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    Rex v. Wemms: Suffolk Superior Court, Boston

    From: Adams Papers | Legal Papers of John Adams | Volume 3 | R. Criminal Law, continued: The Boston Massacre Trials | Rex v. Wemms: Suffolk Superior Court, Boston

    On Saturday i.e. Tuesday , the 27th November, 1770, the Court being met, the prisoners were brought into Court and set to the bar, when the Court proceeded thus. . . . Clerk. How sayest thou, William Wemms , art thou guilty of the felony and murder whereof thou standest indicted, or not guilty? William Wemms . Not guilty. Clerk . How wilt thou be tried? William Wemms . By God and my country....
    James Dodge . . . seemed to come from close before them, i.e. I took it, the snow was flung on Purpose. I took it, the? soldiers pushed, to keep the Inhabitants off . Saw no Oyster Shells thrown, and believe there were none. A Cake of Ice covered the Pavement there, and cov ere d up all the shells. Samuel Clark . Saw White, before the Affray. He stood Sentry. He spoke to me, and asked me how...
    N.B . The Court being unable to go through this trial in one day, the King’s Attorney and the prisoners consented to the Court’s adjourning over night during the Trial, the Jury being kept together in the mean time, by proper officers, appointed and sworn by the Court for that purpose. FIVE o’clock p.m. the Court adjourned to next morning, Wednesday   28 November . NINE o’clock. Wednesday,...
    James Brewer . To the best of my Remembrance I saw Kilroy . I came up r oyal exchange Lane, and saw the Sentry with his Bayonett breast high, and a Number of Boys 20 or more round him . He was on the steps of the C ustom H ouse . I spoke to the Sentry, and said to him, no Body would hurt him. The Boys were talking together, but doing nothing. I saw the Party come down. I spoke to C aptain P...
    SIX o’clock, p.m. the Court adjourned to Thursday morning   29 November   Nine o’clock. Thursday NINE o’clock the Court met according to adjournment, and proceeded. Wemms Trial The Trial of William Wemms, James Hartegan, William M’Cauley , [and others] ... for the Murder of Crispus Attucks, [and others], ... Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize, and General Goal Delivery ... taken in...
    Jos. Crosbey . Kilroys Bayonett appeared to be covered with Blood 5 or 6 Inches, next day . James Carter. The next Morning I observed Kilroys Bayonett to be bloody. I am Satisfyed it was blood . I was near to it, as to Mr. Paine. Jona. Cary. 4 of my Sons, Maverick and another Lad were at supper in my Kitchen, when the Bells rang and I told em there was fire. They said theyd eat a few mouth...
    May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury . Having gone through the evidence on the part of the crown, it is my province to support the charge against the prisoners. The examination hath been lengthy, and from the nature of the transaction complex, and in some part difficult; I shall apply it as distinctly as I am able, without endeavouring to misrepresent or aggravate any...
    Josa. Quincy. 3 main Divisions, under the last there will be many Sub divisions. 1st. whether any killd. 2. Who killed ’em? Wherever a Doubt the Bias is in favour of the Prisoner. 3d. last and main Division, is what are the facts they all edge to justify, excuse, or all eviate. Under this many minute divisions. Need not remind you of the importance to the Prisoners, nor to the Community....
    May it please your Honours, and you Gentlemen of the Jury. The prisoners at the bar stand indicted for the murder of five of his Majesty’s leige subjects, as set forth in the several indictments, which have been read to you: the persons slain, those indictments set forth, as “being in the peace of God and our Lord, the King,” at the time of the mortal wounds given. To these indictments, the...
    James Crawford. At dark that night, I went home and was not out till next morning. I met Numbers of People that night as I went home, going down with sticks in their Hands. At Calefs Corner, saw a Num­ ber above 12 with sticks in their Hands. Heard no Declarations. In Quaker Lane I met many more than common, going towards K’s Street. I was going to Bulls Wharfe where I live and met them. They...