PDBLISHBD BY ORDER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE,
INDIANAPOLIS JOURNAL COMPANY, PRINTERS,
M. vA. V\otV.
PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE.
INDIANAPOLIS JOURNAL COMPANY, PRINTERS.
The avowed object in publishing this work is to furnish
a concise history of the operations and success of the honest
and industrious citizens of Northern Indiana, who banded
themselves together in companies called Regulatoks — a right
guaranteed to them by an act of the Legislature of our State.
In so doing, we have set forth all the important confessions
made by the different individuals arrested, and aimed to give a
full detail of all the principal items of importance that
occurred during the earnest and arduous labors of the better
portions of our citizens in redressing the grievances they had
so long borne, and in rescuing our country from the hands of
those vampires who were blighting and mildewing the best
interests of this portion of our State. Hence we earnestly
hope, in presenting this work to the public, it may fully meet
their expectations, and find a hearty welcome in the mind of
every lover of loyalty in our country.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
Northern Indiana, from its early settlement, has been
noted for being the resort of the most numerous gang of
blacklegs of almost any State in the Union; and as a rendez-
vous for all villains in villainy no country has stood more
conspicirous^J The name of some of our northern counties,
and more especially that of Noble, has resounded from Maine
to Oregon, and from Canada to Florida. Every man, who has
traveled through the Western States, has been startled at the
rehearsal of the deeds of crime and infamy committed in
Noble county, under the supervision of a well organized, well
disciplined band of counterfeiters and horse thieves. Indeed,
the county of Noble had become so notorious, for being the
citadel of all villainy, that honest men traveling from here to
other sections of country were ashamed to own from whence
they came. Immediately after the sale of the public lands
north of Fort Wayne, which took place about the year 1835 or
1836, a number of these men, (whose names will be more fully
brought to view in the doings of the Regulators, planted them-
selves upon the virgin soil of this country, effected an organi-
zation, and commenced their depredations. Their operations
seem to have been carried on under obligations of perfect
secrecy, and with a display of wisdom that would, in many
instances, reflect honor upon a nobler cause. Most of them
were emigrants from the State of Ohio, and probably received
their first lessons of instruction from the notorious Jim Brown,
one of the most successful counterfeiters ever known in the
6 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
New countries seem to present the most favorable opportu-
nities and the greatest facilities for carrying on the blackleg
business of any. Retired from the gazing multitudes of popu-
lous cities, domiciled in the midst of the unsuspecting settlers,
where law is -comparatively a stranger, and where they are
secreted from the eye of vigilance, affording advantages which
the sagacity of such men is not slow to perceive. While it is
true that our cities and towns are seldom, if ever, entirely free
from the contaminating influences of such lawless wretches,
loitering about the groceries and other haunts of iniquity, or
stealthily pacing the streets at the dead hour of night, to
satiate their hellish desires by the commission of crime, it is
a notorious fact in the history of all criminal associations, that
the nucleus has been formed in some sequestered spot, remote
from the settlements of civilization, or in some den or cave of
the earth. Hence Noble county, in a very early day, pre-
sented a favorable site for the organization of a gang of felons.
The principal part of the county was very heavily timbered,
and offering great facilities for stealing from the Indians and
whites, with good advantages for hiding. The few Pottawatamie
Indians, that inhabited this country at that time, were greatly
annoyed by these men stealing their ponies. Many of them
carried on the business extensively, stealing ponies from the
Indians and driving them to other States to sell. The Indians
frequently made complaints to some of the whites, but all in
vain, no one had courage to come to the rescue. Law was of
no avail, because there was no one to execute it. While these
depredations were going on among the red men, the poor,
honest, hardworking white man, who had sought a home
among the hardships of frontier life for himself and family,
was by no means passed by.
Wm. Latta, Wm. D. Hill, and Geo. T. Ulmer, were among
the chief pioneers and leaders of the banditti of Northern
Indiana. Three more sagacious and artful accomplices are
seldom found. These, however, were not without their allies
ready at a moment's warning to go at the bidding of their
superiors. Sworn upon the peril of life to defend each other
in every emergency, even at the expense of innocent blood,
HISTORY OF THE REGULATOES. 7
no deed was too atrocious, no crime too black, to satiate their
fiendish ambition. Robbing, murdering, stealing, gambling,
burning buildings, making, selling, and passing counterfeit
money, have been scenes of common occurrence among us for
the last twenty-five years. Bidding defiance to all laAv, they
have moved on in their nefarious work, " like the destruction
that wasteth at noonday." But the great evil sustained by
the communities was not simply the loss of goods and chattels,
or the burning of houses, nor was it in robbing the poor Indian
of his pony. No ! these were but small crimes compared with
the corrupt and blasting influences exerted over the young.
Hundreds of young men, and even some young women, have
been decoyed and led into debauchery and prostitution of the
most barbarous character. No language is adequate to express
the direful effects of these men over the morals of our country.
Young people, whose early training had been strictly moral,
and who in youth could boast a character unstained by the
pollutions of crime, may now be seen keeping the company of
these loathsome creatures, or clanking their chains in some
doleful prison house, working out the just punishment of their
crimes. What a change for a parent, a brother, or a sister, to
look upon. That countenance, that once beamed with the
glow of intelligence, has been changed to the look of shame
and remorse, and the dignity of manhood to the doom of a
culprit. The spontaneous language of every heart, inspired
with the principles of manhood, is, " Go, earthly treasures,
money, houses and lands — all I have ; yes, and even my own
life, but save my children from the penitentiary."
Alpheus Baker, who moved to this country in 1836, lost
three horses the morning after he arrived, supposed to have
been stolen by Wm. D. Hill. In consequence of this loss his
family was reduced to extreme want, and suffered much for the
comforts of life.
Wm. Mitchell and Asa Brown, who were also among the
pioneers of Noble county, took a very prominent stand on the
side of honesty, and were zealous in every effort to arrest and
bring to justice men who were engaged in this work. Having
spared no pains in securing the arrest of Smith alias Jones,
8 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
aiid Elias Turner, who had broke jail in Ohio and fled to George
T. Ulmer's for refuge, not long afterwards, these two men,
(Mitchell and Brown,) were repaid for their services by the
burning of their barns. This took place in 1841 or 1842.
Immediately after this a meeting was called for tlie purpose
of organizing a society for the mutual protection of all honest
citizens, and to raise funds to pursue and catch any and all
who should hereafter be guilty of any depredations of a like
character. On the appointed day men came up from every
part of the country. Among the number, George T. Ulmer,
and several others of the gang, were not the least conspicuous
and expressed a strong desire to see the work go on. The
effort proved a failure for the want of a secret plan of opera-
tion. Notwithstanding every effort that was made to the con-
trary, the blacklegs still grew in number and strength, until
serious apprehensions were felt by many that they would finally
bear rule. It may not be amiss here to note some of the prin-
cipal causes of their success in numerical strength. One is
the flattering delusion held up to the minds of the young men,
that making and passing counterfeit money is not only profit-
able but an easy way of accumulating property without labor;
and another, which is worse than all, is the advantages for the
gratification of base desires. One point worthy of notice in
the history of these companies, associated for the commission
of crime, is this : Wherever you find a rendezvous, hiding-
place, or citadel of these land pirates, you will invariably find
a number of lewd women. Thus you will see at once that
every allurement that men can use for the ruin of your sons,
to drag them down to the pit of infamy and shame, is brought
to bear upon them. The man of honesty, who earned his
bread by his own toil and endeavored to train his family up t-o
habits of true morality, was looked upon with contempt. The
principles of the Christian religion were derided and trampled
upon like tempest-withered leaves. And thus the work went
on, sweeping like the besom of destruction and blasting every-
thing in its course. No one was exempt from its curse ; and
woe to him who dared to raise the hand of opposition. Scarcely
a day passed but some strange fiend in human shape might be
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 9
seen sauntering about the streets in company with one or more
of these midnight marauders, searching for an opportunity to
It has been wisely said, " There is a point beyond which for-
bearance ceases to be a virtue." The public had been out-
raged ; their houses and barns pillaged and burnt ; their sons
decoyed into the vortex of ruin ; the virtue of their daughters
blasted forever; and the only alternative that now remained
was to challenge the enemy to mortal combat, and measure
swords for the victory. Public sentiment must be tested. The
line must be drawn. The sword of justice must be unsheathed,
and the motto of the chieftain of Mecca inscribed upon it in
characters of unmistakable import: ''Fear brings disgrace.
Forward lies honor. Cowardice saves no man from his fate."
When once the sword is drawn in defence of those natural and
God- given rights which are guaranteed to every man by the
charter of his creation, he should never sheath it or turn back
until God has decided between him and the foe. I am no
advocate of war; but when these sacred principles have been
disregarded and trampled upon with impunity, and when vice
and immorality assume the reigns of government and bid
defiance to the law of the land, every principle of justice calls
Whenever the religious and political liberties of any people
have been thus disregarded by a band of outlaws, bidding
defiance at every step, waging war against the peace and dig-
nity of the country, and standing in eternal opposition to
every principle of morality, with a design to prostitute and
blast forever the character of every young man and woman
that comes within the range of their damning influence, it is
not only a right which every man holds by virtue of the Decla-
ration of Independence, which forms the grand basis of our
National Government, to defend himself and family against
such invasions, but it is a right which he holds also by the
cliarter given him by the God of the universe. I say, when-
ever a people, or community, feel themselves thus aggrieved
and imposed upon by such a gang of felons, they have a right
to demand redress; and if the civil authorities fail to come to
10 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
the rescue with a sufficient force to meet the wants and wishes
of the people, then, and not until then, it becomes the right
and duty of a community to speak with that stentorian voice
which must be heard. "All wholesome law," says a venerable
statesman, " has its origin in the expressed will of the gov-
erned," and if that sentiment be true, the will of the mass is
the law of the land, whether it be by legislative enactment, or
by the spontaneous outburst of indignation against a combined
force that are plotting the ruin of the country.
The crisis was a fearful one. One that called for immediate
action. One in which the weal or woe of the country was in-
volved ; and one upon which hung in awful suspense the dig-
nity, character and future doom of Northern Indiana. The
state of society was such as to render it unsafe for any pro-
perty to be left exposed to the ruthless hands of these vile
desperadoes, who were constantly on the alert, either crouch-
ing in ambush like the unsuspected savage to pounce upon his
prey in an unguarded moment, or stealthily pacing the premises
of some merchant, mechanic, or farmer, eagerly watching
every fitful opportunity that presented itself, to put forth the
felonious hand in deeds of the darkest dye.
Any state of society, — even that of the most untutored
savages, where nature reigns in triumphant grandeur, and the
white man's foot has never marked the soil, — is preferable to
While the complicated foldings of the portentious clouds,
that thus hung suspended over our country, were daily gather-
ing blackness, and threatening ere long to burst upon us like
a mighty hurricane and sink us to the lowest depths of infamy
and shame, and after every effort of moral suasion had been
tried to the utmost, — when every honest man's patience had
been taxed to the end of endurance, — our State Legislature
came to the rescue.
In 1852, an act was passed authorizing the formation of
companies for the detection and apprehension of horse thieves
and other felons, which for the benefit of such as may not have
access to the Statute of our State I will here insert, that you
may see that we have not acted entirely without the sanction
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 11
of law, in apprehending and bringing to justice a large number
of these blacklegs, since the organization of the companies
known in this country as the Regulators :
AN ACT to authorize the formation of companies for the detection and appre-
hension of Horse Thieves and other felons, and defining their powers.
[Approved March 9, 1852.]
Section 1. Be it enacted hy tlie General Assembly of the State
of Indiana, That any number of persons, citizens of the State of
Indiana, not less than ten nor more than one hundred, may, and
are hereby authorized to form themselves into a company for the
purpose of detecting and apprehending horse thieves and other
felons, as hereinafter provided.
Sec. 2. Said persons desirous of forming such company, shall
each subscribe articles of association, in which shall be set out the
name said company may choose, the residence of each member,
the number of members, and the number of years said company
shall exist, which shall not exceed ten years. But such articles
of association, with the names of said members and their residence,
shall first be laid before the board of county commissioners of the
county in which it is proposed to organize such company; if said
board shall approve the objects of such association, as well as the
by-laws governing the same, the said association shall be deemed
organized and incorporated under the provisions of this act; and
not otherwise : Provided, nevertheless, That said board of commis-
sioners shall, at any meeting thereof, have the right, and they are
hereby empowered to strike the name of any member from such
association, if they deem the public good to require it, and that
such examination may, from time to time, be had. It shall be
the duty of the secretary or clerk of such association to report,
under oath, the name of each and every member of such associa-
tion, with their respective places of residence, whenever the board
of commissioners of the county shall require it, under the penalty
of forfeiting their corporate privileges and powers. Said articles
of association shall be filed and recorded in the ofiice of the
county recorder of the county in which a majority of the members
of said company may reside, and a certified copy of said record
12 HISTORY OF THE REGUTATORS.
shall be received as evidence, in any court of this State, of the
existence of such company and membership of any person
Sec. 3. Whenever said articles of association shall be filed
as above provided, the said company, under the name and style
which they may designate, shall be a body politic and corporate,
and by such name may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded
answer and be answered unto, in any court of competent jurisdic-
tion in this State, and shall have succession during any time not
exceeding ten years, as provided in the second section of this act;
may have and use a common seal, and alter the same at pleasure.
Sec. 4. Said corporation may elect or appoint all such officers
as they deem necessary for their organization, who shall severally
liold their officers and perform the duties that may be required of
them by such company; said officers shall serve either for or with-
out compensation, as said company may direct.
Sec. 5. A majority of said company shall have power to adopt
a constitution and by-laws for their government, and enforce
obedience to the same, which constitution and by-laws shall be
consistent with the constitution and laws of this State and of the
Sec. 6. Such number of members shall form a quorum to
transact business and sit upon their own adjournments, or call
meetings, under such regulations as said company may adopt.
Sec. 7. Said corporation may, at any time, add to their
cumbers under the limitations prescribed in this act, and may
expel members in such manner and for such cause as may be
prescribed in the constitution and by-laws of such company.
Sec. 8. Whenever a new member has been admitted or a
member is expelled, such fact shall be certified by the proper
officer of such company, and recorded in the office of the county
recorder where the original articles of association have been
Sec. 9. Such company may receive donations in money, or
other property, to be applied to the purposes of their organization,
and assess taxes or impose fines upon their members, as may be
prescribed in their constitution and by-laws.
