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Caleb Powers Papers, 1900-1941, 1903-1908 (bulk dates)

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Author

Processed by Beth Eifler; machine-readable finding aid created by Beth Eifler.

Title

Caleb Powers Papers

Date

1900-1941, 1903-1908 (bulk dates)

Repository

University of Kentucky Libraries, Special Collections

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Caleb Powers Papers, 1900-1941, 51W15, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington

Extent

6 cu. ft.

Biography/History

Caleb Powers was born near Williamsburg in Whitley County, Kentucky, on February 1, 1869. He attended several public schools in Kentucky, including Union College in Barbourville, the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and Centre College in Danville. He eventually graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. After attending West Point from 1890-1891, Powers studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1894. He served as superintendent of public schools in Knox County from 1894-1899 and was elected secretary of state on the Republican ticket in 1899. The results of the 1899 election were contested by the Democrats and when the legislature convened in January 1900, Democratic candidate William Goebel was declared elected governor over William S. Taylor, Republican incumbent. Goebel was shot outside of the old State Capitol building in Frankfort on January 30 and died four days later on February 3.

Powers was charged with complicity in the assassination of Governor Goebel. He was tried four times, with the first two trials resulting in a life sentence and the third in the death penalty. All three sentences were reversed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals and new trials granted. The fourth trial resulted in a hung jury and Powers was eventually pardoned by Kentucky Governor Augustus E. Willson in 1908. Powers went on to be elected as a Republican to three succeeding Congresses (1911-1919). He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1912, and later moved to Washington, D. C., where he served as assistant counsel for the United States Shipping Board from 1921 until his death on July 25, 1932.

Scope and Content

These materials primarily relate to the third and fourth trials of Caleb Powers which took place during 1903-1904 and 1907-1908. Papers include the correspondence of Powers, his attorneys, witnesses, and other interested parties; affidavits, subpoenas, and other legal documents; newspaper clippings and magazine articles; and other miscellaneous materials relating to Powers' four trials. Judge Samuel M. Wilson of Lexington served with Powers' defense team and collected the manuscript materials.

Subjects

  • Powers, Caleb, 1869-1932.
  • Goebel, William, 1856-1900 -- Assassination
  • Wilson, Samuel M. (Samuel Mackay), 1871-1946.
  • Lawyers -- Kentucky.
  • Conspiracy -- Kentucky.
  • Assassination -- Politics and government -- Kentucky.
  • Legislators.
  • Statesmen.
  • Kentucky -- History.
  • Kentucky -- Politics and government.
  • Affidavits.
  • Articles.
  • Clippings.
  • Correspondence.

Related Material

The following collections contain materials related to the Goebel assassination and the Caleb Powers hearings:

Caleb Powers papers, 1902-1904, 1904-1905.

William Sylvester Taylor papers, 1899-1937.

William Stuart Lester letters dealing with the Goebel affair, 1952.

Bruce Ferguson scrapbook, 1900-1902.

Collection Inventory

THIRD TRIAL, 1903-1904
Scope and Content Note:

These materials relate to the third trial of Caleb Powers, which took place during 1903-1904 and ended with a guilty verdict and death sentence for Powers. Included are transcripts of witness testimonies, various legal documents and notes, correspondence, published copies of Powers' speech given before the court, and Judge Samuel M. Wilson's notebooks from the trial.

