xt7sj38kdq58 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7sj38kdq58/data/mets.xml Elliott, John Milton, d.1879 1879  books b92kf223b8418792009 English N/A : N/A Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Buford, Thomas, 1824- Trials --Kentucky. The Buford-Elliott tragedy : with a brief sketch of the life of Colonel Thomas Buford, including a concise account of the celebrated Guthrie- Rowland vs Buford lawsuit, written from a Buford standpoint. text The Buford-Elliott tragedy : with a brief sketch of the life of Colonel Thomas Buford, including a concise account of the celebrated Guthrie- Rowland vs Buford lawsuit, written from a Buford standpoint. 1879 2009 true xt7sj38kdq58 section xt7sj38kdq58 




25,000 FOR 0.



and former journalist 




"25,000 FOR 0."


BY A MEMBER OF THE FRANKFORT BAR, and former journalist!






Diversified by Various Sketches and Incidents.

When, on the twenty-sixth day of March, 1879, one of the honored judges of our Court of Appeals, the supreme court of Kentucky, John Milton Elliott, was shot down on the streets of the capital, apparently in cold blood, by a defeated litigant in that court, Col. Thomas Buford   whose bloody deed seemed, at the first blush, to present all the characteristics of a deliberately planned assassination   a thrill of intense horror and indignation flashed through the entire State, extending over the Republic, and ultimately to the remotest borders of civilization, wherever the intelligence was borne on the wings of the telegraph and the newspaper press. This was natural, in view of " the divinity that doth hedge " a pure and upright judiciary in all free and enlightened countries, and it was natural, too, that in the city where the terrible deed was done, the indignation of men should mount to an almost uncontrollable pitch of intensity, and, for a time, threaten mob violence to the perpetrator of so unparalleled a deed of deadly violence. There is now, indeed, no doubt that the calling out of a company of the State guard    the McCreary Guards   on this exciting occasion, saved the State from a great disgrace, and the capital of Kentucky from one of those 

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diabolical exhibitions of " Lynch law," no whit less atrocious than the crimes they are intended to avenge.

It is true that the bold, undispuced facts of the shooting of Judge Elliott by Colonel Buford, as related by eye witnesses, and passed from mouth to mouth and published in the public journals, were enough to arouse the bitterest and vindictive passions of the human heart, and especially throughout the ranks of that learned and influential profession of which Judge Elliott was a shining and most popular member; but they were not enough to satisfy the craving of the great public for a complete and authentic history of the case, including the antecedents of Buford and a fair account of the law suit which led to the position he occupied as a disappointed and utterly ruined litigant, and aroused within him that violent devil of insanity, never, from his earliest boyhood, entirely dormant within him, and which all who are acquainted with him and his family history well know it was his exceeding great misfortune to have honestly inherited. There is an instinctive, widely prevalent, popular desire, born of a love of truth, justice and fair play, to hear all that can be truthfully said on both sides of this awful, this astounding , tragedy. ----------------- -

It is the purpose of this brief, but conscientiously prepared, memoir to supply this desideratum   one side having already been fully heard through the press and the bar of the State   and, for the honor of our common humanity, to show what we believe to be a truth clear as the noonday sun, and susceptible of "confirmation with proof as strong as Holy Writ,'' namely: that the perpetrator of so extraordinary a crime was not a responsible agent at the time he fired the fatal shot, but as crazy as any lunatic confined within the walls of any of our insane asylums, and, on the subject of his own and his dead sister's law suit, had been so for years. But, aside from the superabounding evidences of insanity at hand, to take any other view of this terrible, this unnatural crime, would be to underrate our boasted God-given, God-like humanity, and place civilized and enlightened men on a level with the fiercest wild beasts of the tropical jungles.

