Fire in the State House

Saturday Evening Post, March 27, 1824

On Wednesday night, between 11 and 12 o’clock, a fire was discovered in the Mayor’s Court room, under the Museum. A number of chairs and books had been piled up in the S.E. corner of the room, and fired by some incendiary. Had there been shutters to the windows, the flame would not have been perceived from the outside, and the building would in all probability have been consumed.
The court room, it appears, was entered through one of the windows in the yard; marks of violence are visible upon the sash, produced by opening it. A reward of $300 is offered by the mayor for the apprehension of the incendiary.


Saturday Evening Post, May 15, 1824

After a hearing before the Mayor on Tuesday, Thomas Cole and Dennis M’Carthy were committed to prison for trial, being charged by John M’Henry, as state’s evidence, with attempting to fire the State House. M’Henry was discharged upon bail. During the examination, there was a disclosure of a combination (?) to assassinate the late Mayor by intercepting him on the road to Gray’s Ferry. The pistol designed to have been used was produced and found to be charged with slugs. The Grand Jury now sitting for the Court of Oyer + Terminer, on Thursday last, found True Bills against those persons.

Saturday Evening Post, May 29, 1824

Three of the men concerned in setting fire to the State House, have been convicted for the Nat. crime. The fourth was permitted to give evidence on the part of the prosecution. The same men were on Tuesday tried for a conspiracy to take the life of Robert Wharton Esq, on which indictment they were also found guilty. Their sentence is nine years imprisonment in the Penitentiary for the arson, and three years for the conspiracy.

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