Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Life and Confession of Sophia Hamilton - Who was Tried, Condemned and Sentenced to be Hung, At - Montreal, L. C. On The 4th Of August, 1845, For the - Perpetration of the Most Shocking Murders and Daring - Robberies Perhaps Recorded in the Annals of Crime
Author: Jackson, William H.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and Confession of Sophia Hamilton - Who was Tried, Condemned and Sentenced to be Hung, At - Montreal, L. C. On The 4th Of August, 1845, For the - Perpetration of the Most Shocking Murders and Daring - Robberies Perhaps Recorded in the Annals of Crime" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



of Cornell University Law Library, Trial Pamphlets
Collection)



LIFE AND CONFESSION
OF
SOPHIA HAMILTON,
WHO WAS
TRIED, CONDEMNED AND SENTENCED TO BE
HUNG,
AT MONTREAL, L. C. ON THE 4TH OF AUGUST, 1845,
FOR THE
PERPETRATION OF THE MOST SHOCKING MURDERS AND DARING
ROBBERIES PERHAPS RECORDED IN THE ANNALS
OF CRIME.

[Illustration]

CAREFULLY SELECTED BY THE AUTHOR,
WILLIAM H. JACKSON.

MONTREAL, L. C.
PRINTED FOR THE PUBLISHER
1845.


[Illustration: THE ROAD OBSTRUCTED, AND THE TRAVELLERS MURDERED.
p. 12.]



LIFE AND CONFESSION OF SOPHIA HAMILTON.


It has probably never fallen to the lot of man to record a list of more
cruel, heart-rending, atrocious, cold-blooded murders and daring
robberies than have been perpetrated by the subjects of this narrative,
and that too in the midst of a highly civilized and Christian community;
deeds too, which, for the depravity of every human feeling, seem
scarcely to have found a parallel in the annals of crime. And it seems
doubly shocking and atrocious when we find them perpetrated by one of
the female sex, which sex has always and in all countries been esteemed
as having a higher regard for virtue, and far greater aversion to acts
of barbarity, even in the most vitiated, than is generally found in men
of the same class. We may truly say that the annals of history have
never unfolded to the world a greater instance of human depravity and
utter disregard of every virtuous feeling which should inhabit the human
breast, than the one it becomes our painful duty to lay before our
readers in the account of Sophia Hamilton, the subject of this very
interesting narrative. We deem it not unimportant to give a brief
account of her parentage, in order that our numerous readers may see the
source from which she sprung; as also the inestimable and intrinsic
value of a moral education in youth, which is a gem of imperishable
value, the loss of which many have had to deplore when perhaps too
late. The public may depend on the authenticity of the facts here
related, as it is from no less a source than a schoolmate of her
ill-fated father. The author has spared no exertions to collect every
minute and important particular relating to her extraordinary, though
unfortunate career.

Richard Jones, the father of the principal subject of this narrative was
the only son of a wealthy nobleman residing in Bristol, England; he had
in the early part of his life received a classical education. But in
consequence of the death of his mother, he of course got an uncontrolled
career, which continued too long, until at length he became a disgust to
his kind and loving father, whose admonitions he disregarded and whose
precepts he trampled upon. At the age of twenty-four, he was a perfect
sot, regardless of the kind counsel of his relatives; and at length his
character became so disreputable that he was accused of almost every
outrage perpetrated in the neighbourhood in which he belonged. This
preyed so much upon his aged father that he became ill, and it is
thought by many shortened his life. Richard had then attained the age of
twenty-five, and seemed so deeply afflicted by the death of his father,
that he promised amendment of conduct, so that his uncle took him as
partner at the druggist business; but this was to no effect, for in a
short time he sought every species of vice and wickedness, which the
depravity of human nature could suggest. His uncle and he dissolved, and
as he had considerable of the money that his father bequeathed to him,
he soon found company to suit his purpose, and became enamored of a
woman of low character, who succeeded in making a union with him, and
after spending considerable of the money, and seeing the funds likely to
be exhausted, immediately scraped up their effects, as she possessed a
little property of her own. They then resolved like many others, to
emigrate, finding that they could not live in their native country.

They embarked on board a ship bound for St. John, N. B. in the year
1811; remained a short time in the city, when they moved up the St. John
river and settled down between Frederickton and Woodstock, where he
learned the farming business, and in the course of a little time
accumulated means, which enabled him to keep a country store; and as the
neighborhood in which he lived was a new settlement, property began to
rise, and he commenced speculating in public lands. As he had a good
education and bright intellect, he was soon looked upon as a leading man
in the neighborhood, and it was thought profitable as well as necessary
to establish a tavern in the vicinity, which was strongly recommended by
many lumber merchants; and Jones, being considered to be the best
adapted for the business, accepted the offer. He at this time was of
course prosperous, as he had the whole monopoly and an unbounded
concourse of travellers stopping at his house; but an avaricious desire
seized him and he at once became fearless, and his first step was to
commence smuggling between Frederickton and Calais, Me., which business
he carried on for a considerable time unmolested. While things were
going on in this style, it so happened that an old acquaintance, whose
name was Thomas Murdock, moved from St. John and settled in the same
neighborhood in which Jones resided. The acquaintance was soon renewed,
though not much to the satisfaction of Jones, as he knew Murdock to be a
man of honesty, and it was on this ground and the fear of detection and
exposure that Jones dreaded his old acquaintance, for Murdock was yet
entirely ignorant of the business Jones was engaged in, for he, Jones,
had previously managed to keep up the appearance of honesty and
respectability.

As Murdock frequently visited at the house of Jones, he soon began to
suspect that all was not right. However, he said nothing on the subject,
until one evening he happened to pass the house of Jones, on his way
home, at an unusually late hour, and seeing a great stir, he determined
to go in and satisfy his doubts as to what he before suspected; and
there he found Jones secreting a quantity of broadcloth which had been
stolen a few nights previous. Jones then finding that he was at length
discovered, begged of Murdock not to expose him, and at the same time
offered him fifty pounds, as he said exposure would be the means of
bringing his family to disgrace, and final destruction; and at the same
time endeavoring to induce Murdock to participate in the capture; but
Murdock flatly refused, saying that his duty to his God and his country
forbade such an undertaking.

He then begged of Murdock to allow him a little time to settle up his
affairs and leave the country, promising in the most solemn manner, and
calling upon his God to witness, that if he would grant him this request
he would become an honest man. And Murdock, seeing that it would be the
utter ruin of Jones's whole family, for his children were then but
young, consented, after the most solemn assurance that Jones would
reform. But we will now see the value of a promise from such a debauchee
as he was. Immediately he collected his consorts around and held a
consultation as to what should be done. Meanwhile, they indulged in the
use of the inebriate's cup, which was a necessary ingredient to fit them
for their hellish purpose; and at length, after consultation, agreed
that it would be necessary to murder Murdock. They then separated,
resolved upon the death of the unoffending and innocent victim.

