Its gross to think that public executions used to be a form of entertainment during this time period. James only stabbed a man while he was drunk and then he became the center of the public’s attention after his sentence. Granted he was the first public execution in 7 years, which drew and even bigger crowd. But it was fascinating to see that most of them only went to see how James faced his death and how he accepted it. But that’s funny to see how many of the public eye would are only interested to see how we face death. Some people are terrified, some are open to it. Others just don’t know how to react. After Morgan was killed, he became a figure in American literature. It’s crazy to think that the first real crime literature was sermons of the criminals sentenced to death. People just relate to these people because they do what most of us do on a daily basis, lie, cheat, not following parents orders, but they are the ones who got caught. I think its also great that many people only gathered to watch Morgan’s execution as a for of guilt, because of their sins. The sermon mainly had different stories of crimes people committed, like bestiality and murder, to name a few. Then it goes on with the transcript of the actual sermon before Morgan was hung. Personally, I think this transcript shouldn’t have been published. Yes Morgan was executed for killing someone. But I think he would want to be forever remembered for his great achievements in life, not just the bad things. To me it seems like they only published this without Morgan’s permission. This actually may seem funny because they probably didn’t have privacy laws like we do now and the press could publish what ever we wanted.
As I was reading, it intrigued me that so many people flocked to watch this form of public execution. It seemed like many the people there, either felt bad for him, or they felt guilty because they had committed similar sins. They could have done anything to make them feel guilty but they weren’t caught. I imagined the scene numerous times, a huge crowd of people, almost riotous, yelling things at James, cursing, and maybe even spitting on him. He must have felt terrible. But he still stuck with his consequences. The imaged I used reminded me of what the scene might have looked like after the execution. The photo I used is linked below: