Title

Article about Nathaniel Gordon, a Portland native and the only person to be exec

Authors

Ron Soodalter

Source

Down East

Date

2-1-2012

Pages

66-72

Abstract

Article about Nathaniel Gordon, a Portland native and the only person to be executed in the United States for slave trading. In 1860, Gordon sailed from Portland to Havana, Cuba and then on to the western coast of Africa where he traded 150 hogsheads of whiskey in exchange for 897 people, half of whom were children. Gordon's ship was intercepted by a U.S. Navy vessel shortly after commencing his return trip to Cuba and he was taken to New York City to be tried. A new prosecutor, E. Delafield Smith, had been recently elected to the New York Circuit Court and his goal was the end of New York City's involvement in the slave trade. Gordon was sentenced to hang on February 7, 1862 and his execution took place in late February, one day after he tried to commit suicide while in jail.

Full text is not available here. Please contact the Library for a copy of the article.

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