It was agreed that they, four in number, should meet the following night
at a school-house in the neighborhood of Murdock's house, which was
about three miles from the tavern, which they did; but two of them being
so much intoxicated that the others felt doubtful of success, they
finally separated,--but resolved to execute the deed the following
evening, which they did, assisted by Jones. On approaching the house
were Murdock resided, unconscious of the cruel conspiracy which he was
soon doomed to experience from the hands of one who had often shared of
his kind benevolence, Jones stationed two at the back door, while he and
one more demanded entrance at the front door. Murdock, on hearing the
voice outside, said, "Is that Jones?" who immediately answered, with a
coarse voice, "Yes, let me in." Murdock fell alongside of his wife,
exclaiming, "they have come to murder me! farewell, my dear and
affectionate wife;" and at the moment Jones rushed in as Murdock's wife
moved out of the bed, and drove a large knife through Murdock, when the
poor afflicted wife screamed aloud, and Jones missing his way through
the house, was confused for some time, and was, perhaps, a little
intoxicated. Just at that time the Quebec mail stage came along, and
hearing the cries of Mrs. Murdock, the driver with six others repaired
to the house, where they found Murdock stretched in a bloody gore, and
Jones torn limb from limb by a large Scotch dog. On hearing the cries,
the others fled, but one of them, whose name we cannot learn, was taken
subsequently and hanged in Frederickton, we believe in the year 1822.
Thus some means are always left whereby the guilty are sooner or later
brought to condign punishment. Thus ended the career of a disobedient
son and a cruel, regardless father, and blood-thirsty, cruel man, whose
ear was deaf to the cries of the widow and the tears of the bereaved
orphans, which he left, both of his own and the ill-fated Murdock, who
left six helpless children to weep over the loss of their kind father.
After the death of Jones, his wife carried on the business for some
time, but in consequence of the disgraceful death of her husband, which
was generally understood in that section of the country,--(though many
of her friends deny that it was he who was found in the house of
Murdock, as he was so much deformed by the dog, and boldly assert that
he went to England to see his relatives; but it was pretty generally
acknowledged by those best acquainted in the neighborhood,)--the public
forsook the house, and Mrs. Jones was obliged to sell out and leave the
neighborhood, which she did, and moved to the St. Lawrence River, where
she settled about thirty miles from Montreal. As her means of living
began to grow rather scanty, she began also to see the urgent necessity
of bringing all her artfulness into practice, for she was a very
persevering, arbitrary woman. As she had a very heavy family to support,
she endeavored to make her house a house of resort for travellers or
persons who wished to spend some of the hot summer months in that cool
and delightful region of the country, away from the more unwholesome air
of a crowded and suffocated city; and in this manner, as may be
expected, they formed many new and stylish acquaintances, so that she
soon succeeded in marrying her daughters to persons of respectability,
although they were any thing but virtuous girls as well as wives.

The youngest daughter whose name was Sophia, and who is the principal
subject of this narrative, was at the age of seventeen married to a
young man whose name was Hamilton, a respectable mechanic, who happened
to be travelling in that section of the country, we believe a native of
Kingston, Upper Canada. As he chanced to put up at her mother's house in
the summer of 1828, and his health was rather delicate, he determined to
stop some time, as his physician recommended a change of climate.
However, her mother finding Mr. Hamilton possess considerable money and
considerable personal attraction, at once endeavored to bring round a
marriage between him and her daughter. Consequently he was treated with
the greatest care and attention during his illness, Sophia being his
constant and only attendant. She possessed an uncommonly agreeable
looking countenance, although rather masculine; she was very
fascinating, and seemed to possess a soft, tender, agreeable
disposition; at the same time her mother was exercising all her art and
influence to induce him. He was not wholly unaware of the real
disposition of the daughter, had he only listened to the voice of
warning; but to no effect, for he resolved to marry Sophia immediately
on his recovery.

The following year he returned to Kingston, taking with him his wife,
and settled down about ten miles from the city, and there set up a
tavern, which was agreeable to his wife, as her mother taught her the
art of subtle deception.

He had not been long married, as may be supposed, until he found out the
real character of his wife, which preyed so much upon his constitution,
that his health began to decline rapidly, and at the end of two years he
died, leaving a widow about nineteen years old. His death was not so
much grief to her as was supposed by those who dealt out sympathy
towards her, as the tender-hearted but deceived people thought, she
being so far distant from her relatives, if she had any alive, for none
were ever seen visiting her since they moved there. But it has since
been ascertained, by her own confession, that he died from the effects
of poison which she gave him, through her negro girl, whom she kept as
cook, taking care, lest suspicion might occur after his death and an
examination take place, that it might appear a mistake, or through the
ignorance of the illiterate negro. This she did, thinking, no doubt,
that if she was clear of him, as his health seemed declining, she could
then carry out any plan she might devise for the gratification of her
propensities; for she was very sensual in her pleasures and totally
incapable of appreciating that high-toned feeling, and the self-respect
and refinement which should govern the female sex. She was almost
indifferent to any principle of justice, as well as human sufferings;
she was bold, revengeful and courageous, and cunning in the subjects of
her pursuits; she was also very deceitful, shrewd, and had a great
influence over weaker minds. After the death of her husband, she became
one of the most abandoned and notorious of women, giving loose to every
species of licentiousness and extravagance--and there was no crime too
great, no deed too cruel for her to engage in, to accomplish any object
of her desire, often engaging personally in acts of the most outrageous
and daring robberies.

After living in this manner for three years after the death of her
husband, her previous course of life being secreted from public censure,
in the spring of 1834 she removed from her old place of habitation to La
Prairie, a neat village about nine miles south of Montreal, where she
set up a cottage-tavern, as she knew she would here have a much better
chance of carrying out her wicked and unlawful practices. Here she made
use of a great many artifices to induce emigrants and smugglers to put
up with her; and she was considered by many a very kind, open hearted
and generous woman. After giving very liberal contributions to
charitable institutions, and seldom charging her visitors any thing, in
the course of one year her house was the principal resort in the
village--so that it was necessary to employ a pretty smart bar-keeper,
or one who would be capable of superintending the general business;
therefore, she hired a young man, whose name was Brown, a native of
Maine, who seemed to be very capable as well as admired, until at length
he left--but of him we will speak in another page. At this time business
seemed very prosperous, so that it was nothing remarkable for young men
of every rank, station and age to visit her house; besides, she being a
young and fascinating widow, having the sole responsibility of a large
and prosperous looking establishment, it was no small inducement to
young men who admired an enterprising partner. However, she so managed
matters as to make her house a kind of head-quarters for quality
travelling between the States and Montreal, as her house was situated
convenient to the steamboat wharf--at the same time looking out for such
as had the appearance of plenty of money. She soon got around her a gang
of ruffians who were perfectly obedient to her will, and ready to
execute the most bloody act, whenever she planned or commanded; of this
gang she was always the principal deviser. Whenever travellers, or such
as she had good reason to suspect had plenty of money, stopped, she
immediately marked her object, and frequently became the leader herself
in some of the most horrible and outrageous murders.