Sec. 10. Such company shall have power to call to their aid
the peace officers of this State, in accordance with law, in the
pursuit and apprehension of felons, and reclaiming stolen pro-
perty, and each and every one of the members of such company.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 13
when engaged in arresting oflFenders against the criminal laws cf
this State, shall he entitled to all the rights and privileges of
Pursuant to the provisions of this act, numerous companies
were formed throughout the country, with one grand object in
view, namely, to rid the community as far as possible of all
who were engaged in this nefarious work.
FIRST ORGANIZATION OF REGULATORS.
In the formation of these companies, it was customary first
to draft a constitution and by-laws setting forth the objects cf
the society, the conditions of membership, the number and
names of officers, as also their duties respectively. Any per-
son making application for membership, must present a name
uncontaminated by the vile association of felons, make a solemn
pledge of secrecy, and subscribe his name to the rolls. The
meetings of the societies were strictly private, and all their
plans for operation were kept in profound secrecy until the
contemplated arrests were made. The company known as the
Lagrange County Rangers was the first organization made
under the act of the Statute, in Northern Indiana. The fol-
lowing is a copy of the constitution and by-laws of said com-
pany, which we insert because of its priority. Those of sub-
sequent date were materially altered, with many important
additions and amendments.
We, the undersigned, for the purpose of promoting the
general good, for the protection of our property and families,
and for the apprehension of horse thieves and other felons, do
on this 20th day of September, A. D. 1856, organize ourselves
into a society, and agree to be governed by the following
articles of association :
Art. 1. This company shall be known and designated
under the name and title of the Lagrange County Rangers.
14 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
Art. 2. The officers of this society shall consist of a
President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two
Directors, who shall be elected annually, on the last Saturday
Art. 3. The President, and in his absence the Vice Presi-
dent, shall preside over all meetings of the society, and shall
have power to call special meetings when he may deem it
necessary for the interests of the society.
Art. 4. The Secretary shall keep a correct record of all
the proceedings of the society, receive all moneys paid in,
and pay the same over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt
therefor, and make at each annual meeting a financial report.
Art. 5. The Treasurer shall, before entering upon the
duties of his office, file with the Secretary of the society his
bond for the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars, with secu-
rity to be approved by the President, for the due performance
of the duties thereof; and shall receive all monies to him paid
by the Secretary, giving his receipt therefor, and pay the same
out by order of the President.
Art. 6. It shall be the duty of the Directors to draft a
code of by-laws for the society, and transact such other busi-
ness as the society may require of them from time to time.
Art. 7. The President, Vice President, or Directors, shall
cause the books to be open at all times for the reception of
such persons as the society may direct. The initiation fee
shall be two dollars, which must in all cases be paid at the
time of admittance.
Art. 8. The Directors shall, when called on by the Presi-
dent or Vice President, assist in all matters connected with
the interests of the society, and may assess a tax at any time
on the members of the society : Provided however, That said
tax shall not exceed fifty cents on each one hundred dollars
valuation ; and provided, also, that the same shall be submitted
to a vote of the society.
Art. 9. There shall be a regular meeting of the society
on the last Saturday of September, December, March and
June, to confer and advise with each other for the general
good of the cause.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 15
Art. 10. In the event of a vacancy occuring in any office,
the same may be filled by a special meeting, of which at least
six days' notice shall be given to the members by the President,
Vice President, or Directors; and all voting of the society for
the election of officers, or the reception of members, shall be
Art. 11. The number of members in this society shall not
exceed fifty at any one time. One negative vote shall be suf-
ficient to reject any applicant from becoming a member of this
Art. 12. Every member of this society guilty of any
misdemeanor, shall be entitled to a fair hearing before the
Art. 13. This society shall continue for a term of eight
years from its organization.
Art* 14. This constitution may be altered or amended at
any regular meeting, by a vote of two-thirds of all the mem-
bers present, and notice having been given at least one meeting
This society was in existence nearly one year and a half
before any others were formed, and was constituted under cir-
cumstances of the most pressing necessity, by men who pos-
sessed the boldness and fortitude to assert their rights, at a time
when danger stared them in the face.
The following minutes, embracing the preamble and resolu-
tions of a meeting held by this society about sixteen months
after its organization, is but a fair representation of the uncom-
promising determination with which they had entered the field
to engage in the contest :
ANTI-HORSE THIEF MEETING.
Wright's Corners, Jan. 9th, 1858.
The citizens of Southern Lagrange and Noble counties met,
pursuant to a call issued by the several Self-Protecting Horse
Companies, when John Longyear was called to the Chair, and
E. W. Myers appointed Secretary.
16 HISTORY OF THE REGULVTORS.
On motion of Mr. Mills, a committee of five was appointed to
draft a preamble and resolutions, stating the object and expressing
the sentiments of the meeting.
The following were appointed by the Chair: Mr. Mills, C. Coch-
rane, Dr. J. Z. Gower, L. P. Grannis and A. Hill.
The committee then retired, being absent a short time, returned
and submitted the following
PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.
WJuTcas, The counties of Lagrange and Noble are infested with
blacklegs, burglars and petty thieves, to such a degree, that the
property of our citizens is very insecure; and
Whereas, The tavern kept at Wrights' Corners, by Benj. F.
Wilson, is believed to be the rendezvous for these infernal ban-
ditti, who carry on their depredations upon the unsuspecting; and
Whereas, We have reason to believe that the said B. F. Wilson
18 an accomplice of these villains, protecting them as far as lies
in his power; securing them, and aiding and abetting them; and
Whereas, There has been counterfeit money passed at the house
of said Wilson under circunistances which justifies the belief that
it was done by his knowledge and consent, and that he shared a
part of the booty obtained thereby; and
Whereas, We are believers in the doctrine of popular sove-
reignty; that the people of this country are the real sovereigns.
and that whenever the laws, made by those to whom they have
delegated their authority, are found inadequate to their protection.
it is right of the people to take the protection of their property
into their own hands, and deal with these villains according to
their just deserts; and
Whereas, It is notorious that the civil laws are totally inade-
quate to the protection of the property of our citizens against
the depredations of the vampires, who curse the earth with their
presence, living upon plunder taken from the honest, the indus-
trious, and often the indigent portion of the community; and
Whereas, The citizens of other States have set us an example
in this matter, taking the protection of their property into their
own hands, and whenever they take these villains, off"er them uj)
as a tribute to humanity; therefore
Resolved, That we will use our utmost exertions to bring these
villains to justice, by assisting to take them wherever they may
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 17
be found, and that, when taken, we will deal with them in siu-h a
manner as to us may seem just and efficient.
Jiesoh-t'd, That we will hold B. F. Wilson responsible for all
depredations which may be committed at his house, by such per-
sons as he may harbor ; by passing counterfeit money, or any other
overt act, and that we will deal with him in such manner as we
would with the real depredators.
Resolved, That in case any individual endorsing the preamble
and resolutions offijred by this committee, should from such en-
dorsement, suffer loss by fire or otherwise, that we all be, and by
these presents do bind ourselves to make all loss good to him —
such individual bearing his proportion.
Resolved, That these proceedings be published in the Lagrange
Signed by one hundred and thirty citizens.
BEGINNING OF THE EXCITEMENT.
In the latter part of the year 1857, the handwriting began
to be visible upon the wall. The first public demonstration
made by the Kegulators was a grand parade, which took place
on the day of the Old Settler's Meeting at Kendallville, Jan.
16th, 1858. Soon after the arrival of the morning train of
cars, and just before the organization of the meeting, about
three hundred men, all on horseback, moved down in majestic
strength through the streets of the town, bearing mottoes and
banners of various descriptions, one of which contained a paint-
ing, representing the capture of a criminal, with these words
written over the scene, "iVb expense to the Count//.'' After a
full display of their forces, marching in double file tin'ough
the most prominent streets of the village, they repaired to the
common near the Baptist Church, where several speeches were
made, setting forth in very bold and daring language the fixed
determination of all those who had enlisted in the cause of
reform. Many gazed upon the scene with wonder and aston-
ishment. This to Noble and adjacent counties was the star of
hope, — the omen of better days to Northern Indiana, and the
beacon liglit of her rising glory. While, on the other hand.
18 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
the banditti of counterfeiters were struck with terror and con-
sternation, under the fearful forebodings of the rising indigna-
tion of an outraged and insulted people, who were ready now
to strike for liberty or death.
On the 17th day of January, 1858, James McConnel, a
prominent member of the Noble County Invincibles, after
being provided with a posse of fifteen men, proceeded to the
village of Rome, and in and about said place made the follow-
ing arrests: Miles C. Payne, Gregory McDougle, Sol Stout,
Malcomb Burnam, Davis, French, Joseph Hall, Wm. Hall,
and E. Kesler; whereupon they were immediately escorted to
Ligonier, and placed in the custody of the proper officers of
the committee, to await investigation.
The practice of bringing every prisoner before the commit-
tees for private examination, for the purpose of procuring con-
fessions and developments, dates from the beginning of Regu-
lating. Hence, whenever any one was caught, upon whom
competent evidence of guilt could be found, he was forthwith
taken to some private apartment and there placed under the
care of a committee, whose duty it was to ask of him a free
and voluntary confession of all his knowledge concerning the
blacklegs in Northern Indiana. These confessions, however,
were not intended to be extorted through fear or favor, but
were invariably called for in a voluntary manner. In some
instances, where good advice and gentle means failed to accom-
plish the desired effect, a more rigid course of treatment was
Some of the above named persons, after examination before
the Regulators, were released for want of testimony. After
due investigation before the committees, and a proper develop-
ment of fiicts sufficient to warrant a substantial cause of action,
they were generally handed over to the authorities, to be dealt
with according to law.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 19
On the night of the 2od of January, E. Kesler was brought
before a committee, and made the following developments :
CONFESSION OF E. KESLER.
" The first I ever stole was on the last of November, or first of
December, 1857. Headly, Core, and John Smith, divided the
goods, that were stolen from the peddler at Rome, between them.
Headly took some of them to Finley's, in Adams county, Indiana.
I held the door, while they done the robbing, and I knew they
were robbing him at the time. I think some of the goods are at
Finley's now. Headly makes his home with Finley. Finley lives
about nine miles from Decatur, and about the same distance from
Blufton. When I was there, I saw harness, trunks, and bridles,
up stairs. The trunks had dry goods in them. I was there abour
two months ago. I suppose the goods were stolen. John Deems,
and Shearer, stole three horses. Smith traded one of them for a
large bay mare, and one was left at Ulmer's for safe keeping.
Ulmer gave John Deems $250, and Headly $125, counterfeit
money. I did not see either of the horses. John Deems took
the iron gray to Ulmer's for Payne. I heard Payne ask Deems
how the horses got along; he said, 'fine.' Mr. French told me,
when he left, he was going to Angola. He left about two weeks
ago. The boys say that Meeker is the old Banker. Stout told
me that Smith's boys were his main men. Stout, McDougle, and
Core, had a hand in stealing Willis's guns."
The prisoner was then conducted to his room, and placed
under guards, to await the pleasure of the committee.
On the night of the 25th of January, 1858, Gregory Mc-
Dougle was brought before the Committee of the Noble County
Invincibles, and, after having made a full confession embracing
many important developments, he was conveyed to a private
room and there placed under guard. Whereupon a committee
of five men was duly appointed, to examine the witnesses and
report upon the evidence and the final disposition of his case.
20 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE.
"We, the committee appointed by the Noble County Invincibles
to collect and investigate the evidence in the case of Gregory Mc-
Dougle, now pending before this Society, ask to make the follow-
ing report :
"After having made a full and fair investigation of all the
testimony, and having found, during said investigation, evidence
of an unmistakeable character, charging the said Gregory Mc-
Dougle with murder, do recommend, that the said McDougle be
hung by the neck until dead, on Tuesday, the 2Gth day of Janu-
ary, 1858, at 2 o'clock P. M."
The report, on motion, was received and adopted.
Immediately upon the adoption of the report, a deep and
profound silence pervaded the whole assembly. Each felt that
the eve of an awful crisis was at hand. The fearful responsi-
bilities of the decision of Death, upon a fellow being, without
the sanction of any other law except that of the natural right
of self-defence, were now vividly portrayed in the mind of
every member of the committee. No turbulent jar, or discord-
ant voice, Avas heard to mar the fearful deliberations of that
hour. Calmness and solemnity was visible upon every brow.
A more calm, well matured and deliberate decision, was never
made by any judicial umpire in the history of criminal juris-
prudence. The following resolution was then passed :
'■'■Resolved, That the Captains of the several Companies, in Noble
and adjoining counties, notify the members of their Companies,
respectively, to appear at Ligonier on the day of execution, at the
hour of 12 M., and that each Captain be requested to escort his
own Company into the village, in regular file and good order."
During the pendency of the case of McDougle before the
Noble County Invincibles, a more exciting and thrilling interest
was never manifested by the citizens of Noble county. Buggies
and wagons were constantly on the move to and fro, and not a
day passed, for the space of one week, but the cars were filled
Imost to overflowing with passengers to and from Ligoniei*
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORg. 21
The case of McDougle formed the topic of conversation at
every corner of the streets. The movement of the Regulators
now made, what before had seemed but the momentary excite-
ment of the mass, a serious reality, upon which were suspended
the awful issues of life and death. They felt that their natural
and God-given rights had been disregarded, and that the arm
of the law was too weak to mete out a just retribution to the
guilty, under the existing state of society. Ilence they vir-
tually said, " The axe is now laid at the root of the tree, and
every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn
The folloAving is an account of the execution of McDougle,
as published by the Noble County Begister, and is substantially
true according to the original record :
EXECUTION OF GREGORY McDOUGLE,
At Ligonicr^ Indiana, January 2G, 1858, hy the Nolle County
^'■Regulators ;''^ also, his Confession before the Committee.
