The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 22, 1859
Mr. Warner was on the stand on his cross-examination. He testified in chief that the information he got, up in the room with the slave and his captors, relative to the Power of Attorney and warrant by virtue of which the captors held John, he repeated to the crowd below. – On his cross-examination he, however, could not specify and person in particular to whom he repeated these things. He could specify persons who were near him and gave the name of one to whom he personally addressed his remarks. – This witness had the common complaint that has possession of almost all the witnesses for the government of talking in so low a tone of voice as to compel the court, jury, counsel, reporters, and spectators to make a sounding board of their hands to enable them to hear a word. – Besides, this witness, has but one tone of voice, and nary an inflection; he talks upon a dead level, or like molasses running out of a bung hole, a steady, monotonous stream that will put a person to sleep as effectually as the steady ticking of an old-fashioned clock. We got tired of trying to catch what the witness said and gave it up as a bad job.
The Defence asked witness this question: did you not, on the other trial, say that if all of the crowd had acted as peaceful and properly as Langston, there would have been no trouble? The prosecution objected to the question and the point was argued by counsel on both sides. The Court said the defence might ask the question if the intention was to lay groundwork for impeaching the witness. Mr. Backus for defence would make no such statement, as they did not intend to impeach the witness. In answer to the defence the witness said – as near as we could make it out – that Mr. Langston was advising the crowd to keep quiet and take legal process; that he would go to Elyria for a writ of habeas corpus if a carriage was furnished.
Charles Wadsworth sworn. (This witness did not testify in the Bushnell case.) Witness is son of the landlord at Wellington. Witness saw Langston on the top of the front porch of the house; this was about 4 o’clock. Witness asked Langston if the paper the slaveholders had was all right? Langston said it made no difference whether they were right or not; they were bound to have John any way; saw Langston going up and down stairs three or four times that afternoon.
Edmund Lyman sworn. – (This witness did not testify in the other case.) Was at Oberlin about the time the crowd moved off towards Wellington. Saw defendant at Wellington on the day of the rescue; saw him a number of times in the afternoon; was at Oberlin at the public meeting in the evening; do not remember what Langston said in his speech, except was giving the particulars of what had occurred at Wellington; he said they had been to Wellington and had got the slave.
Mr. Gaston sworn – Saw defendant in the crowd that returned from Wellington to Oberlin at evening; Shepherd spoke first. [Here Mr. Backus arose, and with most determined man-manner pointed to Mr. Belden and said this farce had gone far enough – he wanted Mr. Belden to say whether he expected to show the negro John was in that crowd or not. Mr. Belden thus pressed did not come to that point.]
The Court held that what that crowd said at Oberlin, in the evening after the rescue, was not admissible unless the negro John was with them and therefore the assemblage was a continuous act with the doings at Wellington. What the defendant said in his speech was evidence, but that only.
Mr. Belden finally said he expected to prove the negro was there.
Witness continued – Mr. Shepard called for three groans for Dayton, Deputy U.S. Marshal, and three cheers for the rescue of John; he told how John was in Oberlin at that time. The crowd then called for defendant, Langston, and Mr. Langston said in answer to the question whether they had got John, “we have!” did not understand just where the negro was at that time; about one hundred or one hundred and fifty were at the meeting.