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Subject: [GAHARALS] Ga-Haralson Co. News (Pierce, Lee murd)
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 00:39:15 -0500

Haralson County GaArchives News.....Pierce, Lee murdered by Washington Golden :
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Candace (Teal) Gravelle November 2, 2006, 12:39 am

"The Carroll County Times" :
Carrollton, Carroll Co., Georgia

NEWSPAPER Issue of Friday, AUGUST 3, 1877


We learn that last Sunday morning, a horrible and unprovoked murder occurred
in Haralson county on the Goldin settlement, some five or six miles this
side of Buchanan. The circumstances as we get them are these:

It seems that a young man by the name of Goldin had been paying some
attention to the daughter of a man by the name of Pierce. His suit was not
encouraged by Pierce and they had some words about the same one day last
week at which time it is stated that Pierce threatened to shoot Goldin.
However the latter got away without difficulty at that time, but on last
Sunday, he armed himself and went to Pierce's house where he shot Pierce
down at his own gate, killing him immediately. Goldin made no effort to
escape but we did not learn positively whether he had been arrested or not.

Since the above was put in type, we have received communication from a
gentleman in the upper part of this county giving the following additional
facts in relation to this outrageous murder.

Yesterday near Corinth church, 8 miles above here, a Mr. Wash Goldin shot
and instantly killed Mr. Pierce, a much respected citizen of Haralson
county. He shot him at Pierce's own gate. The murder has been arrested.
There was no one at Pierces' but himself, the rest of the family having gone
to church close by. Mr. Pierce leaves a son and two daughters to mourn his
loss. From all accounts it was a most brutal murder. Mr. Pierce was shot
through the heart and then again through the lungs. Either shot, in the
opinion of the coroner's jury, would have instantly proved fatal. When
found, Mr. Pierce had part of an apple in his hand, and a small piece in his
mouth, proving that the shot was unexpected.


NEWSPAPER Issue of Friday, AUGUST 10, 1877

Considerable excitement prevailed in Haralson during our visit there over
the foul and unprovoked murder of Mr. Pierce by Washington Golden.


THE HARALSON TRAGEDY; Full Particulars of the Difficulty, the Killing of
Pierce and Committal trial of Golden

Editor of Times; Your last issue contained a short account of the difficulty
between Mr. Pierce and Wash Golden of Haralson which resulted in the killing
of the former by the latter. As I was in Buchanan during the preliminary
trial of Golden on Thursday, I am prepared to give your readers the
particulars of the difficulty as was developed in Golden's commitment trial.

It appears that Golden had been visiting Pierce's daughter for some time
when a young gentleman by the name of Robinson also began calling upon Miss
Pierce, which appeared to meet more with the approbation of Mr. Pierce, than
did the visits of Golden. This, it is supposed, cramped and offended Golden,
and about two weeks ago on Sunday evening, they both (Robinson and Golden)
met at the house of Mr. Pierce, each for the purpose of spending the evening
with Miss Pierce. Robinson, it seems, rather got ahead of Golden and left
him no alternative but to leave the premises.

About dark, Golden went out, and as Pierce's folks supposed, went home.
Robinson stayed all night. His horse was in the stable and the next morning,
the horse's mane had been sheared off close to its neck and his tail bobbed
off close to the tail bone, and the hair all along the tail bone was cut and
scalloped in the shape of a screw pie. Mr. Pierce at once suspicioned and
charged Golden wit h the shearing of the horse, which Golden heard of and
denied. Mr. Pierce said that no honest man would do such a thing, and he
believed that Golden was guilty, and if he knew it, he would be __ if he
didn't kill him.

Thus the matter went on until Tuesday, July 24th, when Mr. Pierce heard his
dogs barking out in the field, a short distance from the house, and
supposing that they were barking at a snake, he seized a hoe and ran down to
where the dogs were to kill the snake, as he supposed were there. When he
got out in the field he saw young Golden and another man by the name of
Sanford with their guns on their shoulders as if hunting, coming towards
him. He waited till they came up, when a pretty sharp conversation was
entered into, by Pierce and Golden, about the shearing of Robinson's horse's
tail. Mr. Pierce charged Golden with it. But the conversation was continued
for some time when Pierce raised the hoe he had in his hand and told Golden,
" G---D-- you, I intend to kill you." Whereupon Golden took to his heels and
ran out of Pierce's reach, then stopped, turned around and told Pierce that
if he would let him, he would come back and explain all about the tail

Pierced answered and told him to lay down his guns and come back, which
Golden did. In a few minutes, both parties were quarreling in good earnest
and Piece turned about and ran into the house and got his gun and came out
swearing he would kill Golden, who had also got his gun off the ground.
Pierce's daughter came out with her father, holding to him and begging him
not to have a difficulty about the matter. But Pierce pushed up, dragging
his daughter with him, until they reached the place where Golden stood, when
Miss Pierce told Golden to leave the place, that she did not want him and
her father to fight. Golden then left, and Pierce returned with his daughter
to the house. Thus ended Tuesday the difficulty. Golden went home and told
his father's family that the matter between himself and Mr. Pierce was
amicably and peacefully settled, which was sworn to by the Goldens in the
trial, but the statement was afterwards contradicted in his own account of
the killing.