Another, and we may say, leading reason for the preparation and publication of this pamphlet, is to be found in the notorious fact that, since the startling tragedy of March 26, the newspaper press, that powerful engine of evil as well as of good, and for the propagation of falsehood as well as of truth, has been engaged in a stud- 
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ied and long continued effort to heap obloquy upon the name and character of Thomas Buford. The newspapers within the State, as well as beyond its border throughout the Union, have acted as if many of them had been employed as attorneys with liberal fees, to aid the district attorney in the prosecution and conviction of the unfortunate lunatic, and have not scrupled not only to exaggerate the prisoner's maniacal errors and escapades, but have actually published fabrications out of the whole cloth in order to blacken reputation and life-history. Some of them, indeed, have gone so far as to proclaim that " a short shrift and a hempen cord " ought to have been his fate on the diy Judge Elliott was slain, that mob law would be perfectly justifiable in his case. All of them nnu scout the idea as utterly inadmissible that he is insane, when no fact is more notorious, or better established, and was very generally admitted by these very newspapers the morning after the tragedy occurred.

the pulpit also,

contrary to that Christian charity and brotherhood which should prevail among all men, contrary to the cherished traditions and boasts of the Southern clergy "never to interfere in matters outside of religion," thundered its fiercest anathemas against the poor, unfortunate, God-afflicted lunatic, and clamored for his trial and execution by the extremest punishment known to the law, as speedily as might be humanly possible. The pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church in Frankfort, who officiated at the funeral ceremonial at the Christian church, in the absence of the regular pastor, preached a sermon over the dead body of Judge Elliott which startled and struck all who heard it as so savagely bitter and revengeful as to be entirely beyond the pale of that Christian spirit which can only tr uly civilize the world and bring about peace and good will among men. It fairly out-Heroded anything of the kind ever heard before in the South, or, perhaps, even in the North. In fact, this fanatical and sanguinary clergyman seemed eager to anticipate the zeal and offices of the public prosecutor and Commonwealth's attorney, in his efforts to forestall public opinion and have an "example" made, never stopping to inquire whether the slayer of Judge Elliott was in his right mind or not   never stopping to ask whether it was Buford himself that did the deed, or the devil of insanity, which most men knew lurked within him.

It is to correct the many falsehoods and foolish exaggerations indulged in by these reckless public journals, and to tell the plain, 

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unvarnished truth in reference to the errors and (misfortunes, all proceeding from a congenitally diseased mind, of Thomas Buford that this little book has been prepared and given to the public. Our motto is : "Let the truth come out and justice be done, though the heavens fall." This unfortunate maniac, whom the world knows as Thomas Buford, is as much entitled to even-handed justice, administered according to the forms of law, as any other man living or dead. And, we haven't the slightest doubt that the disembodied spirit of the noble and generous John M. Elliott, now dwelling in its supernal abode of bliss beyond the stars, and now fully understanding the true and life-long mental condition of the man whose crazy hand dealt him the mortal blow, freely pardons his slayer, and, could he communicate with us, would say: "Send him to one of the asylums prepared for all such unfortunates. Forgive him, as I do, for he knew not what he did."

Of thirteen children borne to Colonel William Buford, Thomas Buford's father, by his wife, Frances Kirtley, twelve were reared to maturity, and of these twelve three were confined at one time as lunatics in the Woodford homestead   now Alexander's celebrated "Woodburn"   while it is affirmed by intimate friends and acquaintances of the family that at least half of the remainder were more or less insane. "Indeed," says one intelligent and observant kinsman of Thomas Buford, "I am positively certain from my own knowledge, that streaks of hereditary insanity have manifested themselves at times in every one of Col. William Buford's children, including even those generally regarded by the world as perfectly sane."

Nor was this hereditary insanity confined to the maternal side of the Buford household, as is supposed by some. It is a well known fact that Mrs. Henry Crutcher, of Glasgow, Ky., one of Colonel William Buford's sisters and Thomas Buford's aunt, although one of the most brilliant and richly endowed women of her time   a lady of whom the great Alexander Campbell, of Bethany, Virginia, said : "She is the most gifted woman I ever met"   was subject to occasional spells of mental derangement. Moreover, according to the testimony of one of his life-long neighbors and friends, Colonel William Buford himself, the honored and universally esteemed citizen, exhibited, a short time before his death, unmistakable signs of the same melancholy infirmity. Indeed, a very near relative of the family has been heard to remark recently that he had noted in himself, at certain periods, an irresistible tendency toward those excessively morbid feel- 
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ings and actions which lie on the very verge of insanity and unreason, and which he had also occasionally observed in an even more pronounced form in the language and conduct of Colonel William Buford in seasons of gloom and peril.

