The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 20, 1859
THIRD DAY – WEDNESDAY MORNING.
Anderson Jennings was on the stand under cross examination. In many particulars the testimony of the witness varies fro that given in by him o the Bushnell case; in many respects there are additions to the details, and omissions, but we only can note the prominent features as the case proceeds, in which it differs from the Bushnell case. Any other course would involve a recapitulation of most of the testimony once published.
The witness testified that he thinks Langston came into the room with the crowd when John was rescued. Defendant was in before that time and witnessÕ impression is that Langston was with the crowd that rushed in and hustled the nigger out. The counsel for defence labored for a long time to get Jennings to give the conversation between Lowe and Langston, in the very words the two used, but it seemed impossible to get the witness to give the language he, over and over again, insisted upon giving the substance of the conversation, but either witness could not or would not see the difference between the first person and the third person. – We think the witness could not see the difference as his order of intellect is evidently of a low cast.
On direct examination resumed, the witness said that the reason McMillen did not arrest John at Oberlin, under his Power of Attorney, was because he was afraid to attempt it, witness asked McMillan to make the arrest, but he declined attempting it.
Mr. Mitchell was sworn. – The testimony of this witness as to his coming to Ohio with the Power of Attorney, as to his doings at Oberlin, the overtaking of the negro o the road, his capture and ride to Wellington, was similar to the Bushnell case. When the question was raised as to that the negro said, the Court decided that could not be given in evidence, for it was the declaration of a third person, and black and whites each are held in Ohio to be persons. What the negro did, the Court said could be testified to. The witness then detailed the occurrences at Wellington. Witness says a mulatto man came into the upper room, who was called Langston, but witness does not know that it was this defendant; donÕt know that Langston saw the Power of Attorney; donÕt know that Langston had a conversation with Lowe.
On cross examination witness said he could not tell whether slaves were the fattest in summer or winter; they are worked about the same. JohnÕs wool was a little sun burnt, not a jet black, he had a good head of hair, a pretty good forehead, and was tolerably intelligent. Quite a discussion arose o bow legs, knock knees and straight legs, but the witness did not know to which class John belonged; donÕt know that JohnÕs legs were disproportionate to his body. – Witness has had some experience in arresting runaway negroes; for two years witness was on the ÒRiver Guard,Ó to watch for and arrest runaway negroes.
When Mr. Backus asked the witness how many persons he communicated with relative to the capture of John, from the time he arrived at Oberlin until the time Jennings returned from BoytonÕs, the District Attorney arose under much excitement and said that if such a course of examination was pursued he should move that Prof. Peck (who was sitting beside counsel) be remanded to jail – and not allowed to sit with the counsel – for this examination was for the idle purpose of ferreting out by the Oberlin people those among them who were assisting the capture of fugitives.
Mr. Backus protested that Prof. Peck had made no suggestion to counsel as to the question, and that the object of the examination was to know in what manner these parties proceeded to carry out their plan of capture, and also claimed right of such examination in order to test the recollection of the witness. The Court said for that last purpose the examination was proper.
Court took recess until 2 oÕclock.