WITNESSES
Defendant's Witnesses
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
WITNESS TESTIMONIES
First Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Second Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Third Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
Fourth Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]
Sixth and Seventh Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 6]
Eighth and Ninth Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 7]
Tenth and Eleventh Volume
[Box: 1, Folder: 8]
MISCELLANEOUS LEGAL DOCUMENTS AND NOTES
Order and Other Documents Concerning the Official Stenographer
[Box: 1, Folder: 9]
Bill of Exceptions
[Box: 1, Folder: 10]
Kentucky Court of Appeals, Brief for Appellant
[Box: 1, Folder: 11]
Motion for New Trial and Court Opinions
[Box: 1, Folder: 12]
Notes
[Box: 1, Folder: 13]
SAMUEL WILSON NOTEBOOKS
Third Trial, August 3, 1903 - , Book No. 1
[Box: 2, Folder: 1]
Third Trial, August 3, 1903 - , Book No. 2
[Box: 2, Folder: 2]
Undated
[Box: 2, Folder: 3]
CORRESPONDENCE
1903
[Box: 2, Folder: 4]
1904
[Box: 2, Folder: 5]
1905
[Box: 2, Folder: 6]
1906
[Box: 2, Folder: 7]
SPEECHES
Caleb Powers Speech, August 27-28, 1903
[Box: 2, Folder: 8]
Caleb Powers Speech, August 27-28, 1903
[Box: 2, Folder: 9]
Address Delivered by Judge James H. Mulligan at Frankfort, KY on October 5, 1903
[Box: 2, Folder: 10]
FOURTH TRIAL, 1907-1908
Scope and Content Note:

These materials relate to the fourth trial of Caleb Powers, which took place during 1907-1908 and ended with a hung jury. Included are subpoenas, witness lists, bills and receipts, correspondence, notebooks and notes, affidavits, motions, and other miscellaneous legal documents.

SUBPOENAS
Scope and Content Note:

Subpoenas are organized alphabetically by the county in which they were issued.

Adair - Butler
[Box: 3, Folder: 1]
Caldwell - Daviess
[Box: 3, Folder: 2]
Elliott - Franklin
[Box: 3, Folder: 3]
Gallatin - Hopkins
[Box: 3, Folder: 4]
Jackson - Lyon
[Box: 3, Folder: 5]
Madison - Pulaski
[Box: 3, Folder: 6]
Rockcastle - Wolfe
[Box: 3, Folder: 7]
WITNESS LISTS
Lists of Senators and Representatives in Regular Session of 1900
[Box: 3, Folder: 8]
Witness Lists from Third Trial
[Box: 3, Folder: 9]
Witnesses for the Defense
[Box: 3, Folder: 10]
Witnesses for the Prosecution
[Box: 3, Folder: 11]
AFFIDAVITS, STATEMENTS, AND TESTIMONIES
Witness Affidavits
[Box: 4, Folder: 1]
Witness Statements
[Box: 4, Folder: 2]
Witness Testimonies
[Box: 4, Folder: 3]
Caleb Powers Affidavits and Motions
[Box: 4, Folder: 4]
Samuel Wilson Affidavits
[Box: 4, Folder: 5]
SAMUEL WILSON CALENDAR AND NOTEBOOKS
Calendar/Daily Reminder, 1907
[Box: 4, Folder: 6]
Notebook, June 20, 1907
[Box: 4, Folder: 7]
Notebook, October 10, 1907
[Box: 4, Folder: 8]
Notebook, November 1, 1907
[Box: 4, Folder: 9]
JURY SELECTION AND INSTRUCTIONS
Challenges, Motions, and Affidavit Relating to Jury Selection
[Box: 5, Folder: 1]
Challenges and Motions Relating to Jury Selection
[Box: 5, Folder: 2]
Jury Instructions
[Box: 5, Folder: 3]
MISCELLANEOUS LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Court Orders
[Box: 5, Folder: 4]
Misc. Legal Documents
[Box: 5, Folder: 5]
BILLS AND RECEIPTS
July - November, 1907
[Box: 5, Folder: 6]
NOTES
Scope and Content Note:

This section includes notes regarding jury selection, witnesses and their testimonies, drafts of motions, points, and addresses to the court, references to prior court decisions and rulings, and other misc. notes taken during trial.

Notes 1
[Box: 5, Folder: 7]
Notes 2
[Box: 5, Folder: 8]
Notes 3
[Box: 5, Folder: 9]
CORRESPONDENCE
Scope and Content Note:

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by sender's last name and chronologically thereunder.

