October 12, 2011

Where Are Bill's Portraits

After Bill Johnston's arrest in November 1838, authorities held him for trial in Auburn, New York. During his brief stay, Randall Palmer (1807-1845), a locally famous artist, offered to paint Bill's portrait. That Palmer usually painted high society figures, must have impressed Johnston. He agreed.

August 29, 2011

Bill Johnston: 14. Feted in Prison, Released, Accused of Robbery


Following Bill Johnston's arrest at the hands of Captain William Vaughan in December 1838, Johnston awaited trial in an Albany, New York, jail cell. His faithful daughter Catherine (Kate), 19, moved into his cell to provide company, carry messages (she freely came and went) and attend to his needs. Theirs is an early example of celebrity incarceration.

May 14, 2011

Bill Johnston: 13. Re-captured, Imprisoned

After Bill Johnston escaped custody late on November 28, 1838, following his acquittal and re-arrest, one man made it his mission to track down the fugitive and apprehend him by whatever means possible. Few men had the skills and daring to find, corner and confront Johnston but this pursuer was Johnston's equal.

February 14, 2011

Bill Johnston: 12. Arrest, Trial, and Escape

Bill Johnston spent two days and nights on roof tops in Ogdensburg observing the Battle of the Windmill. He hardly ate. Twice he scoured the town in a vain effort to encourage men to cross in boats to take men off. It tore at him cruelly to be safe while his friends faced peril. And worse, some people called him a coward for not being in the battle. Some wind went out of his mighty sails that week.