xt7b5m625h45 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7b5m625h45/data/mets.xml Thomas, Robert S.; Williams, George W. 1825  books b92hv6533k446s7318252009 English T.T. Bradford : Lexington, Ky. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Baker, Francis, 1793-1824. Desha, Isaac B., 1802-1828? Murder --Kentucky --Fleming County. Criminals --Kentucky --Fleming County. A statement of the trial of Isaac B. Desha; indicted for the murder of Francis Baker ... before the Hon. George Shannon. text A statement of the trial of Isaac B. Desha; indicted for the murder of Francis Baker ... before the Hon. George Shannon. 1825 2009 true xt7b5m625h45 section xt7b5m625h45 
   I Statement

or THE





JEjrancis Baker,

Xate of Natchez, Mississippi; held at Cynthiana, Kentuc ky.

before the

mon: r tho m the ofthe * Was s car g per-at; for when e one let! t   ofthe

worn, h.

   aker )veo-


>lod-i arc

Ques. Ave you satisfied that it was the same mare )atBaker h id al your house? Ans. I believe her-to be the same mare. Ques. What kind of clothing did Francis Bsker rear.'

Ans. He was dressed in a blue cloth coat and paDr p],,ns. and a light coloured waistcoat, which 1 be-[jve was made of silk.

Ques. Did you see any clothing about his person for his death? Ans. None.

Ques. Had he a watch? Ans. He had.

Ques. Had he a pair of saddlebags? Ans. He had.

Quus7~Dcscribe them.

Aas. They were an ordinary pair about half worn. Ques. Did the saddlebags contain clothing? Ans. They were very full of something. Ques. Were they heavy ? Ans. They were not.

Ques. Would you know the saddlebags if you were to see them?

Ans. No. I saw a pair in Flemingsburg which perhaps were the same, but they were much disfigured.

Q,ues. Do you recollect any marks on them? Ans. His name was on them for 1 examined them. Q,nes, Where was his name written f Ans. On the underside ofthe tlap. Ques. Do you recollect the description of saddle* bags of which they were? Ans I have some recollection of it. Q,ues. Have you seen them since the decease? Ans I have.

Ques. From your recollection of them, are you not satisfied they arc the same ?


Ans. Thcylook'd a good dual like them.

Ques. In whose custody was the mare when saw her, and by whom was she shown to you?

Aris She was shewn to mo by Gen. fteid at Goi    dard's stable in Flcmingsburg.

Questions by the Counsel for the prisoner.

Ques. Do you keep an Ostler or not? Ans. I do.

Ques. Was the mare taken and brought out by the Ostler? Ans. Yes.

Ques. Did you attend to the marc yourself? Ans. I paid particular attention to her; I looked a iier and examined her closely. Ques What time did he arrive? Ans. About two hours by sun in the evening. Ques. Did he ask you to look at the mare? Ans. He did in the morning. Ques. Was she saddled? Ans She was.

Ques. Was she not a high and handsome nag?

Ans. She was about fifteen hands high or not so much;she was a pretty mare.

Ques. Do you found your recollection of her froc the notice you took of her general form?

Ans. Yes; from nothing particular.

Ques. Did you observe the saddle particularly?

Ans. I did; the stirrups were remarkably slender.

Ques. Have you examined the saddle more particularly since the death ?

Ans. 1 have not, but it looked like the same.

Ques. Was not Baker drunk when at your house:

Ans. He was; he could scarcely sit in his chair.

Ques. Did he drink in the morning?

Ans. He drank two glasses of bitters before lit started. 
   sn y0,



dues. Was lie thirsty in the morning!' Ans. He said lie was; he had eat, no supper. Q,ucs. Would he not have drank more if you lermitted him?

Ans. No; the over-evening I would not give any thing.

dues. Did he not come hack when he was about to start and get more?

Ans. lie started but returned and took a second glass.

dues. Were the saddlebags light or heavy? Ans. They were light. Q,ues. Did you see him have any money1? Ans. I believe I saw all the money he had. Ques. How much did he have? Ans. J think about a hundred dollars. Ques. Were there other lodgers at your house on that night? Ans. There were three or four or Jive. Ques. Did any other person see the money? Ans. No one but myself.

