The Oberlin Evangelist
March 16, 1859
The Trial of the Thirty-Seven
Citizens of Lorain, indicted for rescuing and aiding in the rescue of the alleged slave John Price has, at the urgent request of the Prosecuting Attorney, been put over to April 5th. The adjournment has cost the defence considerable inconvenience, and is much regretted by them. To say nothing of other considerations, they do not relish the suspense to which the delay subjects them. If they are to be punished, they wish to know it, and to be through with what is before them. Meantime they are perfecting the plan of their defence. Expert lawyers give them cheerful aid, and it will be singular if they do not go into court with their case well made.
The jury, which is to try the first case, is already struck and is geographically, and, so far as we can learn, politically a singularity. Gathered from the northern half of Ohio, it exhibits out of the sixteen names on the panel, only one from the Reserve. Taken from a district, the population of which numbers tens of thousands of antislavery men, and which is, by an overwhelming majority, Republican in politics, it has, so far as we have ascertained, neither an Abolitionist nor a Republican on its list. We will not yet say that justice is to be mocked on the trial. We will say, however, that the present appearance is that such will be the fact.
We have not before informed our readers that the Grand Jury of Lorain county has indicted the professed owner’s attorney, Jennings, and the officials Lowe, Davis and Marshall who arrested Price, for kidnapping. The bill of indictment was found by the unanimous vote of a jury, two members of which were Democrats. The penalty for the offence charged, is imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than three years. Lawyers of high standing, to whom the case has been submitted, say that the testimony is ample for the conviction of the indicted.
We think it probable that, before these penal and State prosecutions are ended, it will be definitely ascertained whether Ohio is a free State or not.