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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

 

Lawrenceville - 861 miles

Walked 6 miles on the trail. Beatiful day. Lawrenceville, IL (pop. 4,745), which stakes its claims to fame on two very different fronts. It was named for U.S. Navy Capt. James Lawrence, best remembered for his dying words, "Don’t give up the ship," during the War of 1812. Later, in 1845, Lawrenceville gained notoriety as the first place in Illinois to execute a woman by hanging.
Elizabeth "Betsey" Reed. Convicted of poisoning her husband with arsenic-laced sassafras tea, she was put to death on May 23, 1845. Reed burnt down the Palestine jail, and was moved to Lawrenceville, where she "got religion" and later "rode to her execution astride her casket singin' hymns and praisin' God". An estimated crowd of 20,000 witnessed her hanging. Reed is buried beside her husband in Heathsville's Baker Cemetery



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