P/O Alexander McIntosh

Fallen HeroWatchman Alexander McIntosh

23 November 1843

Houses Found Open: In the Western District, Watchman McIntosh found Mrs. Bradford’s window shutter open at the corner of Hanover and Pratt Street; Watchman Smith found Mr. Lewis Jones’ front door open in Howard Street, both of which were fastened by the Watchmen. In the Middle District, Watchman Madden found the window of Mr. Eli’s Shoe Store in Gay Street opened and the window of the Currier shop in the same street, both of which were secured by the watchman.

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21 June 1844

Watchman McIntosh 
(Injured 15 June 1844, died 19 June 1844)

State versus William Freeberger, George Freeberger, Charles Brown, and Samuel Jones, indicted for an assault upon Peter Tingstrum, on Saturday morning last (15 June 1844), between two and 3 o’clock. Tingstrum stated that he was going along at the corner of Lombard and Liberty Streets when an alarm of fire was raised by a party standing there, whom he approached and charged with having raised it. Some words ensued when the watchman attempted to arrest William Freeberger, and having taken hold of him, Jones ran off. Immediately afterward, the watchman was struck and knocked down, and when the party made their escape, the witness knew the Freebergers and identified them.

Jones, being acquitted by the court, was sworn for the defense, corroborating the testimony of the watchman up to the time of his seizing William Freeberger, when the witness ran away out into the street and directly afterwards heard a blow struck, and the watchman exclaimed, "Some of you struck me.” I did not see George Freeberger in the crowd at all.

The court declared the two Freebergers guilty and ordered them each to pay a fine of $10 and costs.

During the session of the court, upon the request of Hugh McElderry, Esq., foreman of the grand jury, Samuel Jones and William and George Freeberger were arrested on a charge of participating in an affray on Sunday morning last (16 June 1844), in which Watchman McIntosh had been so severely beaten that he died this morning (19 June 1844).

Mr. Pitts, who appeared as counsel for Jones in the previous case reported above, asked the court to specify the amount of bail that would be required under the present arrest. He alleged that the arrest was an unofficial proceeding, that the grand jury had not investigated the case, and claimed the right of his client to be released, free from bail. That was, however, not desired and would not be pressed, but as he was prepared to give a reasonable amount of bail for his appearance, he would request the court name the sum.

The court, on consultation, required bail in the amount of $1000.

The bail was not forthcoming on the adjournment of the court, and Jones, with the Freeburgers, was left in the custody of the warden of the jail.

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22 November 1844

State versus William Freeburger, indicted for murder, and having in connection with Samuel Jones, Charles Brown, and George Freeburger, on June 16 last inflicted blows upon Alexander McIntosh, who died from injuries thus received on the 19th day [June] of the same month.

Mr. Richardson opened the case

James Goll, sworn, testified as in the case of Jones, relative to the visit of the party to Hinesly’s house, but did not know or recognize the prisoner as one of them. They seemed to have been drinking; they were excited but not drunk.

John Hinesly, sworn; his evidence was precisely the same as in the former case, up to the time of the party leaving his house, at about 20 minutes before 2 o’clock on Sunday morning, Freeburger saying as they left, alluding to McIntosh, “we’ll finish him tonight.” On the Monday morning following, the prisoner came to witness’ house and sitting on the table said, “Did you hear of the fracas we got into, Saturday night after leaving your house?” I said, “No.” He said, “We got into a fracas with McIntosh, the watchman, and gave him a licken; some say he’s hurt pretty badly, but I don’t think he’s hurt much; his head is cut a little.” I asked him what they cut it with, and he replied with his own spontoon.” I asked him which party did it, and he said, “That’s my business.” I don’t think there was anything more said about it.

In his cross-examination, the witness stated that the party took two or three drinks of peace at his house; they were a little excited; they think Brown and William Freeburger were from appearances most affected; they don’t think George Freeburger drank it all in there; after they returned the second time, they said they had been in Park Street at Ben Brandt’s.

Messrs. Frazier, Weaver, Tingstrom, and others testified exactly as in the preceding case of Jones.

Mr. Hatch, sworn, I keep a tavern at the corner of Pratt and Howard streets; I had heard of the beating of McIntosh on Sunday morning, and the prisoner came to my house afterwards, about 9 o’clock, and stated that he had been in Esprit the night before and that he had whipped one watchman and would have whipped another but he took out; he said that he was with the party; he said that the spree was up by Sharp Street.

