Famous Last Words · Massachusetts

FLW: a day’s worth of obscenities

Famous Last Words
Allen J. Adams
Northampton, Massachusetts
April 16, 1886

(After his final meal)
Why in the __ didn’t you bring me that eggnog?
– – –
(During the reading of the death warrant)
I don’t care a __ what you read.
– – –
(As his arms were restrained to his chest)
Go ahead and do what you __ please. Don’t squeeze me to death, __ you. It don’t take a hundred men to hang me.
– – –
(Noticing Sheriff Clark was nervous)
Look here! You wanted this thing long enough; you’d better go take a glass of whisky to quiet your nerves.
– – –
(When Sheriff Clark asking if he had anything to say)
None of your business! What in __ do you want to take a man’s life for in this way, you __ __ cutthroats?
– – –
(Interrupting the reverend offering prayer)
Hurry up, old man, or Clark will want another drink of whisky. If you don’t look out I may fall through and sue the city for damages.

Adams didn’t have a final statement so much as an afternoon filled with obscenities leading up to his execution. The New York Times (April 17, 1886) dutifully recorded Adams’ ranting, redacting his vulgarities. The Green Bay Press-Gazette (April 19, 1886) also mentioned Adams greeted his jailer on the morning of the execution with “glory hallelujah” and that he wished to be hanged quickly so as to be in “hell in time for dinner.”

Adams’ life, proceeding the murder for which he was hanged, was just as colorful as his final day; he had been a moonshiner, a whaler, a Shaker (a member of The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, also called “Shaking Quakers” due to their erratic dancing during church services), and a forger.

The murder of his employer, Moses Dickinson, was the crime responsible for the execution. In 1875, Adams killed the elderly farmer with an axe before stealing a large sum of money.

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