Ripon's Booth War: Aftermath of the Fugitive Slave Act in Wisconsin

FOND DU LAC COUNTY
RIPON
WAUPUN
GREEN LAKE COUNTY

 

INTRODUCTION   |  MILWAUKEE, AUG 1   |  WAUPUN, AUG 1-3   |  RIPON, AUG 3-5   |  RECAPTURE, AUG 6-OCT 8  |   DOCUMENTS

DEPOSITIONS OF PRISON STAFF
IN THE HANS HEG COLLECTION,
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF WISCONSIN ARCHIVES

(Wis Mss GF Box:1:MAD 4/19/A4 & Micro 235)

State of Wisconsin
County of Dodge
     William Booth1 being duly sworn on oath says; I was in the office of the Wisconsin State Prison on the morning of the 3d of August instant when N. H. Garlick, U. S. Deputy Marshall came in, and enquired for Mr. Heg, the Commissioner. Mr. Heg being called soon came into the office when Mr. Garlick handed to him a note, after reading it the Commissioner steped [sic] into his private office adjoining and in a few minutes Mr. Garlick followed him--while there Mr. S. M. Booth Esq came into the General Office. Mr. Heg called him into his private office and introduced him to Mr. Garlick after which Mr. Garlick said to Mr. Booth I want you to go to Milwaukee with me. Mr. Booth replied I have not got through yet with my visit here, I am going to Milwaukee soon, but when I do go I shall not go as a Prisoner, I have made up my mind that the first man that lays his hands on me to arest [sic] me I will shoot so help me God. Booth then said I am going to my breakfast and if you want me or have any business with me, I am here or will see you again after Breakfast. Garlick replied I want nothing of you. After Mr. Booth left the office Mr. Garlick said I do not think that Booth would shoot, Men that talk so much about shooting are not the ones to do so, and asked Mr. Heg what he thought about it; Mr. Heg replied I do not know what Booth would do, but I were in his place and had been houned round for the last six years as he has, the very first man that attempted to arest [sic] me I would shoot as I would a dog. Garlick replied you and I are not going to differ about it. Mr. Heg said no I have nothing against you as a man, but I think you ought to be in better business than to be a tool for the Slave Catchers--if you were my own brother I should have the same feelings. Mr. Garlick replied all I have got to say I wish I had been in Bushs place. As Mr. Booth was returning from his breakfast, Mr. Heg said to Mr. Garlick if you want the Honor to arest [sic] Mr. Booth here he is you can have the opportunity take him if you want him. Garlick replied I am not prepared to do it. Booth said yes if you want me I am here you can take me I will go out side of the gate alone with you. Mr. Garlick replied I do not want you. Mr. Booth then stated to Mr. Garlick I have nothing against you as a man. I do not want to shoot you or any other man but the very first man that lays his hands on me to arest [sic] me I will do it, I have suffered enough, so I warn you to be aware. Here the conversation ended & Mr. Garlick left the Prison. I was present and heard the whole conversation between Mr. Heg, Booth, & Garlick in relation to the arest [sic] of Mr. Booth and the foregoing is a true statement of the whole conversation in relation to his arest [sic] on that occasion.

Sworn to before me this 20th
Day of Aug. 1860                               William Booth
J. Mare Noty Public


Waupun Aug. 17th, 60
Gentlemen,
     Seeing some statements of Mr. Garlick subscribed and sworn to respecting an affair which occured [sic] at the Prison in refference [sic] to the delivering up of S. M. Booth by Hans C. Heg we being at the time the whole transaction occured [sic] a silent spectator, wish simply to suggest that the statements of Mr. Garlick are quite erronious [sic] and are calculated to mislead the public mind with refference [sic] to the conduct of both Booth and Heg. As nearly as we can recollect Mr. Heg offered no kind of resistance to Garlick but told him so far as he was concerned that Mr. Booth was at his disposal. Mr. Booth offered to accompany Mr. Garlick alone to the gate into the street and no reply was made by Garlick. Mr. Booth told him plainly he was perfectly willing to go with him but Mr. Garlick did not seem to take the hint.

Truly Yours
R. W. Bryant

     I do hereby certify that I was in the office of the Wis. State Prison on the morning of the 3d of August. While present Mr. Garlick a Deputy U. S. Marshal came into the office and handed Maj. Heg a note. Mr. H. immediately upon reading it steped [sic] into his private office. In a few minutes Garlick followed him and left open the door between the rooms, so that those in the general office heard the conversation which ensued. Mr. Garlick enquired if Mr. Booth was about the premises. Mr. H. replied, he is do you wish to see him? Mr. G. replied I would like to. Mr. H. says he will be in soon, or if not I will have him called. Presently S. M. Booth came into the general office and Mr. H. steped [sic] to the door and invited him into the private office, telling him there was a gentleman present who wished to speak with him. Booth steped [sic] into the private office whereupon Mr. H. gave him an introduction to Officer G. when G. says to Booth I want you to go to Milwaukee with me. B. replied I have not got through my visit here yet. I am not going to Milwaukee as a prisoner, although I am going there soon. I have made up my mind that the first man that lays hands on me to arrest me as a prisoner, so help me God, I will shoot him. Mr. Booth was called by a servant to go to his breakfast. Booth said I am going to my breakfast if you want anything of me or have any business with me I am here ready, and I can see you again after breakfast if you chose [sic]. Booth then left for his breakfast as Garlick replied he wanted nothing of him. Garlick then remarked to those present that he did not think Booth would shoot the men that talk so much about shooting are not the ones to shoot. Garlick asked Mr. Heg what he thought about it. Mr. H. replied that he did not know what Booth would do, but if he was in Booth's place and had been houned [sic] round for the last six years, the very first man that should make an attempt to arrest me I would shoot him down as I would a dog. Mr. Garlick asked H. if he had anything against him as a man. Heg replied I have nothing against you Garlick as a man, but I think you ought to be in better business than serving as a tool for the slave catchers, if you were my own brother I should have the same feelings. Garlick said, all I have to say is I wish I had been in Bush's place. Heg said if you want to achieve the honor of arresting him Booth is here you can have the opportunity. Mr. Booth then returned from his breakfast Mr. Heg pointed to Booth and said here he is if you want him take him. Garlick said I am not prepared to arrest you. Booth said yes if you want me I will step into the street with you alone. Booth said I have nothing against you Garlick. I don't want to shoot you or any other man, but the very first man that lays hands on me I will do it for I have suffered enough, so I warn you to beware.

Royal M. Bryant


1 According to work done by Kevin Dier-Zimmel, William Booth was a relation of Sherman Booth and was at the time working as a guard at the prison.

INTRODUCTION   |  MILWAUKEE, AUG 1   |  WAUPUN, AUG 1-3   |  RIPON, AUG 3-5   |  RECAPTURE, AUG 6-OCT 8  |   DOCUMENTS
LAST UPDATED 6/18/1999 If you have information to share, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.