About the middle of November, 1835, a gentleman whose name was Parker,
from Quebec, on his way to New York, stopped at her house, as he had to
wait for the steamboat, which was broke down. Finding that he had a
large quantity of specie with him, she placed her unsuspecting guest at
a table, so that his back was near an open window, which served as a
passage or door leading out to the roof of the back part of the house,
through which he was shot by one of her consorts, whose name we could
not learn. They then robbed him of every thing he had about him. We are
informed he had with him £2000; they then secreted his body in the
cellar until night, when he was buried in a swamp, in the rear of the
dwelling; his horse they afterwards sold for $150, in Plattsburg. Soon
after the navigation of the Lake closed, and the cruel and lawless gang
spent the winter, having plenty of money to carry on their gambling;
but some of them were compelled to clear out for assassination and other
drunken outrages.

In about three months after, two gentlemen from Montreal, on their way
to Burlington, Vermont, happened to stop at her house. The travelling
being very bad, in consequence of a very heavy snow drift, which made it
impassable, either for wheeling or sleighing, they resolved to put up
for the day. After calling for dinner and making some inquiry about the
price and quality of furs in the New York and Boston markets, which at
once indicated their business, and in all probability cost them their
lives, they engaged in conversation, and wiled away the time in exciting
and gratifying their feelings by the wit and fascinating conversation of
their polished, shrewd and deceitful hostess; and as the evening began
to draw nigh, the brandy decanter became quite a sociable companion, and
was used pretty freely. One of them being rather limited in his use of
the cup, she resolved that he should not escape her hands, and
immediately called for a bottle of champagne, (and was understood by the
waiter,) which left him perfectly stupid; thus she kept them until about
eight o'clock, when they called for their horses, and while they were
making ready to start, Brown and two others started about four miles
ahead, laying obstructions in the way, by making fast a rope across the
road, about three feet high, in order to capsize the horses as they
passed down the hill, which proved effectual, while they lay in ambush
and rushed upon them, shot one and stabbed the other--the affrighted
horses broke the harness and run away, but were brought back. The bodies
they brought to the tavern and also buried, according to Brown's
confession, while in prison at Kingston awaiting the day of execution,
from which we find a detail of this almost unprecedented
outrage.--Sophia was herself present, and was of course employed in
searching and dividing the spoil, of which no doubt she claimed a pretty
good share. We are informed that they had in their possession £2000.

The above-named Brown, who was in the capacity of bar-keeper, left the
place subsequently, and was committed to prison on a charge of murder
last November, in Kingston, U. C., where he was tried, condemned, and
received sentence to die second of August, 1845. And when brought upon
the scaffold, declared, as he stood on the brink of eternity, and in the
last moments of his earthly existence, expecting in a few moments to
meet his God in judgment, that he was perfectly innocent of the crime
for which he was about to die--but still acknowledged being guilty of
other murders of the blackest shade. He then begged a little time, as he
wished to acknowledge to the world some of the crimes of which he was
guilty. He then proceeded as follows:--

"I was born near Calais, Me., in the year 1815, of moral, honest, and
industrious parents, who were kind, tender, and loving towards me, their
only and unworthy son. Instead of adding comfort to their venerable
years, I brought grief and sorrow to their hearts, and disgrace to their
heads. I lived with my father until I was seventeen years old, when I
left his house in consequence of my father's contrary disposition, which
I thought I had much reason to complain of; but alas! to my sorrow, I
since became sensible of my error, but too late both for their comfort
and my happiness. Hearing so much of the enterprise of a city life, I
determined to try it. I despised my father's counsel, and strolled about
from place to place, associating myself with idle and dissipated
company, and soon became one of the most idle and dissolute wretches in
existence. In this manner I roved about, and finally went to New York,
from there to Albany--not finding employment, I started off for
Montreal, but stopped at La Prairie, and finally agreed to serve as
bar-keeper for Sophia Hamilton; and in November, 1835, I was accessory
to the murder of Parker, from Quebec, on his way to New York, and in
about three months after, I was the principal leader of the gang who
laid an obstruction across the road, when we killed and robbed the two
travellers. I then had plenty of money, and I so much feared the arm of
detection, that I returned to New York, joined a gang of low,
dissipated, gambling fellows, joined in companionship and agreed to
share equally in whatever we should make. We robbed a man on the Harlæm
road of $400--he made a desperate resistance. I drew a large knife,
which I generally carried with me, and stabbed him, when he fell,
exclaiming, 'I am murdered!' Seeing the murder a few days afterwards in
the papers, and the Mayor offering $1000, I feared my companion in the
crime might be induced to turn States' evidence. I then determined to
leave for New Orleans or some other Southern city. I immediately
embarked for New Orleans--having plenty of money, I resolved to appear
the gentleman. I soon became acquainted with a pretty lady, of an
excellent education, whose father was a rich and respectable merchant of
that city. She received my addresses very cordially for some time, but
soon began to suspect that I was not what I pretended, and grew daily
more cold and reserved in my presence. I then tried to persuade her to
elope with me, but she at once refused, saying that she never would
marry contrary to the will of her parents. Finding that I could not
induce her to accede to my plans, I then determined on her ruin. About
this time I received tidings of the death of my only sister, father, and
mother; and seeing that I was now deprived of all my relatives, as also
of my father's farm, I became, if possible, more reckless in my mind. I
then persuaded her to accompany me in a ride for pleasure, and conducted
her to a house of ill repute, called for a room, and desired not to be
disturbed. I then locked and bolted the door. Perceiving this, she
inquired why I did so. I then told her what my intentions were,
promising her at the same time, that if she would consent to marry me
before returning to her father's house, I would desist. This she flatly
refused, saying at the same time, that she would rather die than ever
permit herself to be led to the altar by me, after taking such a
dishonorable course. She then attempted to escape, but finding that I
prevented her, she began to cry out for help, which so enraged me, that
I caught up a towel which was hanging in the room, and tried to force it
into her mouth. She resisted with all her might. I then twisted it
around her neck, choking her until she was insensible. I then
accomplished my hellish purpose, and knowing that if she should recover,
she would immediately expose me, I therefore resolved upon her death,
which I consummated by tying a pocket handkerchief around her neck so
tight as to prevent the possibility of her breathing. I then left her,
and, making my way unperceived, fled from the city. After that, my
disposition became, if possible, more reckless.--I cared little for what
I did. I reproached myself with all the bitterness of anguish, and my
very soul was tormented for years, as though I felt the wrath of God and
the torments of hell. I would this moment, if I had that choice, suffer
twenty mortal deaths, such as she did, than again enter into the like
feelings which I have since suffered--but I am about to be
released.--But if you who hear me could but conceive the slightest idea
of the suffering my poor heart felt, you would, no doubt, look on me
with pity and not with scorn; but I hope my death will be an example to
those who survive me, for I am satisfied to leave this world; and I
deserve the fate that awaits me."