The 26th of January, 1858, is a day long to be remembered
by the citizens of Noble and adjoining counties, as being the day
on which was executed Gregory McDougle, and we shall endeavor
to give such facts as shall make the reader acquainted with all the
It is a well known fact, that for years our County and Lagrange
have been known, hundreds of miles, as the dens of blacklegs of
every conceivable grade; and honest citizens, while from home,
have hardly dared own their place of residence, for fear of being
looked upon as one not safe to run at large, and as the sequel will
show, not without cause. Years since, while our country was new
and hiding places plenty, the notorious Latta, Hill, Ulmer & Co.,
formed their nucleus near the Tamarack, as a place to which ail
might meet to take counsel, lay plans, manufacture counterfeit
money, and be safe from harm. For years their gang, in a mea-
sure, controlled our election and sat upon our juries, thus render-
ing the laws of no avail. Year after year has passed away and the
same state of things has continued. Our horses, buggies, harness
and other property, have been stolen by the wholesale ; our stores
broken and goods taken. Our citizens have been met by the high-
22 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
wayman, and at the pistol's muzzle robbed, and in one instance
stabbed; and so well were their plans laid that their detection
Thus, for years, have this banditti pursued their course. No
Dian or his property were safe while this gang remained in our
midst. If, by chance, one was arrested, he would be released by
his comrades, break jail, go on inadequate straw bail, or, if held
to court, be sworn clear by his confederates under the alihi dodge,
until our citizens lost all hopes as to the laws accomplishing the
By a chain of fortuitous circumstances, a short time since, the
gang, their numbers and places of deposit, became known, when
a Committee of Vigilance was formed to bring them to justice-
The result was that some twenty-five were arrested, and of the
number fourteen are now in jail, well guarded. During the in-
vestigation it became known that one of the gang, a former accom-
plice of the notorious Townsend, one Gregory McDougle, alias
Gregory McGregor, Geo, McLane, Geo. Bates, was in custody of
the Court, — a man who, by his own confession, was born in Wal-
laceburg, Kent County, Canada West, in the year 1831, where he
commenced his career of crime by breaking the Chatham jail^
where his brother was confined, robbing the jailor's wife of a
purse of gold ; also robbing a schoolmaster of a watch on the ice,
and names other affairs in Canada, — details which stamp him as
one of the most desperate and hardened villains that the annals of
Since April last, he, with two others, have stolen no less than
thirty-four horses, broke two jails, robbed four stores and two tan-
neries, took the entire load of two peddlers, besides a large amount
of harness, saddles, buggies, and other property too numerous to
mention; who publicly boasted that no jail could hold him, and
that he feared neither God, man, or the devil. Further, there
seems to be other and deeper acts, which he did not confess, and
which we will briefly detail.
The Deputy U. S. Marshal of Michigan states, under oath, that
he has had in his possession for some time, a reward from Canada,
for the apprehension of this man, for the crimes of robbing, an
attempt to break jail, and murder. McDougle confesses to his
identity in the acts of robbing and attempt to break the jail at
Chatham, Canada, to release his brother, but denies that the mur-
der occurred. The Marshal, Mr. Halstcad, however, states that
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 23
lie went to Canada twice to investigate tlie matter, and that the
murder was committed upon the very person that McDougle con-
fesses of robbing, to-wit ; the jailor's wife of the prison, where
McDougle's brother was confined. Added to this we have the
testimony of a confederate, taken separate and apart from the
statement of the Marshal, that McDougle, in relating his exploits,
stated that these occurrences did take place, and that he gave the
blow that caused the death.
McDougle also confesses to robbing a schoolmaster on the ice,
but denies his murder. We have, from the same authorities and
others, that the schoolmaster was not only robbed, but murdered,
and found dead on the ice.
One other crime we will mention, and close this harrowing and
sickening detail. This former confederate, heretofore mentioned,
states that McDougle informed him, that he and another accom-
plice, hearing of a Scotchman that had received quite a sum of
money, proceeded to rob him of the treasure. With pistol to their
victim's breast they demanded his money. He told them that he
had deposited it in bank. After a search, and not believing his
statement, they proceeded to divest him of what clothing was
necessary, and procuring live coals of fire roasted him upon them.
They released him before death occurred, becoming satisfied that
their victim had told them the truth. McDougle, in his confes-
sion, qualifies by saying, that he held his accomplices horses,
while they did the act. We leave our readers to judge of the
executed man's complicity in these acts.
Proofs being positive, a jury of citizens, (not a jury of twelve,
but a jury of hundreds,) decided that justice required that he die ;
and on this memorable day he was executed ; not by a rabble, not
by a noisy mob, not by young men in the heat of passion, but by
men who for years have been residents of this and the adjoining
counties, — men that were impelled, not by a thirst for blood, not
to riot in the agonies of one made in the image of the God they
worshipped, but that stern justice demanded the offering as an
example to the you.ng in their midst, many of whom have already
taken the first steps in that road which leads to death. All felt
the solemnity of the hour; all would gladly have had it other-
wise, if justice could have been satisfied through any other chan-
nel; but all felt that this was the only resort. During the fore
part of the day he was visited by two clergymen, who endeavored
to point his thoughts to Him who holds the destinies of man in
24 HISTORY OF THE REGUL\TORS.
His keeping, and ■who is free to forgive all, even to the most
Gregory McDougle was brought before the committee on the
evening of the 25th of January, when he was informed, for the
first time, of the doom that awaited him — that he was to be exe-
cuted the next day at 12 o'clock. The gentleman whose duty it
was to break to him this painful and unwelcome intelligence,
addressed the prisoner in some very affecting and appropriate
remarks, which seemed to affect him to such a degree that he ap-
peared confused, and made some wandering remarks, such as,
"Well, gentlemen, I am in your power, deal with me as you see
fit — I have never been in Canada — I never had a brother there,"
&c., &e. He said he had committed many thefts, and commenced
to relate them, but was told that perhaps he had better return to
his room, where if he had anything to relate — any confessions to
make, he would be waited upon by two or three persons, who
would commit to writing whatever he desired to communicate —
to which he assented. He was then asked, if he would like to
have a clergyman visit him in his room and confer with him on
spiritual matters. He replied that he would, and desired to know
if he could not have an opportunity of seeing his wife. He was
told that his wife should be sent for immediately. He was then
taken back to his room, and messengers dispatched at once for his
wife and child, who arrived next morning at 7 o'clock.
After a short exhortation and prayer by the Rev. Mr. Wolcott,
he made the following
"I was born in Wallaceburg, Kent County, Canada, in 1831.
My parents were respectable, and gave me a good opportunity for
an education, but I did not improve it. My father was a professor
of religion. I was married to Magaret Jacobs when I was nine-
teen years of age. I have four brothers and one sister. My
father died when I was nineteen, in Canada. He was engaged,
at the time of his death, in merchandizing, in Wallaceburg. His
name was Laughlin McDougle. I was engaged at the time of my
father's death in keeping tavern. I continued in this business
about two years. I commenced my career of crime about four or
five years since. My brother Miles was at work on the Great
Western Railroad, where he was arrested for robbing a house and
stealing a horse, and confined in the Chatham jail. I went to the
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 25
jail in company with John McGreggor, John McDougle and James
McDougle, to release my brother. The jail was surrounded by a
wall. McGreggor, John and myself climbed over the wall by the
aid of a ladder. (James dared not venture.) We took the ladder
and stove against the door, which was made of wood, and burst it
in ; we went into the hall and so into the jailor's bedroom ; we
found no one there but the old lady, who appeared frightened,
but he tapped her lightly on her head with his hand, and said,
' Don't be frightened, mother, I'll not hurt a hair of your head,
I only want the keys of the prison." She immediately gave us
three — one to each of us — and also went to the bed, and from
under the pillow took a bag about fifteen inches in length and
handed to us, which I took and put in my pocket. There wa?
something heavy in the bag, but did not look to see what it was.
I then went to the grate doors and on the opposite side were the
guards, who called out 'run here boys,' upon hearing which my
comrades turned and fled; but I went up to the door and told the
guards to stand back or I would shoot them. I tried to unlock
the door, but found the key which I had did not fit, and that the
boys had gone with the one which did. I then started to pass
out, and the old lady followed me and demanded back her purse
of gold. I stood a second or two, and then handed it back, and
said, 'here mother, take your gold, I do not want it.' The old
lady's name was Payne. I then went out and joined my com-
rades, and traveled home on foot, a distance of twenty-six miles.
The officers pursued us, and got to my house before we did, but
we managed to keep out of their way. I then went to Chemung
County, N. Y., where I fell in company with one Sherman Mal-
lett, and, with our wives, came to Burr Oak, Michigan, and there
met with Wm. Latta. Bought a place opposite, and stayed there
several weeks repairing the place. Mallett hired a horse at a
livery stable and drove to Port Mitchell ; broke open a store, and
stole a lot of silk goods and kid gloves; he put in an overcoat
and started for home, but lost a piece near the tamarack; took the
rest to Latta's.
"About six weeks after Latta came, and proposed to John Mc-
Dougle, Sherman Mallett and myself, that he would furnish us
with some counterfeit money, if we would get some goods. We
went to Waterford, in Elkhart Uounty, and broke open a store
and stole dry goods to the amount of some .$300. We took them
to about three miles west of Lima and hid them in the woods.
26 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
We sold a part to Latta, and a part to Jeremiah Misner, for coun-
terfeit money made at Perry Randolph's. The factory at Fawn
River was broken open, I think, by Charles Smith and a man
called Red Head. The goods were taken to Wm. Hill's. I went
in company with Mallett, Wm. Ray, and John McDougle to De-
troit, and there passed about ^60 in paper on the Westminister
Bank, Rhode Island. I had some six or eight hundred dollars of
this money. I sold a part of it to Mallett's comrades in New
York. Mallett and I hired a span of grey horses at Romeo,
Michigan, and drove them to Chemung County, N. Y., and sold
them to Edward Howard, who lives about five miles from Havanna-
We then exchanged some of our counterfeit money for 20's on
the Black River Bank, and came back to Freedom. Mallett
passed two 20's on the way home. I gave mine to Latta.
" Mallett went into the factory at Fawn River on pretence of
looking for a site, and went all through it. Suspicion rested on
me. We went to Perry Randolph's, and then to Kendallville,
where Mallett passed one or two of his 20's. While we were
absent my house was searched, and the ofl&cers were waiting for
me when I returned, but I only stayed about two hours, and then
started for Jackson. My wife, then, for the first time, became
acquainted with my true character. I went back to Wallaceburg,
Canada, and stole a pair of horses from Raymond Baley, and rode
them seventy miles east of London, and took them into the pinery.
I stopped with a man by the name of Cartright, and made shingles
a few weeks, the horses being secreted. I finally made a sleigh,
stole a set of harness, and brought them to Cartright's. I started
for Buffalo on Christmas, 185G, and put up at the Grrankin House-
I sold one of the horses to a merchant, and the other to Lyons at
Black Rock. I then returned to Canada, and hired a horse and
cutter at Ingersol and came to Wallaceburg, and took my cousin
with me. About six miles from Wallaceburg we stole a pony from
a stable ; came to Tecumseh, Michigan, and there traded off the
pony for another horse, and came to Freedom ; went to Perry
Randolph's and left one horse there ; went to Bill Hill's and
traded both horses for a sorrel mare ; Hill knew they were stolen.
I then started for Wallaceburg in company with my wife and
cousin ; we stole a pony below Detroit, and went about twelve
miles, when my cousin stole a sorrel mare; we sold the pony about
ten miles from Port Dover; we took the other two horses to Buf-
falo, and sold them. I went from there to Syracuse, and worked
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 27
in the salt works several weeks. Tlion went to Chemung County,
N. Y. I went in company with Edward Howard to rob a man
they called Big Jim. Howard went into the house, wet a cloth
with chloroform and laid it on his breast, went out and waited a
few minutes, then went in and took $95 and a gold watch; I took
the watch and twenty dollars of the money. I went back to Syra-
cuse and took my wife and went to Rochester, and then went back
to Chemung County, and hired out to drive team for a man by
the name of Hutchinson. I went to his bed in the night, and
took $125, and a watch worth two or three dollars. Then went
to Rochester, stayed a few days, then went back to Chemung.
There met Mallett, who had just been pardoned out of prison.
We went to Jefferson and broke open a drug store, and took some
jewelry, pocket-knives, and seven or eight dollars in money ; we
took the goods to a man by the name of Baker, east of Penn Yan ;
he offered us sixty dollars, we wanted eighty dollars; he, however,
stole some gold rings of us.
"We went from there to Penn Yan and took the cars for Roch-
ester; stayed there awhile ; finally went back to Baker's and broke
open his wagon and stole seventy or eighty dollars worth of goods.
We then went to Chemung, and stole Joseph Howard's horse,
and went back to Baker's and stole his two mares, sleigh, double
harness and a set of single harness; we traded our sleigh and har-
ness off for a wagon to a man by the name of Reed, in Chatauque
County; we kept the mares. We broke open a store and stole dry
goods to the amount of $200; also, a jeweller's store, and took
two or three hundred dollars worth of watches and jewelry; we
took our jewelry to Canada. We hired a horse and buggy of a
man by the name of Fish, and drove it to Perry Randolph's and
sold it to Woodford.
"I next went to Pennsylvania and broke into a grocery and got
about a hundred dollars worth of tea and tobacco. Mallett hired
horses and buggy of Woodford and we went down to Ellicottville,
where we got in company with a man by the name of Phipps, and
we went some seven miles, to a man by the name of Ozen, and I
held the horses while they went into the house ; they hurt Ozen
badly by striking him with a stick ; they got twenty-four or twenty-
five dollars. We stopped some two or three months with Reed.
I tlien took my mares and hitched them to my wagon, and we
came to Tiffin, Ohio, and Mallett sold all to a pump peddler. I
then came to Burnam's to see about my mother. I got thirty
Z<5 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
dollars of Biirnam in bogus coin, and 82,000 in counterfeit of
Bill Hill, on the Southern Bank of Kentucky, brought from Cin-
cinnati. I then returned to Chatauque, N. Y., and sold some and
some I returned.
"On my return T became acquainted with Payne through Bur-
nam. We went to Wolf Lake, and took a pair of horses of movers,
and took them to Mr. Woodford's in Chatauque County, and sold
them to him. We stole another pair of brown mares, and drove
them back and sold them to Burnam. Payne stopped at Perrys-
burg and stole another and rode to Burnara's. I traded a watch
with Payne for his horse and $20. Next, Barney Weston, Sol.
Stout and myself, went to Springfield, broke into a store, got
about $200 worth of dry goods, and sold them to Barney Weston
for a wagon; I sold it to Burnam for my board. Next Payne.and
I went to Uniontown in July, and got ten or twelve pairs of boots,
two pair of long rubber boots, and one pair of men's gaiters.
Payne sold his to Bill Hill, and I sold mine to Kreamer. Payne
and I next went to Ontario and pulled some four or five hundred
pair of buckskin gloves from McKinley; sold some to Hill, some
to Ulmer, and some to Joe and Bill Hall.
"A man by the name of John Wilson stole Spencer's horses,
and took them about thirty five miles north of Cincinnati, and
sold them to an old farmer, and then pulled a pair of brown horses,
and brought them to Burnam's, and put them to my wagon, drove
them to Detroit, then shipped them to Dunkirk and drove them
to Thomas Reed's in Chatauque County, N. Y. I took a mare
and colt from Burnam's to Michigan, four miles east of Albion,
on the Jackson road, and traded to Wm. Hill for a horse.
" I traded a horse to ;* he is with us; I gave him
counterfeit money, and he told me he passed it; he was initiated
before I saw him. These men are the kind of men that are the
cause of so many horses being stolen. Also ;* I would
not be afraid of his exposing me if he knew I had a stolen horse.
" Stealing from the peddler at Rome, myself, Kcssler, Hadley,
Stout, Hank Core and Smitzer, hid the goods under a hay stack.
Myself, Core and Stout went to Springfield, and on our way back
Core went into a shoe shop and took two guns, one deer skin and
accordeon ; Core, I think, took them north. We then came to
* We leave these names blank for certain reasons.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS, 29
McKinzie's wagon and took the box out and liid it in tlic bushes;
a few nights after I gave it to Forsyth to peddle out — Forsyth the
On being questioned he stated, tliat " he robbed a man by the
name of Alexander McCoy of a watch on the ice at Wallaceburg,
soon after I tried to get my brother out of jail. I ran up behind
him and pulled his watch, when he fell down on the ice, but was
not hurt ; he came to my house next morning for a drink."
Upon being questioned in regard to a certain Scotchman, robbed
in the western part of New York, he said: "Mallett and Wm. Hoy
went to his house; the man was setting smoking his pipe; they
asked him for a drink, he got them some water, when Roy knocked
down; he asked what they wanted; Roy said they must have
his money; he said he put it in the bank; they poured out wheat
and flour and raked it all through in search of the money, after
which they put some live coals in a kettle and set him on it, but
he still said it was in the bank. I merely held the horses outside.
They took an old watch and left. A man by the name of Jones
pointed the place out to them by writing them a letter; Jones
lives near Georgetown in Canada.
" DeKalb County. — Miles Payne, John Wilson and George
Palmer, broke open the Spencerville store. R. J. deals in
counterfeit, lives in Uniontown. Pladley and Hunt robbed and
"LiGONiER.— Hank Core stole Storm's buggy; it is on the Michi-
gan River, at True Roberts', at Lowell. Wright's goods were
stolen by Charles Smith and Wilkinson, and sold to Bill Hill.
" Fort Wayne. — Largchuft, ticket agent, Ott Holcomb, Bill
Jackson, keeper of the Mad Anthony Saloon, and Joel Cutter, all
deal in counterfeit money. Sam Gowers uses counterfeit and
secretes horses ; he gave me counterfeit money himself.
"Lagrange — Constable Louther deals in counterfeit and horses.
James Pitts signs the bills on Pretty I'rairie; Ad. Nimmons used
to. Misner signs his own. There is an old man that usually
stops at Perry Randolph's; he cut their plates, or docs their en-
graving; I think he is there now. John Goodrich secretes stolen
horses; he secreted two for me at diiferent times; he also deals in
counterfeit; has asked me for it. Holsinger's horse was taken by
Hunt and sold to Wm. Hall, four miles from Albion, Michigan.
Dan Wilson and Ben Wilson deal in counterfeit, and secreted a
couple of horses for Payne."
30 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
McDougle was at Burnam's in December, 1857. He saw Dr.
Hogan, and Hogan said that lie had sold Burnam a Christmas
collar, and if he let Burnam have 8400 or $500, whose business
was it? Dr. Hogan was at a party at Ben Wilson's. Payne was
there. Payne let Hogan have a quantity of counterfeit to keep
till after the dance. Payne had S900; Hogan knew it was coun-
McDougle has seen Meeker there counterfeiting at different
times; seen him at Burnam's coloring counterfeit. James Clark,
a baggage master on the railroad at Fort Wayne, deals in counter-
feit; he is a big stout man. Jed Cothrell, who keeps the saloon,
deals in counterfeit; he used to get his money from Bill Hill and
Jonathan Thompson makes and peddles spurious coin; lives in
Kinsman, Ohio, on the road to Meadville. Ott Hoken, a starch
dealer, deals in counterfeit.
Wm. Thompson, used to be sheriflF of Chemung County, N. Y.J
John Thompson, Henry Thompson, out west, Charles Hibbard,
keeps tavern, all of the same place, and John Rosenkraus, think
he lives in Bath, N. Y., all deal in counterfeit money.
McDougle, throughout the period of his confinement, up to the
time of communicating to him his awful doom, seemed perfectly
careless and hardened, and, in fact, his bearing and manner were
defying. He made several derisive remarks about the proceedings
of the Regulators — stated that he was not to be, and could not be
frightened. He seemed at times to regard the persons about him,
and all attempts to get confessions from him, with marked con-
tempt. His remarks were often profane as well as insulting —
sometimes he would maintain a dogged silence to all inquiries
made of him.
After being informed of the doom that awaited him, he seemed
to wake up to a new and entirely different feeling.
The writer of this witnessed the parting interview with his wife
and child — a babe of near a year old. His wife had reached him
about 7 o'clock A. M. McDougle was the first to convey to her
the tidings of his own doom. She was completely overcome, and
in a short time relapsed into a swooning state, from which she
did not fully awaken until the time had come for his removal to
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 31
the place of execution. And oh ! the heart-rending scene of those
few minutes which composed that parting interview !
McDougle was composed, but weeping freely, and lamenting his
fate. His wife, in view of this last interview upon earth with the
husband of her youth, seemed inconsolable. Her ejaculations of
grief and sorrow were almost unmanning. She begged to go with
him. He told her that it would not do. Once or twice he started
from the embrace of his wife, remarking that he would have to
go as " they were waiting for him." He urged her to train up
their child in the "way it should go." The babe participated in
the sadness of the scene ; it caught the reflex of grief on the
countenances of those around it, and cried sorrowfully. McDougle,
brushing away the tears, hushed his babe aifectionately and fond-
ly, and bidding a last adieu, he slowly left the room for the car-
riage, which awaited him in front of the hotel. He was seated
with a clergyman and three or four other gentlemen, and at once
driven to the place of execution, followed by a large cavalcade of
horsemen, and others in carriages and on foot.
They arrived at the place of execution at about 3 o'clock.
After some preliminary arrangements, the wagon containing the
prisoner and his coffin was driven under an oak tree from a branch
of which the fatal rope dangled. He seemed calm and collected —
indeed, he evinced throughout the whole of the terrible scene the
utmost calmness and self-possession. The preparations being
completed, the prisoner rose and addressed the crowd.
The following is an abstract of his remarks, for a report of
which we are indebted to our friend A. B. Miller, Esq :
REMARKS OF M'DOUGLE.
"I am happy to see such a crowd around me, and I hope all
young men will take a warning from me. My old father and
mother advised me to do good. I never committed murder. They
say that I killed a man and woman in Canada, and that I burnt a
man to make him tell where his money was. It is false. The
worst crime I committed was in New York; I then stole, and hurt
a man, which long troubled me ; but he got well. I have stolen
many times, and taken many horses. Mr. Braden has my confes-
sion, which I am willing you all should see. I am sorry to be
here, but it might as well be my lot as another's. I say to young-
men, keep from houses of ill-fame, and instead of playing cards,
read your Bible. The first deviation is the worst ; the progression
32 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
is easy tlien to robbery, and finally to murder. No man, I think,
has any hard feelings towards me, and I have hard feelings towards
none. The citizens of Ligonier have treated me kindly. It is
my unhappy portion that my doom should be a warning to all
young men, and I am glad to see so many here. It is said that
I fear neither God, man, or the devil. I do fear God. It is but
a few years since I commenced this course. I broke jail in Canada
to release my brother. I was discovered, and had to flee my
country, and since have fallen into bad ways. I was forced by
circumstances into the society of bad men, and hence have pur-
sued a bad course. There are quite a number of people who think
the Committee is mistaken in what they do. I say they are not.
They are justified, and I hope that they will succeed in their
undertaking, and root out all the thieving, coining, counterfeiting
and horse stealing. Many present are probably as bad as me, but
I hope they will all, especially the young men, take warning by
me. My only source is God. I trust to Him for mercy. I trust
in the Lord."
Note. — The confession of McDougle is given as he gave it in,
after the sentence of death was passed upon him. It is proper to
say that it is not considered full. The time was short, sixteen
hours, that he had to relate his misdeeds, and were he disposed to
give a full and honest account, the overwhelming horror of his
situation would tend to cause him to confuse and disconnect his
statements, and, also, in the multitude of his crimes, to pass over
many acts, some of which he adverted to in conversation with his
clergyman and others. There are some crimes committed by him
in this section of country, which are well known, which he has
not mentioned at all in his confession. These will be given in
future, accompanied with the statement of his former accomplice.
This sheet is compiled to satisfy the public demand, and is given
as the superficial view of the matter at present.
The wife of McDougle, subsequent to his execution, proved
to be a very important witness in many cases. She manifested,
however, great reluctance to having any publicity given either
of her name or the execution of her husband, stating as a rea-
son that her parents were still living, and she did not wish
them to know anything of her misfortunes. She said she never
intended to let them know where she \Yas.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 66
Several letters have been received by the Regulators, from
tliffcrent parts of the country, confirmatory of the statements
of McDougle in reference to his own crimes, one of which we
give below :
RusHViLLE, N. Y., Mar. 22, 1858.
3fr. Pof;(maRffr : — As I have just read an account of the execu-
tion and confession of Gregory McDougle, at your place, on the
2Gth of January last, and as many have no confidence in such
confessions made at such times and under such circumstances, I
thought I would write and let you know that all those acts, except
the horse stealing, which he says transpired in this county, are
true. His statement iu reference to the store which was broken
in Chemung County is also true, and the Baker whom he mention.<»
is a man living in Penn Yan, as he says. I have showed the con-
fession to the sheriif of our county, and he says he is acquainted
with the said Baker, Joseph Howard and several other hard cases*
he mentions. I see by the papers you are doing a good work.
r write that you may know that many of the statements made in
said confession, in reference to liis acts in this country, are true.
F. C. Chamberlain, P. M.
This man, as appears from a letter on file, emigrated to
Indiana sometime in the year 1855 or 185G, from near Bell
River, Michigan. He is a man about forty years old, five feet
nine inches high, spare face and brown hair ; has a wife and
four or five children, some of whom are full grown. From the
letter above referred to, he seems to have left the State of
Michigan under suspicious circumstances, and is said to have
brought with him a set of dies for manufacturing bogus money.
He was an intimate friend and companion of McDougle. At
the time of his arrest he was a resident of Noble County and
occupied the farm formerly owned by Wm. Latta, now by Dr.
L. Barber. After his arrest he was in due time brought before
the committee for examination, but was very stubborn and
peremptorily refused to make any confessions and constantly
84 HISTOKY OF THE REGULATOES.
urged the plea of innocence. A part of the committee, owing
to his manifest obstinacy, were in favor of applying the rope.
The question was strongly discussed by men of ability on both
sides, and the first vote resulted in a decree to hang, but the
motion was reconsidered and lost by a very small majority.
Whether the rope was applied to his neck at any time during
the investigation is not reported ; but sure it is that many who
were arrested and brought before the Regulators can testify to
the prevalence of the rope system at that time. From some
cause, however, he was induced to make the following confes-
sion, which though very disconnected we give as it appears on
record. After naming certain persons he proceeds :
" They told me that they got their money of Bill Hill ; they
have all told me that they had passed counterfeit money ;
told me that he received a stolen horse from Bill Hill, knowing
the same to be stolen ; he said the horse was white, and was stolen
from Fayette County, Ohio, by a man by the name of John Wil-
son, and was afterwards taken by Bill Hill to Missouri ; he told
me that a certain black mare he owned he had received from ,
which was stolen from Valparaiso last fall, (1857;) McDougle told
that the gloves he sold him were stolen from McKinley,
of Ontario, Lagrange County, Indiana; Wright's goods that were
stolen from Fairfield Center, in Dekalb County, were taken by
McCoy and Charles Smith to Hill's Corners, four miles east of
Lagrange, to Drake & Woodward's tavern, and were known by
Drake & Woodward to have been stolen; I know that said Drake
& Woodward bought a span of stolen horses from Charles Smith
and McCoy; said McCoy is about twenty-two years old, — harbors
blacklegs; Samuel Pulver bought coin and bills of Hill; Bill
and Jabob Garmire bought coney of Hill ; Samuel Pulver bought
$25 in bogus money of Hill, at Huntertown, about one year ago;
I saw him pass a part of it ; I think Joseph Bollin and Payne
are knowing to these facts; Pulver has told me that he passed and
dealt in counterfeit money ; I heard D. I. Donegan say that he
had passed three or four ten dollar bills of counterfeit; he says
he has the directions where to go to get bogus and counterfeit ;
it is in Ohio County, Indiana."
The committee being satisfied that they could make no very
HISTORY OF THE KEGULATORS. 35
profitable use of Burnam, and finding that he was disposed to
make no very important developments, only on conditions of
liis own release, and well knowing that such revelations would
entirely invalidate his testimony, either against himself or any
one else, soon handed him over to the United States Deputy
Marshal Charles Seeley, to be taken to Indianapolis. He lay
in the jail at Indianapolis until the fall term of the United
States District Court, at which time he was ti'ied and sentenced
to the penitentiary for a term of two years.
The following is a copy of a letter received from Bell Biver,
near where Burnam formerly resided in Michigan, and is con-
firmatory of many of the statements already made ; and gives
also an idea of the character he bore previous to his emigration
to our State:
"Gentlemen: — I learn by the public prints that you have
succeeded in breaking up a gang of thieves and robbers who have
infested your county and those adjoining. I live at Bell River,
St. Clair County, State of Michigan. All that separates us from
the scene of McDougle's former exploits is the St. Clair River
which is about one mile wide. We have for a number of years
been troubled more or less by the villains committing their depre-
dations, and crossing back and forth over the river as it became
necessary to escape justice. McDougle has been from here a
number of years. A man by the name of Burnam left here about
two years ago. There was at that time an organized band on both
sides of the river, which we have succeeded in breaking up, and
some of tliera are now in States Prison. This Burnam made his
escape and probably took the dies, &c., with him. He is about
thirty-five or thirty-eight years old, five feet nine inches high,
spare face and brown hair."