Cross-examined: the prisoner was in my house on the Saturday night previous between nine and 10 o’clock; he did not drink anything.

Isaac Roberts, sworn—as near as I can recall, I arrested the prisoner between 12 and 1 o’clock on Monday after the occurrence.

This case was given to the jury without argument, W. H. Collins and Jay. McKim Duncan, Esq.’s, having conducted the defense, and George R. Richardson, Esq., the prosecution. The jury rendered a verdict without leaving the box, finding the prisoner guilty of murder in the second degree.

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22 November 1844

City Court: In this court yesterday, the case of state versus a Samuel Jones, indicted for having, on the morning of June 16, 1844, inflicted blows upon the person of Alexander McIntosh, causing injury whereof he died on the 19th of the same month [June] thereafter. The prisoner is one of four indicted for the same offense, the others being Samuel Brown [a.k.a. Charles Brown] and William and George Freeburger. The day was occupied with the hearing of testimony, in which the jury was addressed successively by Mr. Richardson for the state, Messrs. Pitts and Walsh for the defense, and Mr. Richardson closing for the prosecution. In consequence of the difficulty that the publication of the evidence in the present case might create in reference to the impaneling of juries for the rest, at the request of the court, it is for the present withheld.

The case was given to the jury at a little before 9 o’clock, who retired to their room and, after an absence of about 10 minutes, returned to court with a verdict, finding the prisoner [Samuel Jones] guilty.

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23 November 1844

City Court: the security of trolls Brown, one of those indicted for the murder of Watchman McIntosh, was on Thursday night given up by his security and rearrested by officer Roberts. He was committed to jail by Justice Rice

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26 November 1844

City Court: The court met yesterday [November 25, 1844] and Charles Brown was placed in the bar. One of the parties charged with the murder of watchman McIntosh was summoned, and after a considerable time a jury was selected but not sworn; they were then discharged until tomorrow morning, under the direction of the court to hold no conversations in relation to the matter they have before them.

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26 November 1844

State versus Charles Brown, indicted for the murder of Watchman McIntosh, as above stated.

The testimony given in the case of Jones was repeated before the jury in the present case.

For the defense, the following additional evidence was offered:

Charles King, sworn, – was in Hinesly’s house at the time the party – Jones, Brown, the prisoner, and the two Freeburgers – came in; thinks it was about 1 o’clock; after they came in, Brown charged me with having won some money of him about a year previously; he allowed I had wronged him out of it; there was a young man named Troxall, who they said belong to the New Market, and they were going to quarrel with him on that account; after staying about 10 minutes I, with my party, went out, and went up liberty, toward Fayette Street; before we got to Fayette there was a porter bottle thrown at us; we went on to McClellan’s alley, where they came up with us, and Brown attempted to pass his arm through mine and William Freberg are made a blow at me; I warded off, and ran off and called “murder” and “watch; ”went to Saratoga Street and found a watchman, and told him of the party; and then went up Charles Street market, and there saw another watchman, and told him; that was Reynolds; I did not see the party again that night.

Watchman Newman was with Reynolds at 1 Charles St. when King came and made a complaint against a party at McClellan’s alley and Fayette Street; King went with us; when we got there, some young men were there, but King said they were not the party; we stood about five minutes, and the young men went away; Reynolds and I went away together; the town clock struck two while I was standing at the corner.

The jury was addressed by S. Chase Cole and A. Sterrett Ridgely, Esqrs., for the defense, and by George R. Richardson, Esq., for the state, after which the indictment was handed to the jury, who found a verdict of guilty of murder in the 2nd° without leaving the box.

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27 November 1844

Baltimore City Court, October Term

Present: Judges Brice, Nesbitt and Worthington

States Attorney, George R. Richardson, Esq.

Thursday, November 21, 1844

Trial for Murder

State Versus Samuel Jones, indicted for murder and having caused the death of Alexander McIntosh, a city watchman, by striking him in the head with an A spontoon on the 16th of June last, of which injury he died on the 19th day of the same month [June 1844].

The case was opened before the jury by Mr. Richardson, and a clear statement of the anticipated testimony and the theory of the state and regulations thereto were explained. The witnesses were called, and the examination proceeded as follows:

John Samberg, sworn, lives in liberty, second door below Lombard Street, left hand side; remembers the night on which McIntosh was beaten; on that night the prisoner and Brown, a companion, were in his house, and Jones remarked, “Let’s go give McIntosh a round,” or “Now is the time to give McIntosh around,” don’t know which; recollects no one in the house besides Jones at the time, but Brown and a young man named Benson; it was between 11 and 12 o’clock, near to 12; they left the house about 12; I shut up about 12, and Jones was there a few moments before.

