Sinker Wilson, a Cherokee man, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Datus Cowan, a white boy, in 1867. His execution was scheduled for February 7, 1868.
While awaiting execution, he escaped from the Van Buren County jail. Wilson lived free for the next nine years, until being arrested in April 1876 for his involvement in new crimes.
Taken to Fort Smith for trial before Judge Parker, Wilson denied being the person sentenced to death a decade earlier. The jury found otherwise and Wilson was found guilty on June 2, 1876, and sentenced to death on June 21.
Sinker Wilson was hanged on September 8, 1876.
Author: Bill Lofquist
I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa.
This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed.
Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.
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