Alexander Campbell was a hotel owner and a liquor distributor. He was said to be an Irishman who made good on his word. Prosecutors suspected that Campbell was the backbone of the murder plot. He proclaimed his innocence throughout his entire trial.
Alexander Campbell was falsely accused of killing a local mine boss during a bid by the Irish miners to organize labor unions. In 1877, Campbell was convicted first degree murder in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to death. When it came time to take him to the gallows where he would be hanged, he struggled to get free long enough to place his hand on the wall and declare it would remain there forever as a reminder of the injustice that took his life.
For years, sheriffs in Carbon County have painted the wall numerous times but the hand print ALWAYS reappears. On one occasion the entire wall was replaced but yet again the hand print reappeared in cell #17. Sheriff Charles Neast tried to cover over it thirty years later with green latex paint but it became clearly visible.
"There is proof of my words. That mark of mine will NEVER be wiped out. It will remain forever to shame the county for hanging an innocent man." - Alexander Campbell, June 21, 1877
Picture of Hand print: http://www.thecobrasnose.com/xxghost/handprint.html
More Info: http://www.visitjimthorpe.com/new/history.htm#handprint
Originally posted on June 11, 2005