US pardons Irishman hanged for murder 150 years ago as victim of 'anti-Catholic bigotry'
John Gordon, who in 1845 was the last person to be executed in the state of Rhode Island, was hanged for supposedly murdering Amasa Sprague, a wealthy mill-owner from an important local family.
Lincoln Chafee, the Governor of Rhode Island, said that Mr Gordon had been “put to death after a highly questionable judicial process and based on no concrete evidence”.
Mr Sprague was the brother of the one-time state governor and US Senator William Sprague. His killing inflamed tensions between Rhode Island's ‘Yankee’ protestant majority and the newly-arrived Irish population.
After Mr Sprague's body was found brutally beaten on a snowy road on New Year's Day 1844, Mr Gordon and his two brothers, Nicholas and William, were quickly placed in the frame....
comments powered by Disqus
- T. rex fossils arrive at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
- Quote of the Day -- Time Magazine's Top 100 People
- Investigation: The Resegregation of America's Schools
- 5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture
- In Parts of the South, Glorifying Slavery No Longer Pays the Bills
- UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!