Age: 43, credited to St. Albans, VTVITALS
Birth: abt 1818, Quebec, CanadaADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, MI
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
St. Albans Daily Messenger
June 29, 1977
A Former Resident of St. Albans Executed for Murder.
The Hamilton (Canada) Times of May 24th, gives an account of the execution at Windsor, Ont., on 22d ult., of Austin Humphrey, who lived at St. Albans some years ago, where he followed his trade of carpenter, and was in the employ of Mr. E. Haight for five or six years. We also find that Humphrey enlisted in Co. B, First Vermont Cavalry, Sept. 16, 1861, his age then being 43, and that he served as a sergeant until his discharge Nov. 3, 1862. From the account in the Times, we learn that Humphrey had been at work for a builder named Frederick Appel, with whom he had a dispute about the sum of $4 for two days work. It appearing that Humphrey had not put in full timer, Appel refused to pay him full wages. This so exasperated Humphrey that he deliberately shot his employed on the public highway, in the presence of a single witness by whose testimony he was convicted.
The following are the principal details of his execution: In the morning he was visited by a clergyman, with whom he knelt in prayer and himself prayed fervently. He showed himself very well versed in the bible, and seemed to take much comfort from the repetition of many passages of scripture. After breakfast, Humphrey smoked a cigar and chewed tobacco, this being the only stimulant given to him. He seemed to realize the awful situation, but also seemed determined not to allow it. - A nervous twitching of the eyelid, - and now and then a shake of the head, and a shudder passed over his form, and he would then chew tobacco with more vehemence and try to banish the dreadful vision of the gallows from his mind. Subsequently, he engaged in prayer with a clergyman, during which Humphrey shaded his eyes with his right hand and beat on the bench occasionally with his left, while now and then he shook his head and murmured to himself and wept and seemed much affected.
Shortly after 8 o'clock Humphrey was taken to the gallows. After Dr. Caulfield read the burial service, Humphrey came forward and addressed those persons present, saying: "My dear friends, I am now on the scaffold to pay the last penalty of the law and I bless God that He has seen fit to pardon me and wash away my sins. I feel that my sentence is just and I want to warn you all, my dear friends, never, never to touch the intoxicating cup. It was all through liquor that I came here. Oh, my friends, as you value your own souls, leave that cup alone. It has done more harm than all other things put together, and it has been the ruin of thousands, as it has been of me. May God have mercy upon me and give me grace." After prayer and the usual preliminaries the sheriff gave the signal and the drop fell, when Humphrey dropped with a sickening thud and never moved a muscle, except his left elbow, which slightly raised. An exclamation of horror went up from the crowd and all was over.
Contributed by Tom Boudreau.