It will thus be seen that the unhappy slayer of Judge Elliott inherited a double tendency toward insanity   a fearful heritage!    which descended to him directly from both of his parents, and which modern science and research, as well as common observation and tradition, teach us is of all human qualities and infirmities the most likely to be transmitted from parents to children. Of this at once singularly afflicted and rarely gifted family, it is well known that Thomas Buford was, in his distracted moods, probably the most wayward and the most violent of all; and why steps were not taken long ago to cure him, or at least to mitigate his great malady   "the malady of a mind diseased"   is just one of those mysteries which are constantly cropping out in the developments and combinations of the present, to make us wonder at the blindness and blunders of the past.

During the progress of the Guthrie-Rowland versus Buford law suit, and more particularly toward its disastrous close, it was the common remark that Col. Buford talked very wildly about it, and many were heard to say, after listening to his long and vehement tirades on the subject, that he was more than half crazy about every thing, and especially in reference to that matter, and that they believed if the suit finally went against him   it was in the courts most of the time for ten years   he would be sure to do something desperate and unheard-of. In fact, in previous law suits, he had rarely failed to do something desperate, or, at least, eccentric   something characteristic of violent lunacy, particularly when he was, as he believed, unjustly defeated, or the probabilities seemed to point in that direction. In the brief sketch or memorandum of his life given further on, it will be seen that a striking illustration of this tendency to maniacal violence occurred in his rencontre with Mr. Ulysses Turner, of Versailles, opposing counsel in the case of the Versailles Commercial Bank versus Miss Mary Buford, as far back as 1858 or 1859.

Testimony of An Old Neighbor.

A well known and perfectly reliable citizen of Frankfort, wha formerly resided in the neighborhood of Coh Win. Buford's farm, in Woodford, bears testimony to the following facts as within his personal knowledge : 

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A young sister of Thomas Buford, when between the ages of 12 and 15 years, became so insane that she would occasionally make her escape from the paternal mansion in a perfectly nude condition, and run for miles along the public highway before she could be arrested and taken back home. The same afflicted young lady, when quite grown, would frequently come down stairs to the breakfast table with nothing but a sheet or blanket wrapped around her, and, approaching the table like some one swimming, would push the dishes aside and devour her meal lying prone upon the table.

Thomas Buford himself, when about thirteen or fourteen years old, would often in the winter season start to mill on a bag of corn, wearing a full suit of clothes adapted to the season, but before reaching the mill, only twb or three miles distant, would divest himself of all but a single undergarment, and astonish the miller (who is our informant) by appearing before him in a costume better suited to the climate of Central Africa in midsummer than to the sharp temperature of a December or January day in Northern Kentucky.

The Tragic Fate of Sinclair Buford.

The sad case of the unfortunate Sinclair Buford, an elder brother of Thomas, is one that points still more strongly to the existence of hereditary insanity in the family. In a fit of violent lunacy, a few years before the war, he killed a trusty slave belonging to his father's estate   Col. Buford's trainer   and then, after being acquitted on the self-evident ground of insanity, actually gave his lawyer, who was no other than the celebrated Thomas F. Marshall, a severe beating with his cane, because in his defense of him Marshall had dwelt too strongly and too eloquently on his insane characteristics and demonstrations. Moreover, he conceived a grudge against Sheriff Carter, because, in the trial for killing the negro man, he had summoned men for jurors he (Buford) didn't like ; and, not only beat the sheriff unmercifully with a hickory stick, but, it is said, made threats of further and heavier punishment.

On the trial, the same day, in the court-house at Versailles, for the assault on the sheriff, he held up the battered hickory stick, still red with Carter's blood, and shook the bloody end of it toward the sheriff jin a half jocular, half menacing manner; whereupon that officer drew his revolver and fired four shots into the body of the poor lunatic as he sat in his chair, a prisoner at the bar of justice. Sinclair Buford then leaped out of the window of the court room, 
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and, running to the court-house fence, staggered against it and fell dead   a victim to his own violent hereditary lunacy, and a sheriff who did not understand his duty; for, unquestionably, it was the duty of that officer to have got out a writ de lunatico inquirendo for Buford, immediately after the trial for murder, and had him sent to an asylum. In this way a fearful tragedy, unique in the annals of courts of justice, might have been avoided, as, in the same way, another and equally startling tragedy might have been avoided at Frankfort on the 26th of March, 1879.

Further Incidents of Thomas Buford's Early Life.

