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Providence, RI House Explosion, Jul 1855

The Providence House Explosion.

From the Providence Post, July 18.

We mentioned on Monday that Henry M. Tucker had been arrested on a charge of blowing up the house of his father on Smith-street, on the night of the 12th inst. The examination was held at Pawtucket on Tuesday, before Justice Earle John H. Weeden, Esq., appeared for the Government, and Edward H. Hazard and C. A. Updike, Esq., for the respondent. The examination took place in Columbian Hall, and the Hall was crowded with spectators during most of the day.

The first witness examined was Daniel Buffington, who testified that he lived in the chambers of John Tucker's dwelling-house. His wife awoke him on the night of the 12th, and asked him what caused the bed to shake so. He had noticed nothing, but got up, and tried to light a lamp. His wife lighted one, and then looked out of the window, remarking that she thought she heard some one about the house. She saw no one, but left the window open, only closing the blinds. This was at 11½ o'clock. Mr. B. retired again and went to sleep. In the night, he was again awoke, and thought the bed was sinking under him. He tried to get up, but felt paralyzed as though under the influence of nightmare. However, he succeeded in getting out, with much effort, and in getting his wife out, also. he saw fire in the room beneath him; went down the back stairs and found rubbish against the back door; cleared it away and went out; saw men walking to and fro, but did not know them Joseph Buffington handed him a bucket and he brought two buckets full of water; three of four buckets full put the fire out; then went upstairs and dressed himself; when he went down, saw Henry Tucker; Henry told him he heard the report and came up; told Henry he got there quick; Henry replied, not quicker than others; which was true. Thinks Henry takes his meals there, but lodges in his own tenement, 30 or 40 rods distant; frequently saw Henry about the premises; he kept his horse in his father's stable; Mr. John Tucker has a room in the basement of his house, in which he transacts official business.

Ann Maria, wife of Alfred Buffington, testified that on the afternoon of the 12th she saw Henry Tucker go out of his father's gate and return with a pitcher; frequently saw him go in and out; noticed nothing unusual on this occasion.

Celia McGinn, hired girl of Mrs. Buffington, went into Mr. Tucker's of an errand on the evening of the 12th; saw Henry Tucker and his father sitting down; did not hear either of them speak; the hired girl of Mr. Tucker, who is sister to witness, went from the room in the basement, where the Messrs. Tucker were into the cellar, to get some lard, when Henry followed and hooked after her; asked her sister what he did it for, but did not get any answer; saw nothing more; slept there that right with her sister; was awoke in the night, and heard the girls screaming down stairs; was in Mr. Tucker's in the afternoon, and saw Henry shut the kitchen door; I was in the kitchen.

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