....
 -
It continued:
 -
And the sad saga continues....
 -

The following had preceded all of the above letters.
A rather different picture was emerging.


 -

And now, for the Coroners report:

 -

It seems the rumour of the death of James Harwell had been greatly exagerated. He had gotten by with murder. Literally.


 -
CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Observer
Opelika, Alabama
10 Jan 1878, Thu  •  Page 3

The unknown man in this earlier article, was the one and only Fred Saxon Foster, or whomever he really was, the corpse who had "mailed" all these letters clearing Mr. James Harwell of numerous misdeeds before he so conveniently killed himself, or supposedly so. 

 -
CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Observer
Opelika, Alabama
10 Jan 1878, Thu  •  Page 3

James Reese Harwell lacked for nothing. He came from one of the best families in the town of Opelika, Lee County, Alabama. Among his closest relatives were ministers, businessmen and politicians. He had no reason to go astray. Born in June of 1850, the same year as his second cousin, Gazzain Washington Harwell, from 1876 to 1881, James Harwell was more than a scamp. He was a killer. 
 -

CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Times
Opelika, Alabama
10 Jun 1876, Sat  •  Page 3
In 1876, they described him as a "wayward boy". At this point, however, he had only broken in the store of Mr. W. F. Greene. He had been sent to West Point, ran away and was arrested in Atlanta. 
 - Birmingham Iron Age
Birmingham, Alabama
12 Jan 1881, Wed  •  Page 3
A few years later, they were describing him differently. He had killed the poor Fred Saxon Foster, or whomever the poor vagabond was, in 1878 and would go on to kill again. 
 -

CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Observer
Opelika, Alabama
10 Jan 1878, Thu  •  Page 3

It took years to catch him. He had changed his name to Lane, taking on the identity of a deceased Colonel, or Revenue officer.
 -

CLIPPED FROM
Choctaw County News
Butler, Alabama
14 Sep 1881, Wed  •  Page 2
He tried to rape a girl in Montgomery, Alabama and there he met his fate. 




 -

CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Observer
Opelika, Alabama
20 Jan 1881, Thu  •  Page 3




 -

CLIPPED FROM
The Opelika Times
Opelika, Alabama
02 Sep 1881, Fri  •  Page 3

The Revenue Officer was NOT a Revenue Officer.
 -

Birmingham Iron Age
Birmingham, Alabama
03 Nov 1881, Thu  •  Page 3



The killers of James Harwell were found not guilty, of course.


 -

The Weekly Advertiser
Montgomery, Alabama
26 Aug 1884, Tue  •  Page 1



But who was James Harwell, and how was he related to Gazzain Harwell, of the same age and times, killer of Asa Henson. The answers were certainly a surprise. 


No comments:

Post a Comment