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Newspaper Articles Pertaining to the Trial

Convicted April 5th 1861, for the Murder of his Wife, by Strychnine, in Bloomfield, Perry Co., Pa., Dec. 24, 1860.
Executed on the 6th of September, 1861.

I was born in Doylestown, Bucks County, State of Pennsylvania, October 4th, 1824.  My father moved from Doylestown, when I was about three years old, to Waterloo, Lancaster County.  About a month or two after my father went back to Doylestown, in order to settle up his business; and while there was taken sick and died, leaving my mother with eight small children to maintain.
I lived with my mother about a year after my father's death when I went to Mr. David Windell's in Chester county, to work for my board and clothes until I was sixteen years old.  From Mr. Windell's I went to Mr. McClenan's in Parksburg, Chester county, where I staid about six months driving team.  From there I went to David Horn's in Unionville, Chester county, and worked six months' in a blacksmith shop.  I then went to Mr. N. Pettit's in Parksburg, and remained there one year, working at my trade and farming.
While living at Mr. Pettit's, I was paying my attentions to a Miss Hannah Gross, and was engaged to be married to her, but her uncle remonstrated so much against it, that we agreed to postpone it until another time.  She was at this time with child to me.  I then went to Manayunk to attend to a milk Dairy, and promised Miss Gross to return at a certain time to be married, but at the time appointed, I was unable to meet my engagement.  In the meantime, Miss Gross gave birth to a child and I presume from her disappointment, she committed suicide, and also infanticide.  
This awful affair would not have occurred, had her uncle consented to the marriage.  This affair has always preyed upon my mind, and forget it, I cannot-- it is always fresh in my memory.  On hearing of the death of Miss Gross, I left Manayunk, and went home to my mother; so deeply was I affected that I could not follow any business for one month.  I then went to Mr. Wm. Guthrie, Chester county, to work on a farm.  I worked there six months.  My wife, Mary, was living there at the same time.  About two weeks after i was there, she came into my bed-room, and from that out, we became very familiar; and one moth before I left Mr. Guthrie's, she had me arrested for fornication and bastardy.  I then married her, and seven months from the time I first saw her, she gave birth to a child.
I went from there to Cloud Smith's, at Doe Run, and went to keeping house.  I worked for Mr. Smith six months.  While there I lost all confidence in my wife, and supposed that she was not true to her marriage vows, of which I had sufficient reason to believe.  My mother advised me to take her home to her father, which I did; her father said he would make her behave herself if I would live with her.  I stayed with her from April until in the Fall, during that time she appeared to be no better than she was before I had taken her home.  The manner in which she conducted herself I could not endure, so I concluded to again leave her.  I left her and went to Harrisburg to live with my uncle George Walton during that Winter.
The next Spring, my uncle, Jas. Wolf, and myself bought a Canal boat in co-partnership.  We boated until September, when I received a very distressing letter from my sister.  I then gave my share in the boat to my uncle, and went home to my sister.  While at my sister's my wife came to see me, and made a great many promises "that she would do better" if I would live with her again, and go to housekeeipng with her.  By the many solicitations of my sister, I was persuaded to live with her again.  As her mother had died during my absence, I went into her father's house.  While there, I worked one year at my trade (blacksmithing) at one dollar per day.  I found I was unable to support my family on account of my wife's relatives living off of my income.  I concluded to go to Hibernia, and hire with Mr. Brooks, to drive wagon, at twenty dollars per month.  During that time I was not at home, but sent my wife money every month.  From there, I went to Cecil county, Md., taking my wife and two children with me.  I rented a house there, and worked on board of a schooner for three years.  During the first year we lived undisturbed, but the last two years I shall ever remember.  I supposed that when I left the neighborhood, that I would be free from all of my wife's relatives, but alas! my wife's sister, the second year I was in Cecil county, paid me a visit, and from that time during the two years I had no peace.
My landlord told me that my wife and her sister were acting very imprudently, and told me that it must be stopped, or I would be obliged to leave the house.  This created a suspicion in me, and I concluded to find, if possible, the facts of the case.  One night, returning unexpectedly from Baltimore, we anchored the Schooner outside of the shore.  I got into a small boat and pushed ashore and went up to my house.  I there found two men, one with my wife and one with my wife's sister.  This was too much for me to bear, and the next morning I bundled my clothes up and left her, and went home to my mother's.