Brown then faltered back, faintish and silent, and in a few moments
received the just sentence of the law. The ill-fated, innocent, and
defenceless victim to his savage and cruel feelings, whose name was Sera
Milton, was murdered on the 22d day of June, 1830, as was ascertained by
Brown's previous confession, while in prison awaiting the day of
execution, and from her dear and loving parents, whom he caused to mourn
and sigh in bitter anguish for the loss of their affectionate and only
daughter.

Sophia Hamilton's cruelty at this time had reached to a mature age, for
she was enveloped in innocent blood; and it seemed almost impossible
that such crimes could be committed by one of such tender looks and
affectionate feelings as she seemed to possess; for even at the bar she
gained the sympathy of almost every spectator, and even the judge, when
passing sentence, looked deeply affected; but of that we will speak in
its proper place.

Five years passed quite smoothly, or at least without any known incident
of cruelty. She moved from her old stand to the village of Saint John's,
about eighteen miles distant from La Prairie, her previous habitation,
and there commenced business anew, but in a more stylish and fashionable
house than the one she had before occupied. Her house, as before, was
soon the principal resort of smugglers between Montreal, Plattsburg, N.
Y., and Burlington, Vt., so that she had again a wide field to exercise
her atrocious and fiend-like designs. In the month of April, 1841, a
gentleman named Lucas, from Albany, N. Y., called at her house and put
up for the night; he was on his way to Quebec, where he had connection
with a saw mill. She ascertained that he had considerable money with
him; for she still made a practice of inquiring the business and
circumstances of travellers, in order to find the object of her desire.
While he was at breakfast, she came behind him and plunged a large knife
through his back; he fell, screaming for some moments, and then expired.
Two of her consorts, who had been previously sent for, came in; but she,
fearing they would not come in season, had attempted and completed her
object alone.

They robbed him of 800 dollars, and carried his body to the wharf and
threw it overboard, attaching a large stone to it to prevent it from
rising. He was, I believe, a kind, charitable and good-hearted man,
revered and respected by all who knew him.

While things were going on in this style without interruption, during
the course of the ensuing year, about the middle of July, 1842, a
merchant from Charleston, South Carolina, on his way to Montreal,
stopped at her house; she found that he had money, as she had discoursed
with him on the slave trade, and finding that he himself was engaged in
the traffic of slaves, she immediately resolved that he never should
sell any more. She then put him to sleep in a room separate from the
main part of the house, and with two of her associates entered the room
by a secret passage, which they had fixed for such purposes, and one of
them cut his throat from ear to ear, while the others held him in the
bed; they then robbed him of 4000 dollars, together with a valuable gold
watch, worth 120 dollars. The body was afterwards buried in the cellar,
where his remains were deposited without a monument to record that he
once existed. Soon after this, she cruelly murdered a boy, twelve years
of age, whom she had in the house in the capacity of waiter or servant,
because he accidentally saw them secreting the body of the murdered man,
and had said, when he was one day angry, that he would inform of them;
but she resolved, like the pirates, that the dead should tell no tales;
she ordered him down to the cellar to regulate something, and followed
him, with a large knife; while he was stooping, she stabbed him to the
heart! She then dragged him over, and threw his lifeless body among the
skeletons.

This inhuman and cruel murder of the unoffending and faithful domestic,
is the only instance of her disinterested cruelty, since the murder of
her husband and child; for we find, that the love of money seemed to be
the sole object of her desire, if that could be any apology for her
outrageous crimes. But the more she seemed to get, the more her thirst
increased, regardless of the price which it was to cost, and by
indulgence arrived to mature age; so that in place of being an ornament
to her honored sex, she became a scourge to her fellow creatures, as we
find by the confession of her associates in guilt, as well as from her
own confession.

About the middle of June, 1844, she murdered an Irishman, who was in the
smuggling business for some time previous, and who was in the habit of
putting up at her house, it being convenient to the steamboat wharf; but
of his death we have no other account, than that which we collect from
her confession, which will be seen in the following pages. However,
report says that he was a respectable man, who for many years resided in
the city of Quebec, and left a kind, affectionate, and loving wife, and
six orphan children, to sigh and lament after him. The amount of
property which it is said he had with him when he left Montreal, is
variously stated, but we are satisfied that it was considerable.

About six weeks afterwards, two male emigrants come along and put up at
her house, we believe natives of Yorkshire, England, and during the
course of the evening, she joined in with them in quite a sociable
conversation, about the old country, as they were well acquainted with
that section which was once dear to her ill-fated father, by which she
discovered such information as she required; and of that also, a more
detailed account will be found in her confession, as it is the principal
authority we have of those two occurrences.

Reader, how great must be the patience of the Almighty, who watches over
us, and desireth not the death of the sinner. But alas! what is human
nature, when strayed away from the path of virtue. How easy to corrupt,
and how hard to reclaim. But it sometimes pleases divine providence to
suffer the cruelty and wickedness of the indulged passion, until there
is no remedy in its own limits, so that its downfall may be the more
observable, as will be seen of this ill-fated family, the history of
which would fill a large volume. But as our limits will only afford a
glance, we hope it may be a seasonable lesson, or example, to those who
may have the responsibility of discharging that duty which is expected
of parents, as also those who owe a duty to their parents, that they may
earn that blessing, by obedience, which is pleasing to God, that they
may expect the same in return.

