30 December 1842 – Noah Beauchamp

Noah Beauchamp was the first person to be legally hanged in Parke County, Indiana, after he murdered one of his neighbours.

George Mickleberry’s children had been spreading malicious rumours that Beauchamp’s girls had stolen some wool. So armed with a knife for protection, God-fearing Beauchamp went round to confront his neighbour. But it didn’t go quite to plan.

Reflex action

Mickleberry answered the door and Beauchamp lost it and began irately confronting him and brandishing the knife. Mickleberry apparently put his hand on his neighbour’s shoulder to calm him but Beauchamp was so wired that his reflexes kicked in. He sank the butcher’s knife into Mickleberry’s chest, who died almost instantly.

Beauchamp was executed in 1842, aged 57.

Also on this day

30 December 1873 – Elizabeth Woolcock
30 December 1460 – Edmund, Earl of Rutland

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