(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
DOMINIC DALEY AND JAMES HALLIGAN.
AT a court holden at Northampton, within and for the county of Hampshire, on
the fourth Tuesday of April, in the year of our LORD one thousand eight hundred
and six, before the HON. THEORORE SEDGWICK, and SAMUEL SEWALL, ESQUIRES*, came
on to be tried Dominic Daley and James Halligan, for the murder
of Marcus Lyon. On motion by the HON. JAMES SULLIVAN, ESQ. Attorney General
of the Commonwealth, they were arraigned on an indictment charging them with
having, on the ninth of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and five, at Wilbraham in the county of Hampshire, killed one Marcus
Lyon, in the peace of God and of this Commonwealth then and there being:
The first count stated that Daley, with a pistol, gave him the blow of which
he instantly died and that Halligan was present aiding, abetting and encouraging.
The second, that Daley gave the blow as aforesaid and immersed the body, in
Chicapee river so that Ly-
*By a resolve of the General Court, at their last January session,
any two of the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, were authorised
to try capital offences.
Contact us for information about using this image.
In 1806, two Irish Catholics, Dominic Daley and James Halligan, were unjustly accused and hung for killing a traveler on the Springfield-Boston Road. A local boy implicated Daley and Halligan who, at the time, were en route from Boston to New York City. The murder caused a great stir in predominately Protestant Massachusetts, which was experiencing its first waves and mounting fear of Irish Catholic immigrants. In this document, the defense attorney noted that Protestant New Englanders hold that "inveterate hostility against the people of that wretched country, from which the Prisoners have emigrated (Ireland)." Prejudice against the Irish was a carry-over from the English belief that the Irish were "a barbarous people," a conviction which enabled the English to force Irish Catholics from their land starting in the seventeenth century. Following the Revolutionary War, Americans debated the meaning of liberty and how far the new civil rights extended. Daley and Halligan's lawyer appeals to the jury to apply these rights in this trial by reminding them to, "ensure to them a fair and impartial trial ?(d)o not therefore believe them guilty, because they are Irishmen, but viewing them as your countrymen, remember you are sworn to believe them innocent, until every reasonable doubt of the guilt is removed from your minds".
top of page
"Proceedings on the Trial of the Dominic Daley and James Halligan"
| publisher S. and E. Butler
| author Supreme Judicial Court
| date c. 1806
| location Northampton, Massachusetts
| width 5.5"
| height 9.0"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Books/Booklet
| accession # #L05.085
Send an e-Postcard of this object