Martin Dunnegan Got Done In

In early September 1821, twelve men met at the old courthouse and decided Martin Dunnegan’s fate. They looked at the facts of the case and decided that “… the said Martin Dunnegan, be taken from whence he came, and there remain in close confinement – until the first Friday in December next and that on that day between the hours of one and three O Clock P.M. he be taken to the place of execution in the vicinity of this Town, and that he be there hanged by the neck until he is dead.”

Martin Dunnegan’s crime spree began on March 30, 1821, at a general store owned by Luther Morgan. On that fateful morning he walked in and handed Luther Morgan four separate notes. They all said the same thing:

“Mr Morgan Sir let Martin Dunnegan have to the amount of twelve dollars in the store and I will be security for the same, this 30th March, 1821 Levi Underwood”

After he, very quickly, got found out, “a Jury of good and Lawful men” decreed that Martin Dunnegan deserved to die over his clumsy attempt to “feloniously and falsely make forge and counterfeit,” these orders in the name of Levi Underwood.

And for all those scraps of paper he hanged.

The State of Alabama v. Martin Dunnegan, Madison County Alabama Circuit Court State Cases, 1819-1823. p. 72 – 75 (1821).

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