Reproduced with permission of John Marion Belt by William J. Belt
copyright 1980 by Johm M. Belt



Who Killed Logan Belt
by
John Belt 



CHAPTER IV

HARDIN COUNTY BACKS LOGAN

 

Logan Belt had a special gift for leadership. He knew how to motivate people. Although still in prison, he influenced all twelve of the jurors that had convicted him to write the Governor of Illinois for his pardon. The exact reason they did this is not certain, but in their letter, they said it was because Logan had been punished enough for the killing of Doc Oldham. All but two of the jurors signed this letter. For some reason, they chose to write their own letters, These petitions to the Governor are presented as follows:

To the Hon. John M. Hamilton Governor of Illinois

We the undersigned Jurors in the case of the People of the State of Illinois vs Logan Belt, tried in the circuit court of Gallatin County at the July special term 1879 of said court, would respectfully ask your excellency to pardon the said Logan Belt now confined in the Joliet prison for the killing of Elisha T. Oldham, believing that his punishment has been sufficient to attone for his offense.

A. D. Redick David Blazier
John F. Quigley A. Dunkin
Dennis Foster W. H. Barker
J. W. Wilson J. E. Bybee
J. B. Bryant W. R. Shewmaker

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Mt. Vernon, Ind. Nov. 12th, 1884

To his Excellency, John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I join cheerfully in, the petition of my fellow jurors in the case of the People vs Logan Belt for his Pardon.

I think that the verdict was excessive and that he should be restored to liberty and his rights as a citizen.

I am respectfully
(one of the jurors)

J. R. Martin

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Ridgway, Ills. Nov. 1884

To his Excellency,
John M. Hamilton,

Governor of Illinois

I join the ten jurymen who have signed a petition to your Excellency to Pardon Logan Belt who was sentenced for 15 years for manslaughter from Gallatin County on change of venue from Hardin Co. five years ago July last.

One of the Jury that sentenced him,

A. L. Siebman

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In 1882, just three years after Logan's fifteen Year sentence began, his family and friends were busy in Gallatin and Hardin County circulating a Petition for Logan, pardon and release. Logan and his wife Mary wrote person al appeals, which appeared in the Hardin County newspaper, to help their cause along. It must have worked, for there appeared approximately 525 names on the two petitions. These next few pages contain the two newspaper articles, and the petitions along with those who signed them.

CITIZENS OF HARDIN COUNTY:--As my family and friends are about to make an appeal to Executive clemency in my behalf, I venture to address this circular letter to the people at large. I know they will bear me out in the assertion that I have already been punished as severely as men are usually punished for a crime of like nature, and I humbly appeal to the people to assist in having me relieved of further incarceration. I make this appeal, not so much on my own account as on the account of my faithful, devoted wife and innocent little ones, who are suffering more of the punishment, if possible, than I am. My only desire in life now, is to be again enabled to protect and provide for my family, and to properly raise up the little ones whom the Lord has intrusted to my care. I beseech of you husbands, and of you fathers, to honestly consider my case and situation, and be governed by the principles of justice, reason and mercy.

I am, kind Friends, your very humble Servant,

LOGAN BELT

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TO THE JUSTICE-LOVING AND MERCY-SHOWING CITIZENS OF HARDIN AND ADJOINING COUNTIES: - For the first time since my husband, Logan Belt, was convicted, I appeal to the people to assist me in obtaining Executive clemency in his behalf. I beg of you to consider these facts in the case: 1st, he has already been sufficiently punished for the crime, and that to keep him longer confined, is to beggar and ruin his family, without the ends of justice being advanced thereby; 2nd, that a train of circumstances over which he had no control operated to give him a much longer term of imprisonment than was usual or just; 3rd, that the excitement which sprung up about the time of this trial has had the effect to fix a prejudice in the minds of the people. I now ask that they may lay aside all prejudice; look at the case fairly and squarely; consider the punishment already inflicted; consider the suffering and privations of his family; consider what they are still doomed to suffer while he is imprisoned; and then act in the matter as their consciences and the golden rule will prompt them to do. I appeal for mercy, but I do so in the name of justice. May Heaven reward those who favor me, and pity all who would further oppress.

Truly and Sincerely,

MARY BELT

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TO HIS EXCELLENCY, SHELBY M, CULLUM,
GOVERNOR OF ILLINOIS:

YOUR PETITIONERS, the undersigned citizens of Gallatin county, State of Illinois, respectfully represent, that Logan Belt is now confined in the Illinois State Prison at Joliet, Illinois, for the killing of one Elisha T. Oldham,--known as Dock Oldham, on the 27th of December, A. D. 1875, and who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the said prison, at the May adjourned term of the Gallatin Circuit Court, A. D. 1879. Your petitioners would further represent that the above term of years, is largely excessive, and is a longer term than the facts surrounding, and evidence in the case would warrant, and that such excessive punishment was due to an excitement and prejudice caused by circumstances over which the said Logan Belt had no control. Your petitioners would further represent that his family, consisting of his wife and 10 children have, on account of his trial and imprisonment, been reduced to want and poverty. We therefore respectfully petition your Excellency to pardon the said Logan Belt, and to restore him to his family, and his rights as a citizen. And for this your petitioners will ever pray, &c.

--------------- Nickles Dorsey ---------------- Samuel Graham
  P. C. Williams   John Frohock
  James Edwards   D. W. Pantier
  W. C. Pantier   T. F. Sandamone
  Charles C. Clayton   Y. H. Trimble
  John Brannon   William T. Griffin
  William Warthen   W. C. Baker
  Chas. A. Caldwell   J. W. Hale
  R. E. Reed   C. W. Smith
  R. D. Clifton   W. H. Forester
  Gee. W. Beck   Henry Drumman
  John Pickering   Wm. W. Gaylord, Esq.
  David Brinkley   W. H. Baker
  James White   Wiley F. White
  Don White   William Tite
  Abner Tite   Eliza Brown
  William Level   Jacob Miller
  R. L. Rightman   J. F. Stokes
  C. W. McGhehee   Aquillar G. Greer
  S. B. Kanady   F. M. Moore, Jr.
  Alien Hornbuckle   W. P. Donalson
  G. S. Herrod   T W. P. James
  G. G. Price   D. L. Flanders
  O. P. Flanders   C. Hern
  Calvin Baker   R. P. Steed (Judge)
  E. L. Yost   Fred Sherer
  James M. Lamb   W. W. Ross
  Chas. Anderson   Sam Pickering
  Thomas Level   P. S. Pickering
  James F. Wilson   Samuel Durbin
  William Jolly   James Smyth
  William D. Dorsey   Henry T. Prisson
  James Galney   John W. Wilbrough
  R. S. Henry   I. T. Wilbrough
  G. W. Sanderson   William Wells
  J. D. Moore   W. S. McGehee
  G. W. Rich   John O. Price
  J. G. Sanderson   Joe S. Jones
  Charles Dunlap   William L. Barnett
  W. T. Boaz   M. Carney
  W. Miller   J. M. Wood
  William Carney   W. M. Gardin
  N. A. Grier   C. C. Martin
  J. E. Logsdon..........   B. F. Woods
  T. L. Martin   T. E. Endicott ........
  A. H. Rowan   Henry Richeson
  H. S. Moorly   J. V. Cromwell
  M. B. Martin   E. Gaskins
  H. A. Brooks   Fred Smyth
  Conrad O. Edwards (Pub local revord) Chas. Carroll, Jr.
  P. M. McMurdy   Milton Bartley (Co. Judge)
  O. D. Vance   D. M. Kinsall
  Phil Lyons   William Connor
  Calvin Dossitt   Pat Smith
  R. L. Millspaugh   W. L. Crenshaw
  Ken Peeples   A. N. Files
  John W. Smith   A. M. L. McBane
  John Uselton (co. judge)    
  Wm. Moore   Jasper Spivey
  D. O. House (atty. at law, Shawneetown)   E. J. William
--------------- H. C. Kookindobber .............................. ........................... Wm. A. Howell(Riverside Hotel)
  Lar. W. Cure   Wm. Proctor
  A. G. Richeson   Charles Conlin
  Joseph Smith   D. M. Scott
  John Sparks   J. C. Slaten
  J. Sullivan   Samuel Wimber
  Henry Hill   David R. Vaughn
  C. C. Smith   John Millspaugh
  James H. Thompson   Samuel Mertz
  Stephen Martin   Ajax Fillingim
  D. J. Bailey   U. A. Fillingim
  A. Gross   R. Sikes
  A. O. Bradley   J. D. Moye
  J. P. Belt   Thomas C. Goforth
  I. W. Fillingin   William A. Emerson
  F. Smyth   Benjamin Brown
  Henry Staples   W. H. Woods
  John Williams   W. T. Dorsey
  Pleasant Rose   J. L. Carson
  H. G. King   C. Leavell
  John Williams   P. B. Pillow
  S. R. Cone, M.D   E. Rodgers, M.D.
  Chas. Stain   W. Whitney
  W. F. Yost   J. W. Wilkins
  N. McMichael   Samuel Seiley
  James G. Barnett   Wm. McIntire
  G. C. Mclain   P. Siddall
  Wm. Clark    

