Chico Weekly Record, Chico, California – Saturday, December 25, 1897
Death of Butte Convict.
Henry Mullings, a life termer at San Quentin prison, died at that institution on Tuesday, and was buried in the prison graveyard yesterday. An unusual large number of mourners among the prisoners made applications for permission to attend the funeral. A life termer who dies in prison is always given a large funeral by the convicts.
Mullings was twice tried and convicted in the Superior Court of this county for the murder of John Moore, an old miner of Mooretown. The murder occurred in 1887, and was a most brutal one, Moore being chopped to death with an ax. The evidence upon which Mullings was convicted was mostly circumstantial, but left no doubt of his guilt. In fact had it not been for admissions made by Mullings himself, he would not have been arrested.
Mullings was a young man of twenty-four years when he was received at the penitentiary on June 19, 1890. The prisoner declared when he entered the penitentiary that he would lead a model life and at the end of ten years he would plead for liberty. Mullings was a robust young fellow when he entered prison. He was raised in the mountains. Seven years’ confinement behind brick walls sapped the life of the young mountaineer. He knew that he was going to die and prepared for the end.
“Liberty will come with death,” remarked Mullings. “I would rather meet the end now than live on in this place indefinitely. There is no hope for a life-termer to gain freedom, unless he has strong friends. I am glad that death will give me liberty, for then I can cast aside these stripes.”
Mullings’ body will find a resting place in the prison graveyard. In death as well as in life he will be known as Prisoner No. 14.184.
From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair