'The sentencing of Pocket, the murderer of Leonard Hyde'
Poster offering reward for the capture of Pocket

Revolver used to murder Leonard Hyde


Hanging Tree,
Old Hallettsville

Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Number: 3740
Marker Size: 12 x 15 tree marker
Designations: Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Repairs: N/A

in city park, in front of Golf Club, west side of US 77 north city limits, Hallettsville

Marker Text:
Gallows used Sept. 12, 1879, at public hanging of "Pocket", an Indian, killer of Englishman Leonard Hyde. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967
Bridge Hall, Burgess Hill,
Brighton, England.
March 25th. 1878

Dear Sir - We have received the intelligence of the death of our dear boy, which has cast a gloom over our family as well as his former acquaintances and friends.

I need scarcely say how much he was beloved by all that know him in England; his genial manner endeared many strangers to him, and I am sure, had he been spared to us, there are many who would have found a kind and staunch friend in him.

The numerous sympathizing letters I have received are still further proof of the high esteem in which he was held. I feel it incumbent on me to recapitulate potions of his letters in which he says how happy he is in his new life and the kindness and good feeling extended towards him by one and all and that he looked forward to spending many happy years amongst them. These sentiments so repeatedly expressed by him, proved a source of great consolation, in as much as they showed that, though amongst strangers to me, he was in the midst of kind friends.

Referring to the cowardly murder, I think that in justice to themselves, quite independently of this melancholy affair, that everyone should endeavour to capture and bring to justice the culprit, as it is these horrid deeds that deter men (not only of money and ability and position) from colonising in Texas.

In England this is looked on as a place of great danger, and, therefore, proves the necessity ??? cowardly assassins, to let them go ??? these deeds cannot be perpetrated with impunity.

I sincerely hope that a full description of this man "Pocket" with any marks that would lead to his identity, will be published throughout the colony with my letter appended.

As a reward, it is not intention to offer money for the capture of the scoundrel, but a double barrelled rifle or gun of the best make, understanding this would be a greater inducement than money to the Indians to disclose the whereabouts of the murderer, Pocket, the Indian of Sweet Home.

My solicitors, Messrs Parker Bros., of Bedford Row, London, England, have written to the Minister of Washington and other Ministers urging upon them the necessity of taking immediate steps for the arrest of Pocket.

I feel that I cannot conclude this without tendering my sincere thanks for the sympathies expressed by all who knew my poor son, and I feel sure from their kind expressions they will exert themselves to their utmost to have this horrible murder avenged.

John Francis Hyde.

The Sentencing of Pocket
..."perform this disagreeable duty of sentencing the prisoner".

The judge stated that the mandate of the Court of Appeals had been returned, affirming the sentence of the lower court, and asked the prisoner the usual question if he had anything to say, "why the sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him". Pocket made no reply and the Judge, exhibiting great emotion in his voice, pronounced the sentence as follows:

"You will be remanded to the custody of the sheriff to be confined in the county jail, and there securely kept until the 12th day of September, 1879, on which day upon a gallows (erected within the walls of the jail if possible, if not, in some suitable place chosen by the sheriff) you will be hung until you are dead - dead - dead - and may God have mercy on your soul".

Pocket betrayed but little emotion until the last words were spoken, but then tears came to his eyes, and he wept for some minutes. Shortly after he was removed he recovered his equanimity. We understand that he is seriously and earnestly seeking preparation for his death ??? and we hope that though man cannot pardon him God may.

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