It was about this time that she received the news of the death of her
afflicted mother, who, as report says, was confined to her room for
several years before her death; as also the sudden and untimely death of
her only brother, of whom she had heard nothing for many years, whose
name was Isaac Jones. He was shot at Kingston, U. C., for horse
stealing. He had continued his riotous and dissipated life, after the
marriage of Sophia, and finally joined a gang of horse thieves and
counterfeiters, which infested the country round about the Lakes. This
gang had a regular communication established through from Toronto to
Detroit, and from Kingston across through the States to New York. On one
occasion, Jones was returning after leaving a number of horses thus
stolen, and for which he had received a considerable sum of money for
his services, and on passing the officers' quarters, he entered the
stable, but was observed by one of the veterans on the look-out, who,
on perceiving the door open, gave the alarm to the guard, and Jones, on
hearing the alarm given, mounted the horse and putting spurs to the
animal, started off at full speed, with the guard in full pursuit, and
although they were on foot, they knew the road better than he did, for
he killed the horse, which he rode against a gate, and he was shot by
the enraged men. His body was taken to the hospital and there deposited,
but could not be identified, nor could they obtain any intelligence that
would lead to a discovery of his name, and it was only about a year
since that it was discovered that Isaac Jones was the name of the man
who was shot. Thus ended the unhappy career of father and son, and we
shall soon see the unhappy termination of the life of the youngest
daughter. What a melancholy contemplation for the reader, when it
appears that, like their cruel father, they knew no fear, but were of a
perverse and cruel disposition, and seemed to set no value on the lives
of their fellow beings; and strange, though true, that those who
purchase property at such a sacrifice, seldom know how to take care of
it, and however much they may have, seem to thirst for more. Therefore,
the temptations of Satan are vigilant and unceasing, which, when once
obtained possession of, it is very difficult to dispossess, and should
be guarded against in youth.

After the news of the death of her brother, Sophia became, if possible,
more barbarous and cruel than before. She now seemed to take no delight
whatever in any thing but acts of the most blood-thirsty and inhuman
nature. Nothing now seemed to satisfy her murderous disposition but the
death of some innocent, and to her, unoffending victim. But her career
was nearly run. She had carried it to such a height that it was
impossible to continue in this way much longer, without being overtaken
by justice. And it was not long after this, that she was, by the
following circumstance, exposed, and her gang broken up, and some of
them brought to condign punishment for the high handed and outrageous
crimes they had for a long time committed, and thus far without
detection; and it seemed among the most extraordinary circumstances of
the age.

She had a new gang of associates, who were not quite so expert as those
on former occasions. They murdered a Quaker, who was travelling in that
section of the country, in November, 1844, whose name was Morse, who put
up at her house to board, as he intended to import some American
manufactures, and it was necessary that he should stop at St. Johns,
until the merchandise passed through the custom house. During his stay
in that village, he of course formed considerable many acquaintances,
and said to a friend, with whom he had some intercourse, that he would
stop at the widow's that night and probably board there, which he did,
for he was seen there three days after.--After the lapse of two weeks, a
package came, in care of Mr. Johnson, for Mr. Morse; another week
elapsed, during which time Mr. Johnson thought it strange that Mr. Morse
did not call. As he was riding past, he thought he would let him know
that a package had arrived for him. He inquired for Mr. Morse; Sophia
told him that no such gentleman stopped there; he then inquired when he
left, and she said she never knew a gentleman of that name to put up
with her. Mr. Johnson went home quite dissatisfied, and, on opening the
package, he found, among other things, a letter from his wife, in which
she expressed considerable dissatisfaction at his intention of stopping
so long. It seems that Morse had written to his wife informing her that
he intended to be absent for some time. Her letter went on thus:--"My
dear husband, I am sorry that you cannot either finish your business or
leave it in the hands of some trustworthy person, as it must be
disagreeable to you to board at a tavern; but as the owner of the house
is a widow, I suppose it bears more similarity to a private boarding
house. I hope your health is good, but I am dreadfully annoyed in my
sleep about you." These things looked very strange and suspicious. And
in a few days a flame of suspicion spread all around the neighborhood,
until some persons came into Mr. Johnson's store, who said they had
talked with Mr. Morse in the tavern two days after he went there to
board; while others had remarked the idle, sauntering fellows that were
seen continually hovering around the tavern, having no likely business,
and many other circumstances were alluded to, until suspicion became so
strong in the minds of the people, that they resolved to make a private
search, but not until Mr. Johnson, accompanied by some others, went
again to make inquiry, but the answer was the same as before. She seemed
much confused, which strengthened their suspicions. Accordingly they
went the following afternoon and visited Sophia's house, making some
pretence for the visit; one of them said that he was about to build
himself a new house, and asked her to give him permission to examine her
house, that he might measure and take the dimensions of it, as he liked
the plan on which it was constructed. Not suspecting any thing, she
granted the privilege, though taking care to lock the cellar. They then
made such examination as they were able, but discovered nothing above.
However, to satisfy their suspicions, they determined to see the cellar,
but found it bolted fast, and on their return up a back stairway into
the kitchen, they questioned an old domestic as to what was kept in the
cellar. She shook her head and said she dare not tell. They then
promised to give her a handsome reward if she would only tell them, but
her mistress coming in at the moment, prevented any further
conversation. They then concluded that their information was quite
sufficient. The next morning they proceeded to the house, accompanied by
the sheriff and constable; and Sophia and two of her consorts, Wilson
and Rogers, were taken after a desperate resistance. They were kept in
custody until the cellar was searched, where the body of Morse was
found, amongst skeletons and other emaciated remains. The prisoners were
carried to Montreal prison, on the following day, (10th of December,) to
await the sitting of the Queen's Bench, which sat on the 8th of April,
but was postponed until the above term. In the interim, Wilson turned
Queen's evidence, and discovered the whole mystery of the murder of
Morse, and declared that Rogers was innocent of the murder, for none but
himself and Sophia were guilty of perpetrating the horrid deed. And
Rogers was immediately released, as the Grand Jury ignored the bills
against him.

