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Affray-Loss of Life - 1841


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 12/3/2017 at 00:07:45

THE IOWA NEWS, Dubuque, Saturday, June 19, 1841
WM. M. CORIELL, Editor

Affray – Loss of Life – On Thursday last, a man named Thomas Story came into the kitchen of the Jefferson Hotel in this town, kept by Mr. Timothy Fanning, seized upon a young woman who was at work there, and forced her out of the house, threatening to shoot her with a pistol he held in his hand if she made any resistance. While in the act of carrying her to a canoe fastened to the bank of the Mississippi about a hundred yards distance, many citizens alarmed at her cries came running to the spot. As soon as he found he could not accomplish his purpose of abduction, Story let the young woman go, and stood pistol in hand with a dogged determination to defend himself from arrest. As Mr. James Fanning, brother of the keeper of the Hotel came near, Story drew up his pistol and presented it at him, but as he was in the act of pulling the trigger Fanning struck the pistol down, so that when it went off, it wounded him badly in the left foot. Fanning then drew a pistol from his pocket and fired at Story, but did not disable him; Story then attempted to discharge the other barrel of the pistol at Fanning, but it snapped; upon which Fanning drew another pistol from his pocket and fired, the ball passing through Story’s body in the region of his heart, causing his immediate death.

We have not heard what was the verdict of the coroner’s jury, but suppose that it was in accordance with the above stated facts.

It is generally considered that Mr. Fanning acted entirely in self-defense, and was justified under the circumstances in using his weapons.


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