Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 122
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 122
the conduct of a few of the slaves greatly excited the suspicions of the citizens. At the same time the indented servant-girl of a low tavern-keeper had been arrested, together with her master and mistress and two negroes, for complicity in a robbery. Proclamations offering rewards to whomever would give information concerning the supposed plot were read to her, and she suddenly professed herself aware of its existence. She asserted that her master and mistress and a number of the poor, semi-criminal whites, together with a multitude of blacks, were all engaged therein; and many of the ignorant slaves when arrested strove in their terror to save their own necks by corroborating and embellishing all the wild statements she made. The whole of New York went into a mad panic, and scores of people were imprisoned and put to death on the strength of these flimsy accusations. Fourteen negroes were burned at the stake, twenty hanged, and seventy-one transported; while of the twenty whites who were imprisoned, four were executed. Among the latter was a Catholic priest named Ury, who was condemned both for complicity in the negro plot to burn the town, and for having committed the heinous crime of administering the rites of his religion; and on the double count, although as far as appears without a shred of damaging evidence being produced against him, the unfortunate man



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