The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 19, 1859
Trial of Langston.
SECOND DAY – TUESDAY MORNING.
The Court Room this morning was much less crowed than at any other time since the trials commenced. This is owing to the fact that the exciting questions – at least for the present – are disposed of; the testimony in the case is mainly a repetition of that given in on the former trial.
The defendants still remain in jail except as this defendant Langston is brought out to attend his trial, and Messrs. Plumb, Peck and Fitch, are permitted to attend as advisers for counsel.
Mr. John G. Bacon, the owner of the boy John, was put upon the stand upon the opening of court on his direct testimony. Mr. Bacon testified that full-blooded negroes are black, and are copper color, and there are full blooded negroes lighter than copper color.
The defence went into a pretty full examination of Mr. Bacon on the subject of colors as exhibited in the colored race, but except on a few general principles which his observation had taught him he knew but little. On the subject of ŌJohnÕsĶ parentage Mr. Bacon said that he did not know that JohnÕs father and mother were ever married.
The defence questioned Bacon very minutely as to his knowledge of the slave condition of JohnÕs ancestors. Mr. Bacon said he could not tell on sight a free negro from a slave, and as to the grandmother of John, Mr. Bacon personally knew nothing about her being a slave. Mr. Bacon has no personal knowledge of the persons doing service for his father being slaves; they were reputed such, and treated as such.
Mr. Cochran, Clerk of Mason County, Kentucky, was called and testified as to the legal designation of the Court in that county. He examined the certificate attached to the power of attorney, which was signed by Richardson, who was then acting as deputy clerk. Prosecution offered to prove, by Mr. Cochran that Richardson was duly appointed deputy, and authorized to act for him. Defence objected to oral proof of that fact. Court allowed the witness to testify whether the deputy was appointed by him and was authorized to act as such. Witness in answer said Richardson was so authorized. Prosecution offered to prove by Mr. C. that John was listed for taxation. Defence objected to oral proof of such fact unless they list slave in Kentucky orally. The Court held the question to be proper. Mr. Cochran had no knowledge whether Bacon paid a tax o John or not, he paid taxes o slaves. Defence asked Mr. Cochran as to the ownership of slaves; he said they were neither real property nor personal property, but it is mixed; a married woman cannot convey slaves I Kentucky being owner in her own right, except by deed executed by her and husband jointly, whereas a femme sole or a man can transfer slaves as chattels. There is a special law regarding slaves, which descend to married women.