The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Constitution (Steamboat), 8 Aug 1839

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Most Infamous Cutrage. -- Reports have been rife for a day or two past charging Capt. Gilman Appleby of the steamboat CONSTITUTION, with the violation of the person of a young girl, a passenger on the boat during the last down trip of the CONSTITUTION under the command of Appleby. The reports were so revolting and incredible that we refrained from giving them currency, trusting that they were greatly exaggerated or false altogether. The Buffalo Commercial received last evening confirms the reports. It appears that the unfortunate girl, only 15 years of age, was on her way from Detroit to Ontario county, and that her parents had placed her under the protection of a friend, who was on his way east, and that under pretext of furnishing her better accommodations than those which the boat offered to steerage passengers, Appleby took her to his room on the upper deck and locked her in, where the crime of rape was consummated. The Commercial of Tuesday has the following account of the strange proceedings which followed the arrest of Appleby.
The Appleby Case - At no tine has so much feeling been expressed in our city as was manifested last evening. Every citizen who heard the revolting details of this affair was loud in his execrations of the wretch who was the cause of it. Early in the morning the parties appeared before the police justice Barton on a warrant issued by justice De Forrest. Every avenue leading to the room was thronged with anxious citizens. The examination was commenced, and in one hour enough was adduced to justify any magistrate in committing the accused or demanding bail. Instead of this course, the unfortunate girl was kept on the stand until six o'clock P.M., and a recapitulation of the disgusting particulars gone into, until the feeling among our most respectable and influential citizens was raised to such a crisis, that it was difficult to restrain them fron open violence.
The court finally committed Appleby, and adjourned to this morning. When the parties came out of the office, all present expressed the strongest disapprobation against both. Appleby, under a strong escort of officers, was conducted to jail, and police justice Barton was indebted to concealment for his personal safety. It was not merely the ebulation of an ungovernable mob, but the deep and overwhelming indignation of nearly every citizen.
At nine o'clock this morning the parties met at the Court House, Judges Stryker and Stevens, sitting, with the police magistrate. The facts already elicited, being of too glaring a nature to need any further investigation, Appleby was remanded to jail to wait a requisition from the Executive of Ohio, where he will be tried, and no doubt receive a punishment commensurate with the offence.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, August 1, 1839; 2:1

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Force of Public Opinion - Police Justice Barton hes resigned his office such is the feeling in Buffalo on tbe subject of his conducton the examination of Appleby. The Common Council of the City passed a resolution nearly unanimously requesting him to resign, which was however subsequently laid on the table as a matter the Council could not with propriety interfere with.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      MonFriday, August 2, 1839; 3:1
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The Appleby Case - The lest Sandusky Clarion notices that the necessary measures have been taken upon which to found a requisition by the Governor of Ohio, upon the Governor of New York, for the delivery of Appleby for trial in Sandusky county. The name of the unfortunate girl is Catherine Westfall.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, August 5, 1839; 3:1

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      Capt. Appleby, of the steamboat CONSTITUTION, has been committed on the charge of violating a young girl, who was a passenger on board his boat, and will be removed to Ohio for trial.
      Erie Gazette
      Thursday, August 8, 1839

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DEATH OF MISS WESTFALL. -- The father of this unfortunate female is in town. From him we learn that this young lady died at Vienna, a few days ago. A post mortem examination was had by Doct. Carver, of Geneve, and others, who attributed her death to injury received from her violator, Capt. Appleby. The parent is now on his way to Sandusky, with the affidavit drawn up by the medical men. -- Buffalo Com. Adv.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Friday, August 30, 1839; 2:2
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      Capt. Appleby. -- The Sandusky Clarion of August 31st, states that the delay in serving the requisition for Appleby "was occasioned by the loss of the Governor's trunk, which was stolen from the stage between Columbus and St. Clairsville, containing the papers upon which a requisition was to be founded. New papers had to be procured, and the Governor's requisition was yesterday received by our sheriff.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Monday, September 2, 1839; 3:1
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The reported death of Miss Westfall by the Buffalo papers, turns out a hoax. We learn that the father of the unfortunate girl stated to respectable persons in this city a few days since, that she was still living.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, September 3, 1839

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      We have the fullest evidence before us, that Miss Westfall, the victim of the Appleby outrage, is still living, and is with her friends in Ontario county. The story of her death is the fabrication of her worthless father, probably for the purpose of extorting money, as a settlement for the crime. --- Buff. Rep.
The Buffalo Commercial after humbugging every body about the death of Miss Westfall, begins to think there is some humbug in the Appleby outrage. The father of the girl has doubtless told strange stories, which the newspapers have still more strangely enlarged upon. The Rochester Advertiser went so far as to state that the corpse of the girl had been taken through that city on its way to Michigan! Humbug somewhere, no doubt.
      Cleveland herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, September 3, 1839; 3:2

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      Captain Appleby, is at large -- Miss Westfall not appearing against him, he was discharged on giving bail in the sum of $5,000 to appear when called for.
      Erie Gazette
      October 31, 1839

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      Capt. Appleby's case. -- At the present sitting of the Sandusky Sessions, this matter was called up, and a "nollepros", entered by the District Attorney, in consequence of the non-appearance of the girl. -- Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.
      Erie Gazette
      July 30, 1840
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Captain's outrage ?
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William R. McNeil
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Constitution (Steamboat), 8 Aug 1839