The Petition for Hardin County was worded the same as for Gallatin County and contained the following names:

--------------- Ben F. Stevens....................................... ------------------ J. A. Hill
  G. W. Hill   Henry C. Renfro
  Henry Rittenhouse   W. M. Collins
  Redford Carnin   T. L. Michel
  George Cotton   Frank Tolbert
  J. M. Modglin   S. J. Tyner
  G. C. Baldwin   Berry McFall
  Danil Plew   R. M. Bright
  Thornting Bright   Edward Butler
  John Mott   George W. Mott
  E. G. Shaw   M. M. Angleton
  W. H. Jackson   John Elliott
  J. A. Palmer   W. W. White
  H. B. Foster   James B. Morrow
  Sal Davis   A. A. Gustin
  John Norris   Alien Smith
  Hugh Ball   Gee. Dossit
  W. H. A. Coltrin   W. M. Garland
  John Lyons   John A. Barnerd
  Charles T. Miller   J. B. Miller
  C. B. Miller   E. T. Scott
  L. H. Thacker   T. M. Gibbons
  W. H. Hill   Thomas Stubbs
  E. D. Barnerd   M. F. Casad
  Wm. Dewey   I. M. D. Birch
  S. W. Barkley   B. B. Bramlet
  Wm. Needham   J. B. Wadkins
  L. C. Ginger   Gee. W. Beasley
  B. W. Ricketts   V. Frayser
  C. F. Thomas   Shepard Frailey
  August T. Thomas   James Millikan
  Thomas Stulls   A. B. Gustin
  G. W. L. Nesbitt   Chas. Lowry
  R. L. Gregory   L. J. Boyd
  Lafe Oxford   Henry Rowland
  John A. Henderson   C. B. Frayser
  Jack R. Edwards   J. M. Gregory
  Joe Pell   J. W. Curtis
  M1. L. Shelby   W. M. Brown
  Willliam Curtis   Richard Tolbert
  Martin Eikham   Andy Volkert
  Wm. A. Morely   Joseph Shetler
  W.B. Morley   S. D. Miller
  Joseph Ferrell   John J. Belling
  Geo. Iliff   Chas. Lee
  G. D. Sullivan   G. A. Ferrill
  George Brown   S. B. Stevens
  S. W. Frailey   John Jack
  J. B. Lowry   T. J. Boyd
  J. F. Brown   J. H. Caldwell
  !like Crank   Richard Frailey
  John Schooner   Alferd Smith
  J. W. Riley   Wm. Jackson
  J. L. Mott   Robert Lackey
  Gee. Barnerd   Ferry Bayne
  E. Sherwood   Oliver W. Pearson
  J. M. Carr   I. W. Pell
  E. C. Wingate   B. F. Stevens
  Richard Thomas   J. P. Caldwell
  J. C. Worman   James Condet
  James Wingate   C. D. Stevens
  Enoch Bebout   Wm. Lackey
  P.W. Fritts   Thomas F. Mason
  John T. Lackey   H. G. Lane
  James Pankey   Samuel Winiger
  W. F. Hufsey   John S. Hufsey
  John McLaughlin   G. W. Hufsey
  Dennis Hufsey   J. M. Underwood
  O. P. Winn   Samuel Fritts
  Valentine Rutledge   John Frailey
  W. P. Shiridon   W. C. Jenkins
  E. J. Tadlock   John Lowry
  H. C. Pearson   G. W. Kimball
  Wily Hobbs   John C. Rose
  James Condet   Ben F. Patton
  W. K. Hume   John C. Grace
  John C. Reese   John F. Ginger
  Ille Ferrell   T. S. Barnerd
  John Smith   W. L. Stilley
  Ferry Cowsert   W. E. Forster
  James Carlisle   J. Rose
  W. P. Hamilton   Ross McAnis
  Lewis Lavender   L. B. Anderson
  J. W. Ralph   M. C. McBee
  David R. Sheldon   E. H. Kinnzey
  David Bloomer   U. P. James
  J. C. Morley   J. Black
  John O. Smoot   John F. Durkin
  L. D. Webster   J. G. Crank
  James Heatherington   G. W. Walthom
  John H. Ferrell   William Rose
  Thomas Price   P. Ferrell
  James Flanders   J. G. Dennis
  Luther Wilson   Samuel Sadler
  Wm. King   Joseph R. Kolburn
  J. S. Springs   H. R. Griffin
  William Goodwin   J. S. Rayder
  S. S. Yates   David Murphy
  Harry Randal   I. C. Henson
  Wm. S. Wallace   Simpson Cullum
  T. L. Rose   D. Kilgore
  Thomas Cowgill   James Toms
  Wm. Field   James Barker
  J. T. Howe   William Hine
  John Wagon   C. E. Rose
  Samuel Webber   Wm. Kilgore
  Wm. Graham   N. Renfro
  Wm. O'hare   P. Jackson
  Robert Lewis   G. W. Eveans
  Wm. Avitts   John J. Escue
  J. P. McDowell   Chas. Rose
  D. Winters   J. C. Williams
  James Ralph   S. Steele
  R. R. Martin J   esse Kirkham
  John Clayton   H. C. Lamb
  Samuel Kibler   Elbert G. Rose
  George Crank   J. E. Hall
  A. L. Belford   A. I. Bitler
  J. W. Wharton   George C. Simmons
  I. M. Graham   J. P. Cunningham
  Robert Norrison   Wm. Pleasants
  ____Williamson   J. W. Partain
  Benjamin Gipson   John W. Gipson
  G. W. Kaylor   William Winkles
  Henry Johnson   William Johnson
  Andrew Johnson   John Lambert
  John W. Harris   Elisha Morris
  W. N. Casad   Thomas Rominey
  J. McKiney   W. T. Jackson
  D. Decker   Arther Keeling
  William Aydelott   George A. Scott
  Israel S. Mick   Robert Meriable
  W. B. Heatherington    

These names were very hard to read, so they may not be exactly right. Some were totally illegible and were left out, but they are listed well as could be made out.

