Friday, March 18, 2016

December 15, 1877: Kennedy

Today we learn about a lynching in the Wyoming Territory through the pages of the Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) dated December 16, 1877:


CHEYENNE, Wy. T., Dec. 15.—At Silver Springs, twenty-five miles south of here, a man of Company A, Third Cavalry, one of the three no en route to the Hills, named Kennedy, while under the influence of liquor yesterday, threatened the life of Sergeant of his company, named Schaffer, but was prevented at the time of carrying his threat into execution. Shortly after arriving in camp in the evening, Kennedy procured a carbine, went to the tent where he supposed Schaffer would be found, and, opening the flap, fired at the first man he saw, killing him instantly, but instead of Schaffer it proved to be John A. Van Molt, First Sergeant of the company. Kennedy was immediately disarmed and put under charge of a guard. Great excitement prevailed among the men of the company, by whom Van Molt was greatly respected, and some time during the night the guard was overpowered, a blanket being thrown over his head, and at daylight this morning the body of Kennedy was found suspended to the ridge-pole of the guard tent by the neck, life being extinct. Van Molt's body was brought here to-day, and will be forwarded to-morrow to Fort Laramie for interment.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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