I harvested during that Summer for Mr. Hughs in Chester Co.  During that time I heard nothing of my wife or her sister.  After harvest, my mother persuaded me to go and get the children and bring them home.  I went down and got my children, and brought them to my mother's.  This was in August.  They were at my mother's until the next April.  During this time, my wife made me another promise to do better, which I accepted, and rented a house at the Compass in Lancaster Co., and again lived with her.  I lived there two years, driving team, an was away from home every other night.  The first year I lived there, I lived very agreeably.  The second year my wife's sister again visited me an then commenced a repetition of their previous conduct, as heretofore stated.  My landlord, Mr. Baldwin, obliged me to move off his place on account of my wife's bad conduct.  During my absence, while living in Mr. Baldwin's house, I joined the Baptist Church; but on account of my wife's conduct, it led me back to where I had been, creating a coolness in regard to religious matters.  However, I had a christian friend, Jesse Conley, who enlivened me up in religion.  Him, I will never forget.  From Mr. Baldwin's, I went to Daniel Ramsey' in Chester co., to farm his place.  I worked his place two years, and worked one year while there at Parksburg, at Boiler making; from there I moved to Henry Bear's, at Sadsberryville, and worked at my trade.  My wife's conduct being tat this time of a very disreputable character, I moved to Scrogy, in Chester Co., working at my trade.  I was also obliged to move from there on account of my wife's conduct.
I then went to Bloomfield, Perry Co., and rented a house in April, 1859, of Mr. Geo. Hoffman, whom I worked for during harvest.  I then worked for W. Smeigh, quarrying lime-stone until August, 1860, when Mr. Speakman, of the Perry House, requested me to assist him during Court week.  Mr. Speakman then requested me to stay with him.  I rented a House in the lower part of the town, and moved my family into it, and supported them as well as I possibly could.  I stayed at Mr. Speakman's and only went home for my clothes.
My wife and I had some words in regard to different men coming about the house in my absence.  I was sitting in the evening in the room, nursing the child at the time when she commenced scolding me, because I would not get her what she wanted; she wanted me to get her some quinine and some strichnine.
I asked Mary what she wanted with this strichnine; she said if she had it, she would exterminate her existence.  I supposed, from what I had previously learned through my wife, that her sister had frequently used it to prevent conception and supposed she intended it for the same purpose.  I left he house and went to Mr. Speakman's shed, meditating over past events.  Miss Elizabeth Gusler who is my present wife said "Bill, what are you studying about."  I remarked that my wife and myself had a fight, and my wife said if she had poison, she would poison herself, and put an end to herself.  Miss Gusler remarked to me, "Damn her, get her a dose and give it to her."  I studied a little while, and then went and got three or four drinks of liquor, the stimulating effects of which probably tempted me to do what I did; and for sometime previous to this, having had improper intercourse with Miss Gusler, and she becoming advanced in pregnancy to me, it had a tendency to prompt me to do the deed for which I am about to suffer.  After taking the above drinks, I went to Newport, and bought strychnine and quinine, and on the way coming home, I changed the labels, the papers the medicine was put up in being a fac-simile to one another, I changed the quinine label to that of the strychnine.  I carried them in my pocket three or four days previous, to giving them to her.  I then went down to my house and told her, here was the medicine she wanted.  I suppose from the labels being changed, she had taken the strychnine instead of the quinine, as she appeared to want the quinine more particularly.
I bought it for the purpose of producing the effect it did, and for which I am about to suffer on the gallows.  I had thought three years ago I would give it to her, as she had frequently requested me to obtain poison to exterminate her existence.
After the death of my wife I concluded to marry, in order to have some one to take charge of my children , as my sister was unable to do so.  I therefore married Miss Elizabeth Gusler in Harrisburg, and went from there to Chester county, where I was arrested on a charge of poisoning my wife, and have been incarcerated in prison ever since, and I am now awaiting to meet my everlasting doom.
Readers!  this is a true history of my life since I can remember.  Troubled as I was, which can be seen by my narrative, I bore up with courage, until the sentence of the law was passed upon me.
It is now but a short time until I will be launched into eternity!  My doom is sealed, and I am prepared to meet it.  I do no dread to die; it is not the pangs of death I fear; but leaving my family in this wicked world (with no protector but Him who reigns on high) is more distressing to me than can be imagined by no one but the one that experiences the feelings wrought upon the mind, by being torn away in the prime of life, from those I dearly love; but may God, in His infinite wisdom, protect them from all vice and harm, and impart to them the knowledge of this Holy word, so that when he sees fit to remove them from this world, they may be fitted for the one to come.
Reader!  I bid you adieu! and my God have mercy upon my soul!