Ques. Do you recollect whether he indicated that he was wealthy?

Ans. No; I had but litllc conversation with him that night; he was very silent.. Ques. Was he so intoxicated that he could not sit ? Ans. At night he became very drunk. Ques. Did any body come with him to your house ' Ans. He got dinner at Russel's and came to my house on horseback with the stage driver. Ques. What was the stage drivers name? Ans. Bryan.

Ques. On what rout did Bryan drive'.' Ans. Hedrove from the Blue Licks to Graves' Ques. from the appearance of Baker would yow have thought him to be a man of fortune ? Ans. I would not. 
   Ques. Were those persons who were about your house strangers?

Ans, They were acquaintances. Questions by the Attorney for the Commonwealth.

Ques. What was the conduct of Francis Baker while at your house?

Ans. He behaved well, and for a drunken man bet-ter than common.

Ques. Was not his conduct that of a gentleman though intoxicated?

Ans. It was.

Ques. Was he intoxicated when he left your house? Ans. No.

Ques. Did he leave your house alone'.' Ans.     le did.

Ques. How far from your house to Hogget's? Ans. Five miles.

Queshons by the Counsel for the prisoner.

Ques. Had he a watch or not or do you ouiy think he had?

Ans. I cannot say positively, but I am under the impression that he had.

Ques. Have you any recollection of its metal? Ans. I have not

Ques. W hen he returned his money to his pocket do you recollect of his putting a dollar or two of silver in his watch pocket?

Ans. 1 think he did, I gave him specie to pay Russet's bill.

Ques. Had he a big coat or a cloak?

Ans. Tie wore a green plaid cloak as well as I recollect ; he also icore spectacles.

Ques. Had his saddlebags strops and were they over the stirrups? 

Ans. They were rot fastened with strops, I advised him not to fasten them in that manner; told him there was danger iuhe horse got loose; as he had been drunk the evening; before and appeared some what "   eaieel 1 was i;aiii:r particular with him; he said he had been in a frolic; he had been three or four days coming from Lexington.

Ques. You do not know then whether or not they had strops'?

Ans. I do not recollect whether they had or not Ques. Had the saddlebags any provision in the bottom for carrying shoes? Ans. 1 do not recollect.

Ques. Do you know whether he had arms with him or not? Ans. 1 saw none.

Ques. Was Baker an easy communicative man? Ans. He told me where he was from. Ques. Did he give you any intimations with respect to his property? Ans"._ None.

Questions by the Attorney for the Commomcealth. Ques. Had he a whip with him of any kind? Ans. None.

Ques. Did he not wear spectacles; what description were they?

Ans. He did; they had a silver frame.

Ques. Was he not a man of apparent decency?

Ans. I thought him a decent man; although he did not travel in a costly manner.

Questions by the Counsel for the prisoner.

Ques. Were not his coat and cloak somewhat worn ?

Ans. Pretty much so.

Ques. Was or not his dress the last for a wealthy


Ans. I should not have thought him Wealthy. Questions by the Attorney for tlie Commonwealth,

Ques. Do not men frequently:stop with you who make poor appearances., hut who are wealthy?

Ans. I cannot say; but poor men sometimes cut a good figure and wealthy men often cut but a poorfi. gure.

RICHARD DOG GATE, introduced and sworn

He stated that Desha the prisoner, and Baker both breakfasted with him on Tuesday morning the 2ni of November last, that they both appeared peaceable, that they went off after breakfast, but he did not see them start.

Questions by Attorney for the CommomctcHh. Ques. At what time did Baker arrive at your house r Ans. Tolerably early in the morning.

Ques. Were there any other persons who breakfasted with you that morning?

Ans. There were nine who breakfasted with me.

Ques Did you notice the animal Baker rode?

Ans. I think it was a grey beast and that he hitched her to the fence.

Ques. Did she have saddlebags on while there?

Ans. She had.

Ques. Did you learn the strangers name whilst at your house ? Ans. I did not.

Ques. Did you seethe murdered man? Ans. I did see him while a corpse. Ques. Do you think it was the corpse of the man who breakfasted with you on the morning spoken ofV Ans. I do.

