(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)
(The Ironwood News Record- Ironwood, Michigan)
The Dark Day When "Old Jennie" Was Executed In Maryland.
"As dark as the day when old Jennie was hung" is one of the many quaint sayings that for generations has been used on the lower eastern shore of Maryland, but from the accounts that have been given by those who lived in old Jennie's day, there has never been a day since that time as dark as the day on which she was executed for wholesale murder in the neighborhood in which she lived.
The old murderess was publicly hanged in 1815 in the old jail yard at Princess Anne, and all those who remembered that particular day have passed into the great beyond long ago. The murderess was a white woman, tall and angular, and it was said that she popularly resembled what was supposed to be a witch far more than the up to date woman of that day. In fact, local history records that she practiced witchcraft. No one ever knew where she came from, having "dropped down" very mysteriously into the neighborhood, where she killed a family of four.
Old Jennie was not hanged on a scaffold. In those days murderers were executed with as little trouble and expense as possible. The wizen faced terror of all Somerset was placed in a cart drawn by two oxen and placed directly under a stout limb of an old oak tree that stood in the jail yard. The rope was fixed in rude fashion around her neck, amid the hurrahs of the crowd and the curses of the doomed woman, and when all was in readiness a bunch of fodder was placed ten paces from the oxen's heads, and they were given the word to start. Obeying the command, they made a bee line for the fodder and left old Jennie dangling at the end of the rope.
That day, it has been told thousands of times, was the darkest ever know in this section. Chickens remained on their roosts throughout the entire day, while candles by the score burned in the houses that the servants might see to do their work. The local scientists of that day were at a loss to account for the strange phenomenon, and the graphic descriptions which they gave of it and which were recorded years ago make interesting reading.- Oriole (Md.) Cor. Chicago Inter Ocean.
It was reported that the superstitious thought the end of time had come and some believed that on a dark, cloudy night the ghost of old Jennie stalked around near the edge of the woods where she had committed her crimes.
The Elks Club of Pocomoke City was sponsoring a big stage show at the Marva Theatre featuring The Barter Players of Virginia in 'The Virginian.' "Don't Miss This Fine Entertainment By This Well Known Group Of Professional Players. No Expense Spared In Settings, Costumes, Lights And Music." Ticket price was $1.80 for general admission and $2.40 for reserved seats. Tickets in advance were available at Marva Soda Parlor, Ward's Barber Shop, Pocomoke City Pharmacy, and C.W. Renninger Esso Servicenter.
(The Salisbury Times)
(The newsprint, unfortunately, was too faded for most of the article to be legible but the following information was gleaned from it.)
Datelined Snow Hill, the headline read "Colored Veteran To Mark 109th Birthday." William Riley Ginn was to celebrate his 109th birthday on February 17th at his Snow Hill Home. He was Worcester County's oldest living resident and had served with the Union Army in the Civil War.
African American History
Thanks to PPE reader Melanie B. for her recent email about enjoying the TIME MACHINE items. Melanie also asked about including items of African American interest. If any readers have some local material along these lines please send it on to me.
The following is a listing of some websites that may be of interest.
Maryland African American Genealogy http://www.accessgenealogy.com/african/maryland/index.htm
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CEMETERY
Manokin, Somerset County, MD http://www.prairiebluff.com/aacemetery/wesley-aa.html
CENTENNIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CEMETERY
Upper Fairmount, Somerset County, MD http://www.prairiebluff.com/aacemetery/centennial-aa.html
African Americans in Maryland http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/afriamer/html/afriamer.html
African American Gateway, Maryland http://www.genealogycenter.info/africanamerican/results_afram.php?subject=MD
NEWS BLUNDER OF THE CENTURY? (At least rivaling the Chicago Tribune's 1948 "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline.)
The Titanic sank 100 years ago today.. in the early hours of April 15, 1912. That day's edition of the Syracuse Herald, (Syracuse, N.Y.) streamed these headlines on its' front page:
TITANIC'S PASSENGERS ALL RESCUED
Giant New Liner Limping in Toward Halifax, Badly Damaged
HOW TITANIC'S 1300 PASSENGERS WERE RESCUED AFTER LINER SMASHED BOWS ON HUGE ICEBERG
The April 16, 1912 edition of the newspaper carried this headline:
1,341 GO DOWN WITH TITANIC
Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!