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James R. Dupuy, Affidavit

The following is the substance of the testimony in the case of
Comth of Ky

tried for murder of Blanche Levi child of Willis and Anne Levi of Louisville Ky at the may term of the Jeff Co Cir Court-

Caroline is aged about 20 yrs—is a contraband & was employed as a cook & the only servant of Willis Levi—had been so employed since Sept 1862,—Levis family consisted of himself, his wife & child & Caroline.

Caroline cooked & washed; Levi being a boat pilot was absent more than one half the time. She was a good servant & seemed to love the child, who was very fond of Blanche (the child) (her (Caroline) About two months before the death of the child (which occurred some time in Feb 1863,) Levi who had purchased some strychnine for the purpose of killing some cats and pigeons that had been annoying him asked his wife for the poison, who
< 2 > taking it from some shelf or ^mantle or^ other exposed place in the family room handed the paper ^containing the poison^ to Levi, He called Caroline & had her to bring him some beef which he took & cut into three peices, small peices, about 1 1/2 inches square & on each peice put some of the poison saying at the time that "here is enough strychnine (or poison) to kill a regiment of men", Caroline standing near by with the remainder of the beef in her hand & hearing the remark

Levi put these pieces of meat under the house (the adjacent house) of a neighbor (a plank being off next the ground), placing the beef as far under the house as he could reach with his arm; the aperture being about 10 or 11 inches wide & about 6 or 7 feet long There was no division fence between this aperture & Levis back yard.*
<< * when Levi had finished putting the poison on the meat he handed the paper to his wife, (in Carolines presence) folded & tied neatly as if just from the Druggists- who ^mrs Levi^ put it in the bottom of the till of a trunk in the room & placed upon the paper a small empty paper box- 2 inches long by one inch broad, (about the size of the paper in which the poison was) & on the top of the box she carelessly laid some artificial flowers- these were all the articles in this part of the till of the trunk—the till being divided into apartments like little boxes The ^trunk^ as it always did remained unlocked & unstrapped. >

Nearly about the time of this occurrance (whether before or after the writer can not now remember) Levi had put some of this poison on some grains of wheat in a tin dipper out in the backyard for the purpose of killing some pigeons, which re-
< 3 > mained there for a few days, when he carefully took the dipper & its contents & threw it into his privy pit on the rear of his lot, twenty paces from << 2 > his kitchen, About one month before the death of his child Levi had set out several fruit trees in his backyard & just before night cautioned Caroline not to leave the back gate open so as to let his cow in the yard least she might injure the trees—the following morning the cow was found in the yard, the fruit trees having been much injured by her—Levi asked Caroline if she had left the gate open and she said she had not—whereupon he told her if the cow was found in the yard again at night, that he would hold her responsible for it; Caroline manifested no anger at this & gave him no insolence or response of any kind. About two weeks before the << 3 > death of the child Levi had just white-washed his yard fence and when done said in the presence of Caroline & his wife "Caroline while I am gone dont any of you throw any
< 4 > water or trash on this fence, if you do I will make you white-wash it again"—No reply was given to this remark by Caroline, no anger manifested. Shortly after this injunction (whether the same meal after or on the next day the writer does not now remember) the fence being within about 8 feet of the kitchen door Caroline stepped out of the kitchen door on a plank platform just in front of the kitchen door & about 3 1/2 feet square & threw the contents of the dish-pan after having washed her dishes in the water, on the white=washed fence. Mrs Levi immediately informed mr Levi of this who went to the door & told caroline that "for two cents he would give her a thousand lashes" & that "she had better not do it again" soon after this (perhaps the next day) Levi left for his boat on a trip to Memphis (or Nashville perhaps)

<< 4 > During his absence Caroline was not disobedient or insolent but was surly, rather pouting & silent doing her work as usual—
< 5 > << 5 > Once during Levi's absence mrs Levi reprimanded Caroline & her husband (a contraband who hired to Levis brother but slept at Willis Levis with his wife evry night) that they must not sit up so late & keep a light burning

One Monday afternoon Mrs Anne Levi (mother of the child) & her sister her next door neighbor (North) were walking from 3 till 5 o'clock. leaving Blanche << 6 > the child (aged about ^15 months^ three years) and caroline ^together^ alone at home.

