Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Robbery of Dr. Key; Ends in an Arrest

May 07, 1867
[Communicated; East Carroll Parish newspaper]
Dear Sir:--It will be remembered by many of the readers of your excellent paper, that in January last an old gentleman by the name of Dr. Key was robbed of all his money at Ashton Landing, in this parish. The Doctor and family had been refugees from Franklin Parish to Texas, and were on their return when this misfortune over-took them. Dr. key had been previous to the war, a planter of wealth as well as a successful and popular physician; but like many others, had in the waning fortunes of the Confederacy, disposed of his plantation for Confederate script, and joined the vast flood of emigration, which poured into Texas; and in the vicissitudes of an unsettled life, his means melted away and gradually evaporated--until $1150 in gold and silver with team and household effects, comprised all that was left of the worldly possessions of himself and family. A mournful example of the pranks which fortune plays with us poor humanity on this mundane sphere.
It was on the morning of the 17th of January, that your correspondent was called upon by a lad about twelve years old, -- who with tears rolling down his cheeks, stated that his father had that morning been robbed of all the money he had in the world--amounting to $1150 in specie. The little boy give me the particulars, as nearly as he could, and wished to know if I could not do something; for, said he, "Pa is nearly crazy about it." I immediately proceeded to Ashton Landing, and saw the Doctor, from whom I learned the following particulars: It appeared that the Doctor's wagon had got stalled the night previous in the vicinity of the new Ashton levee which was being built. A man giving his name as "Charley Cassidy," (a laborer on the levee), had offered his services to Dr. Key, in getting him out of the bog; for which service, the generous hearted old man had remunerated him with $1.25 in silver. The Doctor camped in the vicinity, and on the following morning, "Cassidy" returned and kindly offered to assist in reloading the wagon, preparatory to pursuing their journey. Cassidy, while apparently busy in his kind endeavors, was keenly scentuing each portion of the baggage for the location of the treasure; which his practiced metropolitan instinct had obtained a "sniff" of the night before. He was not long in ferreting out its whereabouts. Is weight had detected the coin in satchel, and e're the unsuspecting honest old man, or his family, were aware, their "devoted" but treacherous stranger friend had darted into a cane-brake a few yards from the camp, and "done gone."
This was the story of the old gentleman, told over and over again, as he rushed about frantic at his loss, beseeching me to "catch the d-m scoundrel." Assuring him of my sympathy, and that I would do all in my power, I immediately wrote to the Chief of Police at St. Louis, Memphis and Vicksburg, giving a full description of the villain, feeling confident that he would make his way to the river, at some point above, and be almost sure of detection from the large amount of silver. A reward of $100 was also offered at the request of the Doctor for the capture of the thief, and a return of the money.
On the following day our unfortunate friend passed on his way--receiving the sympathies and donations of our citizens. At Lake Providence, warm hearts gave forth needed contributions, and stout hands indignantly clenched at the recital of the robbery. Some of the more chivalric young men scoured the country in search of the perpetrator, and, had he been caught, it would probably not have cost the State anything in his prosecution. The following is the sequel and will explain itself: G. (Goffe)
From the communication of our friend "G." (Goffe) many of our readers will be glad to learn of the arrest of the scoundrel who robbed a Dr. Key, in the northern portion of our parish in January last. He will, we suppose, be brought to this parish for trial.
We cheerfully give a place in our paper, to the excellent contribution to the Record, from C. H. G. (Charles H. Goffe)- We have read before several elegant productions from the pen of our talented young friend, and welcome him as a contributor to our columns.

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