Thursday, August 20, 2015
June 23, 1887: James Webb
Today we learn about the lynching of a Mississippi poisoner through the pages of The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) dated June 24, 1887:
James M. Webb of Attala County, miss.,
Poisons His Wife Under Circumstances of Peculiar Brutality.
He is Held for Trial Without Bail
But is Taken from Jail and Hung Up on a Railroad Trestle.
KOSCIUSKO, Miss., June 23.—[Special.] On Saturday night, June 18, Mrs. Mary Webb died at her home near Newport, in the southwest part of Attala county, under circumstances which pointed strongly to foul play. Her husband, James M. Webb, was arrested and charged with the crime. It was proven in the preliminary examination that Webb
HAD PURCHASED STRYCHNINE
from the druggist at Sallis and that he administered what he claimed to be calomel about bed time Saturday night. His wife was soon seized with convulsions, which continued for several hours, during which time she suffered terrible agony. Although her parents lived only half a mile away and she implored her husband to go after help, he refused. Finally her little boy, about 7 years old, was waked and sent. When Mrs. Webb's mother arrived the dying woman stated that
HER HUSBAND HAD POISONED HER,
and that it was the second attempt he had made.
Webb refused to go after a physician or to allow his horse to be used. The preliminary trial took place Tuesday, and the above facts were elicited with the further information that on the day previous to the poisoning he had been inquiring of the neighbors
HOW MUCH STRYCHNINE IT WOULD TAKE
to kill, and how long it would require.
Squire Branch, before whom the preliminary examination was held, sent Webb to Kosciusko on Wednesday, where he was lodged in jail. During Wednesday night a mob, variously estimated at from 25 to 100, came to Kosciusko, overpowered the jailer and took Webb to a trestle bridge about one mile from town and hanged him. He hung there till the morning train came along, which passed over the rope,
CUTTING HIM DOWN.
Webb was wonderfully cool when the mob came, never resisting nor flinching. his wife belonged to one of the most highly respected families in the county. They have two young children.
Webb was considered insane by some and was generally disliked. Public sentiment condemns the lynching.
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.