On this day more than 100 years ago, the citizens of Hyannis acted more like a vigilante mob in the old west than church-goers on old Cape Cod.
Evan Albright wrote in Cape Cod Confidential about the murder:
Richeson, a native Virginian, had come north to Massachusetts in 1906 to preach the gospel. While a student at the Newton Theological Seminary, he was called to minister the congregation at the Hyannis Baptist Church. There he met the Linnell family of Hyannisport, a mother, father and four beautiful daughters. The soon-to-be Reverend Richeson fell for one of the young girls, 17-year-old Avis, a student at the new state teachers college in Hyannis.
Richeson was soon preaching in both Hyannis and Yarmouth, duties he happily carried out for four years. He employed a Southern style of preaching, filled with energy and exuberance. It proved too much for his conservative Cape Cod congregation and in April 1910 he resigned.
By that time he had given Avis a ring and the two spoke of being wed in October. The Rev. Richeson had found new employment at Immanuel Baptist Church in Cambridge. He convinced Avis, who possessed an angelic soprano voice, to apply for admission at the New England Conservatory of Music. In the early fall of 1910, she moved into the Y.W.C.A. in Boston to continue her education and to be near her true love"... Read the rest here.
The story below appeared on this day in 1911:
HANG RICHESON IN EFFIGY.;
Hyannis Townspeople Express Their Anger -- Richeson a Hypnotist?
HYANNIS, Mass., Oct. 29. -- Feeling in Hyannis, where lived nineteen-year-old Avis Linnell, who died of poison in the Boston Young Women's Christian Association rooms last Saturday night, runs high against the Rev. C.V.T. Richeson, who is in jail charged with having murdered her... An effigy of Richardson hung today from the limb of a tall elm tree in the yard of the Baptist church of which the clergyman was formerly pastor.
Read the rest of this grizzly tale below, then read a complete account of this 100-year-old murder in Cape Cod Confidential here.
Below is the NY Times story of Richardson's later execution.
Cjegktoonuppa, or Slow Turtle was a selectman and a medicine man
When John Peters, an Indian advocate from Mashpee died in 1997 from emphysema, his obituary in the New York Times began:
John Peters, who gained an international reputation for spiritual leadership as the supreme medicine man of the Wampanoag nation while making secular waves across the nation as the executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, died on Monday at a hospital near his home in Boston. He was 67 and known also as Cjegktoonuppa, or Slow Turtle.
A descendant of the Indians who greeted the Pilgrims upon their arrival in 1620, Mr. Peters was born in a hospital in Hyannis but grew up in the nearby Cape Cod town of Mashpee, where his branch of the Wampanoag Indians, now numbering about 1,200, have clung tenaciously to their native customs and religious practices.
Read the full obituary here.