First Execution in Washington: James McGirk

Title

First Execution in Washington: James McGirk

Description

James McGirk, also spelled McGurk, was hanged on October 28, 1802, near the Capitol in the same area today occupied by the statues of Presidents Garfield and Grant. He was the first person executed in the District of Columbia. In April 1802, McGirk was convicted of having beaten his wife to death shortly after she delivered stillborn twins; newspapers speculated that his repeated physical abuse may have contributed to the infants' death. Appeals to President Jefferson by McGirk and his lawyer for a stay of execution were unsuccessful.

Source

Washington Federalist

Date

10/28/1802

Coverage

Event Sort Date

18021028

Description

James McGirk, also spelled McGurk, was hanged on October 28, 1802, near the Capitol in the same area today occupied by the statues of Presidents Garfield and Grant. He was the first person executed in the District of Columbia. In April 1802, McGirk was convicted of having beaten his wife to death shortly after she delivered stillborn twins; newspapers speculated that his repeated physical abuse may have contributed to the infants' death. Appeals to President Jefferson by McGirk and his lawyer for a stay of execution were unsuccessful.

Date

10/28/1802

Coverage

1800-1829

Source

Washington Federalist