Sept. 4, 1861
The above was written by Mr. ALEXANDER D. WILSON, by my request-- I having dictated it; and I do hereby authorize its publication, as my last Confession.  No other confession will be made by me.


[The following newspaper article(s) were found at the Perry Historians Library; some of these contains dates, some don't and unless stated, the 'name' of the Newspaper publishing the article(s) was not written on the copy]

At the adjourned Court which commenced its session on the 14th inst., the argument of counsel, for an against a new trial, was heard in the case of William Weaver found guilty at the April term of the murder of this wife last December.  A new trail was not granted, and on Wednesday, the 15th inst., the Court passed the sentence of death on the prisoner.
Below we give the charge and sentence.

Commonwealth vs. William Weaver.
Defendant's counsel ask for a new trial on the ground of error in the court, in admitting the declarations of deceased a few hours before her death as proved by her daughter Martha--that "she wished she had not taken that powder that Dr. Burkley gave her, that she believed it was going to kill her."
The offer was objected to by Defendant's counsel, that it did not appear the declaration was made under a sense or apprehension of immediate dissolution and that the declarations of a wife were not evidence against her husband.  This was the only objection made and discussed by counsel.  And the court admitted the offer, believing that the objection made was not tenable, and that the declaration was evidence to show that deceased had taken a powder, which she believed was prescribed by Dr. Burkley.  If it was evidence for this purpose, it would have been error to have rejected the offer.  The defendants' counsel now contend that the offer was not evidence that the powder was the cause of her death.  But no objection was made on this ground.  The objection was general that the declaration was not made in prospect of death.  Had we been requested, we would have limited the evidence to that for which it was admitted, to wit:  to prove that decedent had taken a powder, we considered that it was offered for that purpose alone, and for that we considered it admissable, and the declaration that she believed it would kill her, was not evidence that it did kill her; but to show that what she said about taking the powder was in immediate prospect of death, and therefore competent evidence.
To show that death was caused by poison, the evidence of the druggist from whom the strychnia was purchased by the defendant, the evidence of the physicians describing its effect and symptoms, the mode and manner in which death occurred, the fact that she had taken a powder, and the appearance of the body before and after death, were relied on, and not the declaration of deceased that she believed the powder would kill her.  We have no recollection that this declaration was used as evidence that the powder caused death; but it was, in connection with other evidence, relied upon to show that deceased had taken a powder shortly before her death.
The question then recurs, under the exception, "were the declarations in evidence made under a sense of approaching dissolution?  The fact that decedent had taken a powder the day of her death, is proved by other witnesses, independent of the declarations of decedent; as proved by Martha Weaver.
This was offered to show that the deceased had taken a powder.  It is proved by defendant's counsel on the cross examination of Dr. Baily and of Emma Weaver.  Dr. Baily on his cross-examination, says that he asked Mrs. Weaver when called in to see her, what medicine she had been taking, and she stated "some medicine that he got of Dr. Barkley."  that just at that time Weaver came into the room, and he asked him if he had been giving her medicine from Dr. Barkley.  Weaver said no.  He then asked him where he got the medicine and Weaver replied "we brought it up with us from below."  