Monday, July 3, 2017

Cold Case Files

Previously, I related a mysterious attack on Augustus and Sophia Rump, and their son Fred.  A group of 12 or more men broke into their home at night and beat Augustus and Fred.  3 men are named in the grand jury findings:
James Soloman (did assault and beat Mrs. Sophia Rump; did assault and beat Fred Rump with a cow hide stick or whip having in his possession at the time a gun with the intent to intimidate the said Fred Rump and prevent him from defending himself)
George F. Moore and Joseph Hambrick  (did assault and beat affiant [Augustus Rump] with a piece [?] of wood)

Here is one more newspaper account I found, from the Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal of 24 Oct 1881: "Maked men took Augustus Rump and his son from their beds, at Madison, Ala., and whipped them on their bare backs with knotted switches.  They offered no explanation for the stern treatment."  The additional details (knotted switches, bare backs) make me suspect this and the other clip are quoting from a longer article, so I hope to find that.  So far there is no motive given for the beating.

I signed up for the trial and did some searches for these men.  I found what appears to be two of them, I have not yet found anything on Soloman.

I found a George Moore up to no good on a train bound for Montgomery, swindling an elderly Swede out of some money.  Since the other articles revealed that Augustus Rump was working for the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, I have a hypothesis that Augustus caught Moore trying to pull a similar trick and stopped it, and the beating was carried out as a warning against further meddling.  Obviously that is just conjecture, but it is yet more evidence that this George Moore was a shady character (as opposed to someone trying to exact frontier justice for a legitimate grievance).

PIne Belt News, Brewton, AL, 6 Mar 1894.  Another version of this story is in the 25 Feb. 1894 Montgomery Advertiser, which credits detective W. B. Morgan with the arrest.

I also found a Joseph Hambrick, on trial for stealing cows in 1868.
These reports were both from Nashville.  "Brownlow" is controversial Reconstruction governor William Gannaway Brownlow.
I can't be sure (yet), but I suspect these are the same men involved in the assault on the Rumps.  It appears Hambrick may have received a taste of his own medicine in this incident reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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