The Trial of Harry Croswell



     "One of the criminal cases in which Hamilton figured as counsel was sensational, that of the People vs. Levi Weeks in the spring of 1800.
     The body of Gulielma, who apparently was promiscuous with her numerous suitors, was found in one of the wells of the Manhattan Company. Young Weeks was among several men boarding in the home of a Quaker couple, Gulielma Sands was their niece. The second day of the actual trial, April 1, the court sat * late.... Before adjournment was taken to next morning, a candle was brought to the witness box where sat one Richard Croucher, an unsavory character hostile to the defense. "
     -Alexander Hamilton by Broadus Mitchell, NY 1962
     "Hamilton sent for two candles, and by placing one on each side of the witness box threw Croucher's face into strong relief, and then confronted him with a fixed and piercing gaze. Objection was made to this procedure, but the court overruled the objection. The attention of every one was riveted in breathless silence upon the witness. Hamilton continued: 'The jury will mark every muscle of his face, every motion of his eye. I conjure you to look through that man's countenance to his conscience.' A severe cross-examination followed. The wretched witness stumbled, contradicted himself, and utterly broke down. The jury acquitted the prisoner without leaving their seats. "
     -Alexander Hamilton by Henry Cabot Lodge, Boston 1882


Back to Croswell Trial main page