When a little over 21 years of age, Thomas Buford became enamored of the beautiful and accomplished daughter of one of his father's neighbors, and, after a brief but vigorous courtship, asked the young lady to marry him. This proposition she politely but firmly declined. A second, and perhaps third, application for the fair one's hand met the same fate; when suddenly, one day, not long after the last rebuff, young Buford made his appearance in the presence of the young lady and her mother, and coolly drawing from his pistol-pocket a loaded revolver, cocked and handed it to the old lady, saying : "Here, Mrs.       , take this gentle persuader, and hold it on Miss Mary until you bring her to terms!" The sensible matron, understanding her young neighbor's strange moods and idiosyncrasies, and their hereditary cause, better than he did himself, accepted the proffered weapon, as if to humor his mad whim, and laid it upon the table at her side, whereupon the at least temporarily demented suitor left the house as suddenly as he came, and was never heard to allude to the subject again.

Another intelligent citizen, of Franklin county, of unquestioned veracity, when quite a young man was employed as assistant manager on Col. Wm. Buford's farm, and bears the following testimony to the insane conduct of Thomas Buford when he had about reached the age of maturity. He says that young Buford at that time possessed the first Colt's revolver he ever saw; and that, when riding about the farm, he used to pull it out, and practice on his father's fine Berkshire pigs, sometimes killing as many as five or six of them at a bout.

These and other similar escapades led our informant to the belief that Thomas Buford was quite insane at times, even at that early day.   Having met him occasionally, and heard of him frequently 

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since that time, it is his firm conviction that the slayer of Judge Elliott has been more or less insane all his life.

Later Demonstrations.

Long before the killing of Judge Elliott, we repeat, hundreds of people had been heard to testify to their belief in his partial or total insanity, especially on the subject of the lawsuit. In fact, such was the universal talk among his acquaintances. It was remarked by all that the law suit seemed to have taken possession of his whole being, to the exclusion of almost every other thought. Several young men of Frankfort and vicinity, who at different times went out on fishing or hunting excursions with him, have been heard to say that after being out with him awhile, his language and conduct would become so violent and crazy, they were actually afraid he would kill them, or do them some bodily harm, and they were glad enough to fet back home with whole skins to their bodies. One of these young men, a citizen of Belle Point, became so alarmed by his frantic language and maniacal behavior, that he slipped away from him early in the day, and returned to town, rather than run the risk any longer.

In fine, it will be found upon examination that the mass of evidence going to show that Thomas Buford has been more or less violently insane all his life, and that he was all but a raving maniac at the time he committed the fearful act which laid Judge Elliott low, is perfectly overwhelming, and leaves no candid, unbiassed man the slightest room for doubt.

Proposing further on to give a history of the great Buford-Guthrie law suit, so often referred to, and, we may add, so incorrectly understood in many quarters   that history will be best introduced by a brief sketch of


Thomas Buford was born on the 18th day of September, 1824, in Woodford county, Ky., and is therefore nearly fifty-five years old. His father, Col. William Buford, was the son of Simon Buford, of Virginia, and at the age of twenty-one married Miss Frances W. Kirtley, aged fifteen, whose parents were also from Virginia. They were married in Barren county, Ky., and removed thence to Woodford county in 1805. Marrying thus early in life, and both being of the pioneer stock, this young couple reared to maturity twelve of the thirteen children born to them   seven boys and five 
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girls   and of these, the subject of this sketch was next to the youngest.

Col. Wm. Buford and his wife were, like most of the educated Kentuckians of that day, industrious, frugal and thrifty ; and, having rapidly accumulated a fine estate, were able to give their children every advantage of education and society obtainable in the State at that interesting period. Indeed, says our informant, their shining virtues, fidelity to marriage vows, affectionate attachment to friends, and chivalric justice to foes   their industry, uprightness, and morality   were mirrored in their children. Col. Buford spent his whole life in agricultural pursuits, giving particular attention to the raising of fine stock upon the splendid farm he had purchased from Mr. Robert Alexander, which was then called " Free Hill."

At the age of eighteen Thomas was sent to Georgetown College, where he remained one year. When the Rev. Dr. L. W. Seeley, professor of languages in that institution, resigned his chair, and proceeded to open a high school in Woodford county, quite a number of the students, Thomas Buford among them, refused to abandon their old preceptor, to whom they were greatly attached, and followed him to his new field of labor as a teacher. Young Buford remained with him until his education was sufficiently advanced for him to undertake the study of law, to which profession his father wished him to devote himself. However, about this time, Col. Buford becoming physically disabled by an accident, Thomas was to a great extent withdrawn from his studies in order to assist his father in attending to the business of the farm. Nevertheless, under the supervision of Dr. Seeley he read many law books, together with a good deal of standard literature, poetry, etc., visiting the Doctor's two or three times a week for the purpose.

