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By 1884, the excitement of the trial had died down, and most of the protesters had changed their minds. Or they might have been thinking that if he was released, they would be able to get him killed. He was condemned by a jury of his countrymen for his crime, he should suffer the penalty. They, too, joined in recommending clemency, making it almost unanimous for Logan's pardon. (He was assassinated about a year and a half after his return.) Whatever the reason, the letters are shown here just as they were written. Cullom Dear Sir There is a strongeffort being made by the relatives of Logan Belt to get him reprieved from the penitentiary. Morris of our place 6 John Mitchel of Cavein Rock this Co. In no other way can so that the laws may be respected and become a terror to the evil doer. Boyer who have a perfect knowledge of the state of our commuity both for the facts stated by me and an endorsement of my credibility & opportunity of observation during an ordinary life time spent in this county.

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If this is true, he wonders why it is, as he has esteemed you as one of the best of men, & knows of nothing to mar your personal friendship for him. The large family of Logan Belt are nearly destitute of means of support and greatly need a Father's care. And in conclusion will say that I can see no good reason why any one should object to the interference of executive clemency in his case. and at the time of the trial the excitement of the populace ran high, in consequence of an unfortunate state of affairs then existing in Hardin. That's a mere 150 years ago—only fifty-nine years before my father was born.On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, largely in protest over Abraham Lincoln's election as an anti-slavery president and the implications that had for states' rights. The following letter shows that he persuaded two other protesters to change their minds. Ledbetter and Oldham's own brothers, every protestor is now asking for clemency for Logan. And if you are inclined still to make it so, please grant me a pardon dating from the 22nd of July. Equalization Earl Sherwood, Elizabethtown * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * It seems that Earl Sherwood was a busy man. My friends ask it; I ask it; my children ask it; and in so doing, I realize that I am asking no more than any gentleman should ask; and in granting it, you will be doing no more than humanity to man suggests; no more than you have the authority to do; and no more than the Golden rule teaches us to do. Earl Sherwood the choice between the uncertainty of a pardon before or after the 22nd of July; and fixing the day for certain on the 22nd of July; it certainly implied that you were willing to grant the pardon as per request. You will notice that some of them are full of misspellings. I am an old man, have known the Belt family for 36 years (a large family). as to who I am and as to the correctness of this statement. In the name of citizens who respect the law I pray you not to exercise the power of pardon in his case. Respectfully your obedient servant, John Mitchell * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The next two letters show how one about face was accomplished. Hamilton, In reference to the petition for the pardon of Logan Belt now pending before you, I have this to say. Just a few months before his trial, events took place that inflamed the people very much, and the excitement ran high about the time of his trial, and I have no doubt now but for the occurrence of those events, his sentence would have been lighter, and to strip the case of every thing except the killin of Oldham and it is the opinion of a great number of good citizens of this county that his punishment is sufficient if ended now.

I suppose the reason for this is that they wanted to keep them secret, so did the writing themselves rather than let a secretary do it. They have been a teror to the county all that time logan was the leader. I would respectfully reffer you to the Honorable Wm. Logan Belt had heard of the above letter written by John Mitchell and had the prison chaplain write him a letter. Springfield Dear Sir, At the request of some of the best citizens of the county, I write to you in behalf of Logan Belt, now a prisoner at Joliett. I was one of the counsel for the prosecution and tried to make myself familiar with all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case for which he was tried and convicted. The evidence as to how the difficulty commenced was somewhat conflicting.

As was mentioned in some of the letters in the preceeding chapter, there were a few protest letters written to the Governor. Belt and Earl Sherwood, as is suggested in the letter on page 89. You will greately oblige me by keeping this communication a secret as I think my life would be in jeopardy should it ever be known. I then proposed the would let out and he refused and finding myself in danger I joined them and never met with them any more but exposed all this clan al so had sines and grips by which they knew one another. The probability is that if Login Belt comes back here we will have an Underwood War like that of Carter County, Ky. Hall Reference Colonel Ferrel of Elizabethtown or Greene B. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Cave in Rock, Ills. Oglesby Dear Sir, We hear you are going to turn Logan Belt out of the Joliet Penitentiary Sentenced in July 1879 by the Gallatin Circuit Court for the murder of our Brother Elisha T. We also hear that our names are on the petition recommending his pardon. The Petition for his Pardon was mainly secured signers outside of his family connection & their sympathisers by terror and threats and I am satisfied has but few names on it of the law abiding citizens of our county.

Most of these were written early in Logan's confinement - 1881, 82, 83. Perhaps with the excitement of the trial gone, they could look at the case more objectively. Should you wish to know anything in regard to my person or character, I would refer you to C. We write you to inform you that if such is the case, that our names were put there without our knowledge or consent. If Logan Belt is let free amongst once more the consequences will be disasterous for we have had a Ku Klux association amongst us of which he was the leader.

Belt * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Logan was finally released in 1885, but was not pardoned until later.

Three weeks later, the Civil War began in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dear friend, I will not be able to go to Springfield at present, and Capt. He requests that you see the Govenor and try for Logan's pardon. Choisser, Barger & Yost visit the Govnor in a body. I understand that manslaughter is not classed by statute to be an infamous crime, but as the prison records appear to differ from the true record, I would respectfully ask that my release be made in accordance with my prayer for an unconditional pardon, restoring me to all my rights if I have lost any.