“The attorney called his testimony ambiguous. He requested his boy be released; no one had accused the young Stoll of lighting the fire or even lighting a match. He had been a curious onlooker like many others in town and had not taken an active part.Judge Butler at this point decided he saw sufficient evidence to hold Stoll on grounds of murder pending a grand jury investigation and he denied the request for release. He set forth in his statement a precedent which would affect the future testimony of witnesses and close the mouths of any who may have stepped forward and spoken. Judge Butler said that he thought that those who sanctioned the actions taken by the mob and crowd, people took no action to stop the lynching or did not attempt to prevent taking the Negro from the hospital, folks who knew before hand of the plans to lynch this man without moving to stop it were accomplices to murder and as culpable as whoever lit the fire.The Judge's announcement would prove to be the undoing of anyone who had any knowledge if the case from coming forward to speak up and help. By pronouncing people knowing beforehand of the plans and not acting, he had condemned most of Coatesville. Talk had started of lynching when the Negro was brought in, it spread on Sunday. The people in the East End, the West End, the fire companies, and the hospital had all known that there was talk of lynching. And the night of the thirteenth young children followed along like they were going after the pied piper driven by a curiosity to see what was going to happen. No one in Coatesville would admit their 10 year old knew about it, went with the crowd out of curiosity and made no move to end it. Public executions had always drawn crowds: some states made them private because of the large unruly groups which would gather to watch and cheer.The clergy and church goers on Sunday evening fit the guilty definition from the judge as much as those who had thrown the matches on the hay.The Justice of the Peace Lambert Robinson put the situation best, "There is one thing that I have thought has probably hindered this investigation or at least hindered getting any tangible facts, and that is that the people of Coatesville, or the great majority of them, appear to have an idea, from reading of the Judge's charge, and what was said by him, by the judge, at the habeas corpus proceedings, that anybody that was anywhere within a reasonable distance if this horrible affair on that night is liable to the charge if murder.The effects of the statements were applauded by those who had no idea of the effect this would have on the case. Somehow people seemed unable or unwilling to understand: Coatesville would close ranks and not send its men, women and children to be hung for murder because of curiosity. The district attorney joined in and vowed that he would expand his investigations: the Coatesville Record said the D.A. would include sympathizers who would be arrested along with mob leaders. The principle of collective punishment would be applied."
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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA
I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.