Col.William Buford died on the 18th of September, 1848   Thomas being exactly twenty-four on that day   leaving, by his last will, his entire estate to his two sons, Henry and Thomas Buford (as executors), with the exception of a few specified gifts. His partiality for Thomas, it is said, produced some ill feeling in the family. He directed, after the settlement of his estate, that his executors and devisees, Henry and Thomas, should give certain portions to those of his children who had been left out of the will. The indebtedness of the estate was large, and this caused him to concentrate it in the hands of the two executors, who had been associated closely with him in his business affairs during the latter part of his life.   The estate 

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was managed with success, and portions of it given to the brothers and sisters of the executors, according to the wishes of the testator, and his widow Mrs. Fanny Kirtley Buford, who survived him many years.

The Rencontre with the Illustrious O'Hara.

Many old citizens remember that when Col. Buford was still a young man, he got on his horse one morning and rode all the way to Louisville before night for the purpose of exacting personal satisfaction from one of the famous " four colonels," editors of the Daily Times, for some personal mention of himself in the columns of that paper, which he deemed unjust and insulting. Meeting Col. Theodore O'Hara, one of the famous "four," in a coffee-house, soon after his arrival, he promptly knocked him down, and it is said "punished" him considerably. The lamented soldier, poet and statesman, of world-wide fame, is now one of the most cherished names in the pantheon of Kentucky's dead heroes; and it is understood that, when the affair was over and he had had time to investigate all the circumstances, he declared that Buford acted exactly right on the occasion   just as he (O'Hara) should have felt like doing himself, had he been in Buford's place. Still, it must be admitted that it was a somewhat eccentric way of settling an " affair of honor," especially in one who it is known fully recognized the code ; for, although never engaged, we believe, as one of the principals in a duel, yet he went out several times as " second " to others, whom he always insisted should "stand squarely up to the line of true chivalry on all the points." If he discovered, or thought he discovered the slightest tendency on the part of his principal to falter, or show the white feather, he would abondon him at once and denounce him bitterly for not better gauging his own pluck before agreeing to the cartel.

Rencontre of the Two Brothers.

When the estate was finally adjusted, according to the will, unpleasant feelings having arisen between the two joint heirs and executors, Henry and Thomas, they had a settlement and dissolution of partnership relations, and the former gave to the latter his note for $6,000. Thomas gave up the home where he was born and had lived to man's estate, to his brother Henry, his mother and his sisters, to all of whom, through all of his troubles, he has ever shown the greatest attachment and affection; and transferred his residence to 
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another farm, where he carried on business on his own account. This was in 1854.

A few years later Henry Buford sold one-half of his landed estate to R. A. Alexander, including the old Buford homestead where the family had lived for so many years. So soon as Thomas heard of this he went to his mother's and firmly refused to sell his portion of the land to Mr. Alexander, an English nobleman of large fortune. Mrs. Buford's dower was then allotted to her, and all business matters between the two brothers, Henry and Thomas, settled amicably for the time being   all except the note for $6,000. Out of that note grew a law suit and much trouble, resulting finally in the unfortunate rencontre between the brothers on the streets of Versailles, the county seat of Woodford. Previous to this, there had been one award by Judge George Robertson, as referee, in favor of Henry for $200 or $300, which, however, it appears Thomas convinced the referee, was predicated upon a mistake; but, upon the judge's application to Henry and his lawyer for a return of the award for amendment, it was refused. Thereupon Thomas pressed the suit on the note in the Circuit court, which set aside the Robertson award, and then the whole case was again referred for arbitration to Hon. Matt. C. Johnson, who rendered a decision for nearly the full amount of the note.

This second award was sustained by the court, and the rencontre followed soon after. Thomas Buford being in Versailles, upon the street, Henry commenced firing upon him. One ball from Henry's pistol struck Thomas in the right arm. Thomas did not offer to return or to resist the fire of his brother in any way, but retired behind a boxed-up shade tree on the sidewalk, " which," Thomas is reported to have said, " received several of the balls without a murmur." Then, the interference of friends stopped the firing. Some years later, the long estranged brothers renewed friendly and fraternal relations, which have since been uninterrupted.

