Friday, September 27, 2013

The Buffalo Hangman...!

You may not know this, but President Grover Cleveland actually had the nickname of the Buffalo Hangman!

How he came by this nickname is a really interesting story, and gives us a glimpse into the life of a former president that we actually don't remember too much about. Just one more reason our history is much more interesting than we ever knew!

President Grover Cleveland Was Also An Executioner

If you know Grover Cleveland for anything, it’s that he was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, making him the only president to serve non-consecutive terms, and that he had a funny name. What you probably didn’t realize was that earlier in his life, he actually acted as a hangman for his county and performed an execution.

Grover Cleveland was the 22nd (and 24th) President of the United States of America. He has never been a particularly well remembered president, standing out mainly for sharing a name with a Muppet and for being the only president who ever served two non-consecutive terms in office. However, there’s something else pretty fascinating in his past: he was an honest to God hangman.

That’s right, Cleveland actually bears the nickname “The Buffalo Hangman” because he personally performed multiple executions while serving as the sheriff of Erie County, New York in the 1870s. He was in his 30s at the time, and the first fateful event took place in September 1872 when a man named Patrick Morrissey was convicted of killing his mother.

Cleveland could have passed the duties off to a deputy, but despite not necessarily being on board with execution, he carried out the task himself. It would not be the last time he would act as hangman, either, having also personally executed a man named John Gaffney on February 14, 1873.

Of course, Cleveland could hardly turn down the task considering the office of sheriff in Erie County was one of the most well-paid public offices around in that day and age. He was reportedly making $20,000 per year, which is primarily what brought the young Cleveland to agree to take the office in the first place. And that was in the 1870s: The modern-day equivalent would be more than $350,000.

Before Cleveland took on the role of sheriff, his predecessor had actually passed all of the responsibilities for executing, well, executions to his deputies. Cleveland simply was not having that. The deputy who had performed the previous executions was growing weary of taking lives and felt some serious shame and embarrassment for bearing the nickname “Hangman Emerick.”

By most accounts, Cleveland grew ill after carrying out his first execution, but the fact that he took on the role of executioner to spare his deputy any further moral crises should be more than enough to earn him at least a little bit of respect—respect not always given by the history books.

Here is a statement made by the man that might give some more insight of the type of leader he was...“Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made.”Grover Cleveland. Sounds like a pretty good man to me!

BTW, this information came from the site KnowledgeNuts.

Coffee out on the patio this morning once more. I have some carrot cake snack bars I'll share!


Chickenmom said...

“Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made.” That should be tattooed on every officials forehead! Cool here at 41 - save some of those snack bars for me!

Mamahen said...

At least he carried out his duties and didn't put the burden on those in his command.....47 here this a.m.... I have some pumkin cookies to add to the mix.

linda m said...

Very interesting facts this morning. I am happy to hear that Mr cleveland did not shirk his duties and and carried them out himself instead of passing the buck to someone else. 43 here this morning with heavy dew and some fog. Save a snack bar for me. Have a great weekend.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
They should at the very least have to recite it every day!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Mamahen...
I'd say that he took his office seriously. Some today should follow his lead.

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Linda...
Certainly he was setting an example for others to follow, if they would!

Thanks for coming by today!

Gorges Smythe said...

Another interesting post!

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
I'm glad you found it so, my friend!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

True history is more facinating than fiction. This post just proves that point..