Cross, examined by Mr. Walsh I can’t say that Jones came in alone or went out in company with the others; the remarks he made about McIntosh were loud enough to be heard all over the room; I heard nothing about “giving him around by an alarm of fire.” The remark I heard might have been about a half an hour before I shut up.

James Goll, sworn: On the night in question, about 20 minutes after 12, I was in at Hinesly’s, in Liberty Street, above Baltimore, when Jones Brown and Evans, and others, came in, stayed some 10 or 15 minutes, and went out again; in about a half hour they came back, and one of the party members remarked that they had had a row in Part Street; soon after, three other young men came in, and there seemed a disposition to be a row, and I went away to the Wheatfield Inn, where I boarded; at the time I got home, it wanted 20 minutes of 2 o’clock; I went directly home from Hinesly’s.

Cross-examination by Mr. Wells: Jones was talking to Mr. Hinesly; he appeared to be very quiet; he did not make any noise.

John Ensley sworn – on the night in question, Samuel Jones, Charles Brown, Thomas Evans, George and William Freberg are, Thomas Buckley, and some other young men I didn’t know, came in about 15 minutes past twelve o’clock; took a drink or two a piece, and went away; they came in again about 15 or 20 minutes later 1 o’clock; I think the same party all returned together; after they came in the second time, three other young men came in after them; Brown knocked up a spree with one of them, named Troxall; I told them I could have no noise there, and George Freberg are imposed and made peace between them; Jones leaned over to me and said we differ in politics, but there was no difficulty with us; he then said there was a watchman down the street who wanted to take him to the watch house the other night without cause, and he meant to have satisfaction out of him, and would whip him tonight; I asked him a what watchman it was, and he said McIntosh; I told him he had better not have a row with watchman, for I tried that with a constable once and couldn’t make anything of it; Brown, I think it was, then said, we’ll him a within anyhow, and I think we may as well give it to him tonight; one of them then said, will take a drink on that, and they did drink, and then went out, William Freberg are saying, will lick him tonight, and I think added the words, “will finish him anyhow.” The two free burgers, Jones, Brown, and a little fellow I didn’t know, went out together; Buckley and Evans went out a little before; I think it was then about 20 minutes of 2 o’clock. The little fella I spoke of was with them both times; I had never seen him before nor since.

Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh, when Jones was speaking to me, the others were standing in the room; I think Mr. Goll was sitting in the room back in a chair; I think Brown was about 8 feet perhaps from a; he was going on with the Foss with Troxall at the time; Jones, when he said “I’ll whip him tonight,” had just raised up from leaning over the bar, and Brown then added “ will be with him tonight anyhow.” Jones said in his conversation that McIntosh wanted to take him to the watch house some nights previous, and he thought he had some animosity against him, as there were worse fellows in the ward than he was. I never said that some young men had said at my house that they would whip a watchman, but I didn’t know who they were; several people have asked me about it; Jones’ mother called on me and asked me what I knew about it; I told her that I couldn’t say more than what I knew about it; she would hear some time or other.

By Mr. Pitts—I don’t know, but I did say as they went out of the house that I would shut up, and Jones might have remarked that “now was a good time to shut up.”

Mr. Goll recalled that Jones and Hinesly were talking at the bar, and the other party was quarreling. When I went out, I left Jones in the room; he had been leaning over the bar talking to Hinesly, and when the other party commenced their affair, I and my friends were out.

Lieut. Weaver, sworn I found watchman McIntosh at the corner of Hanover and Lombard streets; he was very much beaten; I was at Lombard Street a little west of the flagstones, which cross Hanover Street on the west side; I had wrapped around his box 2 or three times; he was standing in the street and did not seem to know me; the blood was running over his shoulder. In the morning I found the a spontoon of McIntosh in the yard of the parsonage adjoining Mr. Henshaw’s church; after leaving McIntosh I went down to Pratt Street to get assistance and found watchman Stockett and went with him up Pratt Street to Sharp, and then ordered him to go up Sharp to the United engine house, and I went around up Howard at the corner of Howard and liberty met Tingstrom who had also been beaten; I ran as fast as I could and think five minutes had not intervened after I left McIntosh before I saw Tingstrom; I went to get assistance to arrest the parties I supposed had committed the deed; I told McIntosh when he came with Stockett to the engine house, to go to the watch house and get its headrest; the blood was flowing freely from his head, trickling down his coat over his collar; when I first found him it was in the neighborhood of 2 o’clock; I had not heard him at all that night.

