1 minute read

Charles Kincaid Trial: 1891

An Extramarital Affair Exposed, A Shooting At The Capitol, Kincaid Pleads Self-defense, Prosecution Calls Shooting Revenge

Defendant: Charles Euston Kincaid
Crime Charged: Murder
Chief Defense Lawyers: Charles H. Grosvenor, C. Maurice Smith, Jeremiah M. Wilson. Daniel W. Voorhees assisted with pretrial matters
Chief Prosecutors: Charles C. Cole, Howard C. Clagett
Judge: Andrew C. Bradley. Judges Edward F. Bingham, Alexander B. Hagner, and Martin V. Montgomery presided over various pretrial hearings
Place: Washington, D.C.
Date of Trial: March 23-April 8, 1891
Verdict: Not Guilty

SIGNIFICANCE: This trial resulted from the bitter feud between a former congressman and a reporter that eventually led to the first fatal shooting of a current or former congressman inside the nation's Capitol.

Both Congressman William P. Taulbee of Kentucky and news reporter Charles E. Kincaid were rising stars in 1887. The 36-year-old son of a state senator, Taulbee was an attorney and an ordained Methodist minister. First elected to Congress in 1884, he was already a respected member of the House of Representatives and was called the "Mountain Orator" because of his tall, lean build and his ability to sway listeners. Kincaid, age 32, was also from the Blue Grass State. Originally a lawyer, he was elected the municipal judge of Lawrenceburg in 1879 and edited a weekly newspaper before going to Washington, D.C. in 1885 as Senator John Williams's private secretary. Kincaid later became the Washington correspondent for a number of prominent newspapers, including the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times. However, in December 1887, bad blood arose between him and Taulbee.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917