P/O Joseph C. Clarke

Fallen HeroPatrolman Joseph C. Clarke


The wonton and cold-blooded shooting of Patrolman Joseph C. Clarke on Monday night (May 22, 1871) by Frederick M. Kusey, as detailed in the Monday night May 23rd Sun-Paper yesterday, gave rise to considerable feelings during the day in the community. The body of the deceased was at an early hour removed to his late residence number 172, which is for Avenue Policeman Clark was a very worthy citizen and a good officer. He leaves, as before stated, a wife and nine children, as well as his grandchildren. The alleged murder Frederick M. Kusey said to belong to Philadelphia was arrested about 6 AM yesterday by policeman Bradley, McGuire and Chew, and on the warrant of Coroner Spacer, he was committed to jail to wait the selection of the grand jury Kusey is a young man about 23 years of age, rather spare, and about 5’8” in height. It appeared that on Monday night, after committing the deed, he escaped from premise number 28 Center St. by a gate leading out to Holliday Street without his hat. He first went to the labor house by Voechell on the corner of Franklin and North Streets, where he procured a hat, and about midnight, when all the spare men of the police force were searching for him, he appeared at that lighter beer saloon of Mr. Johnson under the mansion house corner of St. Paul and Fayette Streets and asked for and obtained a drink. He here said that he had gotten himself into a scrape, that he had shot a policeman, and then displayed the pistol with which he alleged the shooting was done. He then complained of being tired and having no money; he borrowed $.50 with which to pay for a bed at the mansion house. Mr. Johnson had not learned of the murder and was disposed not to believe Kusey, but at an early hour yesterday morning, on reading the account of the affair in the Sun, he at once gave information to Policeman Bradley, who, calling for his assistance, acquired and chewed his way to the room of Kusey and arrested him as he was about to leave the bed.

The accused made no resistance. He had in his possession a cold seven-shooter, three chambers of which had been discharged and three were still loaded. The four female witnesses against the accused, Annie Lawrence alias Chenoweth, Molly Rogers, Sally Cain, and Lizzie Shirley, were also committed to jail by corner Spicer, but for the latter being in delicate health, they were sent to Washington University Hospital. Corner Spicer held a postmortem examination of the body of policeman Clark yesterday, prior to his removal from Mr. Weavers. He found that the ball that had entered the mouth of the deceased had buried itself in the left jawbone; the second ball penetrated the left breast, passed through the long and out the back, cutting the spinal cord and causing instant death from internal hemorrhage. The other ball passed through his hat, grazing his head.

Kusey is a bartender and has been employed in several public houses in the city. After his committal to jail and, in fact, from the time of his arrest, he said nothing as to the motive that led to the commission of this fearful crime with which he stands charged, except when questioned by Capt. Mitchell of the middle district, who asked the prisoner when induced him to slay the policeman Kusey then answered, “I don’t know what I must have been drinking or crazy about.” Capt. Mitchell replied, “Your subsequent conduct did not indicate that you are either drunk or crazy.” The prisoner answered, “Then I wish it had been myself that I had shot.”

From conversations with the four female witnesses, as well as from the testimony before the corner, the conclusion of the murder is made Annie Lawrence, alias John Willis, is the keeper of house number 23 Center St., and Frederick M. Casey lives there. Shirley, Sally Cain, and Molly Rogers were roommates in the house. The accused have given the ladies much trouble by demanding money from her when intoxicated, about three weeks since C caused his arrest and committal to jail in order to avoid his annoyance. On Monday night, he again became troublesome in his demands for money and was so threatening that she ordered Sally, who had charge of the bar, to close it. She did taking the money from the tour with her and locking it herself in her room Mrs. Lawrence then went out the back gate to look for an officer.  Kusey followed her, locking her out He then ran out to the light and went to her bedroom on the second floor. When she returned with policeman Clark, on knocking, she was let in by one of the girls. Everything was dark when I got upstairs She proposed to get a light when Clark told her he had a match on going into the room Kusey was found standing with his boots and hat off. The clerk told him to put his boot on, as he must go with him Kusey replied with a raid when he was again told he must go. Kusey Casey then told Lizzie Shelley to go downstairs for his hat. When he soon thereafter fired two shots, the third as she was going up the steps with the hat, the three women made their escape. The murdered man fell to the floor of the steps, and Kusey then went up to the room of the female bartender and demanded whatever money she had, which she had locked up in her trunk, and refused to give him the key. Kusey then ran downstairs over the body of Clark, made his escape, and was arrested, as stated above. All the witnesses concur in the statement that Kusey had a great antipathy to all who wore the police uniform, invariably calling them “speckled ones.”.

The house number 23 Center St. in which the tragedy occurred is a three-story brick, with the lower floor being used as a barroom. It is in the position of the police authorities, with a policeman stationed on the premises. Day and night numbers of morbid curiosity hunters visited the spot yesterday, but no one was permitted to enter the premises except officers. Msgr. Fusselbaugh, car, and Morris of the police commissioners, and Mr. M. Boswell, their clerk, worked early at the scene of the murder and during the entire night worked with the police, looking up the perpetrator. It was at first suggested that the murder had escaped to the top of the home, and Mr. Carr obtained a ladder and made a personal examination of the roof. The police authorities were greatly aided by Mr. John W. Davie, Esq., the late police commissioner. Who subsequently acted as foreman of the coroner’s jury. Marshal gray and deputy Marshall free were also very active during the night, as in fact were all officers and men to the middle district The funeral of policeman Clark takes place at 3 PM today and will be attended by the police board and all of the police force that can be spared from duty The deceased was a strict member of the Roman Catholic Church

While he is no longer with us, we, his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, will not let him be forgotten. RIP Brother

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End of Watch 22 May, 1871
City, St.      28 Center St.
Panel Number 47-E: 14
Cause of Death      Gunfire
Weapon - Handgun
District Worked Central


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