'Ques. From your observation of him whilst at your house are you certain that tho murdered ma?, you saw was the same ? 

Ana. I believe he. was

Q^ues. Was the mare that was said to be Baker's the same you saw at your house?

Ans. I could not say positively.

Ques. Had Mr. Desha staid all the night of first of November with you?

Ans. He did for the first time since my recollection.

dues. What time did Desha come to your house?

Ans. Late in the evening.

Ques. Did you see him start away?

Ans. No.

Ques. Had Desha any saddlebags that evening? Ans. He had not

dues. 1 lad he a whip at that time? Aus. He had. Ques. Had it a lash ?

Ans. It had not. I told the waggoners to make their bills and turned myself and gave Desha's whip to him.

Ques. Was it a loaded whip?

Ans. I think it was, and that it was pretty large though I paid no particular attention to it

Ques. Do you know whether Desha had been on ajourney or not?

Ans. 1 do not.

Ques. How far is it from your house to Desha's? Ans. About four miles.

Ques. Does Desha live in the neighborhood of his father Ans. He does.

dues. What kind of clothing had Desha when at your house that night?

Ans. I think he had on a blue roundabout.

dues. Did you see him have a large red morocco pocket book ?

Ana. I did not.

   Questions % Counsel for prisoner,

(lues Do you recollect of Desha's finger bleeding that morning?

Ans. His linger was cut 1 tied it up and put some balsam apple on it; it was a tolerable bad cut.

Ques. Did you not put on the balsam apple for the purpose of stopping the blood ?

Ans. It had been bleeding but it did not bleed much after i tied it up; two were cut but I only tied one

Ques. You say there were at breakfast eight or nine others with Desha and Baker

Ans. There were six waggoners; Burress, Baker and Desha made nine.

Ques. You say the horses were hitched, do y recollect if Baker's had a pair of saddlebags on ?

Ans. I took no particular notice of Baker's beast, but he had a pair of saddlebags when he cune. '

Ques. Is it from your own recollection?

Ans. It is.

Ques. What was Bakers appearance; did he look like he had money?

Ans. He did not appear so to me; but they were feoth nice men.

Ques. Would you have thought him to have been a man travelling with money ?

Ans. I should not have thought he was; he gave me 50 cents and I returned 10 cents in change.

Ques. Did he wear a cloak or a big coat?

Ans. He wore a cloak, he took it off and put it on the bar-room door; it laid there till he started.

Ques. Were you present while they were eatinj breakfast?

Ans. I went in when they commenced; went out but returned again; Desha carved for them. Ques. Did Baker drink with the waggoners? Ans. Baker got one half pint of whiskey and invi- 

ted the rest to drink; having drank it he called for a-notlicr. but 5 did not sec Baker drink more than once out of eacli.

(-lues. What do you know about the whip?

Jins. I did not notice so particularly as to be a-ble to describe it minutely.

Ques. Are you or are you not able to say that the whip which was shewn you, was a larger one than    that of Desha's?

Ans. I cannot say.

Ques.   Was there not a man in your employment at that time of the name of Davis? Ans. There was?

Ques How was he employed whilst they were at breakfast?

Ans He was about the house and waggon yard before, but does not know exactly where he was, at that time.

Ques  Was this man's beast taken? Ans. No.

Ques. Did Davis attend to the taking of horses? Ans. He did.

Ques. Was Davis there when Baker came?

Ans. Yes; Baker first spoke to Davis &. asked him if he could get breakfast, Davis replied that he could.

Qu s. Then what was Davis about?

Ans. I don't know precisely what, but he (Davis) was not immediately at the house

Ques. Had Davis resided long in the neighbor* hood ?

Ans. About two months.

Ques. Did he live there before?

Ans. No: he was raised in Virginia, near Berry's ferry as 1 understood, but did not know any thing a-bo ut him.

Q ues Did he come to your house as a traveller? Ans. He did.


Ques. Did lie come on foot or on horseback'' Ans. On foot.

Ques. Does he live with you now? Ans. No.

Ques. Is Davis a sober man?

Ans. As much so as common, is sometimes inotxi-rated, but is steady to his business.

