The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 12, 1859
The Rescue Case.
Sixth and Seventh Days.
The only event worth note on the sixth day of the trial – Monday – was the introduction of Wall, a colored man, as a witness for the defence. The prosecution endeavored to keep WallÕs testimony out on the ground that he had been in the room while other witnesses were testifying, and in disobedience of the order of the Court, but the witness satisfied the Court upon that point and the objection failed. It was supposed on all hands that the Government then would object to Wall on account of color, but for reasons best known to the counsel for the defence no objection was made to WallÕs color and he was permitted to testify. WallÕs testimony on the physiology of the negro was very intelligent; he evidently knew all about the colors and their shades. The object we suppose of his testimony is to raise the question of identity. The testimony of the prosecution and defence upon the question of height and color of John is at variance.
This man Wall, once a chattle, is an industrious mechanic at Oberlin; he is the son of a rich slaveholder; his father raised a number of children from his own slave women, but the mother of Wall, by her beauty, became his favorite. The slaveholder could not bear that his and her children should remain in slavery and so the mother and her offspring were brought into Highland county in this State, and set free. – Wall, as he stood upon that stand, showing more intelligence, by far, than the Kentucky negro catchers who preceded him, was a trumpet-tongues commentary upon a law that would consign him to the clutches of perpetual servitude.
It will be noticed that the witnesses for the prosecution and defence contradict each other as to the character of Mr. Bartholomew.
Another point of variance between witnesses was as to the paper shown by Mitchell to Dickson, and which the latter swore was the warrant and not the Power of Attorney and not the warrant their exhibited. The interest these Kentuckians have in the case: the fact that here the pinch in the prosecution comes; then on the other hand the entire want of interest of Dickson and other witnesses for the defence who swore positively that it was the warrant; the fact too that Dickson is a lawyer and must readily know a warrant from a Power of Attorney, will enable our readers to estimate the credibility of this testimony.
There was an unusual crowd in the Court room this (seventh) day including many ladies in expectation of hearing the arguments of the counsel which commenced at 2 oÕclock.