Abraham Buford
~  Sixth son of Wm. & Frances Buford  ~
Please go to page 543 of my new BUFORD book
for the whole story about Abraham Buford.

General - CSA


A Good friend of mine, Sandy Norris who lives in Tennessee, and does some writing for her local Newspaper found this article on General Abraham Buford and sent it to me.  As I had not read this particular account of the earlier days of the lives of Abraham and Amanda Harris Buford I jumped at the chance to share it with my Buford family and others who might be interested.  As you already know by reading Abraham's story in my new Buford book, Abraham and Amanda had but one child, a son William, who unfortunately died very young, unmarried and without issue.  It seems their lives together started in tragedy and definitely ended in tragedy.  As did many of Abraham's siblings which contributed greatly to Abraham's demise.

 

BUFORD, Lieutenant Abraham

A letter written to the
Louisville Daily Journal – June 25, 1845
From:  John U. Lafon & O. H. Burbridge

Gentlemen:

In consequence of the appearance of an editorial (I do not, as yet, have this editorial) in your paper concerning the arrival of Lieutenant Buford of Paducah, which was calculated, doubtlessly without any intention on your part, to do him great injustice, we ask leave, in order to disabuse him in public esteem, to present through your paper a brief statement of the facts of his case as they appeared in his trial last Friday at Paducah.  We were raised in the same neighborhood (Woodford County, Kentucky) with Mr. Buford and have known him from his boyhood, and feel a strong desire to see that he does not unjustly suffer in public estimation, which must be our apology for appearing before the public.

We casually happened at Paducah, a few days after the appearance of your editorial, and determined to remain and attend the trial of Mr. Buford, which was about to take place at a term of the McCracken circuit court, called at Mr. Buford’s request especially for his trial.  We remained and attended particularly to the trial, and subjoin the following as a brief statement of the leading facts as they appeared from the testimony;

It appeared that Mr. Buford and his lady, on their way from his post at Fort Gibson to visit her connexions, the family of General Armstrong of Nashville, and his connexions in Woodford County, Kentucky, about the last of May, in consequence of her imposition, had to leave their boat at Paducah and stopped at a hotel in that place, and about eleven o’clock, on the night of the 31st of May, she was taken ill and suddenly had an abortion, when about the fourth or fifth month of her pregnancy. Shortly afterward, about twelve o’clock, Mr. Buford went downstairs and applied to the landlord to have the abortion taken away and buried, alleging, at the time, that his wife was very adverse to its remaining in the room.  This, the landlord said he should decline doing till the next morning. Mr. Buford then returned to his wife’s chamber, and, as he alleged, in consequence of the abortion being as imperfectly formed mass, and his wife’s aversion to it’s remaining till morning, carried it down stairs himself to dispose of it and did so by throwing it in the river.

The next morning a rumor got out through the village that Mr. Buford was not an officer of the army, but an imposter, that his wife was a mistress, and that she had been delivered of a child, at night, which he and she had murdered to conceal their shame.  This rumor spread until the excitement became very intense, and a warrant was taken out, and he and she arrested, being entire strangers, could not prove who they were, or that they were married, and the inquiring court decided that he should be sent on to the next circuit court for further trial, and required him to give bail in the penalty of $3,000 for appearance at the next term of the McCracken circuit court.  Mr. Buford gave bail for his appearance, though a total stranger to those who went his bail.

It was proven that Mr. and Mrs. Buford were married on the 13th of December (I believe this is supposed to read the 15th), and had been married five months and eighteen days when the abortion took place.  That Mrs. Buford had been seen and her figure closely  observed and remarked upon by three gentlemen as she passed the street the day before the abortion.  And all three of them concurred in saying they did not perceive anything in her figure that indicated pregnancy, and that they thought she could not have been more than a few months in that way.  It was also proven by an elderly and highly respected matron, that she made an examination of Mrs. Buford the day after the abortion, and from the condition of her breasts, etc., then and for a few days afterwards, she did not think she could have been pregnant more than five months, if even as long as that.  It was also proven by several physicians that an abortion in, or even the last of the sixth month, would not have more than one chance in a thousand to live, if indeed life could at that age be perpetuated in any instance.  It was proven that Mrs. Buford, her family and connexions, were of the highest respectability, and that no lady ever maintained a more unimpeachable character than she.  That her brother Captain Harris, of the Army, married the daughter of General Armstrong, of Nashville, and her sister some year or two since married Dr. Coolidge, a surgeon in the army.  It was proven that Mr. Buford, from his boyhood till he entered the army, and from that time to the present, was remarkable for the kindness of his manner, his humanity, and great popularity among his fellows.

The jury in Mr. Buford’s case, though several of them stated they had formed unfavorable opinions of his cause from rumor, remained out only long enough to write and return their verdict of not guilty.

Two physicians who testified in the case, have stated that in the course of their whole practice they do not recollect ever to have known what disposition was made of an abortion, owing, they  supposed, to the great aversion of the mother to have her offspring, when not in perfect shape, seen by others than immediate attendants, and to the fact that no importance is ever attached to the manner in which they are disposed of.

We are measurably strangers in your city, and therefore refer your citizens to Andrew J. McKinney and Alexander Churchill, late a member of the Legislature from Jefferson County, who also attended the trial, for the correctness of the foregoing facts.

Respectfully,

John U. Lafon
O. H. Burbridge

An earlier article in the Louisville Daily Journal dated the 17th of June 1845 reads:

Many inquiries have been made of us as to the name of the person, whom we spoke of a few days ago as having been indicted for Infanticide at Paducah in this state (KY).  The person referred to is Lieutenant Buford, of this State, an officer in the United States Army.  Lieut. B., as we stated, has been admitted to bail.  We understand that the Hon. W. J. Graves, of this city, is one of his counsel.

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