We deem it quite unnecessary to attempt to give even an outline of her
trial, for it would extend far beyond our limits, as we have already
said more than we calculated to when we commenced writing. Suffice it to
say, that her trial and sentence was the most solemn scene perhaps ever
witnessed in that city, or any other city on the broad American
continent. She seemed stern and quite unmoved throughout the entire time
of her trial, which occupied three days, and seemed quite composed;
while her able counsel, to whom great praise is due for the
extraordinary ability which he exhibited while addressing the Jury,
which occupied over two hours, seemed quite affected. After the Judge's
charge to the Jury, which followed, they retired and remained out about
an hour, when they returned with a verdict of "Guilty of Murder in the
first degree." She received sentence on the 11th of August, to die by
the law the 5th of September, during which time she remained silent,
until three days previous to her final destination, when she received a
quantity of poison, which she took to avoid the public exposure of a
shameful death. But it may be asked, how she got the poison, or by whom
it was carried into the prison cell; that remains as yet unknown; but,
according to the opinion of many of the most respectable persons of the
county in which she resided, during her cruel and blood-stained career,
she had many associates in guilt, who have not as yet been discovered;
but whom I hope will, before long, find their way to condign punishment,
as it was utterly impossible that she, or her known associates, could
possibly continue such a course of life so long, without recourse to
others for assistance. But while numberless conjectures are afloat with
regard to this one and that one being associated with her, and partakers
of the benefits of her robberies, I consider that it is my duty to speak
very careful, lest I should be instrumental in tarnishing the personal
character of individuals, on the authority of mere report, as a little
time will no doubt satisfy justice by discovering the guilty. There was
one circumstance connected with her detection, which, I venture to
state, gave reason for suspicion, and which may not be amiss to
remark.--Subsequent to her imprisonment, quite a number of individuals
retired from business. Some, who were extensively engaged in grocery
business, others, who were equally as extensive as wine merchants,
stopped suddenly, or left their business in the hands of others, and
immediately disappeared, and no one knew where they went, or could give
the slightest intimation of their business abroad, as it is considerably
different in a village, from that of a city life, as each wishes to know
the business of his neighbor, and, in fact, does to a considerable
extent. But no one knew the cause of their sudden and unexpected
disappearing, whilst others remarked the velocity of the wheels of
fortune, which accompanied some of their neighbors from poverty to
opulence and wealth, in the space of a few years, &c., together with
many other circumstantial opinions which I am compelled to omit. But it
may be interesting to the reader to state one more circumstance, to
which I was eye witness, and which seemed very strange to me. She
remained silent as before mentioned, and in consequence of the rumor and
excitement which prevailed, I was induced to go to see her, in order to
speak to her on some important matters connected with her previous
course of life. Consequently, on Monday, the 1st instant, I went, and
when I reached the prison, the jailor told me that he could not possibly
admit me that day, it being Monday. However, I remained in the city
until morning, when I went again, accompanied by the sheriff. And I was
no little astonished on hearing the jailor say, That he hoped that he
would not be so much annoyed in future as during the last week, by
persons wishing to see her, as there were more applications to visit
her, than all the other prisoners together. However, the massive iron
door was unbolted and swung open, and we proceeded along the dark hall,
whilst every tread of my foot, as it sounded in my ear, caused a
sensation easier imagined than described; and at length we reached a
range of cells, and immediately the turnkey, as he is generally called,
unbolted it, and told me to walk in.--And as I found myself inside a
prison cell for the first time in my life, I stumbled, for it was either
too dark to see, or else my sight became dim on approaching the scene of
horror which stood erect before me; and before I could recover myself, I
was accosted by her strong, stern voice, as she said, "Is that you, Mr.
Jackson--do you want to speak with me?" I answered in the affirmative.
She then said, "Sit down." But the place was so small that I could
hardly turn around. "Do you think there is any hopes of my reprieve, or
shall I have to suffer an ignominious death on the scaffold? If so, I
shall be a corpse before to-morrow noon, for I don't want to live any
longer. So you may go, for I am as one already dead." Not one word could
I get her to speak more, and I retired with a heart overpowered with
sorrow. As I walked out of the dreadful tomb of the living, the door was
again bolted, which sounded like the mournful death-bell. How many
solemn reflections rushed into my mind at that dreadful moment, but not
one word could I utter for some minutes; when the sheriff, seeing my
confused countenance, remarked something lively to me, and I soon
regained my strength, but could not, during that entire day, cast off
the mantle of horror with which I was clothed. I assure you, gentle
reader, were you to behold that solemn scene as I did, that your heart
would melt into pity for the misfortune of a child of humanity, however
wicked she might have been. But to return to my subject. The sheriff
remarked there was a difference in her countenance since he last saw
her; and as the time of her destination was fast approaching, it was
thought advisable to send a minister of the gospel to render some
consolation, and accordingly she was asked by the jailor in what
profession she would like to die. She answered, that she would prefer to
die in that to which she nominally belonged, which was the Wesleyan, and
application was immediately made to a minister of that denomination,
who attended as early as possible, but too late, for she had privately
taken a quantity of poison.--After the poison began to operate, she
raved like a maniac, tearing the clothes from her body, and attempting
to lay hold of and bite every thing within her reach, cursing God, and
the hour that gave her birth. After these fits had a little subsided,
and reason had again returned, the pangs of a guilty conscience and
remorse, with all its frightful horrors and bitter anguish, would seize
her soul, and she would cry out in the bitterness of her torments, that
she already felt the flames of hell! reproaching herself in the most
bitter anguish, for the awful crimes she had committed. Then she would
again rave like a maniac, cursing and swearing in a most horrible
manner, and attempting to destroy every thing within her reach. So
strong was she in those fits of raving, that it was with difficulty that
three men were able to tie her on the bed. She appeared to be in great
agony and pain until she died. About three hours before her death, she
was visited by a minister of the Methodist Church, to which she
nominally belonged. He endeavored to console and reconcile her, by
telling her that there was yet hope, if she would only repent and
acknowledge the crimes which she had committed. She got a little
consoled, and confessed the following, as near as we could learn from
the minister's confused memory, who was much afflicted on beholding her
awful appearance.



CONFESSION OF SOPHIA HAMILTON,

NARRATED BY THE REV. MR. BROOKS.


