West Virginia State Archives


Sheriff's Office

Kanawha County

Charleston, W.Va. Sept 25th 1879

Hon H.M. Matthews




Sir, I write you in regards to the trouble we had at Paint Creek in our County on the 18th of this month. I received a Telegram from Mr. J. L. Montgomery and with Mr. Snyder and Pros. Atty. and a guard started on the 10 P.M. train but did not arrive until the hanging was over. We stayed until the next morning and held inquests upon the bodies of both parties but could not find any evidence to implicate anyone in the hanging. The many miners examined all swore that they knew none of the parties. I am of the opinion the only way to find out who was concerned in the hanging is to employ some good detective and let him work it up for Mr. Snyder and let them be indicted at our Fall Term of the Court. Whilst I thing the Negro was wholly to blame and deserved hanging I am quite confident  the law would have imposed that punishment upon him and it would have had a better effect upon the community.