A large quantity of material and also a set of dies were
found at Burnam' s house at the time he was arrested, which
were brought into Court as evidence against him. One piece
of metal was found in the yard of the residence where he was
taken, buried among the rubbish, which weighed fourteen
36 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
MILES C. PAYNE, THE NOTORIOUS TRAITOR,
Early educated to habits of honesty and industry, under the
care of a mother much devoted to the great principles of
Christianity, and a worthy patron of that noble cause, presents
one of the most striking illustrations of treachery of any
among the infernal gang. He was one of the number arrested
by James !McConnel, on the 17th day of January, 1858, and
on being brought before the Committee of the Noble County
Invincibles, from some cause, perhaps an undefined conscious-
ness of some coming evil, he made no hesitancy in opening up
a full disclosure upon the whole gang, and detailing the most
horrible catalogue of crime ever known among the people of
the country. Persons upon whom not the least suspicion had
ever rested before, and who had hitherto been esteemed as good
and worthy citizens, were now implicated by unraistakeable
marks of guilt and shame. These developments, though never
reduced to writing, were of the most startling character, and
led to the breaking up of almost the entire company. Many,
whose sagacity enabled them to foresee the evil, fled from the
country and have not been heard from since; while others,
less sagacious, esteemed the commotion of the people but as
the momentary excitement cf a furious storm, which would
ere long end in calm and sunshine, and, ashamed to exhibit
such demonstrations of guilt, aimed to vindicate their innocence
by remaining at home. As his confessions were never com-
mitted to writing, we shall only be able to give a concise his-
tory of his operations while acting under the character of a
detective in concert with the Regulators. With no pledge
except that of personal safety, he entered upon the work of a
detective with a boldness, freedom and zeal seldom surpassed
even by the Regulators.
He states that he had been engaged in the blackleg business
oidy about two years, and that during that time he had stolen
about thirty-six horses, besides large quantities of goods and
other commodities, and during the whole time had been exten-
sively engaged in buying, selling and passing counterfeit
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 37
money. His field of operations extended through the States
of New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wis-
consin. In the latter part of the winter of 1857-8, he, in
company with Dr. J, S. Layering, proceeded to Layette, Ind.,
where, by the advice and assistance of Mr. Chissom, the very
excellent Sheriff of that place, they succeeded in making
several important arrests. The persons arrested were in due
time brought before the United States District Court at Indian-
apolis, and, by the evidence of Payne and said Dr. Lavering,
sent to the Penitentiary. He mentions a large company located
at Black Rock, Wisconsin, to which he had access as a place of
refuge, and represents them as being the most numerous and
best organized gang in any of the States.
By his undeviating conduct and daring fortitude in ferreting
out, lining up, and aiding to arrest all such as were in any way
implicated, he had succeeded in gaining almost the entire con-
fidence of all the Committees.
Thus, after having proved himself one of the guiltiest of
the guilty, and after having in the most cowardly manner pos-
sible proved the most treacherous of all thieves among thieves,
and after having made bold- and high pretensions to reform,
and manifested the strongest desire to see the whole banditti
routed and driven from the country, he proves himself to be
one of the most infiimous of all blacklegs, unworthy to be
trusted by any, even the most vile desperadoes or pirates that
ever roamed on land or sea. By allowing himself, at a time
when no earthly consideration should have caused him to falter,
to be hired to turn traitor and prove recreant to the trust
reposed in him, and again rush heedlessly into the labyrinths
of crime and infamy. He left the country during the fall
term of the Lagrange Circuit Court, probably from induce-
ments which remain in the dark. He is about six feet high,
dark eyes and hair, strong built, and about twenty-five years
old. Upon his left arm may be found his name, written with
India ink, and on the hand of the same arm an anchor. He is
by trade a cooper. The eye of vigilance will pursue him, and
justice will sooner or later overtake the guilty.
38 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
Copy of a letter written by John, brother of Gregory Mc-
Dougle, to Wm. Latta of Iowa, in reference to the doings of
the Regulators in Indiana :
"Feb. 10th, 1858.
"Dear Friend : — I suppose you must have heard what a time
they have had in Indian??, — the capture of McDougle & Co. He
has confessed a great deal ; he exposed all the persons he knew
anything about; so do all the boys they have arrested. They
have said you were at La Cross, but some said you were at the
other place, and others said they had you at Ligonier, but that I
knew was not so. You had better be on your guard ; they intend
to have you, and B., and C, and T. there ; they think they have
got the leaders of the gang, as they term it. I saw your address
in P.'s letter, and I judged you might not have heard what was
up with them. The Prairie men have left the country. I's brother
is there, but it is dangerous business to write to any of them now.
I wrote two letters to you last week at Ft. , but perhaps
you did not get them. These fellows they have caught, tell who
have stolen the horses about this country and where they are.
Some have got their property and others are in pursuit. I think
it would be much safer for you to get oif among strangers. B.
had better get away also. There is a fuss with old Pap and that
Doctor that sent you together. They accuse old H. of intrigue,
&c., and say he was bribed to let W. and me out. They know
where I. and W. are, and will bring them in soon.
P. S. — Write when convenient. We are all well.
Sometime in the year 1857, a plan was entered into by
several members of the band to establish a regular mint for
the manufacture of bogus money, on a more extensive scale,
and after the manner of a joint stock company, in which each
was to bear a proportionate share of the expenses and reap a
like share of the profits. After tlie arrest of several men who
had become stockholders in the contemplated scheme, the fol-
lowing confessions were made before the Committee, and by
James McConnol reduced to writing, subscribed and sworn to.
HISTORY OF THE PvEGULATORS. 39
AFFIDAVIT OF SIMEON WEBSTER.
'•About tlie IStli day of June, 1857, John A. Taylor came to
my house and said that he had a book that contained receipts
which would enable any one to make gold and silver out of other
metals, but the law forbid making any National coin out of said
composition. He staid over night with me, and the next morning
D. H. came to my house and said to me, ' who is that fellow ?'
referring to Taylor; ' I don't like the looks of him.' I told him
that he (Taylor) had a book containing receipts for making gold
and silver, and as I had often had him for counsel I would take
him this time, and wanted him to tell what was best to be done.
He (H.) took the book and looked it over, and then said it was a
good thing and it v/^ould be best to make the composition into
coin. Taylor said he had been caught once and worked hard in
the Penitentiary and would not do anything unlawful. He and I
opposed making coin. They acted as if they had seen each other
before. The night after this conversation Taylor went home with
H. Then, four days after, H. and Taylor and I entered into
partnership, and they spent a good portion of the time with me.
Soon after this, Taylor started for Warsaw, but before he left he
wi'ote a letter to be sent to Dr. Duvol, for crucibles, materials, &c.
The letter was not sent. Taylor came back, took the letter and
about 825 in good money and started for Toledo. In about two
days he returned, bringing with him the crucibles, a watch and
some change, perhaps $2. In two or three days after H. came to
Taylor, in my presence, and recommended John Thomas as a good
person to engage in the business. For about one week Taylor
refused to have anything to do with Thomas, but afterward agreed
to take him in because he could not get rid of H, For about one
week H. and Thomas strongly solicited Taylor to take in A. N.
and Meeker, at the end of which time H. hitched to his wagon
and took us all to Springfield. There Meeker and N. were taken
into the company, and it was agreed that we should all contribute
equally to stock the business. Myself and Taylor were both
opposed to making coin. H. and I think all the rest were in
favor of it. Thomas took H.'s horses and was gone two days,
and came back with the material. Meeker paid 85, which was to
buy said materials. A furnace was then constructed for melting,
and H. furnished the team to do the hauling; Taylor built the
40 HISTORY' OF THE REGULATORS.
furnaoe. Taylor and Thomas tried to melt the composition, but
failed. Harrison Blackman came to get some material for gal-
vanizing, and I think wanted to get some counterfeit money at
the same time. The two Smith boys, Theon and Frank, came
also ; I believe they both came for counterfeit. Charles H. came
also to get counterfeit money. John Thomas took the crucible
and the remainder of the material saying he was going away to
melt it. That that was spoiled in the first melting was throwa
into the marsh near by. 11. Blackman came to me sometime in
September last and asked me for counterfeit money ; I told him
T had none; he said it was so understood that I was in the busi-
ness; he then wanted to know of me who had any; 1 told him if
any one had it probably he would find it at N.'s, for he had
always had the name of being in the business; he afterwards told
me that N. had promised to get him some, and in about a week
after I saw him have about $30, and he said he had let Charles II.
have about $40. Charles told me he had converted his into gold
by exchanging with a man on the cars ; at the time he told me
this he showed me some more money and told me it was counter-
feit ; at another time he told me he got some counterfeit money
of Meeker and passed it in AVilliams Co., Ohio. N., Meeker and
Taylor, represented to me that the business of counterfeiting wa,'-
good, and that if I got into a scrape the lawyers and Judges of
the Courts would all unite in helping me out, and said, if the
lawyers and judges were not iu the business theufselves they were
all right on the question. H. told me that in case they succeeded
in making coin he would go off and buy cattle and Thomas should
butcher and otherwise dispose of them. H. told the rest of us
that we must be very cautious or people would suspect us, but as
for himself there would be no danger ; first, because be never
worked much, and second, because he was a professor of religion
and a preacher of the Gospel ; therefore they would not be likely
to think there was anything wrong with him. 11. told me that he
had got some money of Meeker at 25 cents on the dollar, and
that Taylor had got some of the same money to put off at fifty
cents on the dollar. Meeker told me that H. had got about $100
counterfeit paper of him at 25 cents on the dollar, and that he
still owed bini for it, and he could never get anything of him,
because he did not dare to sue him. II. told me that he and
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 41
Taylor let Gray have a $5 counterfeit or bad bill, and that Taylor
was as much to blame in the matter as he was, but would not help
him out of the difficulty.
Subscril)ed and sworn to, before mc, on this 18th day of June,
A. D. 1858, at Albion, Noble County, Indiana.
James McConnel, Notary Fuhlic.
The following is an afFidavit made by the above named D. H.,
and refers to the same subject. The only reason why the
whole nnme is not given in this as in several other cases, which
have and will appear in this work, is, that some of them have
been di.><niissed for want of the competent testimony, and others
are still pending in Court. And feeling no disposition to do
or say anything that would in the least militate against the
future reformation of any one who may have been charged or
suspicioned of being in any way connected with these land
pirates, Ave have therefore declined giving the full name. But
it seems startling and strange indeed that a man professing the
religion of that meek and lowly Jesus — the most sublime pa-
tron of human conduct on wdiich a ray of light has ever fallen;
the only heart in which anger and ill will never found a resting
place ; the only bosom that ever heaved a sigh of unaffected
pity; the only hand that ever was opened in acts of unosten-
tatious benevolence, and the only eyes that never wept tears
of deceit. I say it seems strange indeed that a person pro-
fessing to co]iy the character of that holy man, and setting
himself up as a teacher of those sacred principles taught in
the life and character of the Son of Go<l, should so far con-
descend from that high and honerable calling as to class him-
self wdth a fiendish gang of midnight assassins, and enter into
counsel with them against the peace and safety of his own
neighbors and his own country. This, hoAvever, presents but
one among the many striking illustrations of hypocrisy and
deceit carried on under the garb of sanctity.
42 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
" Taylor came along about the first of July last at Webster's, in
Noble County, Indiana; he told Webster, and Webster told me,
that Taylor was a composer of metals; he said he could make
metals out of brass, silver and coi^per, that would sell as well as
gold in weight and appearance ; also one composed of platina,
block tin, verdigris and copper, that would pass to jewelers at the
price of gold, and it could be used for lawful and noble purposes,
or for unlawful purposes ; also that fine gold made of platina,
silver and copper, would pass for 24 carats fine gold. We bought
block tin, verdigris, copper and brass, to try the experiment, which
if it proved good we intended to manufacture into coin. The
crucibles were bought by J. A. Taylor at Toledo, for the purpose
of melting the metals and manufacturing coin of the United States.
Thomas says they used it at Blaekman's, and tried it at J. Walk-
er's, in Noble County, Indiana. J. A. Taylor says to me, ' this
receipt will make such metals as above stated;' he says he has
tried it at his uncle's in Peoria, 111. ; his uncle is a blacksmith ;
his name is Humphrey ; Taylor got his knowledge for manufac-
turing bogus of his uncle. The bogus manufacturing company
was composed of A. N., J. A. Taylor, Meeker, J. Thomas, S.
Webster and D. H. I got 8100 of Meeker on the Central Bank of
Connecticut, and let J. A. Taylor have $90 of the same; the ten
dollars I had left I passed as follows; one 85 bill to a Jew ped-
dler in this county for goods and change, and the other $6 I
passed to Mr. Gray for goods also ; I knew they were counterfeit
at the time I passed them. Taylor says that Meeker will leave
the money, and he will pass it and divide the spoils with me.
Taylor told me he had passed the money and it went off well.
Thomas told me that he passed one $5 counterfeit bill to D. K.
Daniels of Kendallville, knowing it to be bad at the time.
Subscribed and sworn to, before me, on this 3d day of Febru-
Alexander McClure, J. P.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 43
AFFIDAVIT OF JOHN THOMAS.
State of Indiana,
" Before me, James McConnel, a notary public in and for said
county, personally appeared John Thomas, who being duly sworn,
according to law, says, that on or about the 15th day of September,
1857, he was present at and saw one Joseph Crew, in said county
of Noble, buy of one Hiram Meeker S25 or $30 in counterfeit
money, purporting to be on the Central Bank of Middletown,
Conn., of the denomination of $5's, and also a quantity of coun-
terfeit SB's on a bank of Mass., for which said Crew paid said
Meeker twenty-five cents per dollar. Crew said he could pass the
money without any difficulty. And affiant further saith : Myself
John A. Taylor, 11. Meeker, A. N., D. II. and Simeon Webster,
entered into an engagement to make counterfeit coin, after the
similitude of the gold coin of the United States, of the denomi-
nations of $5's, $10's and 620"s, with intent to put the same into
circiilation ; that in pursuance of said agreement, and funds being
furnished by said parties, I went to Fort Wayne and bought
block tin, brass, copper and zinc, for the purpose of manufacturing-
said coin; said articles were at first secreted by II. and myself
behind his stable. Soon after we went to Webster's to try the
manufacturing process, but failed on the first attempt ; but H. and
Taylor were to make another effort, as H. wanted some funds to
buy stock with. A. N. was to have $100 of the money. We went
over to Springfield once, and twice to H.'s school-house, to make
the necessary arrangements for operating.
Subscribed and sworn to, before me. on this 1st day of Feb-
James McConnel, Notary Puhlic.
STATEMENT OF JOHN A. TAYLOR.
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE.
" S. B. Middleton wanted me to buy some counterfeit money —
Lowell $3's; I refused. H. Blaekman bought some. This said
44 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
Blackman sometimes passes under the name of Rollins. I saw
D. H. have counterfeit money which he got of Meeker. Avery
and Hawson, of Laporte county, deal in coney, and another man
whose sister married Iligsby. Fred. Before, of South Bend, and
Arch Buell, a blacksmith, deal in coney. I^Ieeker told me that he
furnished Avery, and all the above named boys, with coney.
Meeker sold me money for 25 cents on the dollar. D. H. told me
he could go into counterfeiting and not be suspected, because he
was known as a Christian, Taylor, Meeker, N., Rollins, D. H.,
J. Flinn, Margaret Lehr, Mrs. W. and boy, and J. Thomas, were
all engaged in the plan concocted for the establishment of a bogus
factory at Webster's. Taylor has once been in the Ponitentiary."
