Murder in Maine

Newspapers can tell a powerful story.

Reported in the Portland Advertiser (Portland, ME) July 8, 1834, Volume XXXVI, Issue 40, Page 4:

Supposed Murder. Mr. Andrew Gerrish, of Gouldsborough, Me. (trader) went up to Frenchman’s bay on the 28th ult., in company with a man named John Cole, who had lived with him several months. On the 31st the boat returned to Goldsborough [sic], with Cole only on board. On landing he was asked where Mr. Gerrish was – after some hesitation Cole said he had landed him on Grindstone point at the entrance of the harbor. Apprehensions being entertained for the safety of Mr. Gerrish, from his continued absence, &c. search was made, and no trace of him was found. Cole has been arrested, on suspicion of murder, examined before a Justice, and bound over for his appearance at the next Supreme Court, to be holden at Castine on the 1st of July. It is said marks of blood were discovered on Cole’s jacket, on his return from Frenchman’s bay, and that a lock of grey hair was found in the boat. Mr. Gerrish was a native of Kittery, Me. and 57 years of age.”

Follow-up a week later from the Newburyport Herald (Newburyport, MA) July 15, 1834, Page 2:

“Mr. John Cole, of Kittery, says the Belfast Advocate, who was arraigned at the Supreme Court sitting at Castine last week, on suspicion of having murdered Mr. Andrew Gerrish, of Gouldsboro was discharged by the court, the Grand Jury finding no bill against him.”

And finally two weeks later from the Gloucester Telegraph (Gloucester, MA), August 6, 1834, Volume VIII, Issue 63, Page 1:

“The body of Mr. Andrew Gerrish, sen. whose supposed murder was mentioned recently, has been found at sea with a rope round the neck, to which a stone had been apparently attached. The body also exhibited other marks of violence. Cole, the person accused of the act, had been examined and discharged before the discovery of the body.”

Andrew Gerrish was my fourth great-grandfather.

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About Deborah Lee Stewart

I try to get photos returned to family members at no charge. Please contact me if you are related to any of the people in the rescued photos that I post. I can be reached at:

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