During the next three years, letter after letter turned up on the Governor's desk asking for the pardon of Logan Belt. These letters came from some of the most prominent people in Hardin County, i.e. civil officers, army officers, lawyers, doctors, and many friends and relatives. This barrage of letters met with three different governors, Governor Cullum, Governor Hamilton, and Governor Oglesby. We have been able to obtain this rare letter file from the State Historical Library and present it here for your perusal. You may draw your own conclusions. They have been typed as close to the original as possible, with misspellings included.

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Cave in Rock, Ills. Jan. 1st, 1883

To his Excellency,
Shelby M. Cullum
Governor of Illinois.

I, H. J. Belt of the county of Hardin and State of Illinois would respectfully represent unto your Excellency that - on account of a notice published, that a Petition would; on the 8th day of January A.D. 1883; be presented your Excellency for the Pardon of Logan Belt who was sentenced to 15 years in the State Penitentiary for manslaughter - one Eli McDowell of the county of Hardin and State of Illinois is circulating an instrument of some kind slanderous and untrue as to the character of the said Logan Belt; and is obtaining a few signatures to the said instrument principally infants and young men who can be easily influenced.

The following certificate will show your Excellency where the said Eli McDowell's enmity originates and why he is opposed to Logan Belt.

I, H. J. Belt, late Captain of Co. D. 48th Regt. Ky. Vols., do hereby certify that Logan Belt was 2nd Lieut. of said Co. D. 48th Ky. Vols. and made a good Officer, and I do further certify that the said Eli McDowell secreted, harbored and fed, aided and assisted Deserters from our Company, and said and did every thing: he the said Eli McDowell: could say and do against the Union cause: and Logan Belt: and myself. Witness my hand this 1st day of Jan. A.D. 1883.

H. J. Belt

I would refer your Excellency to R. W. McLaughry for reference as to my character or to any Officer of Hardin Co., Ills.

H. J. B.

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OFFICE OF
JOHN M, CREBS
Attorney and Counselor at Law,

Canmi, Ill., January 10, 1883

Hon. Shelby M. Cullom
Governor of Ill.

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 8th Dist. in reference to the application of Logan Belt for a pardon is received and contents duly noted.

The case was fully, and I think fairly, tried - The Defendant had the benefit of some of the ablest Counsel in this part of the state - a strenuous effort was made in the Supreme Court to have the cause reversed, and with the language of the Supreme Court in pursing open the case found on page 467 of 97 Ills, "In regard the verdict as abundantly sustained by the evidence. With the tender regard for human life which the law requires, there should have been no taking of life on the occasion"; I fully concur.

I know of nothing that has occured since the trial. to change, or modify the opinion I then entertained.

Very truly yours,

C. S. Conger

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F. M. Youngblood,
Lawyer

Collections a Specialty

 

Benton, Ill., January 19, 1883

Hon. Shelby M. Cullom
Governor
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

After the smoke of political battle has passed away from the Executive Chamber, I take the liberty to call your attention to the application on file for the pardon of Logan Belt, a convict in the Penetentiary at Joliet.

By an examination of papers on file, you will find that something over 500 of the citizens of Hardin and Galitan Counties ask for the pardon of this man.

I would not ask you to be generous before you are just, but 5 feel that justice and humanity combine in demanding the exercise of the executive clemency in behalf of Mr. Belt. Whatever his faults may have been the evidence in this case shows that he was more sinned against than sinning.

No braver soldier or truer friend of his country lived than Logan. He has now suffered confinement for over four years. It is true he took the life of his fellow man. The jury, however acquitted him of malice and said by their verdict that the killing was on a "sudden heat of passion" caused by a provication apparently sufficient to make the passion irresistable.

How often, my dear sir, do the best of us step aside under similar circumstances? He now appeals to you as the last resort to restore him to the bosom of his family, a weaker but wiser and better man.

Will you please examine his claim before retiring from the Executive Chair? I will come to Springfield and present this matter to you in person if you desire it.

Please let me hear from you.

Truly yours,

F. M. Youngblood

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STATE OF ILLINOIS
Executive Department

Springfield, January 19th, 1883

Hon. Shelby M. Cullom,

Dear Sir:

I beg leave to call your attention to the application for the pardon of Logan Belt.

In the few lines I shall write, I ask you to accept my word of honor that I am influenced solely and only by a sense of pity for Logan Belt, arising from my knowledge that he was unjustly convicted and was so convicted as the result of an unfortunate combination of circumstances. - You will, I am sure, pardon me for urging that Logan Belt's case ought to have your most careful consideration. I have been silent in reference to his case for fear I might be deceived.

I practised law in Hardin County every term from 1854 to 1864 and again from 1870 to 1879. I know personally almost every voter in the County. - To much for my means of knowledge. - I know Logan Belt was always a good citizen. He was a Captain in the Union Army, and was a Republican of the straightest sect. All the other Belts in Hardin County were democrats. But Logan Belt made a very few - two or three prominent republicans his enemies. - I think I may limit those enemies to two republicans.

The "bad lot" of Belts was never understood to include Logan Belt.

I was permitted to examine all the papers on file. Of course I treat the contents as strictly confidential. - But I especially call attention to the report of the Detective, which shows the character of the charges made against Logan Belt.

I now ask your Excellency to consider the merciful justness of commuting the punishment of Logan Belt to some short period, - say 5 years from his sentence in August 1879. - You and I will remember when the extreme punishment for manslaughter was 8 years confinement in the Penetentiary. - I believe the change was made in 1867.

Logan Belt is suffering today for the alleged sins of others of his name. - There is no dispute about the material facts: - Belt went to "Dock" Oldham's to a dance; a quarrel arose between him & Oldham - Oldham struck him in the forehead with brass-knucks; and with the blood running into his eyes, Belt drew a pistol & fired. - I state not one word of Belt's defense. I thought his defense perfect: the jury thought differently, & I do not present it here.

But it was a killing in the heat of passion, if we accept the case of the prosecution.

Fifteen years is a cruel punishment. There is no other man in the Penetentiary like Logan Belt. He is now about 45 years of age a member of the Church - a farmer very far above the average in education and intellegence. Reared in Hardin County, and in spite of his surroundings, a mind-mannered gentleman, unacquainted with vice or crime.

I beg leave to call special attention to the fact that the burden of the objection to the pardon of Logan Belt is that he is the "Head of a gang"; and that the Report of the Detective completely refutes & over throws that false clamor; & his Petition is signed by a large majority of the voters of Hardin Co. --

There is no antagonism between myself and the two gentlemen who protest against Mr. Belt's pardon - they are both my personal friends. --

Commute the poor man's sentence, Governor, & make effecient your power to be merciful.

