Carried to Birmingham

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Tuskaloosa Gazette
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa, AL
Date of publication: Feb 2, 1888 12:00 am
Source URL: View Source

Carried to Birmingham. As was stated in yesterday’s issue, the Warrior Guards went on guard over Jim Seams at the jail on Friday night. Every man came up to the scratch and toed the line of duty like a true soldier. They all felt that the negro ought to be hung for his diabolical crime, but as State troops, sworn to do their duty, they were determined not to surrender their prisoner. The Governor’s orders were very strict, and his dispatch was to hold the prisoner against mob law at all hazards. Capt. Foster was out on the scout for the negro and did not get in until about 9 o’clock, but Lieuts Harrison and Walter got the company together and were promptly in charge of the jail by 7o’clock. Capt. Foster took charge as soon as he arrived, and posted guards all around the jail square, and no one could pass in or out of the lines without being interviewed by the Corporal of the guard. The men went at their work like old veterans, and after Col. Hargrove had made them a little talk and after Mr. VandeGraaff read the law to them, it would have been extremely dangerous for any crowd of men to have attempted to take him. Had such an attempt been made, Tuskaloosa would today be mourning the loss of several good men. Yesterday morning Jim Seams was brought up before Justice Oliver and committed to jail to await the action of the grand jury, without bond. As soon as Judge Oliver’s decision was made known, the Warrior Guards surrounded the negro and carried him to the train, which was an hour late or they would have been left. Capt. Foster detailed J. M. Foster and A. S. VandeGraaff to go with him and sheriff Prude to Birmingham, where he will be put in the jail for safe keeping. He would certainly have been hung if the Guards had not been ordered out, and as his crime was so clear and the law is so certain to break his neck, there is general rejoicing among a great many good men that our city has not had to undergo the terrible ordeal of having a prisoner taken from jail and hung in defiance of law and order. While this is true, there were also a great many men who feel keenly the disappointment of not getting to pull an inch rope across a limb with the assassin on one end of it. Both sides were equally anxious to have him punished and only differed as to the best means to effect the end- of the negro’s life. There is some talk of trying to have a special term of the circuit court called for the purpose of trying him, but as our court meets in April he will not perhaps be tried until that time.