William Hill

In April 1825, the Decatur left Baltimore for New Orleans carrying 33 enslaved people being sold south. En route, William Hill and other enslaved men overtook Captain Galloway and his mate, throwing them overboard.

The Decatur then sailed for Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti) and the promise of freedom. However, the untrained sailors had trouble navigating the ship. The Constellation, passing nearby, rendered aid, removing the women and children from the ship. The next day, another ship, the Rook, removed the remaining men from the ship and brought them to New York.

United States Gazette (Philadelphia), November 21, 1826

At trial in U.S. Circuit Court in New York on November 17, 1826, Hill was the only one of the eight men to be convicted. He was sentenced to death on November 20 and hanged on Ellis Island on December 15, 1826.

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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