CONFESSION OF SIMEON WEBSTER.
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE.
'• I came down with A. N. and brought one of the harness to
Barney Weston; he took it back from Hank Core about five or
six weeks ago. I went to Lake county, Ohio, to live. N. was to
have a buggy of Core. I have seen N. have a large roll of coun-
terfeit $3's— probably S300— on the Merchants' Bank of Lowell,
Mass. I think N. wen to the barn with me to hide his money.
He gave me to understand that he gave coney to Blackman ; I
asked him where he got it; he said, ' up to Bill Hill's.' N. came
to me after Blackman was arrested, and said he was afraid, and
was going to keep shy for a spell. I have been at Malcomb Bur-
nam's and seen them coloring coney. I heard John Hammon say
that he was going to Burnam's to get hard money. It was my
opinion that B was going to rob the tannery, but I afterward
learned that it was done by Payne. It has been about nine
months since I engaged in this business. Since then I have been
knowing to the boys robbing, stealing, and passing coney. I
went to Perry Randolph's with Bill Hill; he got coney there.
Hill gave me ^200 in coney on the Market Bank — §100 of it was
to pay what he owed me ; he also gave me $200 on the Canal
Bank of Cleveland, and $50 on the Chippeway Bank, Wis.; I took
the money up West and sold it. Bill Hill gave me a list of the
names of the boys whom I was told were all right. I heard N.
Bay he had bought a saddle of Core which he was afraid was
HISTORY OF THE REGULATOKS. 45
Stolen. N. said lie had let Blackman have money and he was
afraid he would blow. I will be willing to swear that Payne
asked me how much leather Zimmerman had in his tannery, and
that he said he was going to see what could be done ; he said also
he was going to try to make a raise at Chappel's store, and also at
Spenccrville, in Dekalb county, Ind. I afterward asked him what
he had done with the goods ; he replied, 'they are all safe.' I
told the boys they ought not to steal so close around home."
While the foregoing developments were of vast importance,
and led to the arrest of some thirty or forty of the gang, the
leaders remained as yet uncaiight. To them the demonstra-
tion of the Regulators, on the day of the Old Settlers' Meeting
at Kendnllville, was in no wise congenial; and hence, conclu-
ding that " distance would lend enchantment to the view," and
that " caution was the parent of safety," they immediately fled
to parts unknown. Every honest citizen felt the importance
of having these men, Avho had been the primary cause of all
the evil in this country, arrested and brought to justice. And
as it could not be expected that any of the organizations would
assume the responsibility and engage in the work alone, it was
thought best to constitute a Central Committee, for the purpose
of making a concentrated effort in which all should bear an
equal share of the expenses attendant upon making said
arrests and feel an equal interest. Accordingly a call was
issued for a meeting atKendallville, on the 19th day of March,
1858, at which each company was requested to be represented.
At said meeting a permanent organization was eflVcted, with
officers, consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary
and Treasurer. The Central Committee was empowered to
assess a tax upon the subordinate companies at any time when
deemed necessary to carry out the purposes for which the Cen-
tral Committee was constituted, viz: to secure the ringleaders
of the gang.
46 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
The following were the officers elected : President, Dr. L.
Barber; Vice President, J. P. Grannis; Recording Secretary,
M. H. Mott; Treasurer, Ransom Wheeler.
As it was now thought expedient that some speedy and
energetic effort should be made to secure the arrest of Wm. D.
Hill, George T. Ulmer, Perry Randolph and others, who were
considered the grand leaders of the whole gang in Northern
Indiana, a detective committee was appointed at the first cen-
tral meeting, to line up and ferrit out the whereabouts of these
men, and employ such other assistance as they might see fit,
in different sections of the country, to aid them in the accom-
plishment of this woi'k. Accordingly a rev.ard of §400 was
offered by the Regulators for the capture and return of one
John Wilson to Noble County.
Sometime in July, 1858, the veritable John Wilson, other-
wise called the Flying Dutchman, was brought by Marshal
Elliot, of Ohio, to Avilla, in Noble County, and presented to
the Regulators for examination. Confessions in those days
became fashionable among prisoners. They seemed to be
strongly impressed with the idea that one of two things was
their inevitable doom when caught by the Regulators, viz:
a free and full confession, or an introduction to the rope.
Frequently, persons who were simply brought before the com-
mittee as witnesses, when there were no specific charges against
them, would turn pale and tremble, so that it was with much
difficulty that they could answer questions — so strong were
their fears of being hung by the Regulators.
John Wilson was, on the same evening, brought before the
committee called the Allen Reconnoiterers, at Avilla, and, on
being requested to make a full and entire confession of all his
acts and deeds since his first acquaintance with the blacklegs
in this country, after asking of them the favor not to use his
own confessions as evidence against him in Court, and being
assured that no advantages of that kind would be taken, he
made no hesitancy in opening up a broadside upon the whole
fraternity. It is, however, to be lam en ted that the whole con-
fession was not taken down at the time. Naturally he pos-
sesses some redeeming traits of character. As an illustration
HISTORY OF THE REGULATOKS. 47
of this, on being asked his true name he peremptorily refused
to give it, alleging as a reason that his parents were still living
and were respectable and honorable people, and he did not wish
to injure them, either in feelings or character, by bringing to
their knowledge the disgraceful acts of an undutiful son. Said
Wilson is about six feet high, light complexion, sandy hair,
bald on the front of his head, talks some broken, intellectual
faculties prominent, and for a thief manifested the most scru-
pulous tenacity for truth of any man ever arrested by the
Regulators. His statements are strongly corroborated by those
of Payne and others, which led conclusively to the belief that
the majority of them were true. Payne often stated that he
was celebrated, even among blacklegs, as a man of truth, par-
ticularly in narrating his exploits. And for shrewdness and
sagacity in stealing and robbing he is said to have been seldom
if ever equaled. In making his confession, he was allowed to
tell his own story in his own way. His history prior to his
initiation into the gang in this country is left in obscurity, and
we can only conjecture what it may have been from what we
already know. All things being in readiness, he was placed at
a table in the center of the room, and commenced his discourse
about 9 o'clock in the evening and talked almost incessantly
until about 3 o'clock in the mornino;.
CONFESSION OF JOHN WILSON, ALIAS SPENCER,
OR THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.
"My first acquaintance with any of the company in tliis coun-
try was formed at Defiance with a man by the name of Wm. Hunt;
he is about six feet high and quick spoken ; we both were out of
money. Hunt took me up the canal for a walk, and there told
me of an old Frenchmen who lived in Paulding county, Ohio,
that had ^700 in money, and said he had been at his house at one
time and gave him a bill to change in order to see his pile, and
solicited me to lay some plan to get the old man's money. We
then came from Defiance north to Georgetown ; after tarrying
there a few days he (Hunt) said he would take me up north and
introduce me to some of his friends; we traveled all that night
48 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
and came to ]-*atten',s; here Core informed me that he had stolen
Ilolsinger's mare. Hunt told me that Sol. Stout was all right
and could be trusted. We then came to Jim Shearer's. I saw
Shearer have a quantity of counterfeit money which he said he
got of Bill Hill. Hunt, a boy by the name of Hill, and myself,
started south, traveled nearly all night, and stopped at Sower's,
five miles north of Wayne ; Hunt got a drink of liquor and said
to Sower's, 'these boys are all right;' S. got $10 or $15 vspurious
money of Hunt. We then started towards Fort Wayne, stole a
few chickens on the way and roasted them in the woods for our
breakfasts. After leaving Fort Wayne we went to Leo, in Dekalb
county; saw a man there they call Dr. Chamberlain, gave him $5
in coney; and then traveled on to Newville, and from thence into
Paulding county, Ohio, for the purpose of robbing the old French-
man. After we got most there Hunt backed out, and said he
could not go with us ; I told him I did not like to come so far for
nothing ; so my young comrade Hill and myself, wandered around
in the dark until we found what from description we supposed to
be the place ; then we had to contrive some way to get the old
folks out of the house ; Hill suggested that we set the barn on
fire ; I objected ; then said he we will contrive to get the old man
out and knock him down; but I told him if I could not get his
money without killing the old man, or burning his buildings, I
would not have it ; we then concluded to set fire to a quantity of
cooper stufi" that lay piled up beside the road, as we came down
toward the house ; accordingly I placed Hill near the door of the
house, where he would not be seen, then proceeded to the cooper
stufi" myself and set it on fire; I then came whistling down the
road, stopped at the house and told the folks that I was a stranger
traveling through the country, and seeing some cooper stufi" on
fire just up the road I thought it would be an act of kindness to
inform them of it; they thanked me very kindly and at once
started all hands to put out the fire ; they had no more than fairly
got out of sight when we both entered the house and commenced
our search; the bureau, chests, trunks and cupboard, were all
diligently searched, but to no purpose ; the efi'ort proved an entire
failure; we passed out the back door just as the old lady came
through the gate returning to the house; this was in the
spring of 1857. I then pulled (stole) a nag three or four miles
from Norristown, from a preacher by the name of Walker, traded
her off" in Allen county, Ohio, five miles west of Lima, on the
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 411
road to Clyde, for a sorrel colt four years old, and traded the coft
to a man by the name of Bebee, a tavern keeper, for 80 acres of
land. Prior to this, however. Hunt gave me an introduction to
Lluifman, of Steuben county, Indiana, and a man by the name ®f
Romans. This Romans wanted me to break into a store belong-
ing to a man by the name of Barron, at Mett's Corners ; said he
had some money and a quantity of jewelry in a safe, and as he
was going away soon there would be a good site to make a pull.
This, however, I did not undertake, lluifman then told me of a
boot and shoe store, owned by a man by the name of Seargeant,
where he thought there would be a good chance to make a raise ;
[ broke in, stole ten pair of fine and two pair of coai-se boots, and
left them with said Huflfman to sell on commission. Huffman is
now in the Penitentiary. At the same time, this Huffman gave
me written instructions how to rob his father-in-law, E. Bebee, of
Morrow county, Ohio; told me he was a church member, and I
could rob him while the family were gone to church. My calcu-
lation was to rob him on Sunday ; accordingly I went to the place
and watched around, but the first Sunday they did not go ; I loi-
tered around in the neighborhood and in the woods all that week,
and the next Sunday the family all left; I then crept into the
house, (which, by the way, was very strongly fastened and led uic
to believe I should be successful;) I then opened the bureau
drawers, the chest, trunks, boxes, &c., but found nothing except a
bag of something like coin, which I had not yet investigated; 1
then proceeded to cut open the cheeses, and even tore the old
clock weights in pieces, but all to no purpose, and as time was
drawing near for the family to return from church, I thought it
would be safer for me to leave the premises; after leaving, I pro-
ceeded to investigate the contents of the bag, which on opening 1
found to contain about 430 coppers ; beside this 1 found sonn;
small change. Huffman also wanted me to steal the old man's
mare, but I would not do it. Charles Hiler was my jiartner at
that time; I showed him the bag of money I had got from Bebee,
and asked him if he would take that for his share ; ' yes,' said he,
grasping it at the same time, 'and glad of the chance, if you are
willing;' 'well,' said I, 'you may have it and welcome;' he took
it and started away, seeming much rejoiced, not knowing what
was in it. I then returned and told Huffman of my defeat.
Went then to Washington, Fayette county, Ohio ; pulled a large
chestnut sorrel horse from a man by the name or Cheney or
■60 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
;Traey ; took also a saddle ; came to Fort Wayne and sold tlie liorgc
to Bill Vanalstine, keeper of a livery stable, for a gold watcJj
valued at $75 and $55 in money; I was told afterwards that h*"
was one of the boys ; Bill Hill was there at the time I made the
trade, I then started to come north again; Hill overtook me ;
he asked me to get into the buggy and ride with him ; I did so;
he asked me if that horse I sold Vanalstine was pulled; I said no;
said he, ' you can't fool me;' he then told me if I would fetch hini
gome stock he would buy it of me. I then went to Morrow county.
Ohio; took a bay horse near Bebee's and started for the State of
Virginia ; took another on the road in Piqua county, from Caleb
Moore; traveled on to Virginia; was pursued by Moore and son.
overtaken and arrested after I had got into Virginia; I gave my-
self up freely; they ironed me, put me on a horse, and we started
back; I bore all with patience and endeavored to make myself a.'-
companionable tx) the old gentleman as I could ; the next day I
complained some to the old man that the handcuffs hurt my wristf
and finally succeeded in coaxing him to take them off; I then
gave my gold watch to the son and told him to keep it until I
called for it; I had also in the mean time lent the old man $40 in
money; so that by this time I had so far succeeded in gaining the
old man's confidence and friendship that I concluded I could
venture to suggest a compromise ; so after we had put up for the
night I sat conversing privately with the old gentleman and stated
to him that he would not find me here in the morning; to n)y
surprise his only reply was, ' well, if you leave you must not di.'^
turb the horses;' said I, never you fear that, -old man; in thi^
morning, about 3 o'clock, I left. I then came to Harding county.
Ohio, took a grey mare from a man by the name of Wheeler, n
tavern keeper, six miles east of Canton ; took her to Aker's, eight
miles^ from Coldwater, Michigan. After that, by the advice and
aid of John Gooricb, Jim Shearer and others, I took a span ot
horses from E. Spencer in Noble county, (said Spencer was pit-
gent at the examination,) which were sold near Cincinnati. Then
I went to Champaign county, Ohio, took a span of bay horsei?.
run them them off to New York State, and sold them to Read in
Chemung county. Then came to Sidney, Ohio; had some coun
terfeit money with me. McDougle told me I should fetch somf
horses back with me, and then he would go with me to Ohio and
pull a lot of jewelry. I came to Palestine, bought a pair of boot>
and gave the man a S5 counterfeit bill, and in the afteruooa
( HISTORY OP IHE REGULATOES. Si
passed another — all Wisconsin money. Saw some horses come
into town that I fancied; Sunday I took a walk into the country
and found where they were kept; on Monday hunted up a saddle,
pulled it and hid it; next Sunday night walked to where the
horses were ; found them in the barn ; dog made some fuss ; toofe
two horses, went and got my saddle, rode thirty-five miles j too'i
another saddle of a doctor ; came to Fort Wayne, then to Jim
Shearer's in this place ; asked what was said about Spencer's
horses ; Shearer said, ' not a d d word ;' I went then to But
nam's ; staid all night. From thence McDougle and I went to
Bill Hairs in a wagon ; stopped on the way at Perry Randolpirs,
went from Hall's to Saginaw, but could not sell there ; startoi3
from thence to Detroit ; traveled seventy miles in one day ; and
from there we went to Canadaville, Chatauque county, N. Y. ;
McDougle had to keep secreted there for fear of being arrested ;
but as we could not sell there, the horses were left to be takeu
care of. I then came to Maumee City, Ohio ; took a gray mare
that was a fast trotter. Soon after that I was taken and brought
to the place where I am now. If I had not been betrayed you
never would have caught me."