Excuse me, this is the first time I ever appealed to any Governor in behalf of a convict-

Very Respectfully & in great haste

William H. Green

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William H. Green
William B. Gilbert Miles Fred Gilbert

Green & Gilbert
Lawyers
CAIRO, ILLINOIS.

Will Practice in
Supreme and Circuit Courts of the State
Admiralty Court
At Cairo
U. S. Courts, Springfield

Offices: City National Bank Building

Hon. Shelby M. Cullom,

Dear Governor:

I take the liberty to enclose to you a letter from Judge David J. Baker concerning the case of Logan Belt, which seems to me to have an important bearing upon the application made for Belt's pardon, or for the commutation of his punishment.

It seems to me proper that I should add this statement: Logan Belt's case was the first case tried before Judge Conger. I restrain myself, in consequence of my respect for the judicial station, from saying more than that the case was not well tried; and the record that went to the Supreme Court did not seem to me to present the same case that was tried before Judge Conger. There was a passing popular excitement, and Belt has suffered cruelly thereby. His case assuredly is the sort of case which the law is considering when it gives to the Governor the pardoning power.

In behalf of a cruelly punished man, I appeal to your mercy.

Very Respectfully

Yours, &c. &c.

William H. Green

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Cairo, Jany. 24th, 1883

Hon. Wm. H. Green

Dear Sir,

You have requested of use a statement in regard to the case of Logan Belt, now confined in the Penitentiary for manslaughter. I was not present at his trial and conviction. Some time before that, however, I heard the evidence both for the prosecution and defense, on a writ of habeas corpus. The evidence was quite conflicting - that for defendant tending to draw a case of self-defense. Taking the testimony for the People as true, the offense committed was only manslaughter - and that not of an aggravated character. I had no hesitation in admitting defendant, who had been indicted for murder, to bail in a comparatively small amount. My own opinion, at the time, as I distinctly remember, was that defendant on a trial before a jury, would, in all probability, be acquitted. Of course, there may have been testimony on the final trial that I did not hear on the examination before me.

I am,
Yours very truly,

David J. Baker

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(The following letter was written on Penitentiary stationary with these instruction at the top: Parties corresponding with prisoners must observe carefully the following directions, viz: Write plainly. Confine yourself strictly to family and business matters. In directing letters, put prisoner's name and register number plainly on envelope. In sending papers, use stamps enough to insure delivery. Write nothing on papers except name and register number. Daily papers are not admitted. All letters and papers are examined. Prisoners can write but once in five weeks, and see friends but once in eight weeks. No food or wearing apparel sent to prisoners will be admitted.)

Name: Logan Belt To: Shelby M. Cullom, Gov.
Register No. 2802   Executive Departement
    Springfield, Illinois
     
    Jan. 24, 1883

Am just in receipt of a letter from Mr. Youngblood - in which he says he made application to your Excellency for my pardon, and having in my possession two certificates that I wished to send you, I asked this special privilege of the warden to do so. I supose you have certificates from my Col. and soldiers as to my character as an officer and soldier. Also from many citizens who has known me from my early boyhood. I have but little to say in the behalf of myself or family - am at the mercy of your Excellency and feal that you will do justice to me and the people. The Hon. W. H. Green said Mr. Morris Boyer and Mr. Mitchell stood in the way of my pardon. I regret to here that they are disposed to prosecute any personal feeling in the matter. Mr. Boyer and myself way some time ago had some little trouble before he married Mr. Mitchell's daughter or became a partner in law with Mr. Morris. Mr. Boyer and I were friendly I thought we were all right - as to Mr. Mitchell I allways regarded as a gentleman of strict integrity and untarnished honor. He always seemed to reciprocate the same - God knows I have no feelings against either of them - I

was tried under very unfavorable circumstances but thank God many of whom helped bring about this undue sequence are now my friends. The Editor of the county paper did more than any one else, but they tell me he signed my Petition.

While your Excellancy may review the acts in my case - I hope to be able before you pass on the matter, to send many more petitoners and certificate - I could not aske a pardon on any grounds ecept the broad princapal of justice knowing your ability to serch out the facts in the matter &c.

Hoping to be able to meet all that may ever make life admirable here in this world soon.

Yours with respect,

Logan Belt

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OFFICE OF W. W. AYRES,
Sheriff & Collector,
Hardin County, Illinois

 

Elizabethtown, June 26, 1874
Sheriff of Cape Girardeau
County, Mo.

Dear Sir, The Bearer of this, Logan Belt, is a citizen of my county and every way worthy the confidence of all men. I have been acquainted with Mr. Belt for 16 years and have always found him honorable and trustworthy. He is also a man of considerable ability and property. Recommending him to your favor, I close by remaining yours truly,

W. W. Ayers, Sheriff

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OFFICE OF THE
Clerk of the County Court
OF HARDIN COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Elizabethtown, June 26th, 1874

Logan Belt,

The bearer of this is a resident of Hardin County and State of Illinois, is a man of good
standing, high morals, and is worthy the confidence of all men whom it may be his fortune
to fall in with, &c.

Given under my hand and official seal, dated at Elizabethtown this 26th day of June A,D. 1874

J. H. B. Renfro

County Court Clerk
Hardin County
Illinois

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F. W. Tourtellotte,
Attorney at Law,
Room 9, 85 Washington St.,
Chicago

 

July 21, 1884

Governor Hamilton
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I have been applied to through a friend to do what I could to process a pardon for Logan Belt who was convicted some eight years ago at Shawneetown of manslaughter and sentenced to the penitentiary for 15 years. I am informed that a petition was signed by a large number of his friends and neighbors for a pardon and was presented to Gov. Cullom just before he left the Office of Governor - I suppose the petition is now on file at the Executive Office. Will you have the kindness to inform me if the petition is on file in your office? -- And will it answer in bringing the matter before you = or must I have a new one

signed?

Very Respectfully,

F. W. Tourtellotte

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Cave in Rock, Ills., July, 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton
Governor of the State of Illinois

Dear Sir,

I am a brother of Logan Belt who has been five years in the State Prison at Joliet, Ills., who was sent from Gallatin County, sentenced for a period of fifteen years. About one and a half years ago, a petition for his pardon was filed, or at least presented to Shelby M. Cullum, then Governor. I learn that a protest or remonstrance was also filed, resisting the said petition. If you will give me the names of the parties who protested, I think that at the present time, I can get them to withdraw their remonstrance and together, with others, sign a supplemental Petition for his pardon.

For the above favor I will be under many and lasting obligations to you.

I am very respectfully,

H. J. Belt
Cave in Rock
Hardin Co., Ills.

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Smithland, Kentucky

Oct. 15th, 1884

His Excellency John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois,

Dear Sir - Pardon me a Kentuckian in addressing you in regard to the subject of this letter, but feeling a profound interest therein, from past association with Lt. Logan Belt, I write you. During the Rebelion I was associated with Lieutenant Belt in the Union Army and became very much attached to him. From his manly bearing and his patriotic devotion to his country - I found him in our association to be a gentleman of the highest integrity. Since the war I have seen or known but little of him, and know nothing about the difficulty for which he is now confined in your penitentiary. He lived in your State and I in Kentucky - But I cannot believe that Mr. Belt would wilfully violate any law - much less take the life of a human being unless the provocation was great & he thought & believed it to be a case of dire necessity to save himself. I have known the family for many years, and always found them to be brave, honorable and clever gentlemen. His brother Jonathan Belt was a Captain in the Federal army and two of my Brothers were with him & I know that he made a good soldier. I write this letter to Your Excellency for the purpose of asking you, if not inconsistent with your official duty, to pardon 6 release Lieut. Belt from his confinement in the Penitentiary, and restore him to his Liberty. In so doing, you will as I think release a worthy man and thereby render happy his numerous friends who will ever rest under supreme obligation to you. With much respect, I am yours,

J. W. Bush,

Late Capt. Co. G. 48th Ky Vols.