Watchman Tingstrom, sworn – I am the watchman on Ward number 13; at 2 o’clock I was at the corner of German and Howard streets; and then started down to the corner of German and liberty and thence to the junction of liberty, Howard and Lombard; presently I heard the alarm of fire given; so all these men come across Sharp Street and Lombard, hollering “fire;” I asked them where the fire was and they said there was none; I said they were hollering fire, and William Freberg are said if you say I hollered “fire” you are a damn lying son of bits; I then seized him, and Jones said let him go and I’ll take him away; I let him go and told them they knew it was wrong to holler fire, and immediately I was struck two or three blows, and some of them got hold of my A spontoon, and we both twisted I to hold it and they to get it away; for of the party I recognized as Jones, Brown and the two Freeburgers; I saw all a spontoon in the hands of one of the party at that time, and it was a white handle one; it was flourished over my head, when Mr. Headley came up to my assistance, and the party ran away.

Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh: I note that Jones was among the party and that he said he would take Freeburger home. I know that Freeburger attacked me, but it was done so quickly that I could not recognize any others; they might all have taken a blow at me.

By Mr. Pitts, when Jones tried before this court for an assault on me, I stated that one of the parties raised a stick over me; I did not say anything then of the spontoon; I knew that there was a spontoon; it was the evening after McIntosh was buried that I first said I saw one of them with a spontoon; I stated so at the Mayor’s office; I had heard that McIntosh had lost his spontoon in the assault on him, and then it struck me that it was a spontoon.

In chief, it was as near as I can recall, about five minutes after I had been beaten, before Lieut. Weaver came up.”

By Mr. Walsh, the scuffle had lasted about two or three minutes; it was not my own spontoon with which I was struck in the mouth. 

The court here took a recess for an hour and a half.


Frazier, private watchman, sworn I saw McIntosh on the Sunday morning on which he was beaten in German Street, between Charles and Hanover; he wanted to know what time it was, and I went to the lamp to look at my watch; it wanted a 1:45 o’clock; he then went down German, toward Hanover Street; he was then well and unhurt.

Watchman Headley swore: I was at the corner of Howard and Camden Street at 2:12 o’clock and heard the alarm of fire; I came up to my box to get the key of the United engine house; I found there was no fire, and when I came toward the engine house, I heard Tingstrom’s voice, calling out “kill me,” “kill me,” and I ran up to the corner of Liberty and Howard, and there I saw a party in a scuffle with Tingstrom; as I ran up, they pushed me into the street and ran away, Jones going up Howard Street.

The state here arrested the case, and the next witness was called for the defense.

Watchman Reynolds, sworn, testified that he was trying the door of Norris and Beatty’s store and heard the cry of “watch,” but could not tell where it was; went on to the corner of Charles Street and heard it again; soon afterward met a young man, who stated that he had been assaulted by a party at the corner of McClellan’s alley and Fayette Street; went to that place, and there found Jones, Brown, the two Freeburgers, and one or two others; it wanted then 10 minutes of 2 o’clock; witness reminded them to talk with them until 20 minutes after 2 o’clock.

A witness was asked by Mr. Richardson if he did not state yesterday in his office that it was 15 or 20 minutes past 2 o’clock when he left the party house. He answered that he did not want to contradict Mr. Richardson, but that he had been misunderstood.

Dr. Hoffman, sworn, was called to watch house to address the wounds of a watchman, who was McIntosh. I discovered a wound on the top of the head, which seemed to have been caused by two blows, but on further examination, I concluded that it was the effect of a single blow. I also thought there was some injury at the side of the head, but the head was very much suffused with blood, and I could not make a thorough examination. I dressed the wounds and directed him to be taken home. He was afterwards removed to the infirmary, and there Dr. Annan informed me that on the postmortem examination, he discovered that there was a fracture of this call on the side of the head. I was in the office of the state’s attorney yesterday evening and heard Reynolds examined. I understood him to say that the time when he saw the men at the corner of McClellan Alley and Fayette Street was 20 minutes or 2:30 o’clock.

Watchman Tingstrom testified to the same statement of time made by Reynolds yesterday at Mr. Richardson’s office.

