Friday, February 8, 2008

William Pierce ? - 1838

This is the information I have for William Pierce. I have also seen his name spelled Peirce. This is quite possibly Edward Pierce's brother. I really think he is based on other information that would make a good case for them to be siblings.

The man who murdered William has his name in the paper as both McLaughlin and McGlaughlin. In addition to the following, I have the administration which is several pages long and lists all his worldly goods. His property was sold off at auction since he did not leave a will. His widow Rebecca was the recipient of the proceeds, after the attorney fees of course!

Upland Union Newspaper
August 21, 1832 - Marriage

At Marcus Hook, on the 2nd inst. by the Rev. J. Walker, Mr/ William Peirce to Miss Rebecca Lamplugh, all of Delaware County.

November 23, 1838 Darby , Pennsylvania
Delaware County Republican
We learn that William Pierce of Marcus Hook, in this county, was killed by a man named McLaughlin on Friday evening last. Pierce, accompanied by McLaughlin, came to this fishing village on Friday morning last for the purpose of selling fish, and left here in a bateau sometime during the day for home. In the evening they arrived at Chester when some slight altercation took place between them, which resulted in McLaughlin striking Pierce over the head with a handspike which caused his death on the following morning. The deceased was a quiet and inoffensive man, and so far as we had an opportunity of judging, strictly temperate. McLaughlin is now in jail, and will probably be tried at the next sessions.

November 29, 1838 – McLaughlin is sentenced to two years at the penitentiary.
Source: History of Delaware County , Pa. by Henry Graham Ashmead. Philadelphia : L.H. Everts & Co. 1884
On November 29, 1838, Thomas McLaughlin was tried for the murder of William Pierce. The defendant, November 16th of the same year, struck the deceased o the head with a handspike, and from the injury death ensued the same day. The jury convicted the accused of manslaughter, accompanying their finding with a recommendation of the prisoner “to the most extended leniency of the court.” McLaughlin was sentenced to two years imprisonment in the penitentiary.
*Note: there must have been extenuating circumstances for a jury to recommend such leniency for one convicted of murder. I do not know what the circumstances may be at this date but hope to find court records or transcripts of the trial.

The following information was provided to me by Helen from The information is at the Delaware County Archives. I have not requested the file yet:
Name: McGLAUGHLIN, Thomas
Date: Nov 1838 Charge: Murder
Docket & Pg: 3-175

November 30, 1838 Darby , Pennsylvania
Delaware County Republican
Estate Notice:
All persons indebted to the estate of William Pierce, late of the township of Lower Chichester , deceased, are requested to make payment to the undersigned and those having demands against said deceased will present them for settlement. John Larkin Jr., Administrator, residing in Lower Chichester.

*Note: The photo of the batteau is an example; this is not William's batteau.

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