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ILLINOIS
SOUTHERN HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE

Anna, Ill., Oct. 16, 1884

His Excellency,
Gov. Hamilton

My Dear Sir:

Logan Belt, imprisoned in the state prison at Joliet, was a faithful soldier & a Lieutenant in the 48th Ky Vol., a Regiment I had the honor to command as Lieut. Col. throughout the greater part of its service, and I knew him personally as well as I knew any man or officer of my regiment, and feel it my duty to bear witness to his conduct as an officer and soldier, worthy of the highest commendation. I found him, always, a gentleman, courteous & kind in his relations with his comrades - never knew him to give or take an insult from any man - He was not of a quarrelsome disposition. He was often entrusted with delicate and important commands, and to my knowledge, performed all services satisfactorily. I have learned that he has now served 5 years, past time on his sentence, and that his friends are praying your Excellency to give him a pardon in which prayer I join his many friends, believing that under the circumstances connected with his crime, and from the facts as I understand them, which provoked the deed, that the said Logan Belt has sufficiently suffered for the provoked crime & would pray that he have your executive clemency.

Very Respectfully,

W. W. Hester
Late Lieut. Col
48 Ky. Vols.

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Elizabethtown, Illinois

Oct. 27th, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I would respectfully request your excellency to grant a pardon to Logan Belt, who is now confined in the Prison at Joliet, who was sentenced for the period of 15 years for killing Elisha T. Oldham.

For the following reasons, "to wit." 1st. He has been there more than 5 years. 2nd. I do not think that he should have been sent atall.

I have been Sheriff of Hardin County five terms, and I am acquainted with all parties concerned.

Oldham was a reckless desperado. He made a desperate assault on Belt with knucks injuring him seriously before Belt fired.

Logan Belt has ever been a good citizen having had fewer difficulties than most any other citizen of the County. He was quiet, Peaceable and gentlemanly. He has the name of having been a good Army officer. He has been slandered shamefully. The people of this county are nearly unanimous in the opinion that he should be pardoned, and I respectfully ask your favorable action in matter.

I am respectfully,

John W. Ralph,
Ex Sheriff of H. C.

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Elizabethtown, Ills.

Oct.27th, 1884

To His Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois,

Dear Sir,

I take the liberty of addressing you in your official capacity to ask you to pardon Logan Belt, who has been in the prison at Joliet for more than five years, past time, for the killing of Elisha T. Oldham, a desperate character - who brutally assaulted him with metal knucks. I will state to you that I am a lifelong Republican. I was Sheriff of this County for many years, was first elected in 1840 and have served 18 years. I am thoroughly conversant with men and things in Hardin County. The Belt family and especially Logan Belt has been the object of venomous envy, malice, and spite of a certain ring of men and local politicians for years past. They, for their personal gain, have lied about the Belt family, have slandered Hardin County, and they imprisoned Logan Belt with purchased testimony; for if ever man was justified in killing another, Logan Belt was. Logan Belt has a good Army record, and as a citizen was peaceable, quiet, & gentlemanly, yet was high toned and high spirited. He knew when he was right and tried to do right. I write this in the interest of truth, justice and humanity.

I am respectfully,

Lewis Lavender
Ex Sheriff Hardin Co.

P.S. Logan Belt was my deputy two years in 1847 & 1848.

Lewis Lavender

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Elizabethtown, Ills

Oct. 27th, 1884

To his Excellency,
John M. Hamilton
Govenor of Illinois

As a citizen of Illinois and a friend of justice, I respectfully join the friends of Logan Belt in asking his pardon by you. He was a good soldier as Lieut. of Co. D. 48th Ky. Inf. He was a good peaceable citizen, and a gentleman who has been sadly slandered and abused by enemies and factions.

I am respectfully,

Jacob Stuart
Late Capt. Co. C. 48th Ill. Inf.

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Office of Shell & Warford,
Dealers in
GENERAL MERCHANDISE & COUNTRY PRODUCE

Elizabethtown, Ill., Oct. 27th, 1884

To his excellency Gov. John M. Hamilton,

I am personally acquainted with Logan Belt, and with his character and social standing in Hardin County, Illinois, prior to his conviction for the homicide of Oldham. Belt was a man who had the unbounded confidence of the entire people so far as his acquaintance extended for honesty and truthfulness. Oldham was a man of pugnacious, offensive bearing and hard to get along with. That Oldham was a viscious and abusive character generally. It is the candid feeling here that Belt has suffered quite long enough (if indeed he should have been punished at all) for said homicide. But few men of any sort of resentment would have done other than as Belt did.

I was personally cognizant of the tidal waves of excitement; which unfortunately came at a time most seriously for Belt, were largely manufactured by disagreeing parties.

In case you grant the prayer of his petition, you will but comply with the sincere wishes of a great majority of the good people of Hardin County, Illinois.

Jonathan F. Taylor
ex Co. Judge

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OFFICE OF
The County Clerk of Hardin County

J. H. B. RENFRO, Clerk

Elizabethtown, Ill., Oct. 28th, 1884

 

To His Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of the state of Ill.

Dear Sir,

I write you in behalf of Logan Belt who was sent from this County to the states prison for the shooting of one Elisha T. Oldham. I do not for one moment desire you to think that I would ask you to think that Mr. Belt did not do the shooting for he told me that he did do it & that in self defense. I also think that Mr. Belt ought to have paid the penalty for the crime committed, but I do not think that he should be punished for all of the crimes that have been committed in this county for the past 25 or 30 years, which I think was done in his case because just at the time his trial was in progress in Shawneetown, there was a great hugh & cry in the newspapers charging Mr. Belt with all of the crimes as above stated, which of course was not the case. I was County Treasurer & assesser from 1865 to 1869 and County Clerk from 1869 to the present, and often had business transactions with Mr. Belt, and must say I always found him a perfect gentlemen. I therefore ask your clemency in his behalf.

Respectfully,

J.H.B. Renfro
Co. Clerk

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Office of Shell & Warford,
Dealers in
General Merchandise & Country Produce

Elizabethtown, Ill., October 28th, 1884

To his Excellency,
Govenor John M. Hamilton
Springfield, Ills

Logan Belt confined in the State Prison at Joliet for the killing of one Elisha T. Oldham prays your Excellency for Pardon. In his behalf I can say that I knew him personally for three years prior to his conviction and always knew him to be a perfect gentleman in his manners toward his fellow men, of quiet disposition, not quarrelsome at all and universally admired by a great majority of the citizens of Hardin Co. I can further say for Logan Belt that I knew Elisha T. Oldham personally for four years prior to his death, and he was considered among his most intimate acquaintances one of the hardest characters in the country. He was dissipated, quarrelsome, abusive, overbearing, treacherous and belligerant. Being familiar with the circumstances connected with the homicide, it was an agravated case, on the side of Belt. Few men, if any, would have done otherwise than Belt did. In this his prayer for pardon, you will but accede to the sincere wishes of a large majority of the citizens of Hardin Co.