Isaac Roberts testified to the same statement made by Reynolds.

Mr. Marshall, sworn, testified that he was in Mr. Stuart’s office yesterday when the gentleman was examining the witnesses in anticipation of another case and heard Reynolds testify that he was with the party at the corner of McClellan Alley and Fayette Street from 10 minutes before to 20 minutes after.

Yates Welch, sworn, testified that upon examining Reynolds in anticipation of the case in September last, Reynolds original statement to him was that he was with the party from 10 minutes before to until 20 minutes after two, and that he had always stated that time.

Hinesly, called by the defense, thinks the parties stayed at his house probably about 15 minutes after Mr. Goll went out, though he can hardly say what time Mr. Goll did go out.

The case was argued at considerable length by George R. Richardson, Esq., for the state, and Charles H. Pitts and T. Yates Walsh, Esq., for the defense. It was given to the jury at about 9 o’clock in the evening, and after the absence of five minutes, they returned to the court with a verdict of guilty of murder in the 2nd°.

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29 November 1844

Baltimore city court, October term

present: judges Brice, Nisbet, and Worthington

states attorney, George R. Richardson, Esq.

Thursday, 28 November 28, 1844

Trial in Murder

state versus George Freeburger, indicted for the murder of McIntosh, the watchman, on the morning of June 16, 1844. The prisoner is one of the party, consisting besides himself of Samuel Jones, Charles Brown, and William Freberg, already convicted of the same offense; Thomas Buckley; and a young man named Evans, since deceased.

Considerable difficulty was experienced in empaneling a jury, the publication of the evidence in the former cases having led to a very general formation or expression of opinion on the merits of the present case. A jury was, however, at length sworn, and Mr. Richardson opened the case. The testimony was then detailed by the witnesses, varying in a few important particulars from that already published in relation to the present prisoner.

The testimony of Mr. Hinesly as to the conduct of the prisoner exhibited some favorable facts as to his conduct at the house. He drank something there when the others did, and at the time of the quarrelsome demonstration by Brown with another party, the prisoner interposed to make peace and said there should be no fighting; and when Jones was speaking of whipping McIntosh, he observed that if there was to be any fighting tonight, they should do it themselves; he would have nothing to do with it.

Mr. King testified to the same peaceable disposition as manifested by one of the parties at Hindsley’s but could not say which of them it was. Does not know the prisoner.

Watchman Tingstrom demonstrated that the prisoner was present during the assault on him, but even though he was unable to identify the individual who struck him, he was able to attest with certainty that the prisoner made no attempt to stop the assault or mediate a settlement.

The law relating to the case was agreed upon by Mr. Richardson on the part of the state and Mr. Stewart on the part of the defense, to the effect that the declarations made by Mr. Jones, Brown, and William Freeburger, with regard to their intention to whip McIntosh, George Freberg, having expressed his dissent from that purpose and all participation with it, are not to be considered by the jury unfavorable to the prisoner, unless they shall believe that he afterwards assented to the act and sanctioned it by his presence. With this statement, the case was given to the jury, who retired and were absent until 4 o’clock, when a note was received from them stating that they were unable to agree and asking to be allowed refreshments. Refreshments were accordingly ordered.

David Andrews, convicted last week of the murder of Thomas Johnson Brandon, was sentenced today to be confined in prison until August 2, 1860 The jury adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock

The jury in the case of Freberg had not agreed at 8 o’clock last evening.

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4 December 1844

City Court: In this court yesterday, the case of State versus John Price, indicted for assault with intent to kill, was upon the affidavit of the traverser, declaring that he was unable to procure the attendance of an important witness, and continued until the February term. In the case of state versus George Freeberger, in which a jury was unable to agree last week, an effort was made to impanel another jury; the regular list was exhausted, and a number of men were summoned, but it seemed impossible to procure a sufficient number. After some delay, it was finally concluded to continue the case until next term, and the traverser was discharged upon exiting recognitions. Samuel Jones, Charles Brown, and William Freeburger, convicted of the murder of the Watchman McIntosh, and Richard Martin, convicted of the murder of Ann Short, were brought up for sentencing. The court addressed the first three, dwelling upon the enormity of their offense, and sentenced them to be confined in the penitentiary until August 2, 1858.

More Details

End of Watch 19 June 1844
City, St. Lombard and Liberty Streets
Panel Number 1
Cause of Death Fight
Weapon Espantoon
District Worked Western


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