From the Otsego Herald
for Saturday, Feb. 12, 1814
Compiled, with comments
New-London, Jan. 26. Three weeks since we heard of the following murder...but so great was our reluctance to give publicity to a tale of such enormity... that we have heretofore deferred publishing it. The following letter is from of [a] gentleman of our acquaintance, whose veracity is unquestionable. Other attendant circumstances have come to our knowledge equally monstrous, but sufficient is stated to harrow up the feelings of the human reader.
Letter from a gentleman in South Kingston, R.I. dated Jan. 4, 1814 ....
On the morning of the 26th December, Wm. C. Brown, son of Peleg Brown, called on a little girl who lived with him, who was between four and five years of age, to read her alphabet—that she read it through the first time pretty correctly, and that Brown then ordered her to read it over again, which she did as far as the letter P, which she could not or would not speak.
Upon which he went out and cut two alder sticks, which he whipt her with until they were unfit for his horrid purpose—that he then took a stick designed for a candle rod, which he also beat her with until worn up, or nearly so, and that after this a large stick was put into his hand by his wife, which he beat her with still longer—
That in the intervals of whipping her, and after he had desisted, he held her naked body to the fire, and literally roasted her—so that the skin on her back was found crisped ... and ... held her ear in his teeth for a whole hour, which he chewed and lacerated to pieces ...
The child expired in about 15 minutes after the last whipping and burning ...