And Emma Weaver, on her cross-examination  by defendant's counsel, says that about 3 o'clock of the day her mother died, when her father came back from Speakman's her mother asked him how much of that powder she ought to have taken.  He said he did not know, but a little better than half of it, and her mother replied that was about what she did take.  The fact that Mrs. Weaver did take a powder is thus already proved by two witnesses' who testify to conversations between defendant and his wife, or her declarations in his presence, independent of the declarations to Martha Weaver, so that her testimony is not material and of little importance on this point of the case.  But if we believed this part of her evidence was improperly admitted, we would grant a new trial; for in cases of such vast moment, involving the life of a human being, evidence ought not to be admitted, if its legality was even doubtful.
The evidence shows that the declarations made by deceased to her daughter Martha, tha she believed the powder she had taken was going to kill her, was within four hours of her death.  The witness does not fix the time, but says that she took her mother up stairs, did not stay with her, but came down and did not go up again till after Mrs. Belford went away.--  Mrs. Belford says she went home about 3 o'clock and Mrs. Weaver died about 7 o'clock the same evening.  Mr. Belford and a number of witnesses prove that during all the afternoon and up to the time of her death, the deceased was suffering with the most intense and agonizing pains, violent spams or convulsions of short intervals, her system perfectly rigid, and her jaws so stiff that water could only be given to her with a spoon.  In this state of excruciating pain, less than four hours before her death, she declared to her daughter she believed the powder she had take n was going to kill her.  Is this declaration made under such circumstances, evidence?  If it is not it would be difficult to conceive a case that would come within the rule.  Deceased not only expressed her belief of her approaching dissolution, but her situation and the surrounding circumstances were such as to produce and confirm the conviction of her ________ death.  __ is certainly essential to the admissability of such declarations and is a preliminary fact, to be proved by the party offering them in evidence, that they were made under a sense of impending death; but it is not necessary that they should be stated, at the time, to be so made.  It is enough if it satisfactorily appears in any mode that they were made under that sanction, whether it be directly proved by the express language of the declarant, or be inferred from his evident danger, or from his conduct or other circumstances of the case, all of which are resorted to in order to ascertain the state of declarant's mind.  The length of time which elasped between the declaration and the death of declarant, furnishes no rule for the admission or rejection of the evidence; though in the absence of better testimony, it may serve as one of the exponenta of the deceased's belief, that his dissolution was or was not impending. .....
Upon the authorities cited, we have no doubt that the declarations of Mrs. Weaver but a few hours before her death, when her agony and suffering as described by the witness must have banished all hope of recovery, would be evidence without any expression by her of the final result of her sufferings, but when her declaration is that she believed the powder was going to kill her, it removes all doubt about the admissibility of her declarations to her daughter.
For the reasons stated we are constrained by an imperative sense of duty enjoined by the ______ of the law, to overrule the motion for a new trial.  But should we be in error, that error cannot prejudice the defendant.  At the instance of his counsel as exception was ruled to the admission of the evidence upon the trial and he can have our judgment reviewed by the Judges of the Supreme Court.  In their united ability and learning he is secured and will be protected from any error, in our judgment, if any error has been committed.
The motion for a new is overruled.
By the Court.

