Monday, October 24, 2011

Mystery Monday: The Murder of Silas Merchant

 April 4, 1866
Cincinnati Daily Enquirer
Page 2

A man named Silas Merchant was shot and killed at Burlington, the county seat of Boone County, Kentucky, on Monday last, by Ephraim Weaver. The difficulty between the parties which led to the this tragic affair, originated as follows:
   In January 1865, Merchant, who at this time belonged to the Fifty-Fifth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, was sent with another member of the same regiment to impress one of Weavers horses, near the village of Union.
   When the Soldiers arrived at Weavers house and informed him of their mission, he protested most vehemently against their taking his horse, and finally got into a fight with Merchant. Weavers' Mother came to his assistance, and during the scuffle was struck on the head. Merchant subsequently declared that if he struck the old lady, it was purely accidental, but that he had no knowledge of having done so. Weaver tried twice at Merchant, but did not hit hime, whereupon the latter struck Weaver on the head with his musket producing a frightful wound, from which it was though at the time, he would never recover. This ended the fracus and the soldiers went away, without the horse, we believe. Weaver no withstanding his severe injuries finally got well.
   He has declared on many occasions that he would kill Merchant on sight and in fact, sent word to that effect to him. The parties visited Burlington on Monday, and while Merchant was standing in a crowd, looking at a horse which was for sale, Weaver stepped up behind him and shot hime through the head. He fired three times at Merchant, two of the shots taking effect. The last shot was fired after Merchant had fallen. The latter died about on hour afterwards. Weaver was promptly arrested and lodged in jail.

So here is the mystery:
Mr. Weaver was acquitted, but why?

I am going to post more articles and info as the week goes on this, I would like to know why the judge and jury acquitted him.

 On Another Note:

Today was the announcement of the winners for the ObitKit book, and guess what!? I won! whoop!
I will post pictures as soon as I get it.

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott


  1. Congrats on the win. woohoo!! have fun.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)