May 21, 1886 - Times Pic
CEIPPLING CONVICTS The Eorribls V Story of r TheoTjJiiIi . . CheTalier. - ITeglected in a Camp Hospital Until: - ; His Feet Eot Offi Belief by Jackknife Surgery. - - What the Investigating Committee . af Baton Rouge Are Finding Ont.', - I Batok Rottok, La., May 20. Special. This morning the House Committee on PenV tentiary proceeded to that Institution to In vestlgate the case of Theopalle Chevalier. the negro convict who claims that he was aw- aw- frostbitten at Crew Lake In the winter of 1884 85 through exposure that his feet had to be out off. The committee sat in the hospital of the Penitentiary and examined Chevalier who spoke partly in French, and partly 1st English. " - - : . '. .. . He said he was born in New Orleans, was a 000k by occupation, was eonvloted, ot -larceny -larceny of S3 about eighteen months ago. and sentenced for five years. Some weeks, after arriving in the Penitentiary, he waat sent to work in Capt Hoekin's camp, ah4 Crew Lake; . Two or three months later he was taken! sick. His duties were to washs clothes. Did not use warm water because! there was: no kettle to heat water. ThsV washing was done In the open air. One day' when it was very oold his feet felt ehUleo and he went to the Captain and told him hst was too cold to wash. Tbe Captain told hiref ' he must wssh or be whipped. He went bat af but soon tell down, and was taken tn by some men. He baa no. shoes , on .then.-During .then.-During .then.-During tbe three months he remained on the works be had no shoes. -, -, ':'' -He -He was about three months at workup tar the time he fell sick. Was sick Jan, 1, 1885-, 1885-, 1885-, W hen be went from the Penitentiary he hadf some old shoes, but they wore out, and he bad no more. The Penitentiary lessees never furnished him any shoes, hat did give him some clothes. He was treated like they other convicts. ' There was not much whip- whip- ping done as far as he could see.' He wen back to bis work after telling the Captain hex was too cold to wash, because he wast, afraid of being whipped. He worked fronwi before snnrise to dnsk, with one hour's res si at noon In summer, and two la winter. Hlsv't companion tn washing was an old man, whorl had. a pair ot shoes. The doctor attend! htm the second day after he fell down. 1 There were several sick In the hospital. which was in charge ot a hospital stewardJ who , looked after , the administration oi medicine. - .;- .;- '-' '-' '-' During the' two days he was In the hoe eame.ln, but he'idld not ask to be treated, as he thought the physician would do so of hisV own accord. Three different physicians at tended him. The doctor came aomettmesv every day and sometimes every twe days.. The toward of the hospital acted as nurseJ One of his feet dropped off, the other waaV hanging by a muscle. At that time sV physician was sent from the Penitentiary taM the camp. He cut off that toot with hlsV penknife . by severing this . muscle, orj "stnng," as witness called it. The , loom came off at the ankle Joint.- Joint.- It was aftexk' ward at xne penitentiary mat xne Donee; were sawed. - - '.. , ' While he was in the hospital the doctor who saw him were country physicians, ana said they did not have the tools to operate; on his feet. The sores were dressed wo ess the doe tors, esme. The steward ot the hot pltal was a white convict named Brown. - It was some weeks after one foot came oa th at the other was cut off. "They had t( take it off because it smelled so bad." . In the interval between the less of alae feet the doctor came te see htm. and had hlsW feet washed. During nis sicgneas na asxeg te be sent to the Penitentiary, because he thought he would receive better attention. It was not customary to keep the sick la camp, but to send them back to the Penitent tiary. After the witness was brought to the) Penitentiary his legs were amputated. - There Is bo convict at present in the renV tentiary who was with him at Crew Lake. J Does net remember the names of tbe physta clans, or the convicts with him In the aoew pltal. - "." " : "" ' Mr. Mata, the clerk, was aent tor ana asxeor if there were any other convicts who wsrei with Chevalier at Crew Lake. He said them wag oie In the Penitentiary. In the courser of conversation Mr. Mata stated that a con vict bad lately arrivedfrom one of the Jalla with frostbitten feet, who had never beesS on the works. " - -'. -'. . After examining the stumps of CheTallers legs, the committee adjearned to anothefl part of the building, and examined Edwaroi Coleman, white, sentenced te death tn New Orleans, baring been convicted of merdea and his sentence eommuted to life imprieos-l imprieos-l imprieos-l mens. - ' - ' ' r-i r-i r-i - In 1884-88 1884-88 1884-88 he was tn Capt. Husteed's camW on the Vlckaburg and Shreveport RailreeeVi Saw Chevalier In - Hosktn's eamp daring the, winter. He was a trusty ana weaner. iu washing was done nnder a shed. There wee) a kettle and fire was need ta heating thai water. Witness Tlalted . that eamp every morning to do mechanical work. There wan abundance of wood to make fires.' The eamp was In the depot at Gar diners station at thaw time. The convict ; were- were- furnished, wita clothes and shoes whenever they needed) them. The next time he saw Chevalier wear at Crew Lake, la the hospital. c This was a) month after the very cold weather. Did nek notice his condition. A guard was generaUy; sent with the prisoner whenever he moveol about from camp to camp. - ' , ' Witness was with Chevalier during tney cold spell In December. Chevalier wast moving about in good health In the early Dart of January. . Thinks Dr. Shields wasT tbe physician In attendance at the time men tioned. Does not recoueet us oate wnew ne aaw Chevalier la the hospital, but it was! after January, 1885.1 He did not knew taea that his feet had been . frost-bitten. frost-bitten. frost-bitten. Hs heard very little talk about It in camp. Dr. Worth, a convict, told him about it. Thif doctor attended to the convicts. The prae Uoe is to send very sick convicts back to the) Penitentiary front the works. The alok re eetvedgood attention and physicians were employed to look alter' the sick.- sick.- N arses) were ease employed. The committee adjourned until Friday morning.