Doghead Glory (Execution of)

On February 4, 1853, a Native American man named Doghead Glory was executed in Benton County for the murder of a white man named David Scentie (sometimes referred to as David Scoutie) the previous year. The ruling that led to the execution provided an important precedent used at later trials.

The most thorough account of Glory’s crime appears in his appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which was heard during the January term of 1853. Apparently, a group of Native Americans—including Doghead Glory, his brother Moses Glory, Youngbird (or Young Bird), George Potatoe, and Cassalowa—went to see a show being held near the boundary with Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Around nightfall, Cassalowa approached a man identified only as Adair and borrowed money to redeem his Bowie knife, which he had earlier pawned for liquor. Adair and David Scentie had also been drinking. There had apparently been no previous disputes among the parties.

Adair and Scentie then decided to leave, but when they arrived at the place where Adair had tethered his horse and were ready to mount, Cassalowa approached from a nearby house, threatened to kill Adair, and stabbed him. When he attempted to stab Adair again, Adair drew his gun and wounded Cassalowa. The Glory brothers and George Potatoe emerged from the house where Cassalowa had been and set on Adair with knives. Adair ran and hid in a house. David Scentie remained with Adair’s horse. Nearby witnesses heard a number of blows and found Scentie dead, having been hit on the head and stabbed. The alleged perpetrators ran into the woods. Authorities hypothesized that Scentie was the real target of the attack as he had fled the show hurriedly, leaving his wife behind. Adair, on the other hand, was attacked because he had wounded Scentie. Adair lived and was able to testify.

In April 1852, the case was heard before a grand jury in Washington County, Arkansas. Doghead Glory and George Potatoe were indicted as principals, and Cassalowa, Young Bird, and Moses Glory as accessories. The trial, which had moved to neighboring Benton County, took place in October 1852, and Doghead Glory was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to hang. Glory filed a bill of exception, citing the admission of irrelevant evidence, and asked for a new trial. This motion was denied. Glory was sentenced to hang on November 19, 1852. He then requested an appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which was granted, staying all proceedings until February 4, 1853, while the court considered the case. In January, the court denied the appeal, and Glory was hanged. The fates of the other alleged conspirators are unknown.

The case of Doghead Glory was used as a precedent in a number of later trials. The issue was the question of whether there was direct evidence that the defendants conspired to kill Scentie. According to legal opinions, Arkansas had long recognized that such a conspiracy can be proved by circumstance alone (Parker v. State, 98 Ark. 575, 137 S.W. 253).

Interestingly, the names of the accused cropped up in newspapers across the country in 1903, fifty years after the execution. On January 31, 1903, the Indianapolis Journal, for example, noted the indictment under the headline “Queer Names from Arkansas” and mentioned the Glory brothers, George Potatoe, Cassalowa, and Youngbird.

For additional information:
Doghead Glory vs. the State. Reports of Cases at Law and in Equity Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Arkansas, vol. 13. Little Rock, John M. Butler, 1853, pp. 135-37.

History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889.

“Queer Names from Arkansas.” Indianapolis Journal, January 31, 1903, p. 7.

Nancy Snell Griffith
Davidson, North Carolina


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