© 2006-2017 Leona L. Gustafson
Ohio State Journal
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Friday, 20 January 1865
Murder of a Guard at the
A most horrible murder was perpetuated at the Ohio Penitentiary yesterday morning (19th) at about 9½ o'clock, by a negro convict named Edward Alexander Drew, on the person of Daniel Heavey, one of the guards. To the gentlemanly Warden, N. Merion, Esq., we are indebted for the following particulars in connection with this horrible affair:
Drew was sent to the Penitentiary in March, 1860, from Jackson county, for the murder of his father. He had been addicted to very intemperate habits, and subject to fits of insanity, with lucid intervals, when he appeared pleasant and harmless. About six months ago, he made threats to kill somebody in case he did not obtain a new trial by the 18th of January. On the completion of the new Lunatic Asylum at the Penitentiary, Drew was placed in it. Recently he was let out of his cell to wheel coal, which, it was thought, would benefit him, as he had had no exercise for some time. Yesterday morning, at the above stated hour, he left his work and went to the south side of the east hall and approached Daniel Heavey, who was standing near the stove in the middle of the hall. Heavey spoke to him, saying, "How are you Drew?" who replied, pleasantly, "first rate;" when he suddenly sprang at Heavey with a shoe knife, stabbing him in the left side, under the clavicle, or collar bone, the knife penetrating to the region of the heart, and breaking off within a half inch of the handle, leaving the blade in the wound. Drew then struck at a couple of prisoners nearby, with the handle of the knife, making a hole in the vest of one of them. He then ran East, down the hall and was pursued by Heavey, who fired a pistol at him. Heavey followed him about sixty yards, and when near the West end, on the North side of the hall, fell and died in about fifteen minutes.
Drew is about 31 years of age, has a sharp black eye, of sallow complexion and is of medium height. In a conversation with him subsequent to the murder he stated that it had been his intention to murder either the Warden, the Deputy Warden or Mr. Heavey, for sometime past. It mad no difference to him which he killed, and if he had met the warden at the time he would have killed him also. He expressed a preference to being hung than to remain in prison. He said he found the shoe-knife in a bucket in the yard.
Daniel Heavey, the murdered man, was literally an "Old Guard," having served in that capacity in the Ohio Penitentiary almost uninterruptedly for nearly thirty-four years. His fidelity as an officer, and his integrity as a man has been well tried, and by long service well approved. It was no personal feeling toward the deceased that prompted the murderous blow.
John Morgan said in his speech at Richmond, Va., that if Heavy had had charge of him and his officers they never could have escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary.
Mr. Heavey was born near the city of Dublin, in Ireland, on the 17th of August, 1798. He left his native land when about seventeen years of age. After spending about eight years in the West Indies he came to the United States, and subsequently served a term of enlistment in the U. S. Navy—from which he received an honorable discharge. After this he came to Ohio, and has been employed for nearly thirty-five years in the prison. He leaves a wife and three sons.
The sale of Tar Spring Petroleum Company's Stock will be continued during the remainder of the present week, by the Agent, at the Neil House, room 127.
A new Sleeping Car Accompanies the Cincinnati mail train leaving Columbus at nine P.M.
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