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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

O'MIC, JOHN - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

O'MIC, JOHN (ca. 1790-26 June 1812), the first person executed in northern Ohio, belonged to the Massasauga band of Chippewas that resided near Pymatuning Creek, Jefferson County, until 1811, when they moved to the west bank of the Cuyahoga. On 3 Apr. 1812, 2 trappers named Buel and Gibbs were murdered in Sandusky. O'Mic and 2 other Indians were arrested. One committed suicide; the other was released because of his extreme youth. O'Mic was sent to Cleveland for prosecution.

The trial took place on 29 Apr. 1812, and O'Mic was sentenced to death for the murder of Daniel Buel. Execution was set for 26 June. A large crowd gathered at PUBLIC SQUARE to watch. Sheriff Baldwin tried to cover O'Mic's face, but he lunged for a platform post and clung to it, telling Lorenzo Carter he would die courageously if he could have some whiskey. After several drinks, O'Mic was executed. The day after they witnessed the execution, a group of physicians, led by Dr. DAVID LONG†, reportedly took the body to use it for medical studies. The skeleton was reportedly later taken to Hudson, Ohio, then to Pittsburgh. O'Mic's death coincided with the outbreak of the WAR OF 1812. Many Indians fought on the side of the British, partly in anger over O'Mic's hanging. When Gen. Hull surrendered Detroit to the British shortly after the hanging, settlers in the Sandusky area headed east for fear that Indians would avenge O'Mic's death. But the marauding bands never came.

Anonymous, "Partial Narrative of Murder Trial & Execution in the Public Square, Cleveland, June 24, 1812,'' WRHS.

Wright, Morgan, Ashtabula County, Ohio, "eyewitness" account of O'Mic's hanging, 17 Sept. 1908, WRHS.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 1997 01:58:46 PM

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