During their absence Caroline asked Levis next door neighbor (a german woman) going up to the fence dividing the lots) if she knew where Mrs Levi had gone. When Mrs Levi returned, as soon as she entered her room she discovered that the trunk which usually sat either against or nearly against the wall was displaced from its usual position, so as to arrest her attention as soon as she got to a point where she could well see the trunk; one end of the trunk being farther from the wall than the other, having the appearance of having been moved from the wall, so as to give the lid room to go up without interfereing
<< 6 > with the wall. At one end & near the trunk a wooden chair was always placed & near the wall—this chair was so moved from its usual position as to attract Mrs L's attention while near the trunk—about eight inches from the trunk & on the floor & near that end of the trunk in which the poison had been placed two months before—(the right hand front corner) was found the little paper box, which two months before had been placed immediately on the paper containing the poison

Mrs Levi entered & said to Caroline who was in the kitchen ironing "Why Caroline who has moved the trunk" Caroline replied, "Miss Anne I have'nt been in the trunk" << 7 > Mrs Levi was restless on Monday night, not sleeping well, awoke several times during the night & one one occassion had a singularly strangling or suffocating sensation about the lower part of the throat and feeling badly, it was late before she entered the kitchen for her breakfast (where she took her meals in winter) later than usual—She was always
a remarkably healthy woman & nearly always rested well—When she entered the kitchen ^on Tuesday morning^ she was dressed for the day & had Blanche by the hand leading her- The child was not yet dressed—

As she entered Caroline was just setting down a cup of coffee at her (Mrs Levis) plate or was just in the act of removing her hand from the cup after having placed it down—The coffee in the cup had been sweetened & the cream put in it

<< Mrs Levi stated that at the time she entered the kitchen she thought Caroline had poured out her coffee for her—because she was later getting to Breakfast >

(Mrs L. stated Caroline had never poured out her coffee before, nor for any member of her family; this office always having ^been peformed^ by Mrs L- the lady of the house) Mrs L- remarked when she saw the coffee "Why Caroline we are so late coming to breakfast you have poured out my coffee for me"—To this Caroline made no response

Mrs L. took about one teaspoon full of her coffee, not more ^it did not taste well or naturally to me (She said) but this might be the bad taste in my mouth^ & still feeling unwell said she had no appetite for breakfast- told Caroline she would go in her room (the next one) & lie down again & to "take Blanche, dress her & give her (Blanche) her breakfast

< 8 > Mrs L- retired to her room & laid down & after she had been there not more than 5 or 6 minutes Caroline came up to her bedside (coming from the kitchen) & said "Miss Anne where is Blance's bonnett she wants to go out in the yard"?—Blanche following Caroline in approached the bed-side of her mother while Caroline stepped into the other (front) room & bringing her bonnet, tied it or put it on her head & leading her to the door Mrs L—told her to leave it ajar (it being mild weather for February) so that in playing she might be in or out as she chose

As Caroline led the child to the door she the child) seemed to pull back as if reluctant to go—Mrs L—saw her lingering about the door for an instant & then lost sight of her for 5 or eight minutes At the end of this time Caroline entered Mrs L.s room, (whether from the yard or from the kitchen Mrs L. did not know, the entrance being by the same door) << 8 > & walking briskly & firmly & in rather ^an abrupt^ [a resigned] manner said "Miss Anne come out & see Blanche she acts so strangly". Mrs L- hastened to the
< 9 > door & found her child lying on the ground in convulsions about five feet from her room door & about three feet from the kitchen door. And said "Oh Caroline how could you leave her so". Caroline did not reply to this. On being told to get some warm water she brought cold water this occurred twice—Caroline was sent to a neighbors for assistance & During her absence the child died in confvulsions in about 15 minutes from the time Mrs L left her in the ktichen with Caroline at breakfast The child frothed at the mouth, became livid under the eyes, [. . .] around the lips & about the finger nails & on the feet Professional men testified that these were [. . .]the ordinary symptoms arising from death by receiving strychnia << 9 >  in the stomach. Late Tuesday after noon Mrs Levi examined the trunk (her suspicions now for the first time having been aroused) & found the artificial flowers disarranged, displaced & thrown over from off the paper of poison & the poison lying on the top of the flowers the paper being tied rather bunglingly—