The Disastrous Pork Speculation.

After this affair, Thomas Buford directed his whole attention to his own business affairs, in an energetic effort to accumulate sufficient means to prevent the homestead of his parents from falling into alien hands. His business operations and labors were crowned with success, until about the fall and winter of 1857-58, when, unfortunately as it turned out, he engaged in an extensive pork speculation 
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at Louisville and Cincinnati. His calculations were based upon a short hog crop that year, consequent upon a short crop of corn, and

the sale of stock hogs during the summer season.   All his purchases i

were made with skill and success; and there was a time, during the I The

winter of 1858, when the market was paying from twenty to thirty -gan

thousand dollars over and above the amount invested.   Of course, ]arg

at this moment he intended to sell out at a splendid profit, but was nev

prevented by H. A. Dumesnil & Co., his merchants at Louisville. ^(

He was induced by the flattering representations of that house to let casj

them control the business.   Moneys were paid by parties to that ]aw

house for Buford, which Dumesnil said were reinvested. guf

Then came the suit of Dumesnil & Co. versus Thomas Buford, ^ep

&c.   The best account and statement of this transaction that can be ren(

made, it is said, may be found in the depositions of Dumesnil himself cou

and his clerk, filed in the record of the case in the Woodford Circuit pUD

court.    From these documents, it appears that Dumesnil swore that occ

his partner in New York had swindled his partner in New Orleans, aga

and disobeyed instructions; that he (Dumesnil) sold Buford's pork tjui

at one price and reported sales at another and lower price; that e(jit

Dumesnil got $19 50 per bbl for the pork, and yet wanted to settle sorr

with Buford at $16! that he obtained $7,500 more for one lot of SUg

1,000 bbls. than he wanted to pay over to Buford   and much more c

of the same sort, all going to show the same treacherous line of con- n;s

duct on the part of Dumesnil & Co. toward their client (Buford). . was

Meanwhile, the Bufords had sold their landed estate to R. A. the

Alexander, and the slaves and personal property to Adam Harper, wh<

with the view of thus making themselves as invulnerable as possible cou

to the onslaught of Dumesnil and his allies   a step they evidently $1^

had a perfect right to take, under the circumstances just related. sne

After years of litigation the case was referred to the late Jacob uni

Swigert, of Frankfort, who refused to report anything as due from ja[\

Thomas Buford to Dumesnil & Co.   Then, to use the language of me

Col. Thomas Buford himself, "the case was taken away from Mr. ggg

Swigert and given to another referee, who gave Dumesnil & Co. all vic1

they claimed, in direct violation of the law and the evidence con- hoi

tained in the record."   Once again started, the case was carried ren

through all the courts.   After Dumesnil & Co. took the benefit of me

the bankrupt act, Buford immediately followed suit, in order, as he emi

said, "to protect himself against one of the most formidable combina- my

tions that ever sought the destruction of a single man." ted 
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Rencontre with Mr. Ulysses Turner.

Subsequently, the unjust claims held by Dumesnil & Co. against Thomas Buford fell into the hands of the Versailles Commercial Bank, which brought suit on them and obtained judgment for a large amount. After obtaining judgment, the officers of the bank never applied to Buford for payment or any kind of settlement, but suffered the judgment to lie dormant until the son-in-law of the cashier returned from Missouri a bankrupt and began the practice of law at Versailles, when suit was brought against his sister, Miss Mary Buford, to subject her property to its payment. Deposition after deposition was taken, which, however, availed them nothing. The rencontre between Colonel Thomas Buford and Mr. Ulysses Turner, counsel for the bank, of which so much misrepresentation has been published recently by the correspondents of the sensational press, occurred at Versailles during the pending of this suit of the bank against his sister Mary, and not during the progress of the suit of Dumesnil & Co. against himself, as those correspondents and many editors have represented. Referring to this affair in an interview some time ago, Colonel Buford made substantially the following suggestive statement:

"I knocked Ulysses Turner, the lawyer of the bank, down, but on his refusing to fight, /picked him up in order to reinstate him as he was. I was fined $2,000 for this breach of the peace by the Commonwealth, the case having been tried during my absence, and one of the