Skip to main content

Caroline Dement to Thomas E. Bramlette

To His Excellency Thomas E, Bramlet Govenor of Kentucky

Your Petitioner, Caroline, a woman of color, would respectfully state that she was tried in the Jefferson circuit court at the may term upon a charge of Murder, she was convicted & sentenced to be hung August 14th, A petition for a respite was pesented to your predecessor which was kindly granted. Your petitioner now prays your Excellency to grant her a full pardon. She is innocent of the crime charged, & that your Excellency may be impressed with the truth of the statement she will state the leading & important features of the case.

The evidence was altogether circumstantial.

Your petitioner lived in the state of Tennesee, her master Mr. Dement had joined the army. When General Beull's army marched from Tennesee to Louisville she was brought along in the train. On her arrival in Louisville she found her self in a strange place without any one to advise with, She was houseless & home less, & "had not where to lay her head."
In this forlorn condition she was arrested as a fugative slave by a Policeman & carried to Mr Willis Levys that she might have a home, untill such time as her master might come & take her back to Tennesee. For this kindness she was greatful. She endeavored to pay for this kindness, by being attentive to her duties as a servant; watchful of their interest, & in all things to be faithful & trustworthy.

The family of Mr Levy consisted of him self his wife & a lovely little Girl called Blanch about fifteen months old. This little child died sudenly, & a practical chemist discovered that the stomach contained strichnine.

The child was fed by petitioner at breakfast, it was carried into the mothers chamber, it was playful & fondled its mother. In a little while petitioner led the child into the yard & several minutes there after the child was seized with convulsions & in a short time expired.

Mr Levy had bought some strichnine several months before & had on two occassions put some out, once to poison tame pigeons, & once he split three
pieces of meat & put in some of the poison, & put it just under the cill of the house to poison cats; This Mr Levy stated in evidence. Mr Levy & his wife both stated that petitioner appeared to love the little child, & delighted to do little kind things to please it at all times.

Mr & Mrs Levy testified that petitioner was obedient; was not impudent, & obeyed with cheerfulness all commands. The above statements are matters of evidence, brought out on the trial of the case, & that too, from the witnesses introduced by the commonwealth, for your petitioner had none. Your petitioner will now state one important fact which was not developed on the trial, Mr Levy put out the poison on more than two occassions; he put it out many times to kill Dogs & Cats, & it was never taken up, & what became of it no one knows.

Your petitioner plead not guilty before the Jury, She plead not guilty before the Judge when she received her sentence, & before God & High Heaven she is innocent of the crime charged.
She could not have perpetrated Such a deed upon any one, much less upon one so innocent & so lovely. The act belies every instinct of her nature. She is alive to the feelings of a woman & a Mother.

Your petitioner prays your Excellency to grant her a pardon

Caroline ^her X mark^ Dement

We the undersigned citizens of Louisville Ky unite in the prayer of the petitioner, & most respectfully request your Excellency to grant her a pardon

H C Thomas ast Jailer
John g Enlow Policeman
Charls Juno Policeman

I prosecuted the petitioner. Caroline. in the city court of Louisville, and from strong circumstances made known to me since that trial, I feel that Executive clemency, will have been worthily bestowed if she be fully pardoned

W, G, Reasor
City attorny

Burton Farmer
Turn Key at Jail
J, W, Knight
A C Cross Policiman
Wm Cross Poleasma
Henry C Russell [D M, E D]
John H Williams Policeman
George Jonas Interpaeter
J C Baird Policeman
Robt A Hamilton
Phil Tomppert. Jr. C C C L