Very Respectfully,

John Shell, merchant

P.S. In regard to what has been said by Mr. Shell in the foregoing in regard to Mr. Belt, I fully concur and would add my prayer to your "Excellency" for the pardon of Mr. Belt, firmly believing from all the circumstances that his punishment has been fully equal to his offence and that the good of our community will be benefited by his release.

Very Respectfully,

Wm. N. Warford, M.D.

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Oct. 29th, 1884

To His Excellency
Governor John Hamilton,

I call your attention to the application of Logan Belt for pardon. The Gentleman was charged with murder in Hardin Co., Ills. I appeared in the case at the time application was made for bail. After hearing all the evidence offered on the part of the people, Judge David J. Baker granted the prayer of the petitioner and allowed him bail, placing the bail at a modest sum. From the evidence then heard, I had not the slightest doubt but that he was entitled to an acquittle. The defence of self defence was then very clear, and the people had all the evidence which it seemed the nature of the case permited. I have no doubt but that had subsequent events not occured which ought not to influence the judicial proceeding, he would have been acquited. Under all the circumstances, I think the public interests would be subserved by his pardon.

Very Respectfully,

J. F. McClartum

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Elizabethtown, Hardin Co., Ills.

October 31, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I write you in behalf of Logan Belt who has been confined in the state prison at Joliet for more than five years, as I think that his sentance was entirely too long considering all the circumstances of the case. In granting him a pardon, you will comply with the wishes of a large portion of the citizens of Hardin County.

I am respectfully yours, etc.

R. P. Hetherington
Co. Judge

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Rosa Clare, Ills.

Oct. 31st, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Govener of Illinois

I cheerfully recommind to you Logan Belt, and ask that you pardon him, that he may resume his useful relations with the outside world, which privilege has been denied him for the last 5 years. His pardon will be in accordance with the wishes of the citizens of Rosa Clare.

John O. Smoot
Magistrate V.
Ex Co Commissioner &
Ex Co Treasurer

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E Town, Ills. Oct. 31, 1884
To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton

Govenor of Illinois

We join in the Petition that you pardon Logan Belt from the prison at Joliet and that you restore him to all of the privilages of a citizen. We have had dealings with him and have found him to be a fair, high minded gentelman. We have known him to bee a good citizen and have thought fals isues sent him to prison. We think the people of this County are nearly unamious in sentiment that he should bee released from the excessive sentence which was imposed on him. Hoping that the Petition will receive favourable notice by your Excellency.

We are respectfully,
E. & W. Pleasants
General Merchantdise and Produce Dealers

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OFFICE OF
The Circuit Clerk and Recorder,
J. A. VINYARD, Clerk and Recorder

Nov. 1st, 1884 Elizabethtown, Ill.,

To His Exelcency
John M. Hamilton
Govener of the state of Ills.

Dear Sir,

I write you in the interest of Logan Belt who is now in the states prison at Joliet for the crime of murder. I do not desire to exhonerate Mr. Belt from the crime, but desire to say something about the punishment inflicted upon him by the Jury, which I think was in excess of the crime, because as I understand the case, then the shooting was done in self defense and because at the time Mr. Belt was on trial at Shawneetown, there was a great deal of undue excitement in regard to the crimes that had been committed in this County, the newspapers & some people laying them all at the door of Logan Belt, which of course was not the case. Mr. Belt was not the blood thirsty man that some would have him be, but as of all ways found him gentlemanly & courtous, but always ready to defend himself & cast back an insult. Therefore beleiving as I do that he has paid the penalty for the crime committed, I would most respectfully ask your clemency in his behalf. Respectfully,

J. A. Vinyard

Circuit Clerk

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Cave-in-Rock, Ills. Nov. 8, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I join my neighbors of Cave in Rock in asking you to pardon Mr. Logan Belt. And can say that it is the wishes of all of our good citizens that he be released which was shown by signing the petition now on file in your office. I was an officer the same time he was engaged in his trial. I served papers on both sides and I found Mr. Logan Belt a gentleman in all my transactions and can say I was acting Constable about 2 years before he left hear and found him a gentleman in ever respect. I have been Constable of Cave in Rock Precinct for 10 years and I think it is the wishes of the people in this vicinity for Mr. Logan Belt to be released and let him come home to his family, and if you see fit to comply with our request you will bring joy to many hearts and received the earnest thanks of his many friends. I am yours respectfully,

Jas. M. Carr, Constable of Cave in Rock Precinct

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Elizabethtown, Ills.

Nov. 10/1884

To his Excelency
John M. Hamilton
Govenor of Illinois

In joining Logan Belt's many friends in asking your Executive Clemency in his behalf, we think it but proper to show to your Exelency what has become of the auther of the slanderous articles which so poisoned the public minds at the time of Logan Belt's trial and which blinded truth and justice to such an extent that lies were believed for the truth and truth was branded with the lie. James A. Lowry was Editor and Publisher of the Hardin Gazett. He became responsable for the articles which apeared against Logan Belt, although he had assistance from the Prosecutor in the case against Logan. He (Lowry) stands charged by public opinion of burning his own office for the purpose of embezzeling public funds. He (Lowry) fled to Texas, his son, stepbrother and half-brother are in the states prison at Chester for burglarizing our store which was but one of many roberies they were endited for while in the printing office with Jas. A. Lowry, while he was persecuting Logan Belt. Before Lowry left, he signed a petition for Belt's pardon, which is now on file in your office. The records are burned or I would atach copies of records in the above mentioned cases.

Verry Respectfully,

Miller Bros.

P.S. This wil be handed to you by Capt. Hiram Belt hoo is a good strate forward honest gentelman and a brother to Logan Belt.

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Cave in Rock, Ills.
Nov. 11th, 1884

To his Elcellency
Govenor of Ills.

Sir,

having lived in this neighborhood for over thirty years and being ~n rather public life all the time (having been County Surveyor for 8 years and merchandising in this Place since 1864) I think I know whereof I speak, not being related or interested in either party only so far as justice and good citizenship is concerned. The crime for which Logan Belt was sentenced to the Penitentiary, justice has been set aside as he was tried beside the killing of Oldham for every thing wrong that was committed in our County. The said Oldham was a kind of bulldosing desperado as his relation are that are here. I can say that I have had dealings with Logan Belt and also his brothers which was all ways satisfactory.

I joining in with many good citizens of this county pray you that said Logan Belt be pardoned as justice demands it.

Respectfully yours,

M. L. Shelby

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Cave in Rock, Ills. Nov. 13th, A.D. 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of the State of Illinois

Dear Sir,

One Logan Belt, who is now in the States prison at Joliet, Illinois, is now serving a term of fifteen years in said prison as a punishment inflicted upon him for killing one Oldham, which killing was in my opinion almost justifiable, and I believe that nearly any man would not have done other than as did Logan Belt under the same circumstances. The virdict of the jury fixing the term which Belt should serve in the pententary at fifteen years, was a complet surprise to every body that pretended to know any thing about the circumstances attending the killing. Even Belts most bitter enemies were greatly surprised. I further believe that the punishment which Belt has already undergone is more than equal to the crime he committed, if it should be called a crime, and I believe that it would be nothing more than an act of right and justice that Belt receive a pardon at your hand. I believe that a majority of the law abiding citizens of Hardin County are desirous that Belt be pardoned, and believe it would be nothing more than justice to Mr. Belt and would be a greate satisfaction to his many friends and relatives, and I believe you should release Mr. Belt from further imprisonment that it would be satisfactory to a large majority of the law abiding citizens of Hardin County.