WILLIAM WEAVER:  After a patient and protracted trial by a jury of the county, of your own selection, defended by able and experienced counsel, whose energy and zeal were exerted in your behalf with praise worthy commendation, you have been found guilty of the highest crime known to the laws of civilized nations.-- the crime of murder in the first degree.  With cool deliberation and fixed purpose, you formed your plan for the destruction of the wife of your bosom, whom you had vowed before God and man to love and cherish, the mother of your children an who had ever been a kind, affectionate and devoted companion.  And the purpose, thus deliberately formed, you executed with a calm and fiendish cruelty seldom equalled in the history of crime.
You purchased the fatal poison about twenty days before it was administered, but the delay was not because of any hesitancy or compunctions of convenience at the enormity  of the crime you intended to perpetrate, but for a very different purpose.  The public mind was first to be prepared for a sudden and unusual death to prevent suspicion or danger of detection; and you lost not time in attempting to prepare the minds of your neighbors for the tragedy which was to happen.
On the same day you purchased the strychnia in Newport, you told an acquaintance from Bloomfield, whom you met in Newport, that your wife was unwell, that you did not expect her to live long, and you did not expect to remain in the county.  To another witness you said on the 15th Dec., but 14 days before her death, that your wife had spasms the night before and you did not think she would live till morning, and to other witnesses you said she was subject to heart disease, that she way very poorly, and you did not think she would put over a week.  And this continued until a few days before you gave her the fatal drug.  While the testimony of your family physician and your neighbors disprove the truth of all these statements, and all who knew her concur in their testimony that she was a healthy, muscular woman, never known to have spasms, or any indications of heart disease or impaired health.
Your horrid purpose of murder you ___ persisted in to the last agonies of life were ended without an indication of penitence or remorse.  You stood by the death bed with callous indifference and when asked by your dying wife and little daughters to go for the doctor you replied, she would get better, and although this occurred about 12 o'clock, you did not call on Dr. Baily, who lived in the same town, until about three hours afterwards.  And again the same evening when your wife was suffering the excruciating agony of a most violent death, writhing in convulsions and her whole system rigid as a marble statue, you met Dr. Baily on the street on his way to your house, and prevented him from going by saying she was better.  Such heartless and unrelenting cruelty, and worse than brutal perseverance in the work of death, more nearly resembles the tales of a demonical imagination, than the reality of truth.
Your intention to murder your wife, thus deliberately planned and persistently followed up till your object was affected, can only be accounted by your infidelity to your marriage vow; where you had the shameless boldless to boast of immediately before and after the death of your wife; that you had criminal intercourse with Elizabeth Gusler, and declared but a few days before your wifes death, that if she was dead, you could marry Elizabeth Gusler, the next day.  Again, on the evening of the funeral, without attempting to assume even the appearance of sorrow or respect for your wife, you asked your daughters, fifteen and seventeen years of age, at the supper-table, how they would like to have Liz Gusler for a step-mother.  And with remorseless conscience and brazen faced indecency, you married the Delilah of your iniquity, four weeks after the funeral of your murdered wife.
We do not refer to these sickening details of depravity and crime to lacerate your conscience or increase the anguish of remorse; but to arouse you from the stoical and callous indifference you have hitherto exhibited--to awaken your conscience to a sense of guilt and your perilous situation, to impress you with injustice and certainty of the punishment ___ awaits you, and admonish you not ____________ the _______ hope of _________.
By the laws of God and man _________ of your crime demands the ____________ life.  The laws of all civilized ___________ wilful and deliberate murder with death ____ the Great lawgiver of the universe __________  to us the solemn mandate that "whosoever sheddeth mans' blood, by man shall his blood be shed."
Your days on earth will ____ be numbered, and in the language of solemn ________, we say to you-- "prepare to meet thy God."  With the attribute of inflexible justice, in Him is blended that of infinate mercy and compassion.  "He pardons like a God."  And he hath provided a way in which justice may be satisfied and the sinner pardoned.  The blood of Christ _______ cleanse and purify the guilty soul from this pollution and defilement of sin and through the atoning blood on a compassionate Redeemer you can only obtain pardon and acceptance with a justly offended God.  You will soon appear before the august tribunal of the Great Judge of all the earth; and may God by his grace, enable you to seek and obtain His pardon, and meet a reconciled God and Father, through the atoning death of a once crucified but now glorified Redeemer.
It but remains that we now perform the painfully solemn duty imposed upon us, to pronounce the sentence of the law, which is----
That you, WILLIAM WEAVER, be taken by the Sheriff of Perry county to the jail of said county from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, within the walls, or yard of the jail of said county of Perry and that you be there hanged by the neck until you be dead, and may God have mercy on your soul.

