American execution scene. A speech from the scaffold

The hanging of Robert Blanks at Maysville (Kentucky), on Tuesday, was the occasion of a peculiar scene.

The condemned man made a speech of 40 minutes’ duration from the scaffold, and then asked all those present, numbering over a thousand, to bid him good-bye individually. His next request was for a collection to help his wife and children.

The sheriff then told him to get ready for death; but he begged fervently for still more time, which he occupied in praying on his knees, and afterwards singing hymns.

At last the sheriff tried to end the scene by placing the black cap on Blanks’ head, but he tore it off five times.

Four men held him until the noose and cap were adjusted. Blanks struggled and screamed, and as the trap fell he was yelling “wait a minute.”

The Sheffield Evening Telegraph, April 20, 1899.

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