Yours very Respectfully

Jacob Hess
Justice of the peace
of Hardin County

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Elizabethtown, Ills.

Nov. 15th, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I cheerfully join the citizens of Hardin County in asking the pardon of Logan Belt who is now is prison at Joliet. I think that his sentence was excessive and his pardon will be in accordance with the wish of the citizens of this County.

John T. Ledbetter

Sheriff of Hardin County, Ills.

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Cave in Rock, Ills.

Nov. 15th, 1884

To his Exclency, John M. Hamilton
Gov. of the State of Illinois

I gladley join in the general request that you may pardon Logan Belt. I have known him from boyhood, and can recomend him as a gentleman. He was a union officer, a felow republican, and a good citizen. It is the wish of the peopple that he be pardoned hoping you will heed our request. I am Geo. W. L, Nesbitt, Late 1st. Lieut. of Co. E 48 Regt. of Ills. Vet. Vol. Inft.

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OFFICE OF G. W. HILL,

Dealer in Dry Goods, Groceries, Boots, Shoes, Hats Caps, Clothing, Gents & Ladies Furnishing Goods, Grain Drills, Farm Machinery Wagons Etc. a Specialty,

CAVE IN ROCK, HARDIN CO. ILL., Nov. 15th, 1884

To his excellency,
John M. Hamilton
Gov. of Ills.

I join my neighbors of Cave in Rock in asking you to pardon Logan Belt, and can say that it is the wish of all our good citizens that he be released, which was shown by the signing of the petition now on file in your office.

I was an officer in the same regiment with Logan Belt, and can testify that he was a good officer, brave and kind. Until recently, I was engaged in general merchandising and dealt extensively with him, and know him to be a high minded citizen.

The vile slanders on the Belt name so widely scattered, are without foundation;

I am dealing now in stock and produce and well know the sentiments of the people, which is that Logan Belt be pardoned, or released, and if you see fit to comply with our earnest request, you will bring joy to many a heart and receive the thanks of him many friends.

I beg leave to remain as ever,

John M. Gregory

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Carbondale, Illinois

November 20, 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton, Governor of Illinois

Dear Sir,

Pardon me for saying a word in behalf of Logan Belt of Hardin County now confined in the penitentiary at Joliet under a sentence of 15 years by the Gallatin circuit court May term 1879 for killing one -- Oldham in Hardin County.

I will say I was personally and well acquainted with Logan Belt from 1867 up until the unfortunate troubles with Oldham. I held the circuit courts in Hardin County from Sept. 1867 to May 1872 and knew Mr. Belt all the time. He is a brave, courageous man, quick and prompt to resent a wrong or insult, but peacible, quiet and law abiding when not imposed upon by others, good hard working industrious citizen, a kind neighbor, an affectionate husband and father, with an interesting and good family. I understand Mr. Belts prison life and conduct has been exemplary and good. If so, it would seem even if he made a mistake in killing the party, that he has fully atoned for the wrong, and therefore his further imprisonment is but a torture and punishment of his poor wife and little children who so badly need the care and protection of the husband and father. In view of all the facts, I believe the Pardon of Mr. Belt by YOU from further imprisonment would be approved by Heaven and sanctioned by all good people who know the facts connected with the unfortunate affair, and give a ray of sunshine and peace to that family now reduced to want and penury, and so long bereft of its support and head. Such act would be one of mercy & "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Yours most Respectfully,

Andrew DĚ Duff

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Carbondale Ill. Nov. 20, 1884

Mr. Hiram Belt, Cave in Rock, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I have this morning written a letter to Gov. Hamilton in behalf of Logan Belt which I here with send to you. I write under unfavorable circumstances indeed - not being able to set up more than one hour at a time - have been sick four weeks today and in the meantime my dear daughter aged 20 years died 11th inst., so my own mind is almost wrecked. But I have written to the Gov. plainly & frankly just what I think about it and hope your brother will soon be out at liberty.

Yours truly A. D. Duff

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Shawneetown, Illinois

Nov. 23, 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I heartily concur with the numerous friends of Logan Belt in the belief that he should be pardoned at once and hope your excellency will not turn a deaf ear to the earnest appeals in his behalf. I was present at the trial before I was elected to office, heard the evidence and I thought it very doubtful from the evidence whether the act was not done in necessary self defense. Respectfully &C., D. M. Kinsall

States Attorney

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Shawneetown, Ill. Nov. 23, 1884

To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton,
Gov. of Ill.

At the time Logan Belt was tried for the killing by Oldham, I was States Atty of this Gallatin County and assisted Senator W. S. Morris in the trial, he having been engaged in the case before it came here. I had known Logan Belt well since 1871 & can say truthfully that I never saw in him anything to indicate a bad or criminal spirit and now having heard read the various letters in his behalf and especially Senator Morris & the one from the Chaplain of the prison, I hereby cheerfully join in the request for his pardon.

Very respectfully,

E. D. Youngblood

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The Local Record,
CONRAD O. EDWARDS, EDITOR
Shawneetown, Ill., Nov. 23, 1884 To His Excellency,

Gov. John M. Hamilton

Dr. Sir: An effort is now being made by the friends of Logan Belt to secure his pardon from the State's prison. I attended the trial and heard much of the evidence. In my opinion, his sentence was entirely too severe; and he has now served a much longer term than the evidence warranted. This is the universal sentiment of the public in this section.

Respectfully,

Conrad O. Edwards,
Publisher Shawneetown
Local Record

P.S. I was astonished at the verdict of the jury and sentence.

C, O. E.

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To his Excellency
John M. Hamilton
Governor of the State of Illinois

In the matter of the petition of Logan Belt now confined in the Penitentiary at Joliet I will say that I heard the main part of the evidence pro and con on his trial and thought then and am still of the opinion that he should not have been convicted on the evidence.

And I am of the opinion that but for an old prejudice existing at that time and for year before in the minds of the people of this county (very few of whom knew him) about a matter that happened years before (and with which I suppose he had nothing to do and knew nothing about) he would have been acquitted at his trial in this county.

I do not think any citizen of this county could have been convicted on the same evidence given at his trial. I was acquainted with him for several years before his trial.

It is my candid belief that he should have been pardoned long ago.

Arad K. McCall

Ex Member
State Board of
Equalization
Shawneetown, Ill.