Ques. Is he inclined to thirst?

Ans. Not more than common, he however likes a    dram.

Ques. Was be young and hearty? Ans. Yes.

Ques. At what wages did you employ him?

Ans. At the rates if eight dollars per month. Davis observed when I employed him that he was botli out of money and work.

Ques. Have you a particular recollection of where Davis was?

Ans. I am not certain, but expect he was about feeding or getting corn.

Ques How long was it afterwards till Davis came in'

Ans. At least an hour; my guests breakfasted, and some of them started, after awhile breakfast was prepared for the family, the horn was blown for the out hands and Davis with the rest came in.

Ques. Do you recollect distinctly that he came in about the time that the family sat down to breakfast.'

Ans Yes, 1 do, Williams, Davis and my boys, came in together.

Questions by attorney for Commonwealth

Ques. Are you satisfied that Davis was about the house when the stranger came? Ans. I am.

Ques. Did he act as ostler?

Ans. Yes, or as any thing else about the place.

Ques. Was breakfast preparing?

Ans. It was. 

Ques. Did yoa sec Davis till the horn was blown T Ans, Davis was about the house a little before*; )1U< wont off again s   Q5e& This was after Baker left your house, was

it?    " -    -:'~':J.~ -:f''     '}                                  

Ans. I am not certain, but think it was.

Ques. Would Davis have received higher wages if you had offered them?

Ans. ! presume he would, I employed him at his own say so, which was six dollars in currcn. y. for a week or two, andtffen engaged him by the month at eight dollars.

Ques. Was Davis acquainted with the currency? Ans. He was.

Ques. i low long did you keep him 2 Ans. A bout two months. Ques. Had he been long in the country?' Ans. Nut long.

Ques. Is he now in the neighborhood/-Ans. He is nulling at Clark's. Ques. Did you untie Desha's finger? Ans. I did.

Ques. Was the rag on the finger dry?

Ans. It was, but the linger bled when it was untied, the rag was right bloody but was not very wet. but stiff

Ques. Did it bleed after it was tied? Ans Very little; I did not hear any more complaint.

Ques. Were you acquainted, with the waggoners? Ans. I was.

Ques. Were they men who follow the road and their business constantly? Ans. They do.

Ques Had you teen acquainted with them for any length of lime? Ans. I had. 

THOMAS bAFIS, introduced and sworn.

Questions btithc counsel for ihe Commonwccdth.

Ques? Were you at Doggate's on the morning when Baker and Desha were there/ Ans  I was there.

Ques. State what you were about, and what transpired.

Ans. After waiting on some waggoners I started ploughing, but before I had gone out Baker rode up and asked the time of day, I told him I did not know, there being no watch or clock about the house; I told him breakfast was on the table; :c rode up and got down: I asked him if he wanted his horse fed, he said no, she had been fed; he went in, and I went to v> >rk.

(lues. Were you there when Baker went away? Ans. ! \vasnot, 1 was in (he field.

Ques. Were you at work when breakfast came on.' Ans. T did not come in till the horn blowed. Ques  Did you breakfast with the family? Ans. I eat breakfast with  the family after the others were gone.

Ques. Have you since seen the marc rode by Ba-   kcr? rS'-;r -       < i;.^S>&: . .   -*   -*             WMh Ans. I have. Ques. Where at?

Ans. At General Riod's, and at ^iemingsburg.

Ques. ire you satisfied that the mare you have seen since, was the same Baker rode that morning?

Ans. 1'thought it was the same.

Ques Were not some waggoners and yo urself looking at her?

Ans. Yes.

Q;ies, Did you discover any brand, when you first examined her?

Ans. 1 did not at that time, nor at Ried's. Ques. Have you since been shown u brand? 

Ans. I have seen someting like a brand on close examination; I could feel it. QJues. Could the brand be seen at a distance? Ans. It could not.

Ques. Had Maker a pair of saddlebags? Ans. 1 cannot say certainly, 1 took no particular notice.

Ques. Why did you notice the mare? Ans. She was remarkakle. Ques. Was she a handsome nag? Ans. >he was.