May 16, 1861
The adjourned Court met on Tuesday.  After the argument list had been disposed of, the notice for a new trial in the matter of Wm. Weaver, convicted of murder in the first degree at the April Term, was heard.  The Court reserved its decision until Wednesday morning, when the application was refused-- the Court delivering an elaborate opinion, critically reviewing all the testimony in the case bearing on the points on which the application for a new trail was based.  The prisoner was in Court, said the District Attorney asking that the sentence of the law be pronounced, Judge Graham proceeded to discharge the solemn duty adjoined upon him.  In the most eloquent and affecting terms he referred to the enormity of the crime, and in the most impressive manner conjured the prisoner to look to the Source of all Power and Goodness and Mercy for aid and comfort in his present perilous position.  The question was asked the prisoner by the Court whether he had anything to say why the judgment of the law should not be pronounced against him.  He stood silent and motionless.  The dread sentence was then pronounced, in substance as follows:  That you, William Weaver, be taken hence by the Sheriff to the place whence you came, and there or within the walls of the jail-yard, be hanged by the neck until you are dead, and may God have mercy on your soul.  The prisoner displayed the most astonishing stoicism ever witnessed by those present.  Standing erect, his lips compressed and his eyes on the Judge, he remained throughout the whole terrible scene unmoved, except now and then a slight nervous movement of the chin and head.  It appeared to us that every one present was more affected than the criminal.  If we can obtain a copy of the Judge's opinion, his exhortation to the prisoner and the sentence, we will publish them next week.  The Governor of the Commonwealth appoints the day for the execution.

May 30, 1861
Bloomfield, May the 1?th, 1861
Confession made by WILLIAM H. WEAVER to the death of his wife, between him and his God the truth; and after this I am willing to leave this world and go home to Jesus, there to rest.  I have no desire to live in this sinful world--there is nothing but sin.  And here I will tell you the death of my wife.  Little did I think that ever anything of this--or but what she told me the truth about it.. But when I went to Newport, at her request, and bought the quinine and strychnine, I did not think but what she wanted it for what she told me what she wanted with it.  But after I had brought them home, and given them to her, and told her which was which, she said that the first time that I said anything about **** ******** she would be d-----d that she would take that herself.  I then asked her to let me see them, to see if they were marked; she would not let me have them.  I tried to find them after she put them away, but I could not find them.  She put them in a cup--it was about ten o'clock at night--at that time among some medicine what her sister had got from Doctor *******, and the two girls were with her, and the two girls told me about it, and I asked them what kind of medicine it was; and they said it was a box of pills and white powders, and ******* laughed when He gave it to her.  And she fetched it home; and when I took my children down to my sister, the girls showed it to my sister, and she scolded them about it.  And if she had taken the strychnine she must have taken it for spite--or taken it in a mistake, and thought it was the medicine that her sister had got from *******, (if she had taken the strychnine)--because I scolded her about ********--for spite.  God only knows for I don't.  I hope that God may forgive me for buying it for her at her request.  But if she had taken it, she must have taken it all; for she said that she had taken all of the powder.  If she had taken the strychnine, she must have taken it in a mistake, or on the account of **** ********, which she said she would; and when I found out that she would, I said nothing more to her about him.  I had thought I would let her be on till the children got a little bigger; then I would put them out and leave her--and she knew it.--  This is the truth between me and my God which is in heaven above.  I don't know whether she had taken it or not.  I had not thought about it when I bought it.  I can say with a clear conscience that nothing of that kind crossed my mind.  God knows.  
Now I will tell about Elizabeth C. Weaver, as it is now; and about what was sworn on us, was not true quite.  I had not any criminal intercourse with her before my wife was dead, ******* and no body can say that I had, if they tell the truth.  ***** I think that some thought so, but I had not.  God knows.  And I would not tell what is not true now; for I hope to go to rest.  I don't wish to live in this sinful world no longer.  And the Monday my wife died, I was in the wood house when Emma came for me.  And I went down home and saw her an came up and got some brandy, and went down home and gave her some.  Then I came up for ***** and went with him down.  Then I came up and got some sugar for the baby and went down home and staid till night; and then went up to feed the horses.  When I met ***** at the shed-doors, he asked me how she was.  I told him she seems better she is ____ what she was.  Then he said she would be well again morning.  When I went on the porch, when Liz asked me how my wife was I told her that she was better but I was afraid she would die yet.  I went on and done my work and then I went down and staid by her till she died.  This is the truth as near as I know, between my and my God.
As for marrying Liz, I was persuaded into it.  I did not want to marry her but I did it for the sake of my three little children to have a home.  Oh! may they have a home in heaven with me.  Oh! may God be a Father to them, while they are on this earth.  I shall bid them good-by forever in this world of sin and sorrow.  I bid my dear father and mother good-by forever in this world.  For I hope that I may meet them in heaven, where parting will be no more for evermore.  And I bid my dear wife good-by forever in this world below.  I am going to heaven above, where I will be at rest, and make heaven my home forever, there to reign with Him.  Lord have mercy on me, for little did I think of this when I bought the strychnine at her request.  I did not think she would lie about it when she told me that she wanted it for killing rats or mice, which she had told me.