Nov. 24, 1884

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Shawneetown, Illinois

Nov. 23, 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

I defended Logan Belt when he was tried for murder, and in a long course of criminal practice, he is the only man I ever defended whose conviction I earnestly believed to be wrongful and unjust. I think Logan Belt made out a clear case of self defense under all the rules of law, and his conviction has given me more pain and mental torture than tongue can tell, because I believed that his conviction was brought about by perjury and predjudice. I rejoice now that the day has come when those who persecuted him with so much malignity are relenting in their feelings toward him, and better able to do justice to an innocent man as I sincerely believe him to be. Predjudice and passion has passed away and hundreds that once believed him guilty now in the light of the law and the facts stand with me in the opinion that an innocent man has been convicted and suffered unjustly. With Regards,

Wm. G. Bowman

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OFFICE OF
CREBS & BERRY

ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW

Carmi, Ill., Nov. 24th, 1884

Gov. Hamilton

My Dear Sir,
The friends of Logan Belt have applied to me to recomend to your Excellency his pardon.

When application was made some two years ago, I refused to recomend it, thinking the time had not come for Executive Clemency in his behalf.

From the representations made at this time, I am disposed to recomend his pardon; Especially so from the statement of Senator Morris.

No man could have been more vigorous than he in carrying on the prosecution, and no one known better the situation of affairs in Hardin County, and I have such faith in his judgement and integrity as to give great weight to his opinion, I never had any doubt as to Belts guilt, and as to the justice of his conviction, but as to the extent of his punishment being the exact measure of his guilt, I have not been so well satisfied.

The killing having been done in an affray, and no evidence of malice existing, I believe the punishment already inflicted is under all the circumstances sufficient, and I would therefore cheerfully recomend his pardon.

Very truly Yours,

Chauncey S. Congers
Judge

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F. M. Youngblood,
Lawyer,

Collections a Specialty

Benton, Ill., Dec. 2nd, 1884

Gov. John M. Hamilton
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I learn from Mr. Sherwood of Hardin County that he has renewed the application before you for the pardon of Logan Belt, a convict in the penitentiary at Joliet. I once presented this case to Gov. Cullom. At that time, certain local protests stood in the way, all of which Mr. Sherwood informs me have been removed. I feel that justice demands the pardon of Mr. Belt and if the local objections thereto have been removed, I hope you will take action in the matter at an early day.

Truly yours,

F. M. Youngblood

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RIVERSIDE HOTEL
Wm. G. BOWMAN
PROPRIETOR

Shawneetown, Ill., Dec., 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton
Governor of Illinois

My dear Governor

Enclosed please find certified copy of jurors in the case of the people vs. Logan Belt, confined in the Joliet Penitentiary. I would be rejoiced if you could find it consistent with your duty as Governor to restore this man to freedom, in whose entire innocence I have ever had an abiding and trusting belief.

I remain your obedient servant,

Wm. G. Bowman

P.S. A certified copy of publishers notice is on file in your office.

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Elizabethtown, Ill.
Dec. 15th, 1884

Hon. John M. Hamilton,
Gov. of Illinois,
Springfield

Dear Sir,

In the matter of Logan Belt formerly of this county, now in the States Prison at Joliet, for the murder of Elisha T. Oldham, I wish to say that having known Mr. Belt for 20 years previous to the commission of his crime and having been present and heard the evidence at his preliminary examination, I am fully satisfied he has now paid a suficient penalty for the crime he committed, and would therefore cordially favor his reprieve.

Yours most Respectfully,

L. F. Twitchell,

Co. Coms.

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Cave in Rock, Ills.
Dec. 20th, 1884

Gov. John M. Hamilton,
Springfield, Ills.

Dear Sir,

By request of a great many of Logan Belt's friends, I desire to call your attention to his case now pending for a pardon.

I will add that the soldiers of this community are really anxious that he be released,

They and myself do hope that you will act promptly in this particular case.

Very Respectfully,
John M. Gregory

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Cavin Rock, Ill.
Jan. 1st, 1885

Gov. Hamilton,
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I join my neighbors in asking you to pardon Logan Belt. I know Belt. He is a true Republican 6 made a good soldier. hope you will not gow out of office 6 leave him in prison. I am a stock dealer and I know the sentiments of the people.

Yours,

Marvin Deweese

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Cave-in-Rock, Ills.
Jan. 2, 1885

Gov. Hamilton
Springfield, Ills.

Kind Sir,
I make so bold as to write and solicitate pardon for Logan Belt. I am a niece of Mr. Belt only fourteen years old.

His family were once in good circumstances but are now much reduced. He was a republican and good soldier.

I beg you will consider the many letters which have been sent to you for Mr. Belt's wife and little children badly need his assistance.

I think uncle has been imprisoned long enough for the crime which he commited.

I hope you will pardon uncle as I should dearly love to see him.

Yours Respectfully,

Minnie Gregory

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Cavin Rock, Ills.
Jan. 2, 1885

Gov. Hamilton,
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I desire to call youre attention to the case of Logan Belt who is serving in the Jolliet Pententiary. Pleas pardon him a good soldier & is a true Republican. I am a farmer 6 I think I know the sentiments of the people.

Yours Respectfully,

Wm. G. Blair

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OFFICE OF G. W. HILL

Dealer in Dry Goods, Groceries, Boots, Shots, Hats Caps, Clothing, Gents & Ladies Furnishing Goods, Grain Drills, Farm Machinery Wagons Etc. a Specialty,

CAVE IN ROCK, HARDIN CO. ILL., Jan. 2, 1885

To Hon. Gov. Hamilton
Springfield, Illinois

Dear Sir:

I join my neighbors in asking your excelency to pardon Logan Belt who is now serving a term of 15 years in the Penetentiary of this state.

My residence is Cave in Rock, my business is that of General merchant.

Hope you will give the matter due consideration.

Respectfully yours,

G. W. Hill

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Cave in Rock, Ill.
Jany 2nd, 1885

Gov. Hamilton
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Sir,

I join my neighbors in asking you to pardon Logan Belt who is now serving a term in the Joliet Penitentiary.

I am a merchant of this place in connection with J. J. Goodman Jr.

Yours truly,

Chas. C. English

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Cave-in-Rock, Ills.
Jan. 2, 1885

Gov. Hamilton

Dear Sir,

As I am a niece of Logan Belt, I think it my duty to ask you for a pardon for him, as his wife and little children are in great distress about uncle being kept away from them so long.

I think he has been kept in prison long enough for doing an act in self-defense. He was a good soldier, a true republican, was Second Lieut. in Company D. 48th Ky. Vol.

I hope you will look into his case and grant him a pardon.

Yours Respectfully

Mittie Hastings

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Illinois
Southern Hospital for the Insane

Anna, Ill. Feby, 11TH, 1885

My Dear Sir:

I write you in the interest of an old comrad in arms during the late civil war. Logan Belt, late a Lieut. in the 48 Ky. Regt. Vols. of which I had the honor to be its Lieut. Col. 6 commanded nearly its entire service. I will say for Logan Belt, that, during his service and time under my notice 6 command, I always found him to be sober, an upright gentleman in his conduct 6 dealings with his fellows, and faithful in the performances of all duties imposed. He had on many occasions important trusts, all of which he never failed to satisfy his commanders and with credit to all concerned.

From what I have been able to learn of the nature of his offence, I am strongly led to believe that his case in one worthy of Executive Clemency, and do therefore urgently request you to exert your influence with the Gov. with view to obtaining his pardoning power in this especial case. I sincerely believe that when the merits of the case are well presented, that a pardon will be granted my old comrade & friend.

I shall be very grateful for any kindly consideration you may be pleased to give my plea.

I am, very Respectfully,

W. W. Hesher
Physician

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