James Upkins

On September 6, 1893, James Upkins was arrested for raping his six-year old daughter in Ardmore, Indian Territory (present day south central Oklahoma).

Tried in the newly established U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Paris, Texas, Upkins, who was Black, was found guilty on December 12, 1893, and sentenced to death.

Austin American-Statesman, December 13, 1893

Along with Mannon Davis and Eduardo Gonzales, who had also been convicted of capital crimes committed in Indian Territory, James Upkins was publicly hanged in Paris, Texas, on March 30, 1894. A large crowd had gathered to witness the event.

Upkins’ case is one of only a handful of federal executions that did not involve a murder.

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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