THE HORRIBLE EFFECTS OF INTEMPERANCE (Cabarrus)
Fayetteville Observer, Wednesday, July 25, 1838
Myrtle Bridges November 21, 2009
The horrible effects of intemperance were never portrayed in more appalling colors than in the subjoined
account of a recent murder in Pope County, Arkansas:
Brown, according to the testimony of his children, had been threatening his wife on the morning of the murder
(the 15th instant) and pointing his rifle at her; but she evaded him, by sheltering herself behind a tree. He
finally told her not to make a fool of herself that he did not intend to injure her. She, confiding in his word,
left her shelter and set down under the shade of a tree about 30 feet in the rear of the house and proceeded with
her sewing. In a few minutes she heard a noise in the house, and looked in that direction just in time to see the
muzzle of a rifle aimed at her through the logs, and before she could rise, she received the contents of it (two
balls) between her breasts. She ran fifteen or twenty feet, when she fell and died. The children immediately fled,
the eldest taking the youngest on his back, and alarmed the neighbors at Dardanelle, about three miles from the
house, who repaired to the scene of this dreadful tragedy. When they arrived there, the brutal murderer had laid
his victim on the bed, and washed the blood from her hands and face, and then drank himself stupidly drunk, and
laid down at her feet, with two loaded rifles at his side, and fallen into a senseless slumber.
His weapons were secured and him self seized and bound. An inquest was then held on the body of the unfortunate
woman, and a verdict of willful murder returned by the coroner's jury. The body of the deceased was buried in the
grave yard at Dardanelle, attended by a large concourse of the inhabitants of the surrounding country. The murderer
himself followed the corpse, manacled and guarded; and so hardened did her appear that when the coffin was opened at
the grave, and he took a last look at the work of his hands, amid the screams of his bereaved children, he did not
even shed a tear in testimony of remorse for his villainy.
Our correspondents do not state any probable cause of offence given by the wife to provoke her murder. It was probably
caused by a too liberal use of whiskey, the curse of the country.
Brown and his wife were both from the neighborhood of Concord, North Carolina, and were the father and mother of five
children, the eldest 14 and the youngest 2 years old, and she was pregnant at the time of the murder.
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