A-N
A
[Box: 6, Folder: 1]
B
[Box: 6, Folder: 2]
C
[Box: 6, Folder: 3]
D
[Box: 6, Folder: 4]
E
[Box: 6, Folder: 5]
F
[Box: 6, Folder: 6]
G
[Box: 6, Folder: 7]
H
[Box: 6, Folder: 8]
I
[Box: 6, Folder: 9]
J
[Box: 6, Folder: 10]
K
[Box: 6, Folder: 11]
L
[Box: 6, Folder: 12]
M
[Box: 6, Folder: 13]
N
[Box: 6, Folder: 14]
0-Y
O
[Box: 7, Folder: 1]
P
[Box: 7, Folder: 2]
Caleb Powers, December 1906
[Box: 7, Folder: 3]
Caleb Powers, June-August 1907
[Box: 7, Folder: 4]
Caleb Powers, October-November 1907
[Box: 7, Folder: 5]
Caleb Powers, 1908
[Box: 7, Folder: 6]
Caleb Powers, undated
[Box: 7, Folder: 7]
R
[Box: 7, Folder: 8]
S
[Box: 7, Folder: 9]
T-U
[Box: 7, Folder: 10]
W
[Box: 7, Folder: 11]
Samuel Wilson
[Box: 7, Folder: 12]
Y
[Box: 7, Folder: 13]
POST-TRIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS, 1900-1941
Scope and Content Note:

This section includes materials from the period following Powers' fourth trial, as well as a few miscellaneous materials relating to all of his trials.

Petitions for the Pardon of Caleb Powers, 1908
[Box: 8, Folder: 1]
Brief prepared for the Petition Committee of Georgetown, Ky. by Caleb Powers, March 18, 1908
[Box: 8, Folder: 2]
Newspaper Clippings, 1900-1908
[Box: 8, Folder: 3]
The Master Detective, September 1931 and October 1931
[Box: 8, Folder: 4]
Correspondence, 1911-1941
[Box: 8, Folder: 5]
Kentucky Court of Appeals: Caleb Powers, appellant versus the Commonwealth of Kentucky, appellee. Brief for appellant. Copy 1
[Box: 8, Folder: 6]
Kentucky Court of Appeals: Caleb Powers, appellant versus the Commonwealth of Kentucky, appellee. Brief for appellant. Copy 2
[Box: 8, Folder: 7]
Kentucky Court of Appeals: Caleb Powers, appellant versus the Commonwealth of Kentucky, appellee. Brief for appellant. Copy 3
[Box: 8, Folder: 8]
ELECTION RESULTS AND NEWSPAPERS, 1900-1908
ELECTION RESULTS, 1900-1907
Statement of the Official Vote of Kentucky, The Morning Democrat, Supplement, Saturday, December 29, 1900
[Box: 9, Item: 1]
Statement of the Official Vote of Kentucky, The Morning Democrat, Supplement, Saturday, December 19, 1903
[Box: 9, Item: 2]
Statement of Official Vote of Kentucky, The Morning Democrat, Supplement, Wednesday, December 14, 1904
[Box: 9, Item: 3]
Election Results, Grant County, Kentucky, November 21, 1907
[Box: 9, Item: 4]
MISCELLANEOUS NEWSPAPER SECTIONS, 1903-1939
Powers, Caleb. "Caleb Powers' Plea for Justice." Lexington Leader, August 30, 1903, Sunday Morning: Second Section 1-6. copy 1
[Box: 9, Item: 5]
Powers, Caleb. "Caleb Powers' Plea for Justice." Lexington Leader, August 30, 1903, Sunday Morning: Second Section 1-6. copy 2
[Box: 9, Item: 6]
The Farmer's Equity Journal, Saturday, May 2, 1908
[Box: 9, Item: 7]
"The Last Word on Goebel's Deathbed" by Richard Rennelsen - review of "The First New Dealer, William Goeble" by Urey Woodson. (from Courier-Journal, June 6, 1939)
[Box: 9, Item: 8]
BOUND NEWSPAPER, 1907-1908
Lexington Leader, November 10, 1907 - January 5, 1908
[Item: 1]