GEORGE T. ULMER AND PERRY RANDOLPIL
G. T. Ulmer emigrated to this country from Portage count^^
Ohio, in the year 1835, and became one of the pioneers of
Noble county. He settled on a farm near where the village of
Kendallville now stands, and his house for many years became
the home and refuge of the vile. Shrewd, cunning and bold,
no qualifications were wanting to constitute him one of the
most successful accomplices in all villainy. His most intimate
companions and associates among the blackleg pioneers were,
Ike Rice, Wra. Latta, Wm. D. Hill, and Ed. Metlock. Ulmeir,
after having remained in this country about eight yeiars, ro-
turned to Ohio, joined himself to the Methodist Church, and,
as we learn fi-om reliable information, was a licensed exhorter
in said church for several years. Afterward, he again emigrated
to this State and settled in Lagrange county, where, at tlie
opening of the Regulator movement, we find him comfortably
52 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
situated in the capacity of a farmer, secretly carrying on an
extensive blackleging business, as usual through the assistance
of a large number of his allies. Immediately after the ex-
citement broke out, and as soon as it became manifest that a
speedy flight presented the only hope of safety, Ulmer, Hill
and Randolph, who were at that time the ringleaders of the
whole gang in this country, fled for refuge to parts unknown.
Perry Randolph emigrated with his father to Bath, Medina
county, Ohio, about the year 1832, and although his father is
reputed to have been a man of honest and industrious habits,
his son Perry gave early indications of his inclinations to and
genius in crime. The time of his emigration to Indiana is not
The reader will readily perceive, from the foregoing confes-
sions, that the house of Perry Randolph was a rendezvous and
trading point in all the commodities of criminal commerce, for
tlie whole fraternity of felons and counterfeiters, east, west,
north and south. It now became absolutely necessary, in order
to the final success of the Regulators and the full accomplish-
ment of the work they had undertaken, and the triumph of
honesty over villainy, that these men should be speedily fer-
reted out and brought to justice. Every eff'ort of the detective
committee, appointed by the Regulators to make the arrest of
these men, had hitherto failed. In the early part of the month
of June, 1858, C. P. Bradley, of Chicago, 111., was employed
by the Regulators to arrest and deliver to the Sherifi* of La-
grange county, George T. Ulmer and Perry Randolph, at |500
Agreeably to contract, Mr. Bradley, about the 10th of June,
proceeded to Louisville, Ky., to commence the search. After
watching for several days the ferry boat, and examining the
hotel registers, and after having obtained several names regis-
tered in a suspicious manner, he became convinced that the
parties were east and north of Louisville. From thence he
proceeded to Cincinnati, about the 15th of June. Here he
searched the register of the Kentucky Hotel and found names
and handwriting that satisfied him that Randolph had been
there about one week before, and that he had been to Walnut
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 53
Hill, near Cincinnati, to visit Ed. Nevers, a notorious counter-
feiter and copper and steel plate printer, who for years has
baffled the police of the city, until recently a descent was
made upon his premises, (through information given by some
parties arrested at the depot of the Ohio and Mississippi Rail-
road, in Cincinnati, with a large quantity of counterfeit money
in their possession,) and all the evidences indicative of his
business obtained, including plates, presses, counterfeit money,
bank note paper, ink, &c. Leaving this place he proceeded up
the Ohio to Wheeling, Va. ; but obtaining no traces there, he
went immediately to Pittsburgh, put up at a hotel, registered
a fictitious name, watched all the stages that left Alleghany
and Pittsburgh for the interior of Pennsylvania within one
week ; but in the latter part of the week, just as the Butler
county stage was leaving the Red Lion Hotel in Pittsburgh,
Perry Randolph was seen to enter the coach. With Mr. Brad-
ley, the time for making the arrest had not yet come, so Ran-
dolph was permitted to pass on unmolested, for he well knew
that to arrest him at this point would endanger the chances for
finding Ulmer. So it was determined to follow up the stage
and trace Perry to his destination. Accordingly a trusty man,
unknown to Randolph, was procured and mounted on a fast
horse, and started by a different route to intersect the stage
road at a point some ten miles distant from Pittsburgh, with
instructions to enter the stage and pay fare through to a point
beyond, or as far as that stage company ran, and to watch the
point where Randolph should leave, and to leave the stage
himself at the first stopping place beyond where Randolph
stopped, and return in the night and reconnoiter the place and
see if Randolph could be discovered. The spy followed up
instructions to the letter and discovered that Randolph stopped
at the old Stone House in Butler, and that he was frequently
seen with an old man who was partially gray, but that no
person bearing the description of Ulmer could be seen. These
facts were communicated to Bradley. It was then determined
to place a strict watch upon the avenues leading in and out of
Butler and Brownington. This was accordingly done, and a
man stationed at a point twelve miles distant on the Pittsburgh
54 eiBTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
road, with a good horse to post through to Pittshurgh as soon
as Ulmer and Randolph should be seen together. On the 7th
of July the carrier arrived in Pittsburgh with information that
uie old man who had been seen with Randolph, (White, the
engraver for counterfeiting,) had left the day before, and that
Ulmer and Randolph had gone up towards Warren, in Trum-
bull county, Ohio, and that one of the men who had been
sk'ppointed to watch the Stone House was following them up,
and would leave signals along the road indicating the route
taken by them. These signals were made by stones placed at
the corner of the cross roads, as agreed upon, indicating the
On the morning of the 7th of July, accompanied by a gen-
tleman by the name of Robert Hague, chief of the police of
Pittsburgh, and Andy Moon, one of the chief's aids, they pro-
ceeded with a double team over the hills and dusty roads of
that country, and traveled a distance of forty-eight miles that
da}^ Next morning, the 8th, they started before daybreak
and found that the signals were leading them on the road to
West Greenville, Mercer county, Penn.; traveled all day over
the roughest roads imaginable, through clouds of dust and
under the burning rays of a July sun, and arrived within six
miles of West Greenville about 8 o'clock at night. Here one
of their horses failed, and Mr. Moon was sent on to West
Greenville by stage, at which place he learned that Ulmer and
Randolph had left at 3 o'clock P. M., that afternoon, on the
road for Warren, Ohio. Procuring a man with a buggy, he
returned to inform Mr. Bradley of the facts. After trying in
vain to procure a fresh team, Mr. Moon was sent back to AVest
Greenville to get a team and return and meet them, in order
that they might follow on that night. Mr. Moon not being
able to procure a team, Mr. Bradley and his comrade were
compelled to take it on foot. They arrived at West Greenville
about 11 o'clock in the night. Here they put up until morn-
ing. Early on the morning of the 9th they started for Warren,
Trumbull county, Ohio. Having got a description of the horse
and buggy in which Ulmer and Randolph had left, they had
but little difficulty in following them up. About fifteen miles
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 55
from West Granville they stopped at a tavern to Avater the
team, and from the carriage they were in — it being a covered
one — Ulnier was seen standing upon the steps of the hotel.
Mr. Bradley not being recognized by him, concluded to pass
on to the next farm house and ascertain if the horse and buggy
had gone towards Warren, (it not being in view at the place
where Ulraer was seen.) They had not gone far before they
were informed that Randolph had passed about two and a half
hours before in the buggy alone. Without molesting Ulmer,
they proceeded to Warren on the track of Randolph, but after
arriving in Warren they learned he had taken the road toward
Akron, and was still from two to three hours ahead. Here
again they procured a fresh team, and taking the Akron road
followed at the rate of ten miles an hour and overtook Mr.
Randolph fifteen miles west of Warren, at a small tavern three
miles west of Newton Falls, quietly vraiting to rest and feed
On the arrival of Mr. Bradley and company, Randolph, who
was on the lookout for breakers, walked out the back door of
the tavern and went down toward the timber, but finding that
no one was watching, (that he could perceive,) he in a short
time returned to the house, when he was arrested and searched.
Upon his person was found about $2 in good money, and one
five dollar bill counterfeit on the Northern Bank of Kentucky.
He was immediately handcuffed and placed in the carriage.
(Jpon searching his carpet bag there was found two counterfeit
plates, one for printing ten dollar bills on the Wayne County-
Bank at VVooster of the State Bank of Ohio, and the other
for printing the red back of the same. They then returned
to Warren, and leaving Randolph with Mr. Moon, Mr. Bradley
and Mr. Hague returned to the rendezvous of George T. Ulraer,
and arrived at Johnson's Tavern, in Hartford Center, at
9 o'clock P. M,, just in time to prevent G. T. Ulmcr, alias
Colonel Foster, (a name he assumed,) from going to bed, and
in less than five minutes he was on his way to join his late
comrade, Mr. Randolph. They arrived at Warren about
12 o'clock at night, and put Mr. Ulmer and Mr Randolph ia
the same bed to slumber for the night. They had then boon
S6 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
constantly on thp move for about sixty-four hours in search of
these men, so we may reasonably conclude by this time they
had some inclinations to rest.
On the morning of the 10th of July they started from War-
ren, and arrived in Kendallville on the 11th, from which place
they were furnished with a team and conveyed to Lagrange,
;ind there delivered into the custody of Sheriff Cummings*
The counterfeiting plates taken from Randolph's carpet bag
were taken to Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, in which county
they were found, and deposited with the Mayor of that city;
and on the 26th day of October, 1858, at the first term of the
Court in that county after the arrests, Randolph and Ulmer
were indicted for having them in their possession, and a requi-
sition procured from the Governor of Ohio on the Governor of
Indi-ana, for their removal there for trial, provided they should
escape justice in Indiana. They made no resistance when
arrested, but readily consented to return to Lagrange county,
provided they could be assured of a safe delivery to the Sheriff,
and not to the Regulators, for whom they had great dread.
They both exhibited much fear at South Milford, when a num-
ber of the Regulators had assembled there to look at them on
their way to Lagrange. Ulmer passed under the name of Col.
Foster and had that name engraved on the cover of his spec-
tacle case. Randolph went under the name of J. E. Eddie.
The following is a copy of a letter found in his possession,
atldressed to him under the assumed name, which will show
the nature of his correspondence:
"Cincinnati, July 1, 1858.
" Mr. J. E. Eddie:
Dear Sir. — Ann received your note yesterday stating your
whereabouts, so I will answer it, hoping you will receive it im-
mediately, as I have some important business with you. Mr. L.
Dean wishes you to write to him, and direct to the Kentucky
Hotel, concerning some business that you are acquainted with.
Times arc dull. If you have any merchandize on hand that is
new please forward some by express. If not new, please send to
Dean and myself one thousand Ohio Sawbucks, as we are going
ti» start for Wisconsin as soon as we can get a lot of goods. You
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 0/
can send them by express to me, No. 20, as you know. I passed
through Iowa City the day after you left, and was sorry I did not
meet you, for then I would have staid East for a while. Send the
prices along with the articles, and put them as low as possible?
and we will send the money to you. Please answer immediately
on receipt of this, and much oblige,
"Your friend, R. W."
"P. S. — Simpson has enlisted for five years, much against the
consent of his friends. The old man is still sick, with little pros-
pects of getting well. The Stutterer is engaged in Lawrenceburg ;
got a situation the next day after he left here."
Note.— The Ohio Sawbucks are the $20 bills with the XX's.
The merchandise undoubtedly refers to counterfeit money, of
which Ptandolph was one of the chief venders.
"Walnut Hills, June 24, 1858.
^'■Dcar Sir: — I received yours yesterday, requesting me to for-
ward you a deed and papers, which I will do cheerfully. I shall
mail them to-day. We are all about as usual here, doing the best
we can. N. will come before the Judge the 25th, (to-morrow.)
The attorneys say he cannot be held, and I think so too, without
some underground business comes up unknown to us.
'• Piespectfully. &c.,
" Write often." "T. C. M."
Perry Randolph was indicted at the fall term of the La-
grange Circuit Court on a charge of receiving and secreting a
part of the gloves stolen from McKinley of Ontario. At said
term of Court he filed an affidavit for a change of venue, which
was granted, and the case referi-ed for trial to the ensuing term
of the Dekalb Court, where he was tried and sentenced to the
Penitentiary for a term of two years. At the expiration of
which time other charges will be forthcoming sufficient to retain
him there until he shall have received a full recompense for all
George T. Ulmer was indicted at the same term of the La-
grange Court on a charge of having secreted stolen property,
filed his affidavit for a change of venue, and Avas also sent to
58 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
Dekalb for trial. Upon trial he was found guilty and sentenced
to the Penitentiary for a term of five years. His attorneys
filed a motion for an arrest of judgment for some defect in the
indictment, -which Avas sustained by the Court, and he was held
to bail in the sum of $2,000 for his appearance at the next
term of the Lagrange Circuit Court. Having obtained security
on the bonds he was thereupon released, but in about five
minutes he was again arrested by Sheriff Cummings on another
charge and returned to the Lagrange County Jail, to await the
decision of the Spring term of that Court.
At the Spring term of said Court he was tried again on the
first charge, found guilty and sentenced for seven years, and
again obtained a new trial. He then consented to go to trial
on the charges in the second indictment, which was accordingly
KO done, and he was found guilty and again sentenced to the
Penitentiary for seven years, where he is now suffering the just
penalty of his crimes.
It is evident that every stratagem in the power or ingenuity
of man to invent has been resorted to, in order to rescue these
men from the just claims of the law. And nothing but the
vigilant eye and the indomitable perseverance of tliose who
had enlisted to conquer this infernal gang or die, could have
over brought them to the bar of justice.
WM, D. HILL,
As we have heretofore stated, was one of the pioneer black-
legs of Noble county, and has always been recognized as one
of the ringleaders and the chief counsellor in every act of vil-
lainy. Hill, Ulmer and Latta were very intimate companions,
and operated extensively together in this country at an early
day. Some time in the month of January, or February, 1857,
lie came very near loosing his life by an affray that took place
between him and one Fisher. A warrant had been issued to
search Hill's house to ascertain whether the goods stolen from
Mr. Wright, at Fairfield Center, Avcre in his possession. When
Fisher approached the house he met with resistance from Hill,
whereupon some words passed between them, and Hill 'flew in
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 59
a passion and called for his pistol. At this, Fisher, who was
\vell armed for the occasion, drew a revolver from his pocket
and shot Hill in the thigh just below the body, the ball passing
round the bone and lodging on the inner part of the thigh.
