The Roof

On August 3, 1811, John B. Haynes lost his damn mind.

Sometime in the middle of the night he trespassed upon the property of William Badger – a local silversmith, and proceeded to utterly wreck his shit. The short court document tells us that John B. Haynes smashed windows, tore up stones and threw them at Badger’s cabin, and uprooted fence posts – if for no other reason then they happened to be nearby.

via Erica Lane

However, this was not the totality of his white-hot cabin-hating fury. For although a badly beaten William Badger lay nearby, his wife and children huddled in prayer, as the madman known only to the world as John B. Haynes tore apart their home and property; it occurred to Haynes that he had not sufficiently destroyed the cabin of Twickenham’s only silver smith. So with the hulk-like strength so often found among colonial settlers of the southeast, John B. Haynes “did violently and maliciously… tear off the roof”

How angry do you have to be at someone to tear apart the roof of their cabin, log by log, in the middle of the night?

John B. Haynes angry. That’s what.

ADDENDUM: Apparently Haynes came back a week later to “then and there beat, wound, and illtreat to the great damage of the said Badger, and against the peace and dignity of the Mississippi Territory.”

John B. Haynes angry.


The Territory v. John B. Haynes, Minute Book of Madison County Mississippi Territory of the Superior Court in Law and Equity, 1811-1819. p. 20-18 (1811).

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