I was born in the year 1812, convenient to Woodstock, in the province of
New Brunswick. My parents emigrated from England a short time previous
to my birth, and I am happy to say that my mother is dead, so that she
wo'nt feel the mortification of hearing or knowing of my untimely and
ill-fated end, for she was, in early life doomed to drink deep of the
galling cup of bitter sorrow. She was questioned by the minister, as to
what she had reference to. She replied, I mean my ill-fated father, who
lost his life when I was about eight years old, in attempting to take
that of another, whose name was Murdock. My father killed Murdock, and
was himself immediately devoured by a large dog which belonged to the
house of Murdock. Soon after my father's death, my poor mother, (with a
large family and the sole charge and responsibility of a large
establishment, and not being acquainted with public life,--together with
the disgraceful stigma of my father's death,) was compelled to sell out,
and leave that section of the country, which she did in 1823, two years
after my father's death. She then moved, taking with her the whole
family, to Quebec, stopped there, and finding it difficult to maintain a
large family, she then moved up the St. Lawrence River, and settled down
about eighteen miles from Montreal, where I lived with her until I
became eighteen years old, when I was married to Mr. Hamilton, in the
year 1830. About ten months after my marriage, I moved with my husband
to his native place, which was about ten miles from Kingston, Upper
Canada, where I, during the first year, enjoyed the happiest portion of
my natural life. But I soon began to discern a dark shade in his
countenance, caused by jealousy, as if to signify that he was sorry that
he ever beheld me. My mortification on beholding that, and listening to
the taunting and sneering of his relatives, with which I was situated,
was great. My solitary and melancholy contemplations were much easier
imagined than described, being all alone, without one trustworthy friend
to console my wounded feelings. Therefore I was left all alone to
contemplate on my misfortune; during which time I often resolved, that
if I could find no alternative, that I would rather die, than live to be
made the tool of contempt, as I was innocent of the guilt with which I
was charged. But I bore it with fortitude, for my resolute and arbitrary
temper was hard to subdue. Although spurned with contempt, and looked
upon as an inferior in rank, family and education, I at once resolved to
teach them a lesson on the latter. (She then attempted to jump up, but
was unable.) Soon after I found his health beginning to decline, in
consequence of a pleuritic fever which seized him. I thought it was a
good opportunity to put an end to my melancholy life; but alas! I was
only dipping myself deeper into the pit of misery. I poisoned him when
two years and eight months married to him, to free myself from the
trials incident to a protracted illness. The poison I administered to
him through my negro cook, and, in three months after, I strangled to
death my first offspring, which was the only child that nature ever
furnished me with. O! that ever memorable year and day! to it I will
seal my condemnation, for it never left my memory either day or night.
It has haunted me, and followed my footsteps through every moment of my
unhappy life since. The cries of the innocent victim, I think just
now----. (Here she got into a terrible rage of despair for some time,
then, getting a little calm, proceeded):--Were I on the summit of Mount
Ararat, and could utter language as loud as thunder, and could speak
every tongue and language, and had around me all the nations of the
earth, I would proclaim that I deserve the cruelest death of any being
which ever existed, if I only thought that it would be the means of
preventing one single misguided and cruel wretch from a similar offence.
Yes, I wish that my name, and the memory of my cruelty, may be for ever,
engraven on the memory of those who survive me, or hear of my cruel life
and miserable death, that it may be a warning to those entering on the
path of life, that they may suppress human passion, and untie the strong
holds of Satan, who was my daily companion through life.--She was again
interrupted by the good and meek parson, who tried to console her, by
reminding her of the patience which holy Job exercised during his long
affliction. She then became quite composed, and quite a consoling
discourse was given by the minister, by telling her, that, as she soon
expected to meet her eternal Judge, he hoped that her repentance might
be sincere; at the same time reminding her of the sorrow of Judas, who
despaired of salvation, and was consequently lost for ever. He then
referred to the repentance of the thief on the cross, for example, to
show that there was hopes for salvation even at the eleventh hour, and
cautiously warned her against the awful consequences of dying in despair
of the salvation of that good and bountiful providence, who is ever
willing to extend the arm of mercy to each and every one of us, however
black and grievous-looking may be our sins. And here he quoted some
texts of Scripture, which says, that He desireth not the death of the
sinner, but rather that they live and be converted; and said, that he
had every reason to hope that it pleased the Almighty to punish her in
this world. She then seemed quite composed and easy, though weak. She
went on to say, I would bear all the torture and affliction with
pleasure. Here the humble and consoling servant of God, who felt
pleasure in the dark recess of the prison cell, then referred to the
cruel torture and affliction which was endured by the primitive
Christians and the early saints, who suffered, though innocent; as also
the patience of the innocent and harmless, who suffered in England
during the Reformation. Here he referred to Lady Jane Gray, and the
innocent Mary, Queen of Scots, who laid their heads on the block, to
appease the wrath of that blood-stained and cruel people.--She then
proceeded as follows: After the death of my husband, I sold out my
effects and left that part of the country, and lived with my mother a
short time; but my disposition being unsettled, I soon after moved from
there to Laparara, a village a short distance from Montreal, where I
commenced keeping tavern in the fall of 1835, and, in two months after,
I assisted to kill a gentleman from Quebec, whose name was Parker.
Richard, son of one of my consorts, shot him through a window, as he sat
at dinner. We robbed him of £2,000; his horse was afterwards sold in
Plattsburg, New York. This was the first murder that I was guilty of
after the death of my husband and child, which could never be erased
from my memory, were I to live longer than I now desire. I was the
principal deviser of the cruel act before related, of obstructing the
road, by which the two men from Montreal were killed, and I was on the
ground a few minutes after, just as they were expiring. I assisted to
search their pockets and wallets, where we found over 2,000 sovereigns
in gold; the ill-fated Brown, who was executed at Kingston, was my
principal assistant, and perpetrator in the blackest deeds that ever
disgraced a being. In 1840 I moved from my old stand to the village of
St. Johns, where I commenced business in April, 1841. With my own hands
I killed a gentleman from Albany, New York, (who stopped at my house,)
while he was at breakfast; I robbed him of $800. In the month of
November following, I assisted to rob a gentleman from Charleston, South
Carolina, who stopped at my house. I, with two others, entered the room
whilst he was sleeping, and cut his throat from ear to ear. We found in
his wallet $4,000 in paper. Shortly after, I with my own hands killed a
boy who was for some time in my house in the capacity of waiter, because
he threatened to discover of what he had previously seen. About six
months before I was taken, I murdered a smuggler, who put up at my house
frequently on his way to the States; he came in at an unusually late
hour, and ordered supper. I mixed a quantity of poison in the bread
which I gave him; I then put him to sleep in a room separate from the
main part of the house, so that if he should make any alarm during the
night he would be unheard, taking care to secure the money which he left
in my charge until morning. Six weeks after this, I murdered two
emigrants, on their way from Montreal to New York. Finding that they had
considerable money, as they inquired about the currency of English gold
in the States, I inquired how much they had; they showed it to me, and I
told them that it was generally too light. I then put them to sleep in a
room adapted for such persons, and in the night we entered by means of a
slide door which was for the purpose, where we found them asleep. Each
of us were armed, but we found no resistance; we soon committed them to
eternity. Their bodies we buried in the wood-house, and found £400, in
gold, in their bed; we then divided the spoil. Their names I never knew.
And last of all, I assisted to murder Morse, the Quaker, from New York,
while boarding at my house. I am guilty of ten deliberate murders with
my own hands, and accessory to many more. I will not confess any more,
for I do not, nor cannot, expect forgiveness; for I already feel the
wrath of an avenging God, searing my very soul,--for my crimes are too
black, my deeds too heinous, to expect to reign in happiness with those
innocent beings that I caused to leave the world by my cruel treachery;
the tears of the bereaved widows, and the cries of the helpless orphans,
will speak with tongues of indignation against me.


