Famous Last Words
New Orleans, Louisiana
September 7, 1883
“You young saints and sinners, take warning and let whisky alone. It was whisky that brought me here. I did not kill the man, it was whisky; but I am come here now, and God has pardoned me. My way is clear before me. I have nearly come up, and am now pulling myself into the light of glory…. I advise all you saints and sinners not to fool too much with whisky. Here I am, a hardworking working man, brought here by whisky. Steele told me in the spirit that if could he come and speak for me he would say a good word for me. I trust to meet you all with my Jesus…. God bless you all.”
Dickerson, after gambling unsuccessfully and drinking in excess, had asked a man, John Steele, for a dime (roughly $2.26 today). Steele refused so Dickerson pulled a gun on him. Steele claimed he had no money on him and was promptly shot in the heart.
In the same article is a report of another man hanged for murder in Alabama, in this case for killing his wife, though few detail are given on this crime.
Published in the New York Times
September 8, 1883