A NORTH CAROLINA ARSON CASE.
A recent arson case at Newton, N. C., in which two fire insurance companies were directly concerned,has been decided against the incendiary in the teeth of a most powerful defence conducted by the best lawyers in the State. It was as follows :
On March 5, 1896, the house occupied by J. L. Graham in Newton, N. C., was burned. Graham had his household furniture insured in the Phoenix, of Hartford, Conn., and the
Carolina Insurance Company, of Wilmington, N. C. The circumstances of the fire were so suspicious that the companies refused to pay, and Graham brought suit. Graham was a young lawyer and since the last election was appointed chief clerk in the office of the superintendent of public instruction at Raleigh, N. C. After investigation of the fire the matter was brought to the attention of the grand jury of Catawba county and Graham was indicted for burning his house. In the meantime the Phoenix settled its claim, paying the full amount claimed and the Carolina was left to carry on the fight single-handed. Graham made a great outcry about political persecution, as he had recently changed his political faith from a zealous Democrat to a full-fledged Republican. The case attracted a great deal of attention all over the State and was made the subject of numerous communications in the State papers. At the iast term of the court of Catawba county Graham was tried and convicted and sentenced. Through some flaw in the indictment he was not imprisoned, but was fined by the judge $300 and the costs, which amounted to something like $200 more. This victory is a notable one, as Graham had employed the best lawyers in the State to defend him. The idea of political persecution was completely exploded by the fact that the presiding judge was a Republican, the solicitor a Populist, and the jury, it is said, consisted of eight Populists, three Republicans,and one Democrat.
The two new basins of the Queen Lane reservoir, Philadelphia. now contain 140,000,000 gallons of water—71.000,000 in the north, and 69,000,000 gallons in the south basin.