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CJ Max | all galleries >> JOHNSTON Family Album © 2005 > Thomas Lett Hackett - Murdered, 1877 - (#35)
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Thomas Lett Hackett - Murdered, 1877 -  (#35)
Unknown Cliff. Johnston

Thomas Lett Hackett - Murdered, 1877 - (#35)

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

This is a tintype photograph of an image from the Canadian Illustrated News, July 21, 1877, page 37, that is in the family album. I do not know at this point if Thomas Hackett was related to our family or was a friend of the family. The latter appears to be the best bet as all of our men were members of the Loyal Orange Lodge #450, and Thomas Hackett was an LOL #401 member.

Very little retouching has been done - just got rid of some yellowing, a few spots and completed the dark border where it was missing/incomplete in two corners - incomplete restoration.

The following article accompanied the picture of Thomas:

"Thos. Lett Hackett was the son of the late John J. Hackett of the Inspector General’s Department of the Old Province of Canada. On his mother’s side he was connected with the family of the late Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was nephew of Mr. Edward Hackett, well-known here as a founder, and also of Mr. John McClellan, one of our most respected citizens. The deceased has at present a brother residing at Ottawa, Mr. James Hackett, and he was a cousin of Mr. W. P. Lett, city clerk, Ottawa. During his stay in the capital he was employed by the Montreal Telegraph Company as superintending clerk, having charge of the Russell House branch. He was highly esteemed by all who came in contact with him, being of a most harmless and inoffensive disposition and very gentlemanly in his manners and conduct. He was at one time, Secretary of the Sons of Temperance society, and was known as a sober, industrious young fellow.

The above statement from Ottawa fully corroborates all that has been said of the career of the late Mr. Hackett in this city. Mr. Murray, manager of the firm of John McKillop & Co., testifies that by the death of Mr. Hackett he has lost the best clerk in his office. The deceased was an Orangeman and a member of Boyne Lodge 401.

Andre Lemux, a youthful draughtsman in the employ of the CANADIAN ILLUSTRATED NEWS, was told by a brother draughtsman, about a quarter past one, that there appeared to be a possibility of a disturbance in Victoria Square, and was requested to go there and obtain the materials for a sketch, should events prove worthy of it. When he arrived opposite Mr. Dunn’s door, the crowd came up from the corner of Fortification Lane, headed by a stout built man in light brown clothes, and a small man in dark clothes, who took refuge in the doorway. The stout man commenced the firing, and discharged two or three shots. Then the small man turned round and fired. About eight men in front of the crowd followed suit by pulling out their revolvers and firing. A young man who stood on the right hand side of the doorway, and who seemed to have no pistol, caught hold of the small man in the dark clothes, threw him down, wrenched his pistol from him, and deliberately fired two shots into his face with it. Another man also ran up the steps and fired two shots, and came down again. In the meantime the big man in the brown clothes entered the building and shut the door after him. Another wounded man fell into Leroux’s arms and his blood spattered all over Leroux’s shirt.

A young gentleman who was a spectator of the whole tragic scene states that as he was returning from Beaver Hall about 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, he saw a very large assembly of persons crowd up in front of Messrs. R. Dunn & Co.’s building. He hurried across the square to ascertain the cause of the disturbance, and on his arrival opposite Clendinneng’s block he saw Mr. F. C. Henshaw fighting his way in the direction of Craig street. He then saw Mr. Henshaw struggle up the steps, and immediately afterwards the deceased youth, Hackett, whom he knows personally. Both of them were very severely beaten by their assailants. Hackett was very badly beaten indeed, and appeared to have lost the proper use of his senses from the severity of the blows. Looking wildly around, he drew a revolver and fired into the crowd. That was the first shot our informant heard. Hackett then went higher up the steps, and his assailants followed. A regular scuffle then ensued, and nothing could be seen distinctly for a few moments. He then saw a slim young man in a velvet coat with a revolver in his hand grasping Hackett by the neck. Hackett seemed to clutch him with his left hand and held a revolver in his right. Both of them fired three or four shots at each other. Hackett seemed to be at a disadvantage, as the other man held his arm so that the shots from his revolver seemed to strike the stone steps. In a few moments Hackett seemed to faint away, and the young man in the velvet coat jumped to the sidewalk still holding the body of Hackett, which he dragged some three or four yards and then threw to the sidewalk, exclaiming, “That serves the G _ d d _ _ _ _ d b _ _ _ _ r right.” He then hurried away around the corner into Craig street, and was lost in the crowd which then commenced to disperse. Shots were fired from the crowd indiscriminately during the whole time. Every one appeared to have a revolver, and seemed anxious to use it. Soon afterwards two policemen arrived and took charge of the body. When the main body of policemen arrived a general dispersion took place. The whole of the occurrence did not seem to occupy more than two or three minutes."

This is a tintype of an image in the Canadian Illustrated News found in a Johnston family album compiled from 1869 to 1914 by Robert R. Johnston of Prescott County, Ontario, Canada, in Michigan. The tintype image measures 2-5/16"x3-9/16". full exif

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May Martin (Cahill) 25-Dec-2009 04:00
Interesting that a newpaper picture and story regarding the death of this gentlemen was found pasted inside the cover of a very old family photo album belonging to my mother's parents (mother being 95 years old herself). No idea of the relationship if any or if perhaps someone just found this to be an interesting article.