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The Two Republics, or Rome and the United States of America - Contents
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    SEVENTEENTH CASE. James A. Armstrong, the second time

    On the 9th of July, 1886, Mr. Armstrong was arrested the second time, by A. M. Dritt, marshal of Springdale, for working on Sunday, June 27, and taken before the mayor, S. L. Staples. When brought before the mayor, Mr. Armstrong called for the affidavit on which the writ was issued. The mayor stated that he himself had seen Mr. Armstrong at work in his garden on Sunday, and that Mr. A. J. Vaughn had called his attention to Armstrong while he was at work, and had said, “Now, see that you do your duty.” This made an affidavit unnecessary. The case was tried before the mayor, acting as Justice of the Peace. A. J. Vaughn was the first witness.TTR 887.2

    Justice of the Peace.—“What do you know about Mr. Armstrong’s working on Sunday, June 27?”TTR 887.3

    Vaughn. “I did not see Armstrong at all that day; I only heard he was at work.”TTR 887.4

    J. I. Gladden was the next witness called.TTR 887.5

    Justice.—“What do you know about Mr. Armstrong’s working on Sunday, June 27?”TTR 887.6

    Gladden.—“While at the depot, I saw some one at work hoeing in Mr. Armstrong’s garden; but I do not know for certain who it was.”TTR 887.7

    Millard Courtney was the next witness called.TTR 887.8

    Justice.—“Tell us what you know about Mr. Armstrong’s working on the Sunday in question?”TTR 887.9

    Courtney.—“While on the platform of the depot, I saw some one hoeing in Mr. Armstrong’s garden. I am not positive who it was.”TTR 887.10

    Having failed to prove anything from the witnesses regularly summoned, the case was “rested,” while the marshal was sent out to find somebody else. He brought in Gideon Bowman, who was then questioned as follows:—TTR 887.11

    Justice.—“Do you know anything about Mr. Armstrong’s doing work other than customary household duties of daily necessity, comfort, or charity on the Christian Sabbath, June 27?”TTR 887.12

    Bowman.—“I do. “TTR 888.1

    J.—“State what you saw.”TTR 888.2

    B.—“As I came into town, having been out east, in passing Mr. Armstrong’s house, I saw him hoeing in the garden.”TTR 888.3

    J.—“Did you recognize this person to be J. A. Armstrong?”TTR 888.4

    B.—“I did.”TTR 888.5

    Here the prosecution rested the case, and Elder J. G. Wood assumed the cross-examination in behalf of the prisoner.TTR 888.6

    Wood.—“Mr. Bowman, you say you were coming along the road from the east when you saw Mr. Armstrong at work in his garden?”TTR 888.7

    B.—“I did.”TTR 888.8

    W.—“Were you coming to town?”TTR 888.9

    B.—“I was.”TTR 888.10

    W.—“About how long were you in passing Mr. Armstrong’s house? and what was the length of time you saw him at work?”TTR 888.11

    B.—“I can’t tell.”TTR 888.12

    W.—“Do you think the time to have been two minutes, or more?”TTR 888.13

    B.—“Don’t know; can’t tell.”TTR 888.14

    W.—“Could it possibly have exceeded one minute?”TTR 888.15

    B.—“I don’t know. It makes no difference. I am not here to be pumped.”TTR 888.16

    W.—“Mr. Bowman, we are only wanting the facts in the case. Are you sure it was Mr. Armstrong you saw hoeing? Might it not have been some other man?”TTR 888.17

    B.—“I am not mistaken. I know it was J. A. Armstrong.”TTR 888.18

    W.—“What was he doing?”TTR 888.19

    B.—“I told you he was hoeing.”TTR 888.20

    W.—“What was he hoeing? Was he hoeing corn, or hoeing out some potatoes for his dinner?”TTR 888.21

    B.—“He was hoeing; that is enough.”TTR 888.22

    At this point the Justice of the Peace interfered:—TTR 888.23

    “It seems, Mr. Wood, that you are trying to make it appear that Mr. Armstrong was only digging a mess of potatoes for his dinner. If that is so, and he was doing a work of comfort, necessity, or charity, he can prove it.”TTR 888.24

    W.—“If your honor please, Mr. Armstrong is not here to prove a negative. The law allows him to do such work as is of necessity, comfort, or charity; and until it is clearly proven that he has violated this law, which thus far has not been proven, it is unnecessary for him to offer proof. A man stands innocent until he is proven guilty.”TTR 888.25

    Justice.—“We proceed.”TTR 888.26

    W.—“Mr. Bowman, you say you were in the road when you saw Mr. Armstrong?”TTR 888.27

    B.—“Yes.”TTR 889.1

    W.—“Do you remember whether there was a fence between you and Mr. Armstrong?”TTR 889.2

    B.—“Yes; there was. “TTR 889.3

    W.—“About what is the hight of that fence?”TTR 889.4

    B.—“Don’t know.”TTR 889.5

    W.—“Was it a board fence five boards high?”TTR 889.6

    B.—“Can’t say.”TTR 889.7

    W.—“Was there a second fence between the road and the garden, beyond the house and lot?”TTR 889.8

    B.—“I think there was.”TTR 889.9

    W.—“Was that second fence a board fence or a very high picket fence?”TTR 889.10

    B.—“I don’t know, nor don’t care. It makes no difference.”TTR 889.11

    W.—“I understand, then, that you don’t know. Well, Mr. Bowman, what time in the day did you see Mr. Armstrong in the garden?”TTR 889.12

    B.—“In the afternoon.”TTR 889.13

    W.—“About what time in the afternoon,—was it one or two o’clock, or later?”TTR 889.14

    B.—“It makes no difference. I am not here to be pumped. If you want to pump me any more, just come out on the street with me.”TTR 889.15

    W.—“Sir, I have no desire to pump anything but truth from you, and only wish to know the facts in this case. Was it about one or two o’clock in the afternoon, or about four or five? Please tell us about the time of day.”TTR 889.16

    B.—“It was between twelve noon and sunset. That is near enough.”TTR 889.17

    This closed the testimony in the case. Mr. Armstrong was declared guilty, and fined one dollar and costs, the whole amounting to $4.65. In default of the payment of his fine, the mayor, acting as Justice of the Peace, told him he would send him to the county jail, and allow him a dollar a day until the fine and costs were paid.TTR 889.18

    The marshal went at once to the livery-stable to get a team, and within four hours from the time of his arrest, Mr. Armstrong, in charge of the marshal, was on his way to jail at Fayetteville. He was locked up with another prisoner, with nothing but a little straw, and a dirty blanket about thirty inches wide, for a bed for both. The next night, he was allowed to lie in the corridor on the brick floor, with his alpaca coat for a bed, and his Bible for a pillow. The third night, a friend in town furnished him a quilt and a pillow. On the fourth night, his friend brought him another quilt, and thus he was made quite comfortable. On the fifth day, at noon, he was released.TTR 889.19

    When Mr. Armstrong returned to Springdale, the mayor notified him that his fine and costs were not satisfied, and that unless they were paid in ten days, an execution would be issued, and his property sold. Mr. Armstrong filed an appeal to the Circuit Court, the appeal was sustained, and he was released from further penalty.TTR 890.1

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