Immediately after the Regulating excitement broke out, Hill,
presuming that absence Avould be his only safety, was soon
Some time during the summer of 1858, the Regulators
entered into a contract with the celebrated C. P. Bradley and
0. E. Smith, of Chicago, 111., two of the most active and zealous
police officers in the Western States, to make the arrest of
\Vm. D. Hill. Accordingly they commenced the search, and
after having traveled some three or four thousand miles, and
spent a large amount of money, they succeeded in capturing
him near the Missouri and Iowa line. At the time of his arrest
he was living on a farm, and had about him a large amount of
stock, and seemed to be in a situation to enjoy life. Much
skill and ingenuity was manifested in making the arrest. Hill
had often said he would never be taken alive, but Bradley and
Smith manifested such indifference in his presence as to cause
him to dispel all fears of being taken, and he consequently
was captured with but little difficulty, except he fought severely
for about fifteen minutes. He was in due time brought to Chi-
cago, 111., and from thence to Noble county, Ind., and delivered
to Sheriff Simons, where he remained in custody until March
5th, 1859. His fears of the Regulators were overwhelming-
He expected, if brought to Noble county, to share the fate of
McDougle without fail.
On the morning of the Gth of March, our citizens were
startled with the sad intelligence of the elopement of Hill and
Wilson from the Noble County Jail. How or by what means
they made their escape is not entirely known. The following,
however, are some of the particulars connected with the
" The manner of the escape of Hill and Wilson from tlic Noble
County Jail was efiected very ingeniously, considering the kind
and small variety of tools at their command. They by some
means had got hold of a piece of iron which had apparently been
€fQ HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
used for a common door latch, and having bent this into the
shape of the letter S they had fastened it into a piece of wood in
such a manner that it could command all the strength of the iron
with the wood for a lever — the wood enabling them to reach one
of the locks which would otherwise have been entirely inacces-
sible. Added to this, it appears, by a wire fastened to the end of
a small stick of wood, it enabled them to hold the lock in a posi-
tion to operate with the said latch, and then by the aid of a very
small piece of broken looking glass they were enabled to see the
lock. These tools were left behind. If they used any others
they were carried away, except two rather dangerous looking clubs
which were also left. They chose a night in which there was to
be an exhibition in town, and the citizens were all assembled at
the Church, and the night being very dark it presented one of
the most fitful opportunities they could have selected in which to
make their escape. There being some snow on the ground, they
were tracked for some considerable distance, the tracks showing
that they ran in their stocking feet. They threw a quilt out of
the diamond hole, to prevent a noise by the ftilling of the lock.
In fine, the whole proceeding was characterized by great shrewd-
ness and cunning."
The escape of these men was the most lamentable circum-
stance that transpired during the whole Regulator movement.
They are to be feared in any community wherever they may
locate, for no crime is too horrible to satiate their fiendish
ambition. The following article, Avhich we copy from the
Chicago Press and Tribune, shows the notoriety of Hill, Ulmer
and Randolph, as ringleading blacklegs:
THE INDIANA COUNTERFEITERS.
THE "LAST OF THE MOHICANs'' DELIVERED TO THE REGULATORS.
The readers of the Journals of the country at large, and par-
ticularly those of the West and Northwest, will remember the
sensation that was created when an outraged and indignant com-
munity banded together in an association which was at once a
terror to the daring violators of the law, and under the name of
HISTORY OP THE REGULATORS. • 61
the " Indiana Regulators," routed and put to flight the lurking
hands of counterfeiters which had infested Noble, Lagrange and
other counties in Northern Indiana. Their proceedings were
prompt — these Regulators. They burst upon their men like
lightning from a summer cloud. McDougle and others were hung
many were brought to justice at the hands of the Courts, while
others who could do so fled.
It has been in search of some of these latter that the best
detective skill of the West has been at work since that time.
Cyrus P. Bradley, of this city, has been in the service of the
Regulators, to bring to justice some of the most noted of these
men, especially three of them, who were more sought after than
" Bill Hill" is a middle-aged, thorough-paced scoundrel, long
known to the police of this region, and in this city, where years
ago, as our older residents will remember, he figured in the forged
$100 Illinois Canal Scrip with Otis Allen, Trowbridge and others.
He was living, at the opening of the Regulator era, not far from
the Michigan line, a neighbor and chum of the noted Latta, and
was widely known to trade in that description of merchandize
known as a sure source of the " hard stufi"," — in fact, a regular
manufacturer and vender of bogus coin.
Perry Randolph and George Ulmer were not less deeply impli-
cated in the paper trade, and in the barn of the latter, in a bin of
chaif, was found, after he had taken to a timely flight, a first class
press, used in bank-note printing.
There was a desire among our Indiana friends, amounting in-
deed to a passion, to gain back to their borders these three men.
Ofiicer Bradley has worked for months at the afi"air, and on July
9th, arrested at Warren, Ohio, the two men, Randolph and Ulmer,
delivering them, two days later, safely into the hands of the Sheriff
of Lagrange county, Indiana. Their arrest was kept as private
as possible, to prevent its having a bearing upon Hill's case, after
whom the quest was dilligently kept up.
"Bill Hill" was arrested a few days since in Upper Missouri,
by officers Bradley and Charles E. Smith of this city, and brought
hither, being yesterday sent forward to Indiana,
Mr. Bradley has traveled over four thousand miles in search of
this Hill, and found him in a sequestered haunt, where after a
stout and dangerous tussel. Hill, who had vowed to die rather
than be taken, was captured and ironed. In his pockets were
02 . HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
found slips cut from newspapers, briefly announcing the arrest of
Ulmer and Randolpli, to whicli little publicity had been given —
a circumstance that establishes the fact how sharply rogues af.
large read the newspapers.
Hill was armed, and though past middle life is a desperate and
dangerous fellow to deal with. He has a wife and child in Iowa,
but his former mistress in Indiana was sharing his Missouri
These three arrests, though not exactly the last of the counter
feiters that infested our neighboring State, are nevertheless to bt'
characterized as the capture of the last of the more noted of tho
gang, or rather combinations of gangs.
Mr. Cummings, the Sheriff of Lagrange county, and Mr.
Flemraiing, the Sheriff of Allen county, for their untiring zeal
in aiding to ferret out and arrest all who belonged to the in-
fernal gang, are deserving of the entire confidence and patro-
nage of all good and honest citizens throughout this and
adjoining States. And we have no hesitancy in recommending
them to any and all who may have business to entrust to their
Charles Seeley, of Goshen, United States Deputy Marshal.
also deserves the credit of all good citizens, for the very effi-
cient manner in whicli he discharged his duties as an officer.
These men will long be remembered with grateful acknowl-
edgements by the people of Noble and adjacent counties, for
their activity in the cause of rescuing the land from a banditti
Daniel W. Vorhees, Prosecuting Attorney of the United
States District Court for the District of Indiana, for the prompt
and energetic manner in which he conducted the prosecutions
in that Court, has proved himself a man of fine legal abilities,
and very honorably vindicated the rights of the people of the
North, as also the responsibilities of the high position he occu-
pies in one of the Federal Courts of the United States.
We have now ended the history of the Regulators in North-
ern Indiana. Many of the confessions, which are vague and
indefinite, and which contain matters of little or no interest to
the public, have been left out. In giving a history or sketch
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 63
of the blacklegs of this country and their depredations, from
its early settlement, we have endeavored to be confined strictly
to matters of fact, knowing that a large majority of such af<
will peruse the pages of this work are those whose minds are
only satisfied by the presentation of truth v,itliout coloring.
We have delineated only such crimes as have either come under
our own observation or been committed to us from testimony
of unquestionable veracity, and, after all the startling revela-
tions contained in the foregoing confessions, it is a truth beyond
all doubt that the half has never been told. Unquestionably,
there are crimes of the deepest dye, and of the most aggra-
vated character, that still lie concealed in the hearts of many
of these miscreants, and will so remain until portrayed before
them in vivid characters of everlasting condemnation in that day
that shall reveal the secrets of all hearts. But the influence of
these men in community, and the subtlety with which they have
deco^'cd so many of the young, whom we now find either
dragging out a life of misery and wretchedness in the Peni-
tentiary, or standing upon the verge of ruin, is a subject that
should not be slightly passed over. There are responsibilitieK
connected with the training of sons and daughters to enter
upon the drama of life which infinitely transcend all otherf-.
Here is implanted in the juvenile mind by the parental govern-
ment the germ of all government and all society. It has been
'quaintly said that " Society is in every case precisely what wc
have made it." And hence, if we would have good society,
good governments and loyal subjects, we should look to the
influences that are surrounding the young. And when the arm
of the law signally fails to rescue them from the power of these
vampires, by tacitly indulging them to roam unmolested, deva.s-
tating every principle of morality inculcated by the parental
teaching, there is a law prominently inscribed upon the title
page of every man's declaration of rights, an inherent law, a
law of his nature, which under such circumstances it becomes
his imperitive duty to obey for the safety and welfare of him-
self and family. To this as a last resort, as the only remedy
— as the life-boat to save society from the dashing waves of
the wtiirlpool of infamy and shame — Northern Indiana has*
64 HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS.
been compelled to have recourse for the past year. That time
to many will long be remembered. For while the honest and
industrious citizens of the country have been earnestly strug-
gling, many times under the most perilous circumstances, to
rid the community of a banditti of robbers, many companions,
fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, have drank deep
from the cup of sorrow. One scene, which transpired in the
jail at , is but a fair illustration of such as have been of
common occurrence during the past year.
A young man of no mean birth, possessed of a bright and
promising intellect, and who but about three years before had
stood side by side with a fair and amiable young lady at the
hymenial altar and pledged his fidelity to her in the most
solemn manner, had suffered himself to be led into crime, and
was arrested and thrust into the prison on charge of having
passed counterfeit money. His wife, as lovely a woman to all
appearance as ever was wed to man, came tremblingly to the
jail with a babe of about eighteen months in her arms, and
with eyes bedewed with the tears of sorrow, and with a coun-
tenance that betokened a sad and almost broken heart, she
modestly asked the jailor if she could see her husband. " Cer-
tainly," said the jailor. Whereupon the man was called to
the inner door and allowed to pass out into the entry, where
he was still separated from his wife and child by a large cross-
barred iron door. Through the open squares between these
iron bars for some time a conversation Avas carried on between
the two companions until at last they were admonished by the
jailor that they could be allowed to talk no longer. What a
scene then met the gaze ! First that child, which was an only
child and the one in whom was centered all the fond hopes and
affections of that once happy pair, was raised by request of
the father and his little face kindly placed by the hands of the
mother to the open squares of the iron grates, for his father
to imprint upon his little cheek a loving kiss. But no fond
embraces, such as are common to companions enjoying the
blessedness of freedom, could there be taken. Yet, as a last
resort, just before parting, the husband placed his face gently
at the opening of the iron grates, and that love which invariably
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. G5
burns most fervent in the hour of sternest trial in the heart of
a loving wife was manifested, by impressing upon the lips of
her husband through that cold iron grate a farewell kiss.
Every one in the company involuntarily burst into tears.
Such a kiss Ave had never heard or seen before. All affectation,
all coquetry, and all the frivolities of youthful love, were lost
to sight at once. Here was manifested pure affection and love
that casteth out fear.
Such scenes, however heart-rending they may be, are but
the natural results of of a just execution of the law in any
land, and are by no means peculiar alone to the operations of
\Vm. D. Hill, a man whose name is known almost through-
out the United States, and whose name stands prominent in
almost every act of villainy committed in Northern Indiana,
has doubtless been the cause of ruining more young men than
any other man connected with the gang. Nearly every one
whose confessions are here given have attributed their early
training in villainy to that notorious scoundrel, and if there is
no earthly tribunal before which he can be arraigned where
justice may be meeted out to such an one, doubtless that Eye
from whose presence no crime hath e'er been hid will yet pur-
sue the wretch and send him, like Judas, to his own place.
Thus, after having passed through a revolutionary contest and
struggling for the space of one year in mortal combat to restore
our county to an equal dignity with those around us ; after
having expended about fifteen thousand dollars in time and
money, independent of any assistance rendered by the State,
for the capture of the vampires who have by their corrupting
influence laid waste the character and hopes of imndreds of
the youth of our land, and trampled them like autumn with-
ered leaves beneath their feet, then gazed with a contemptuous
smile upon the wreck they had made, — we have the gratification
of announcing to the world that, although we are in no wise
sanguine of having eradicated the last blackleg from tiic fair
face of Northern Indiana — while an opposing power lias been
atAvork, deep shrouded under the garb of honesty, with an in-
domitable perseverance to thwart every plan of the Regulators
66 mSTOBY OF THE REGULATORS.
— and while we may have, in some instances, rendered our-
selves chargeable in the eyes of a few, — yet we must think
that every honest citizen who has felt the curse of such a state
of society, and who speaks the sentiments of a heart imbued
with the spirit of fraternal dignity and parental authority, will
acquiesce in saying, that the blackleg gang has received a
shock, and society an impetus, that will reflect honor upon the
rising hopes of Northern Indiana.
HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS. 67
LIST OF COMPANIES.
The following is a list of all the Companies of Regulators
in Northern Indiana. The number of members in each we are
not able to give. The whole number, however, amounted to
about two thousand — all minute men and ready for service at
a minute's warning. Other companies were formed in adjoin-
ing States and in some instances afforded us much assistance.
NAMES OP COMPANIES AND NUMBER OP MEMBERS.
Angola Regulators 42
Allen Reconnoiterers 60
Cedar Creek Protectors
Dekalb County Horse Thief Detecting Society 40
Eel River Regulators
Fremont Rangers 20
Independent Self-Protectors 24
Jackson Prairie Horse Thief Detecting Society 75
Jefferson Regulators 30
Lisbon Rangers 81
Lagrange Self-Protecting Association 73
Lagrange Association of Clear Spring
Leesburg Horse Company 51
Lagrange County Rangers 32
Mutual Protection Company 70
Noble County Invincibles 40
Port Mitchell Regulators 60
Perry Regulators 79
Richland Rangers 43
Self-Protectors at Flint 21
Salem Horse Thief Detecting Company 31
Springfield Spies 80'
Self-Protectors of South Milford 65
Swan Regulators 61
Self-Protectois of Springfield 64
Wolf Lake Sharpers
Warsaw Horse Thief Company
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
014 754 071 1 f^
M. H. MOTT,
ATTORNEY AT LAW & NOTARY PUBLIC,
«®* Prompt attention given to the Collection of Claims at all
points in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan.
Real Estate Agent & Notary PubKc,
I.IGOIVIER, JVOBI.E COVIVTY, Ui'D.