Ques. Had you been at Doggate's through the

night? Ans. Yes.

Ques. Was Desha there that night? Ans. Yes; he staid all night. Ques. Have you any recollection of Dcsha'sbridle? Ans. 1 have

Ques. Have you seen one since which you know to be the same ? Ans. 1 have, and think it the same. Ques Is this the bridle? Ans. I think it is.

Ques. Did you notice the bridle on the morning at Doggate's?

Ans IN'ot that morning; Desha was there sometime before; his horse broke loose, he got on Ball's horse and rode him to the stable, he found his bridle with both buckles broke, he asked for a knife i lent him mine and he cut two holes, one under each buckle.

Ques. Will you look at this bridle and sec if you can show the marks you mention?

(The witness took the bridle and exhibited the marks to the Jury.)

Ques. How long was it before Baker was at Doggate's that this happened? 
   a a

Ans. 1 cannot say positively how long.

Ques. Did you say that you assisted him in mend-Lug the bridle, or did you only lend him your knife'

Ans. I lent him my knife but did not help him.

Ques. Do you recollect when Desha arrived?

Ans. When I came in he was there, his horsj was standing,

Ques. Did you take his horse?

Ans I did.

Ques. Did he have more than one horse?

Ans. lie had not

Ques. Had he any saddlebags?

Ans. He had none when I put away the horse.

Ques. Did you accompany Desha to his bed-room.'

Ans. i did and slept in the same room.

Ques. Do you recollect his coat.''

Ans  It was a round about

Ques. Did you see Desha have a large red morocco pocket-book?

Ans. I did not, after I had gone to bed Desha got out some papers and read them by the candle, but! did not know what they were.

Ques. Do you recollect whether Desha had a dirk.'

Ans I do, it was a tolerable size dirk with astl-l ver scabbard, he drew it out of his pantaloons an! observed that he always carried one, although heue-ver found any use for it; he then placed it under his pillow not having drawn the dirk from the scabbard.

Ques. Did you ever sec it before?

Ans. Iv'o.

Crots examined by counsel for prisoner.

Ques. What kind of scabbard had the dirk?

Ans. Silver, I saw it across a large room whicn contained four beds.

Ques Would you know it should you see it again.'

Ans. I da not think I would, having only seen it for a moment. 

  $ucs. Was the. .scabbard round square or flat?

Ans. I cant say,not having been mar it, it looked something as though it were three square.

Ques h lids the dirl; Mho counsel presenting one with a round silver scabbard)

Ans- 1 do not know that it is.

Ques. Was it about the size of this?

Ans. I think the one in Desha's possession was larger than this.

Ques Had the one you saw a silver handle?

Ans. I only saw the scabbard.

Ques. W hen was it that you lent Desha your knife to mend his bridle?

Ans. It was some time before at Doggate's.

Ques. How long before?

A s. About a week or such a matter.

Ques. Who was by?

Ans. Young Doggatc and John Wright a wag-joner.

Ques. Where were you when Baker came up?

Ans. In the wagiron yard.

Ques. Had you gone to ploughing?

Ans. I was on the way, and was in the waggon yard as I stated.

Ques. When you were asked the time of day you observed that there was no clock or watch about the house, did you not?

Ans. I told him that there was no watch and that the clock was not running.

Ques. Did you go to the house?

An?. No I only went to the fence.

Ques. Were you in the house after Baker came?

Ans I was not, for I went to work.

Ques. How far from where he stopped to the iraggon yard?

Ans. But a short step, the waggon yard is between the stable and the house. 

Ques. Do strangers go thro' tlie WUggonyarfltn get to the house? Ans. Yes.

Ques  Was there anyone with you then? Ans. Yes Samuel Bair was. Ques. Where is he? Ans. Not here.

Ques. Was there any thing extraordinary about the mare?

Ans. She was a well made handsome mare. Ques. Was it a rare thing to see a fine mare? Ans. ft was not.

Ques. What part of her did you think so handsome ?

Ans. Every part.

Ques. What attracted your attention to her? Ans. Because I thought she would match a mars belonging to my father.

Ques. How long since you saw your father's? Ans. In March.

Ques. Is this the first match that you have see} to y