Make your own free website on Tripod.com
MORE-STILL QUESTIONS?

MORE-STILL QUESTIONS?

Another trip to the Alabama Archives did not provide an answer as to how Joseph Knowles got out of prison so quickly. Again, we looked at numerous newspaper articles without a clue. Pardon and executive clemency records in the Secretary of State Department weren't productive. A look at the peniten-tiary rolls(1860 Coosa Co. census)did show that Joe was not there. Fellow inmate, Henry Harrell, an Irishman-age 58, was shown, the entry date(1855) clearly noted.  One archivist told me the next level of appeal would be to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, a look at court dockets (1855-1860) did not reveal this case. Perhaps, there was an intermediary court that he was not aware of. So, I need to check for other possible appellate courts, and look into Coosa Co. records, as additional legal avenues might have initiated there.
                             Larry C. Knowles-January 10 1996

[One source said that early Coosa circuit court records were lost in a 1900 fire(a Courthouse visit proved that statement was not entirely accurate)]- L.C.K.-January 7 1998!


     Notes-Additional Items


Q) Montgomery Daily Mail, Montgomery AL-March 6 1855.  Three of the major points that Justice Samuel Rice addressed in affirming the second conviction.

R) Advertiser and State Gazette, Montgomery AL-March 21 1855. Several small art-icles, found in columns headed-ALABAMA MATTERS, often proved helpful.   Back dating from this issue gave the prison entry date-March 16(clearly stated in an un-copied article).

S) Autauga Citizen, Autaugaville, AL-February 22 1855.   This article was written just before Joe was sent to prison.  It gives a brief description of the prison-and the Wet-umpka area.

T) Dallas Co. Circuit Court Docket-Fall Term 1853(2 ledger-style pages)*.

U) Dallas Co. Circuit Court Docket-Fall Term 1854(2 ledger-style pages)*.

V) 1860 U.S. Census, Coosa Co. AL. Joseph Knowles, and Henry Harrel, were carried to prison on the same day.    Joseph's name was not among the inmates listed. Most were listed alphabetically, the others were likely newer inmates. Most crimes, and years of entry, were noted.

W) This local history provided a few more facts about the State Prison.

X) Appeal for clemency-Henry Harrel letter, June 17 1855(Gov. Winston's correspondence-5pp.).
________________________________________

* Items T & U were found in an obviously rebound volume, with four more unrelated dockets, entitled: TRIAL-STATE DOCKET.      To date, these dockets, and the one noted in "Looking Back", prior to the 2nd transcript, are the only local(Dallas County) records found concerning the crime.  It may be that there are other references in the hundreds of books in the basement vault, Dallas County Courthouse Annex, my research was limited to three or four hours!
________________________________

(Only items Q, S, & W are replicated here)

ADDITIONAL ITEMS


THE TRIALS OF JOSEPH NOLES
(ADDITIONAL ITEMS)
[See "MORE-STILL QUESTIONS?" ]


ITEM  Q         SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA
HEAD NOTES OF DECISIONS-JANUARY TERM, 1855
[REPORTED FOR THE MONGOMERY MAIL]

Noles vs. The State..From Circuit Court of Dallas..By Rice,J.

 1. Although every person has the right to resist any attempt to put an illegal restraint upon his liberty, yet his resistance must not be in enormous disproportion to the injury threatened: when a mere trespass upon his person and liberty is threatened, or committed, he has no right to kill, unless the unlawful act, when properly and lawfully resisted by him, is persisted in by the tres-passer, until it ultimately results either in an actual necessity on his part, or in the reasonable belief by him that such necessity exists, to kill the tres-passer in order to prevent the commission of a felony or some great bodily harm.
 2. Any fact which tends to prove the prisoner's real motive for killing the deceased, or the purpose of the latter in going to the prisoner's house, or that the prisoner knew, at the time of the killing, that the deceased and his companions did not intend to commit any felony, nor to do him any great bodily harm,--is relevant evidence.

 3. A verdict finding the prisoner-"guilty of murder in the first degree, and penitentiary for life", is sufficient to support a judgment of conviction and sentence to the penitentiary for life.   
___________________________________________



ITEM  S                                      Our Trip to Wetumpka

   We neglected to notice our recent visit to the "centre of creation," Wetumpka, in our last issue, owing to a sick headache, and other ills.....................................................................      
.......................................................................................................................................
................Having a great curiosity to visit the penitentiary, the Colonel, the Captain, and ourself concluded to direct our steps to that interesting institution, where we very pleasantly spent the afternoon in company with Mr. Frazier, and other gentlemen(not the convicts.) Mr. Frazier, "with great good will", conducted us through the entire building, explaining the modus operandi of everything, of importance, with which we came in contact. In fact, we were very much interested in our perambulations through this magnificent establishment, and found things vastly different from what we had imagined. The only objectionable feature in this great prison house, "in our eye", is the small, vault-like cells, into which each and every fellow has to tumble at night. The idea of being thrust alive into so narrow a compass almost threw our friend, the Captain, into fits, as he is particularly fond of "elbow room"--and a peculiar kind of fishbait...................
_______________________________________________



ITEM W                               A History Of Wetumpka
                                                            by
                                                   Elizabeth Porter

  During the year 1839 Wetumpka had been chosen as the site for the State Penitentiary...
................................................................................................................................            
.........................................................................................
   The first warden was William Hogan.  The first convict was William Garrett, who was charged with harboring a run-away Negro. He escaped one time, was recaptured, but was finally pardoned by the Legislature as some doubt as to his guilt had arisen.

  A.M. Bradley succeeded William Hogan in 1844. There were then long rows of narrow cells, each occupied by only one at night, and each cell had its separate door and lock, and then a strong chain ran into a staple in each door through the length of the line of cells. There was a great clanking night and morning as these chains were being rapidly run along the tier of cells.  The convicts were not allowed to talk to each other and to visitors only by special permission.........................................................................
_________________________________