The M'Lister-Welch Tragedy

     Robert McLister, murder in the second degree,
   and Jas. Camp, indeterminate sentence, were
   received at the penitentiary from Summit County

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), 11 March 1885, pg. 2; digitised newspapers hosted by (accessed 2014-10-17, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick. Please cite your sources.

   Murderer McLister Receives Pardon.
   His Crime the Shooting of a Fellow Man in a
     Bar Room Brawl Five Years Ago.
   Special Dispatch to the Inquirer.
     Columbus, Ohio, January 10.--—Governor Foraker,
   on the recommendation of the Board of Pardons,
   issued an unconditional pardon to Robert McLister,
   who was convicted of murder in the second degree
   at the January term, 1885, of the Summit County
   Court, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
   McLister shot and killed a man named Welch,
   between whom and himself
     A Grudge Had Existed
   For some time. The parties met in a saloon,
   and Welch, withouth provocation, threw a beer
   glass at McLister, whereupon McLister drew a
   revolver and fired at Welch, who made a motion
   as though to draw a weapon, when McLister again
   fired, inflicting a wound which proved fatal.
     The Petition
   For McLister’s pardon was numerously signed,
   and was supplemented by a letter from Welch’s
   only surviving relative, a sister, who said
   the blame was not all on one side; that she
   thought McLister had been sufficiently punished,
   and she joined in the request for his pardon.

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), 11 January 1890, pg. 5; digitised newspapers hosted by (accessed 2014-10-17, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.

   M’Lister’s Pardon.
   Miss Welch Claims That The Letter to the
     Governor For Release Was a Downright Forgery.
   Special Dispatch to the Enquirer.
     Massillon, Ohio, January 14.——Specials were sent
   out from Columbus on the 10th inst. announcing
   the unconditional pardon of Robert McLister, a
   life convict from Summit County, who has served
   five years, for shooting Joseph Welch at the
   village of Sherman. The reports stated, con-
   cerning the application for a pardon, that a
   sister of the murdered man had written a letter
   which was mainly the instrument that secured
   the pardon, as follows: “I am willing to say
   that the blame for this matter was not
   altogether on the one side, and I now feel that
   Mr. McLister has, under all the circumstances,
   been sufficiently punished, and I therefore join
   in the request for his pardon. My relations with
   my brother Joseph were most affectionate, and
   yet I now feel as if the years already served
   by Mr. McLister in the Penitentiary are all
   that justice requires, and that no one will be
   harmed by his release.”
     Mary Welsh [sic], the only sister of the
   murdered man, lives here. She denied emphati-
   cally to-day to your correspondent that she
   ever interceded by letter or otherwise for
   McLister’s release; did not even know an
   effort was being made to secure his liberty;
   says he has not been sufficiently punished, and
   denounces the letter attributed to her as a

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), 15 January 1890, pg. 1; digitised newspapers hosted by (accessed 2014-10-17, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.

   Crooked Work.
   Pardon of a Life Convict Secured by Documents
     Which are Said to be Forgeries.
     Massilon, O., Jan. 15.——Robert McLister, a
   life convict at Columbus, was pardoned last
   Saturday. He was imprisoned for the murder of
   Joseph Welch at Sherman, Summit County, and
   had served five years. One of the documents
   used in securing his pardon was a letter
   purporting to come from Welch’s sister which
   urged McLister’s pardon. The sister whose
   signature was attached to the letter lives
   here and she denies having written any such
   document. She and other relatives of the
   murdered man pronounce it a forgery. They
   denounce those in authority at Columbus and
   will insist upon an investigation.

Source: The Salem Daily News (Salem, Ohio), 15 January 1890, pg. 1; digitised newspapers hosted by (accessed 2014-10-17, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.

     One of the last official acts of Governor
   Foraker was to pardon, on recommendation to
   the State Board, Robert McLister, who was
   sent up from Summit County for murder in the
   second degree, his victim having been Joseph
   Walsh, whom he killed in a saloon fight.
   Among the papers presented to the Governor in
   the case was a letter purporting to be signed
   by the sister and only surviving relative of
   Walsh, in which she asserted that the blame
   was not all on one side, and that she thought
   McLister had been sufficiently punished.
     Since the pardon, however, the papers have
   published statements from this sister declaring
   the letter a forgery, and that the statement
   that she desired the pardon granted was
   unqualifiedly false.
     The letter was seen to-day by an Enquirer
   correspondent. It is dated Akron, May 15, 1889,
   and signed "Mary Walsh," and witnessed by N.
   Chalker, a reputable attorney of that city. An
   Akron gentleman who saw the letter to-day said
   that he thought the body of it was in the hand-
   writing of Mr. Saddler, another attorney, and
   said he believed the letter to be genuine.

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), 17 January 1890, pg. 4; digitised newspapers hosted by (accessed 2015-04-23, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.

Please cite your sources.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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