Golden says that on Sunday morning, the 29th of July, he had started to
meeting at Corinth church and as he was passing Pierces' he was halted by
the old man who came riding out on his horse out of the woods, and who told
him to hold on, that he wanted to converse with him. Golden stopped and then
walked back to the gate. Mr. P. rode on across the road to his stable and
put up his horse and then returned to the gate where Mr. Golden was waiting.
Mr. Pierce came up to Golden and said "Wash, I want to know what sort of
tales those are, that you have been peddling about me?" Golden asked "What
tales". "Oh , said Pierce, you known d ----d well what I mean" and then
explained about the tales. Golden answered that he could satisfy him
thoroughly about them. "Well" says Pierce, "you don't explain about the
horse tail scrape and G--d ---m you I intend to kill you", wherepon he
turned and walked into the house and got his gun and came out with the gun
cocked and in shooting position walked about half way to the gate, when
Golden shot at him, missing him the first shot, but the second and third
taking effect in his heart and lungs, which brought him to the ground a dead
man. None of Mr. Pierce's family were at home and no mortal eye saw the
bloody deed, save Washington Golden. In about one hour, Golden went up to
the church and told the people that he had killed old man Pierce, that he,
Pierce had attempted to kill him, and was only prevented by his shooting him
through the heart with a pistol ball.

A warrant was sworn out for Golden and the Sheriff went immediately that
evening to make the arrest, which was effected without much difficulty. He
was carried to Buchanan and placed under guard, there being no jail
sufficient to hold him at that place.

The preliminary trial was begun on Tuesday morning and lasted till Thursday
noon. It was developed in the evidence that this difficulty between Pierce
and Golden on Tuesday did not amount to a settlement of the matter about the
shearing of the horse's tail. It was proved by the man Sanford and Miss
Pierce, that they separated in a row.

A Mr. Underwood swore that he passed Mr. Pierce's on Sunday on his way to
church and did not see any one at Pierce's until after he had passed the
gate; there he saw Washington Golden come out of the woods just ahead of him
and walk a few steps toward the church, then stopped and sat down on a pine
stump by the side of the road, and pull off his boot. Mr. Underwood rode up
and asked him if he was going to church and Golden answered that he didn't
know, that his boot hurt his foot so bad he could not walk. Mr. U. rode on
and left him. About this time Mr. Pierce rode out of the woods on his horse
which had on a bell but no bridle and he saw Golden raise his hat as if
saluting Mr. PIerce but heard not a word spoken. Mr. P. rode on across the
road toward the stable. Just there Mr. U. came to a crook in the road which
put him out of sight of the house, but when he had traveled some one hundred
and fifty yards he again came in sight of the house and looking back, he saw
Washington Golden standing at Pierce's gate, with his face turned away from
the church. This was the last sight of him. The account of the killing is
Golden's entirely and which I have already written.

Circumstantial and Presumptive Evidence

1. When the report of the pistol was heard at the church, which was not far
off, Golden's brothers, without a word, got up and went directly to the
Pierce house and remained there until the coroner and his jury arrived.

2. Mr. Pierce, at the time he was killed, was evidently eating apples as
there was a piece in his mouth and the greater part of another apple lying
close by, with some bites off it.

3. He was lying on his face with his gun, an army gun, lying beside him,
cocked, and while Mr. Pierce himself was very bloody, there was not a drop
of blood to be found on the gun.

4. Mr. Pierce's clothes were powder burnt around every ball hole and a test
made with the same pistol developed the fact that the cloth would not scorch
from the heat of the burning power ignited in the pistol over the distance
of one foot.

This is the principal part of the evidence in the case with Golden's story
and the court which was composed of the following justices, Farmer,
Weatherby, Davis and McBreer, decided to commit him to jail in Cedartown to
await trial before the Superior Court in September.

Golden was represented in the preliminary trial by Hon. Walker Brock and Mr.
McBride; the prosecutor by Squire George Gentry and Squire Galamour.

Washington Golden is nineteen years old; Mr. Pierce, 50. Both have always
been well respected. Mr. Pierce was given to drinking sometimes and was
exceedingly profane, otherwise he was regarded as a quiet, inoffensive
citizen. It is said that he was a man of fine sense and great muscle. There
were but few men of his age that were his equal in strength. Golden was
looked upon as a young man of great promise. Possessing plenty of sense,
health and ability and it was expected that he would do much better than he
did. Your, J.A.R.


NEWSPAPER Issue of Friday, AUGUST 17, 1877


Reports say that the young Mr. Robinson that got his horse's tail sheared at
Mr. Lee Pierce's in Haralson county about which Mr. P. was killed recently,
has married Miss Pierce.

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