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VERDE HERITAGE: 1907: CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR JOHN SULLIVAN; December 25, continued

John Sullivan, convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, was sentenced to serve 3 years. He entered territorial prison at Yuma on November 29, 1906.

During the trial, John Sullivan had testified in his own behalf. An application sent to the governor requesting a pardon or parole came "from S. L. Kelly, Indian agent at San Carlos, in behalf of John G. Sullivan, an Apache Indian, serving a 3 year term for assault with a deadly weapon. The circumstances are set forth in the following letter from the Indian to Mr. Kelly:"

"Yuma, Arizona, November 24, 1907."

"Mr. S. L. Kelly, U. S. Indian Agent, San Carlos, Arizona."

"Dear Sir: I got a pass from you, good for one year, in 1906, to visit my father and mother [Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pascoe] at Jerome, Arizona, and while I was visiting them I got into trouble defending my father, and I was convicted, and I was sent here to the territorial prison for a term of three years, and I do not believe I got justice, or I would have been released at my trial."

"My father is an old man, and he was working at the slaughter house, herding cattle, and had been there ever since he left the reservation two years previous to my trouble. My father was allowed to go to the barn to get hay for his own horse, and on this night, when he went for hay, an employee there by the name of Henry Stevens, would not let father take the hay and knocked him down and kicked and brutally beat him; and I started over there when I heard, and I said to stop it. He said he would kill the Indian s__b and run in the house to get a gun; and I got mine and shot in the air, telling him not to come out."

"I watched the door to keep him from coming out and killing father, while mother went over there and helped father home. I then threw my gun down and went into Jerome and gave myself up, and when I told the marshal the facts, he said that I had done right, and that I would come clear in the preliminary."

"But instead of that, the justice of the peace bound me over to the grand jury. At the trial Justin Head was the interpreter; and he is a Mohave Indian and does not understand the Tonto Apache language, so he could do me little good. Mother and father do not talk English or Spanish, so they could not relate their stories of the affair."

"Previous to my coming home the same party had beaten my father nearly to death."

"Fred Hawkins, the marshal of Jerome, will vouch for the truth of this statement, and I will give you the names of other parties in Jerome that know of the circumstances of the case."

"I would like to have you write to Fred Hawkins, of Jerome, and to investigate the circumstances of the case, and then try to get me released from here, either on a pardon or parole."

"I believe that I can show a good prison record, and I have been a trustee ever since I have been here, and I have not been in trouble of any kind. I am now working in Mr. Rynning's house, he being the superintendent of the prison."

"My father and mother are destitute, and are greatly in need of my help. Mother has got a cancer on one of her hands at present, and father has got to remain with her all the time, and so they find it very hard to get along. Hoping that you will take this matter up for me, and will try to get me released as soon as possible, I remain, JOHN G. SULLIVAN, Box F, Yuma, Arizona."

Note: "The Justin Head to whom reference is made in the letter is himself an Apache who created considerable excitement by running amuck a year ago in the vicinity of Camp Verde and killing several other Indians."

"Governor Kibbey has taken the case up and has written to the authorities of the county ... for further information regarding the conviction and to the warden of the prison for records there."

(Arizona Republican; Phoenix; December 5, 1907; page 3.)

Governor Kibbey has prepared a pardon for:

"John G. Sullivan is an Apache who was convicted in Prescott and sentenced November 26, 1906, to serve three years, for an assault on a white man [Henry Stephens] with a deadly weapon. The story is that Sullivan and his father were at a ranch near Jerome when the victim of the latter assault threatened the life of the elder Apache. The son stirred by filial impulses secured a weapon and assaulted the man who had threatened his father but did not kill him. His previous good conduct was vouched for by the Indian agent at San Carlos and the city marshal of Jerome testified to the irritating circumstances that provoked the assault." (Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; December 26, 1907; page 1.)

John Sullivan received a pardon "as a Christmas gift. ... His previous good character, and the fact that he was protecting his aged father at the time of the assault, led the governor to extend clemency." ... (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; December 25, 1907; page 5)

See: The Verde Independent; "1907: CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR JOHN SULLIVAN; December 25;" December 24, 2013.

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