The Legend of Chipita Rodriguez

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  • Topic: Jury, Grand jury, Indictment
  • Pages : 3 (1153 words )
  • Download(s) : 248
  • Published : November 18, 2011
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Rodríguez was for many years known to be the only woman legally hanged in Texas. People think to be the daughter of Pedro Rodríguez, she moved with her father to San Patricio de Hibernia, Texas, and for several years after Rodríguez's death furnished travelers with meals on the porch of her lean-to shack on the Aransas River. When Cotton Road traveler John Savage was killed with an ax, because he had $600 in gold which he had been carrying, Chipita was accused of robbery and murder. Recovery of the gold from the Aransas River north of San Patricio, where the body was found in a burlap bag, raised substantial doubt about the motive for the crime, but Josefa Rodriguez and Juan Silvera were indicted on circumstantial evidence. After Chipita pleaded not guilty, but Neal wanted her executed on November 13, 1863. For some time she was held at sheriff William Means's home in Meansville, where two attempts by a lynching mob wanted to kill her. According to legend, Chipita was kept in leg irons and chained to a wall in the courthouse. There, local children brought her candy and shucks to make cigarettes. At the time she was described as "really old" or "about ninety," but was probably in her sixties. They came for her in a two-wheeled cart. She sat on a plank box made to be her coffin. The cart was pulled by yoked oxen and people of the town walked behind. They went down to the river, a thousand yards from the courthouse, and the cart stopped under one of two spreading mesquite trees in a clearing by the river. She wore a new white dress with blue trim. A woman in town had fixed her hair. She was smoking a corn-shuck cigarette. When a new hemp rope was placed around her neck, she showed no emotion, no fear. The people watched her. It was Friday, November 13, 1863, the day of execution for Chipita in old San Patricio. She had been tried, and the sentence was about to be carried out. Chipita was a nickname believed derived from Josefa. She lived in a cabin on the road that...
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