< (Mrs Levi further stated on cross-ex. that since She examined the paper of poison on Tuesday evening it had not been opened or retied—& upon its being presented to her ^in court^ said it was not tied badly.) com atty >
< 10 > A good many friends remained with Mrs L- during Tuesday;

Coffee was the usual beverage of the family Tea was served only when ordered by Mrs L- & it was generally ordered by her only when she felt unwell—Coffee was her drunk for breakfast & supper usually. Mr Levi was fond of it—Tuesday at dinner Tea was served without any orders to that effect or on the subject in any way whatever as far as any witness could state Coffee was ordered for Supper but Caroline served Tea instead And about Tea-<< 10 > time Mrs L- smelt coffee (as though it was being parched) & made some remark on the subject when some one stepped to the kitchen & saw some in a bowl or vessel in which it was not usually kept, seemingly wet & asked about it Caroline said she was drying some coffee in which she had spilled some water

The stomach of Blanch was taken out by a physician Dr Palmer, bottled, sealed up & carried by two persons to an experienced practical chemist Dr Jenkins who analysed the contents—applied three tests & each one gave him strychnia He analysed about one third or one fourth
 < 11 > of the contents ^of the childs stomach^, with some of which he killed a frog, (the symptoms of which in death indicated the presence of strychnia) << 11 > One third or one fourth the contents were sufficient to have caused death

While the post mortem examination was being made Caroline was seen 30 feet from the kitchen standing very near the window of the room where the body of the child was, in an attitude as if endeavoring to look in upon the proceding ^(the window shutters being closed)^ During Tuesday afternoon & the whole of Wednesday she seemed restless, not contented unless briskly engaged at work often went first to the front & then to the back gate of the lot & would look restlessly & quickly first ^in^ one direction & then immediately in another

She was seen to look at the body of the child & smile—she did this twice.

She had been told not to come in Mrs L-s room on wednesday, but manifested a disposition & desire to go in there & on one occassion came in abruptly & coming near the bedside of Mrs L- who was unwell & weeping, ^said^ suddenly, "Miss Anne how do you feel now" at the same time quickly touching Mrs L- on the elbow
< 12 > at this time or about this time of the day Caroline standing near Mrs L- was in pa position so that Mrs L- could not see her face—Caroline was seen ^by another witness^ to smile She asked on Tuesday once or twice if the child would be buried "Tomorrow"—On Wednesday forenoon & shortly after the post mortem examination (She not yet having been in the room where the body of the child was, that is, that day, Wednesday the matter of the post mortem examination having been known only to four persons & the physicians who kept it secret) she asked if they "were going to cut the child open"—She asked as many as one half dozen times during wednesday "when were they going to bury the child" She also asked if they "were going to keep the child till Mr Levi came home

Mrs Levi kept a great many things in the trunk spoken of; it was rather a convenient box for rags, little boxes, soiled clothes, anything in fact—it was always unlocked—she Mrs Levi had not noticed the paper of poison ^particularly^ since she put it there, when given her by her husband, but frequently went in the Trunk & thinks there is no doubt that she went in the trunk evry day or so or evry few days at least and would have immediately noticed any disarrangement such as she discovered
< 13 >on Tuesday (late) afternoon when she found poison displaced

The above testimony was written by me from memory at the request of Mr J H Price atty for caroline

J R Dupuy
Com' atty
7th Judal Dist

at the request of the atty for Caroline I add that on Wednesday Caroline was seen in the room where the body of the child was laid out, she was seen to stoop over the body & look upon the face of the child & as she raised her countenance was seen to smile. This was in evidence

J R Dupuy Com atty

The chemist said Blanche died from the effects of strychnia ^in her stomach^ administered to her It was proven that the childs symptoms in death were those of a person having taken strychnia

Dupuy Com' atty

vs } Testimony
Caroline (a slave)