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From: Margaret Ransom <>
Subject: [Bklyn] Brooklyn Union Argus,November 28, 1882-Courts
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 22:23:31 -0400


Brooklyn Union Argus
November 28, 1882

Bread and Butter

How Wm. S. WASHBURNE’S Family Was Starved

More Testimony in the Lexington Avenue Case—Another Son of the Defendant on
the Stand—Severe on Papa—The Case for the Prosecution Closed

The Lexington avenue starvation case in which William S. WASHBURNE is
accused of neglecting to provide food for his family, came up before Justice
WALSH again today, and George W. WASHBURNE, a son of the defendant, who lives
at No. 148 Jefferson street, was placed on the stand and testified as follows:

I lived at No. 134 Lexington avenue with my father up to the 28th of
September; I was there on the 14th; my father went away that day in the
evening and returned on the 16th; he left no food or provisions in the house
except bread and butter enough for breakfast; I bought breakfast and supper
for myself and the others; there were six children at home; on the morning of
the 16th I did the same; the butter that he bought we considered oleomargine;
it “ranked very high;” there was gas in the house at that time and we boys
paid for it; I was there on September 22; my father was not at home on the
night of the 21st ; I think he came home in the afternoon of the 22nd; on the
latter day for breakfast there were bread and butter and possibly a few
potatoes: I left on the 28th because I was told if I did not I would be kicked
out: I have visited the house since and been asked for money which I gave for
food: I gave some on election day: I frequently took food to the house while I
was living there.
Cross examination—I went away with my brother Walter and took some
furniture with me: I took what belonged to my sister—about two thirds; I took
away a big lamp which belonged to me; my father was not present: I have been
in business a little over four years and was when living with my father; the
food did not suit me; I can’t go bread and butter and potatoes every meal; my
father usually ate breakfast after the others, but he would occasionally come
down and sneak in to see what we had to eat: on the 15th for lunch there was
bread and butter and I sent out for some meat; I examined all the closets and
found no food; for supper on the 15th there was bread and butter; if there
were any eggs they were locked up in the closet. I bought meat, potatoes and
tomatoes; my father was not at home that night; I suppose he was off on a
drunk or with dissipated women; I would not suppose he was at his brother’s;
he would not stay there all night; I could almost swear to that; I do not
speak to my father now and did not during September and October because he
would not speak to me; I don’t suppose he has spoken to me a dozen times in
two years. This concluded the evidence for the prosecution.
Counsel for the defendant moved to dismiss the case on the ground that no
proof had been adduced which showed that Mr. WASHBURNE had neglected to
provide for his family, and also that there was no proof of means.
Justice WALSH—It has been shown that he kept a horse and carriage and put
up at the Prospect House. That’s a high place.
Justice WALSH denied the motion and adjourned the case until ten o’clock A.
M. on the 5th inst.



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