Source Type: Newspaper
Author: n.a.
Publisher: The Times Picayune
Place of publication: New Orleans, LA
Date of publication: 6/27/1895

Judge Charles Hall, judge of probate of Baldwin county, was in the city this morning this morning, and from him was learned the full and authentic particulars of the stringing up of a negro named Tom Parker, who was arrested at Point Clear on Friday last by citizens, and not by officers of the law. There were reports of this deed current in the city on Monday, but as no authoritative information could be obtained, it was deemed best, in view of the seriousness of the offesnse, to defer publication of the matter until something definite could be learned from parties who were cognizant of all the details of the crime.

Judge Hall stated that on Saturday last the negro was brought to his office by Maurice Stapleton, who swore out a warrant against the negro, charging him with having entered a house and stolen a gold watch, a diamond ring and some wearing apparel. At the time that the warrant was sworn out the neero told Judge Hall that he had been hung up by the neck, but as the negro talked all right and there was nothing in his appearance to indicate that he was telling the truth, and in view of the fact that nearly every one that is arrested has some complaint to make, Judge Hall did not pay much attention to the negro, and had him locked up in the jail at Daphne. On Monday the negro was found to be in a bad condition, and so Judge Hall sent over to Mobile for Dr. W. J. Lea to come over to see the negro. Dr. Lea went over and reported that the negro was in a bad condition, and that he was suffering from a swollen neck and from a severe nervous shock.

As soon as Judge Hall became satisfied that the negro’s story was probably true, he informed Chief Deputy Sheriff W. L. Thompson, and that official at once swore out warrants against the parties that the negro claimed had strung him up. These parties were Maurice Stapleton, the man who brought the negro to Judge Hall’s office and swore out the warrant against him, and W. M. Swain. Deputy Sheriff Thompson immediately went after the accused parties, and succeeded in arresting one of them, Maurice Stapleton, Monday night. He arrested the other man, W. M. Swain, this morning. The bond in each case was fixed by Judge Hall at $1000, and Deputy Sheriff Thompson brought the two prisoners to the city this morning, they claiming that they could give the bond if they were brought over here. Up to the time of the leaving of the boat for Baldwin county at 3 o’clock this afternoon they had not succeeded in making requisite bond, and so they were taken back to Daphne, where they will be lodged in jail, if they do not make bond over there.

Judge Hall says that the negro claims those two men and a third party, whose name he could not give, took him into the swamp between Point Clear and Battle’s wharf and strung him up by the neck two or three times to make him confess to the theft with which he was charged, and also to tell them where he had secreted the property that he was accused of stealing. The negro told the same story to Dr. Lea that he told Judge Hall. The negro is reported to be somewhat better to-day and resting easy. The negro gave the authorities the names of a number of parties who saw Stapleton and Swain take him from the Point Clear Hotel to the swamp between Point Clear and Battle’s wharf.

Maurice Stapleton was born and raised in Baldwin county, and his home was at Battle’s wharf. Swain is said to have come to Point Clear from Birmingham.

The telegram sent out from Washington last night to the Associated Press is erroneous in almost every particular. It gives the name of the negro wrong and states that the negro cannot live. Such is not the case, as Judge Hall says that the negro is improving.


“n.t..” The Times Picayune (New Orleans, LA), June 27, 1895.