< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
John Thompson is hanged in Renton in first legal execution of a Caucasian in Washington on September 28, 1877.
HistoryLink.org Essay 227
: Printer-Friendly Format
On September 28, 1877, in the Puget Sound town of Renton, John Thompson is hanged. A jury has convicted Thompson of murder. This is the first legal hanging in King County and the first hanging of a white man in Washington Territory.
On February 4, 1877, at Agnew's Saloon on Renton's Walla Walla Avenue, Thompson got into a barroom fight. The brawl moved out onto the street. A man named Solomon Baxter tried to break up the fight, and Thompson stabbed him in the stomach. Baxter died the next day. A jury found Thompson guilty of murder. The King County sheriff carried out the hanging.
David M. Buerge, Renton: Where the Water Took Wing: An Illustrated History (Chatsworth, CA: Windor Publications, 1989), 29-30. Also see University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, "Pacific Northwest Index."
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You