Read clipping file and reflect on how they alter or do not alter your perception of the case as presented by Schama. Not all the clippings are adequately dated. They appear to have been added to the Stone transcription by someone who felt they were supplementary to the record. None of that which is covered by the clippings appears in the Stone transcript, although Bemis adds the confessions, and the transcript of the appeal and petition proceedings to his volume.
-what is the gist of the confession? An unpremeditated act of a passionate, easily irritated man?;
-prisoner's counsel ably argued that he was not guilty, but that if the jury thought otherwise then the prisoner should be shown clemency because the crime was not and could not have been premediated (Pliny Merrick's summation)
-in a petition in his own hand dated April 24, 1850, Webster denied his guilt
-his counsel appealed the case on technical grounds and the appeal was denied
-the Reverend Dr. Putnam presented a petition for commutation of sentence signed by Webster on July 1 and then
-on July 2 gave evidence that the Prisoner admitted guilt but denied premeditation
-who actually read and heard all the petitions? Briggs?
-Briggs argues that Massachusetts law requires evidence of physical, not verbal, provocation, and that Webster's word cannot be relied upon
-Briggs points out that the request for clemency on the basis of provocation argument was already rejected by the jury
-Briggs finds the facts of the murder appalling and the guilt established; punishment is to be rendered. July 19, 1850
-does the article say that Webster admitted his guilt? Who were the witnesses?
-note the failure of the telegraph ... Schama, p. 205, indicates that Samuel F. Morse was one of the jurors dismissed from duty (out of 14 of a possible 20? See Governor Briggs's analysis of the proceedings).
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