The Chariton Patriot, Chariton, Iowa
Wednesday, April 9, l873
'A Minister of the Gospel Tortures a Little Girl in a Shocking Manner.'
We have from what we consider a reliable source the following facts in regard to the treatment of a little girl by a man pretending to be a minister of the Gospel. The following is the language of our informant:
I will relate the following incident as I have it and I have it from responsible sources. A little girl named OGLESBY, aged some four years, was taken by one DANIEL SAMS, United Brethren Preacher, about a year ago, who lives near Smyrna, Clarke County, where the little innocent has received such treatment as a fiend could only inflict. The child was taken away by a woman named MRS. RADCLIFF, who in response to human feelings refused longer to remain an idle spectator, and there being no men in that benighted locality, she made complaint to a Justice of the Peace, who issued his warrant for the arrest of said "religious teacher."
The following facts are said to have been corroborated. To repeated beatings, knocking down, to putting out of doors in the coldest weather and keeping out until its feet were frozen, to holding its bare arms to the fire until they were burned to a blister, (they are all sore yet.) The last act of this fiend, who believes "that the blood of Christ can wash his sins away" was to knock it down and while in its insensible state to take a heated poker and scar its flesh on its legs and body, remarking as he proceeded with his hellish brutality "Oh she isn't dead yet", as she winced from the scorching iron. The foregoing are some of the most prominent charges. The Justice held him for examination on March 22nd. SAMS not being able to give bonds, the Justice of the Peace allowed him to go at large on his promise to return for trial which he failed to do, and Friday he left the half civilized community to mourn his loss.
I understand that MRS. RADCLIFF has, or proposes to prosecute the Justice of the Peace for neglect of duty. MRS. RADCLIFF should have the thanks of all friends of humanity. The child is now at MR. HIGBEES in Wayne County, and is a sister's child I believe. I am told that its mental faculties are ruined by its barbarous treatment.
We are not personally cognizant of the foregoing facts, but having them from a reliable citizen who lives near the locality, we doubt not but they are substantially true. We have searched Webster's unabridged in vain for adjectives suitable to describe the fiend in human form who would perpetrate such an outrage, and then the fact that he pretends to be a disciple of the Great Teacher of humanity who loved little children, and the burden of whose teachings was such as to soften the heart, and develop the divine nature of men, instead of the brutal, adds three fold to the meanness of the act. A man pretending to be a follower of the "meek and lowly Nazarene" who would be guilty of such barbarity is so much worse than an ordinary fiend that the latter would grow dizzy in looking down from his position, (in a moral point of view), upon the former, if indeed he is not so far below him as to be entirely invisible.
We are opposed to the Lex Tulionis as a rule but believe that, as there are exceptions to all rules, in this case a little of the burning and freezing inflicted on the child might have a good effect on the aforesaid criminal, as it is certain that he has no feeling except that of an animal.
At any rate it is to be regretted that the inadequate punishment provided by the Statute cannot be administered.
The Chariton Patriot, Chariton, Iowa
Wednesday, April l6, l873
More About DANIEL SAMS . . . . . . . .
We gave last week some facts as we learned them, in regard to the brutal treatment of a little girl near Smyrna, Clarke County, and now give some further information in regard to the same affair. We have seen and talked with a party who was at Smyrna at the time of the arrest of the inhuman creature who perpetrated the outrage, and have learned that our statement of last week was not exaggerated, but substantially true, as the matter is understood in the neighborhood. We made a mistake in giving the name of the lady, who took the child away, and informed on the guilty party, it being a MRS. WM. ROBINSON instead of MRS. RADCLIFF. Our informant saw the child, and says that it was bruised and burned in a shocking manner, and that it was reported that one of the acts of this infernal diabolical being, was to compel the little innocent creature to swallow its own vomit. We hope for the sake of humanity, that this report is not true, or if it is, that it may be established that the perpetrator was insane at the time, for certainly nothing but either insanity or total depravity would account for such conduct. The following is the Osceola Sentinel's account of the affair.
One DANIEL SAMS, who professes to be a minister of the Gospel, adopted an orphan child, a little child about three years of age. A rumor became current that the child was mistreated and MRS. WM. ROBINSON, a kind-hearted, noble woman, determined to ascertain if there was any truth in the report. Accordingly she visited MRS. SAMS, and on seeing the little girl was terrified at the sight. She rescued the child from its tormentors, and immediately filed an information before Elihu Gardner, a Justice of the Peace, and had a warrant issued for the arrest of SAMS and his wife. The parties were brought before the magistrate, and not being ready for trial were admitted to bail on their own recognizance. After being released they immediately fled to parts unknown. The child was in a most horrible condition. Dr. Holland who made examination found that it has received the most fiendish and brutal treatment and gave it as his opinion that it would not be strange if the child's injuries would cause its death. The little innocent bore unmistakable evidence of having been frozen, burned, starved and beaten. There were actual count twenty-five cuts and wounds upon its person. It had been bitten upon the arms by the fiendish devils in several places, and the marks of the monsters teeth were plainly to be seen. The child is now in care of MRS. ROBINSON and is well provided for. All honor to this kind-hearted, noble lady. It is greatly to be regretted that this Rev.(?) SAMS, this black-hearted, fiendish inhuman devil in human shape, was permitted to escape. Such a canting, hypocritical, villainous monster should be hunted down and sent to the penitentiary, to expiate his crime against this little innocent babe, for a term sufficiently long for him to learn that the way of the transgressor is hard. The above facts are well authenticated by several of the best citizens of Franklin Township. We hope the press will pass the scoundrel around.
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June 6, 2003