There's nothing rich but heaven;
A Stranger lonely here I roam,
From place to place I'm drive;
My friends are gone and I'm in gloom,
This earth is lonely as a tomb;
I have no home but heaven,
I'm on the wing for heaven.

My father and mother knew all about it-- that she had said that she would take her own life; and so did mother and by brother Uriah and his wife.  I kept this to myself, for fear I would get into trouble about it.  But as it is, I am willing to die.  If it will do you any good--I can say I am innocent of it.  Though the strychnine was in the house.  God knows I would not be guilty of that.  Now I have told the truth about it before my Lord and Master Jesus Christ.  Now my days are short here on earth, but I soon shall reach the upper skies, where sorrow will be no more for evermore.  And I hope to meet you all there.  I shall intercede for you all and them that swore lies; I hope to meet you all there for evermore.  For this world is gloomy here below, but I have a home in heaven.  Oh! friends don't you want to go and make heaven your home.  I have no friends below, but I have in heaven.  Oh! come Jesus Christ in heaven!  Lord God have mercy on me, and the people that are left behind!  For I will go to heaven.  Oh! let me go.  My Jesus called me and I must go.  Oh! how can you let Him go; for He is your friend and my friend.  Oh!  come to Jesus and see how freely He will forgive and take you to heaven above, and make it our home.  I want to go home to heaven; fro this is not my home.  I have no home here, but I have a home in heaven, there where my heart and possessions are, and that is my home in heaven.  I tell the truth, and nothing but the truth; and I feel as if Jesus was my friend forever.  This is what I have to say before my Lord and Master, who shalt be my Father in heaven.  This death is nothing; give me Jesus, you may have all the world, give me Jesus.
I want as much time as I can now, for to prepare.  I want this printed over the whole world to let them see the truth, which they have done.  It is true , God knows it.  I will spend the rest of my times in praying to my God for myself and my three little children, that I leave behind to suffer in this world for what I have not done.

May 30, 1861
STATEMENT OF WEAVER.  We publish in another column a statement of William Weaver, who was recently convicted in this county of poisoning his wife.  A few days ago he was insane or feigned to be; but is again rational and persists in declaring his innocence.  The warrant for his execution has not yet been issued by the Governor.

June 20, 1861
TIME FIXED FOR THE EXECUTION OF WEAVER.-- The Governor has appointed the 6th of September for the execution of Weaver, convicted at the April term of the murder of his wife.  He exhibited the same stoical indifference when the Sheriff read the death-warrant to him as be manifested throughout his trial.  He has since, however, acknowledged that he purchased strychnine at the same time he procured the quinine, and that he intended it for the purpose it had effected.  He further acknowledges that he took the outside wrapper off the strychnia, which was labelled so as to deceive his wife and create the impression on her mind that both papers contained quinine.  He harbors the idea that his offence is palliated by reason of the fact that he did not administer the poison himself, but that his [copy of the article ends here]... 

May 12, 1975
(Staff Writer, Hal Kahn)
LOYSVILLE-- The jury didn't believe his story about the cyanide, so they hung William Weaver.
Local lore holds the populace, outraged at a man poisoning his wife for the sake of another woman, wouldn't let Weaver be buried in the pauper's cemetery.  Instead they took him to a rise in the land, just outside of Loysville and buried him there.
It is a well known site in western Perry County, some call it "Hangman's Oak" but there was no hanging there.  Weaver met his end in the yard adjoining the Perry County Prison at New Bloomfield, hanging by the neck for 31 minutes until Dr. Isaac Lefever was ready to certify that "life was extinct," according to court records.
Today, a withered tree marks the spot where Weaver is believed to lie, behind the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Turner of RD, on land owned by William Clark, postmaster here. ....



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