Documenting and Analyzing the History of Federal Executions
On March 14, 1899, Matthew Craig was arrested for selling whiskey in Indian Territory near Tahlequah. With no jail available, Deputy U.S. Marshal Joseph P. Heinrichs held his prisoner overnight in his home.
Craig shot and killed Heinrichs while he slept. He was quickly recaptured.
Tried in federal court in Muskogee, Craig’s defense that his weapon discharged accidentally was rejected and he was convicted of murder on May 5, 1899.
Matthew Craig was hanged in Muskogee on August 25, 1899.
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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