Mr. Josiah Lamborn’s opening speech to the Jury:
You are here called upon to Judge a truly extraordinary case; it is extraordinary on account of the peculiar celebraty of the person killed, and on account of the peculiar circumstances, attending the killing of this man, and that has attended the whole account throughout this County and the adjoining Country, the Case is one of peculiar interest, and vast importanse to the whole Country, to it public attention is directed from every part, the eyes of the whole country is upon us, it has not only excited a feeling of considerable interest among the people of the united stated, but throughout the civilized world.
I came here under the direction of the Governor, on the part of the Government to assist the state’s attorney, but I have to stand alone, I do not come here as the Champion of any party, or interest, neither do I wish to meddle, with you as parties, either in politics, or religion, or to entangle myself in any of the prejudices, troubles, and animosities, which effect this community, and render you a discontented and unhappy people,
I am not here, to court the favour, or smiles, of any men or party of men, but I intend to act, with becoming decision and firmness, in spite of the consequences, and vindicate the supremacy, and majesty, of the law, I have an array of learned Counsellors against one, I was commanded to seek assistance, but it cannot be had, I therefore stand alone, in this trial and in this community, unaided by council, to vindicate the Law of Man, but I will do my duty, and do it fearlessly, with becoming respect for the Laws of our Country, and not for the Local prejudices and applause of this community, but for the applause of my own conscience, and for the applause of heaven. A citizen of your County was confined in Jail under the protection of the Law, and plighted faith of the Governor, of the State, as to how far his offences, are two, or far they are false, he may have been guilty of the basest crimes, or he may have been innocent of the charges alleged against him, about these things I know nothing, but he has suffered an awful atonement, for any offence he might have committed and is gone to answer for it before his God.
He being confined in Jail a wreckless mob, came here, on these peacable prairies, and took that man from Jail and murdered him, but the Laws of Mobocracy, not having the laws of God and man, in their favour,
We alledge that these men arraigned before you at the Bar, are the men who new the movers, and instigators, of that mob who committed the crime, and shed blood, upon the soil of your town, they were the cause of the spilling of that blood in consequence of which murder, rests upon their hands, and hearts of these five men here arraigned,
It is not necessary to prove that these men, entered the Jail, or shot the Gun, or any of these instruments, by which his death was accomplished, in order, to convict them, but that the mob, got its spirit, impulse, movements, and blood thirstiness, from the minds, and dispositions of these men, and that they were the instigators of that mob, gave countenance to it and that they did stir up others, to commit the murder we shall be able fully and sbstantially to prove, And it is frequently the case, when crime is committed, for the instigator of the crime to pass away, and let the blood be spilt, or the crime perpetrated by the underlings, they did direct the arm that did strike the fatal blow to the heart of the unfortunate victims
There are hundreds here I have no doubt are ready to applaud you, and rejoice with you, if you should return a verdict of not guilty against these men, but as you respect your honour, your Country, and your God, I call upon you to do justice to this case, for this state of things cannot exist much longer, the law must prevail, mobs, may triumph for a short time, but the law, will ultimately prevail and triumph,
The guilt of this crime, hangs over you, as a blight, and curse, which is destroying your character, and gnawing at the root of your prosperity, it is a blood stain upon your character, and a foul blot, which cannot be erased, but with vengeance, and rigour, to deal out the law, as the law is, As you respect, and fear your God, as you respect, and fear God, and not man, do your duty, for it is better that truth and righteousness prevail, and that even handed Justice, be dealt out to the full, thanto suffer the guilty to go free, and escape the merited punishment due to their deeds. We have come here, to test, the power, and majesty of the law, and we ask Justice, Justice we ask, and by man shall his blood be shed, here is, the law of God, and the law of God, is higher than the law of man, the style is between the spirit of Mobocracy, and the spirit of the law, for their can be no liberty, no equal rights, no-patriotism in an agriculteral county like this, where such things are permitted to exist, it is not at all surprising that Mobs rise upon your Community, when a crime like this should exist, and the people altogether justify the perpetration of such a deed but while you justify will not heaven frown, and man will frown, if he possess the feeling of a man, upon abase, violation of the rights and liberties of others, and under the Just contempt, of the brave and the free, you institutions, will become, a stigma and will sink to rise no more,
Where, are your Laws, here in this country, where the protection, that ought to be thrown, around your persons if such violations, are to be committed, as they have been, you are not sure, but that yourselves, may be the next victim, you are now interested in the welfare of your County, the laws of your Country, demands such an interest, and you are not, the only ones, that feels this interest, but as far as the name, of Liberty, Religion, the rights of conscience, and the power of the divine providence is extended their will be interests manifested in the examination of this case, therefore it is for you to know and consider well your duty and make your decision according, to the dictates of truth, and apure conscience, remember that these oaths you have made is registered in [illegible], and you will be called upon to answer the manner in which you have determined this case, between the state, and these individuals, for taking the blood of that man against the Laws of God and against your own human laws, that govern the Laws in which you live.