Archive for June 8th, 2009

The Murder of E. Junius Foster, Editor of the Sherman Patriot: 22 Years Later; Still No Justice

June 8, 2009
Great Hanging at Gainesville

Great Hanging at Gainesville

Image from Footnote.com

For background information on the incident that motivated E. Junius Foster to celebrate the death of Col. William C. Young, scroll down and read The Great  Hanging at Gainesville.

In 1863 the Rev. Newton Chance of Texas killed an editor in Sherman, and moved to Mississippi. At that time he was a lawyer, but afterwards he entered the ministry. Recently he returned to Texas, and while on a visit to Sherman was arrested for the murder committed 22 years ago.

Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) Oct 10, 1885

squiggle

A Murder Trial at Sherman.
[SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.]

SHERMAN, December 1. — THe case of the State of Texas vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, in this city, twenty-three years ago, was taken up in the District Court this afternoon and after some considerable time a jury was inpaneled.

S.F. Young, of San Antonio, was the first witness placed on the stand, and the substance of his testimony, was that on the night of the 10th of October, 1863, Newton Chance and James Young went with E. Junius Foster to the residence of Jas. Chiles on North Travis street, and that in a short time he heard Foster call out that he believed they intended to murder him. In a few minutes he heard the report of a gun and then saw three men ride off. He identified the defendant as the man who fired the shot that killed.

J.H. Cummins, of Pottsboro, in this county was next placed on the stand, and testified that about dusk, on the 10th day of October, 1863, he was walking up North Travis street, when he heard what he thought to be gunshots in quick succession. He hurried to the scene, and found E. Junius Foster in a dying condition from gunshot wounds in his side. He told him (Cummins) that Newton Chance was the man who did it.

Judge C.C. Binkley was next placed on the stand. He testified to having helped carry Foster to the office of the Sherman Patriot, which he (Foster) was at that time editing. He was district judge at the time. Cox and Young were tried for implication and found not guilty.

Several other witnesses were examined, and the case is still slowly dragging along, and the evidence will not be completed before tomorrow.

A strange coincidence in this trial is that the indictment was filed on December 1, 1865 — just twenty years ago.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 2, 1885

squiggle

The Sherman Murder Trial
[SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.]

SHERMAN, December 3 — In the case of the State of Texas vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, the testimony for the defense culminated in the introduction of Jim Young on the stand. It will be remembered that Young is one of the three indicted on the 1st day of December, 1865. He was the first of the three tried, and in this case Young was a witness for the defense. The entire audience were thrown into a state of excitement when the witness Young to-day testified that he himself did the killing, and that Cox and Chance had nothing to do with it.

The self acknowledged slayer gave as his reasons for so doing that E. Junius Foster, who was editing a Republican paper in this city in 1863, said that the killing of his (Young’s) father was the best thing that ever happened for northern Texas.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 3, 1885

squiggle

Newton Chance Acquitted.
[SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.]

SHERMAN, December 3. — The principal theme of conversation, on the streets this afternoon, has been the verdict in the case of the commonwealth vs. Newton Chance, charged with the murder of E. Junius Foster, on North Davis street, in this city, on October 10, 1863.

The following verdict was handed in about noon:

“We, the jury, find the defendant, Newton Chance, not guilty, as charged in the indictment. W.E. STAPLES, Foreman.

There was quite a dense throng in the courtroom when the verdict was rendered, and quite an affecting scene took place, as the aged prisoner shook hands with everybody he came to, while tears rolled down his cheeks.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 4, 1885

squiggle

Murder Will Out.
SHERMAN, Texas, Dec. 4.

Yesterday Newton Chance, an aged intenerate preacher, was on trial for the murder of E. Junius Foster, editor of a newspaper in 1863, when a man named James Young came forward voluntarily and confessed that he was the murderer. Chance was acquitted amid great rejoicing.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 4, 1885