The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, April 26, 1859
Removal of Bushnell – Marshall Johnson – His Veracity.
A statement appears in the Herald, which unexplained might do injustice to Sheriff Wightmen, and when explained places Marshal Johnson in a very unenviable position.
Marshal Johnson declared in the presence of a number of persons, that he could only account for the manner in which Col. Abbey executed his order to get Bushnell into custody, by the fact that Col. Abbey apprehended trouble if he should inform Sheriff Wightman of the whole truth, and that the Sheriff would not give up Bushnell, thus leaving the impression that he, the Marshal, was not a party to the duplicity of the Col. Abbey, but that Col. Abbey contrived it up himself. It appears, however, from the statement of the Colonel that the plan of the rescue of Bushnell was laid by Marshal Johnson, and that Col. Abbey followed the orders given him by the Marshal; and furthermore had no idea but that Bushnell was wanted in the Court room, and was made to believe by the Marshal that BushnellÕs call at his office was incidental to his going into the court room.
The responsibility, therefore, of obtaining possession of Bushnell by such means as have been resorted to, rests entirely on Marshal Johnson.
The manliness of the U.S. Marshal is further illustrated by the fact, that he did not inform Bushnell that he was intending to retain him in his custody until afternoon – some five hours after he had turned the key on him – and then said to him that he was anxious to return him to the jail, but that the District Attorney would not permit him to do so. At the same time the Marshal was saying to other men that he had got possession of Bushnell for the reason that news had reached him that a Habeas Corpus had been applied for, and if that writ came he desired to be ready to meet the responsibility himself.
Alas! How difficult the task for any man to preserve his manhood while doing superfluous work for the greatest crime of the age – American Slavery.
One of the Prisoners.