EXECUTION OF COX– On the 27th. inst. the sentence of the law was executed at Charlestown, Va. upon the Eben’r Cox, convicted of the murder of Col. Dunn, late superintendent of the U. S. Armory at Harper’s Ferry, and Shepherdstown roads On reaching the ground, and after the exercises were brought to a close, the prisoner it is stated, “with much firmness but with tears of contrition,” stood up and addressed the assembled multitude. He warned young men to beware of cards, drunkenness and bad company, and to listen and conform to the lessons of parental admonition; alleging that the total disregard of such advice on his part, together with evil company and counsellors, had brought him to the awful condition in which he then stood before them.
When the prisoner had concluded his short address, which lasted some minutes, the Sheriff adjusted the cord, and after bidding adieu descended from the platform and left him alone.
There standing on the threshold of eternity, Cox directed his views heavenward, raising his pinioned hands as high as possible, he prayed audible for some time, and then he threw his handkerchief, bedewed with many a bitter tear, from his hand as a signal to the officer that all was ready. The drop descended; the arms of the suspended criminal fell along either side of his body; a convulsive motion of the chest was observed, and the forfeiture of life was paid.
After the expiration of twenty minutes, the corpse was lowered into its coffin, & delivered to his friends whose purpose was to remove it to London county for interment.
On the night preceding the execution, Cox took no rest. The ministers of God were with him, and he received from their hands the holy sacrament, both on Thursday evening and Friday morning. He left a written confession, which he said he would be willing to seal with his blood, in which he implicated seven other men as advisors to the deed, for which it was his lot to suffer. It is said those persons have absented themselves. In his address from the scaffold he made allusion to these evil advisors as being the cause of his dreadful fate. A fortnight before his execution he addressed a letter to the widow of the lamented Dunn, (which however was never shewn to her) in which he expressed the most heartfelt sorrow for his crime, avering, that if he had millions, and their sacrifice could effect it, he would give all for the restoration of her husband’s life; and that if he possessed millions he would give all to her and her offspring, if indeed they could in any degree repair their loss. — [Baltimore Rep.]
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