The guillotine declared France’s official means of execution

March 20, 1792 France The guillotine is declared the official means of execution in France Though beheading machines existed before the guillotine, with documentation existing as far back as 1307 in Ireland, the French refined the design and were the first to implement it as an official means of execution. Originally, the machine was dubbed…

Man kills family of five with a club and fire

February 3, 1780 Litchfield County, Connecticut Barnett Davenport (19) kills his employer Caleb Mallory, his wife Jane Mallory, and three of their grandchildren Davenport had been in trouble with the law since childhood; during his confession of the Mallory murders he admitted to committing several crimes as well as frequently battling the urge to kill.…

Hannah Ocuish, the youngest person to be executed in the US

December 20, 1786 New London, Connecticut 12-year-old Hannah Ocuish is hanged for the murder of a 6-year-old following an argument over strawberries Ocuish was a biracial orphan (her father was black and her mother belonged to the Pequot tribe) and possibly had a mental disability. In June 1786, 6-year-old Eunice Bolles accused Ocuish of stealing…

FLW: accepts his death, but not the manner

Famous Last Words Major John André Tappan, New York October 2, 1780 “I am reconciled to my death, but I detest the mode.” Maj. André was hanged for as a spy for assisting Major General Benedict Arnold in his attempt to surrender to the British. He requested to be executed by firing squad, believing it…