Sunday, February 21, 2010
Hung For A Slave Trader
Nathaniel Gordon was hung on February 21st 1862 as a slave trader.
Nathaniel Gordon was born about 1834 in Portland Maine. Using his ship the “Erie” he loaded 897 black Africans, raging in age from 6 months to forty-seven near the Congo River in West Africa. He and the ship were capture on August 8th 1860 by the USS “Mohican”. He was brought to trial for being engaged in the Slave Trade, using the Piracy Law of 1820. Gordon’s first trial ended in a hung jury, but the second trial held in New York City brought a conviction on November 9th 1861. He was sentenced to death by hanging on February 7th 1862. President Abraham Lincoln issued Gordon a stay of execution, so that he could his affairs in order. The night before the execution Gordon tried prevent the hanging by using strychnine to committed suicide. He was unsuccessful and became the only American ever executed for being a slave trader on February 21st 1862.