She here made another attempt to rise, but in vain. She then laid down
for a little time quite still and motionless, but was again seized with
another fit of despair. Placing her eyes fast on the object of her
consolation, in the most terrific and agonizing cries, she exclaimed,
that she now "felt the pains of hell searing her very soul!"

       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

The turnkey now came in, and assisted to support her. For some time she
remained in most exquisite anguish, until she at last sunk back on her
pillow, weak and exhausted, and her immortal spirit winged its way, to
appear before its eternal Judge, there to answer for the deeds committed
in the body, and we hope will, or has, found more favor and mercy, than
she did from the human tribunal, which sentenced her to die, according
to the civil law, which I hope will still continue to be rightly and
justly administered, because on its administration depends our safety
and happiness, as well as civil and religious liberties.

Her death was truly heart rending and awful, and should serve as a
warning to all those who read this account, to be prepared to meet their
eternal Judge, to render such an account of their past lives as may
stand the test on that great day, when each and every one of us shall
have the book of life unfolded, either to our everlasting happiness, or
eternal condemnation. When we reflect how awful must be the afflictions
of the guilty sinner in the last and terrible moments, when, finding
their earthly career of misspent time about to close on them for ever,
what price would they then give for a new life, or the opportunity which
was so abused; what would then signify the paltry, ill-gotten treasure,
which was obtained at the expense of the tears of the widow and the
cries of the helpless orphan, or at the expense of the life and blood of
their fellow being, and last of all, at the lost of their happiness
here, and their immortal souls hereafter.

The ill-fated and long to be remembered Sophia Hamilton breathed her
last on the evening of the 3d of September, 1843. Thus terminated the
cruel, atrocious, and blood-thirsty career of father, son and daughter.
And now, gentle reader, you may contemplate over this melancholy field
of human wickedness, which, I venture to say, stands unparalleled in the
annals of crime; for true it is, that as man lives, he generally dies;
as we find Brown did, who was mentioned in the foregoing pages, and
whose career ceased with hers; therefore it is to be sincerely hoped
that the exposure of the lives of those atrocious beings may be a timely
lesson to those who may read this; that all may learn to avoid a wicked,
regardless course of life in youth, lest it might grow up to maturity,
and cease only with their mortal career. When we behold the hardened and
regardless sinner, who perhaps mocks at the idea of practical religion,
as well as the boasting, disdainful infidel, who not only mocks, but
tramples on the holy ordinances of religion, could we behold him
prostrate on the couch of death, then indeed, we would find an awful
lesson in the contradiction of his previous pretentions to attempt to
mock, or at least disregard every thing that was sacred. Even the modern
infidel Paine, who mused and cherished the grossest and most blasphemous
infidelity in France, but thank God that the day was then arriving when
infidelity together with the inquisition was about to find a deep grave
in that once happy land he not content with that defeat in vain
attempted to introduce it into the land of his nativity, but found
himself again frustrated and it was then that he in his last effort
turned his attention to America where he got permission to publish his
works the fruits of which require but little commentary. Reader if I
have wandered from my subject, it is in order to show that a miserable
death is the fruits of a wicked life, for how did Paine seem to feel on
the matter during the close of his earthly campaign, he died like
Voltair his predecessor and many other remarkable infidels, yes reader,
and like Judas who betrayed his divine master afflicted by the bitter
gall of remorse and sorrow, but it is to be feared not true repentance.
Therefore we should try to live as we would wish to die, or at least
with a conscience as free from guilt as possible in order to render our
last moments happy. Still keeping in view the subjects here quoted as a
living lesson, which on due reflection will not fail to dictate to any
thinking mind the true path to virtue here below, and to everlasting
happiness hereafter, the true object for which man was created and
endowed with reason to guide and direct his path through this life of
troubles which he makes for himself by his own neglect of his duty.

In giving to the public on abridgement of the life of this atrociously
wicked women, we hope that our numerous readers, either moral or
immoral, will never need such a lesson as that already detailed; but it
may be truly looked upon as one of the most astonishing circumstances
of the age, in the midst of civilization and morality. Were we to
attempt to give even an outline of the melancholy and sad-looking scene
which the trial presented, it would, we fear, fill the minds of our
gentle and tender-hearted readers with horror; but we have endeavored as
much as possible to avoid the darker and more disagreeable portion of
the cruelty with which this vile creature was charged. We assure you
reader, that we entertain too much respect for the feelings, as well as
the moral effect which the exposure of such crimes might have on the
weaker minds, and we therefore consider it a duty we owe to the public
to lay before the world the foregoing pages.

                            ----------------

As regards the truth of the foregoing, we presume the greater portion of
our readers throughout Canada and the United States have already seen an
outline, if not a detail of her trial, through the columns of the
numerous journals, and consequently we were induced to search after and
find out a well authenticated account of her parentage, of which we gave
an abridged account in the foregoing papers, hoping that it will not be
doubted by any incredulous of the truth or authenticity of this
narrative. If they will find a Montreal or Quebec journal of the middle
or latter part of August their doubts will be satisfied. We hope the
public will feel satisfied with the account here given, as we were
prompted by no other view than that of preserving the honest fame of
those who enjoy a moral reputation, and to secure a peace of mind to
those who are yet unconscious of offence, as it is well known, to the
misfortune of many, that an artful mind, actuated by illusion, if not
checked in youth, may pass on to acts of fraud and violence, and in some
instances to deliberate and cold-blooded murder; as it appears that then
even the tenderness of the female sex, of which the foregoing pages
furnish an example, is converted into the barbarity of the traitor, that
she who should make her arm a pillow for the head of her husband,
conspired to raise it against his life, that the bosom which should be
filled with fidelity and affection, planned his destruction. Hence, as
has been observed by the author, it is his sincere hope, in sending this
narrative abroad, that it may be the means of saving some misguided
youth from similar offence, as there are many in the moral retiracy of
village life, little conscious of the wickedness and depravity of the
world. They too often advance on the journey of life without caution; a
road which every youth should walk with the vigilance of an experienced
mariner, who watches the uncertain clouds in order to prepare in season
for a coming storm, which, if the ill-fated subjects of this narrative
had done in early life, they would have avoided their unhappy lives, and
untimely and disgraceful end.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and Confession of Sophia Hamilton - Who was Tried, Condemned and Sentenced to be Hung, At - Montreal, L. C. On The 4th Of August, 1845, For the - Perpetration of the Most Shocking Murders and Daring - Robberies Perhaps Recorded in the Annals of Crime" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home