|Andrew Jackson Lambert
17 November 1844 - 4 July 1886
"On the 17 day of December 1884, Dick Wilson was shot and killed. "Jack" Lambert
was arrested; tried in Swain County; convicted; and after attempts for a third appeal
failed he was hanged at the present site of the First Baptist Church on 9 July 1886.
Jack wrote a 20 legal-sized-page letter to his brothers the day before the execution
by hanging. This letter was given to the Wilson family some eighty (80) years later.
Dick Wilson's children never lived to see this letter as it was some thirty (30) years
after a signed confession was made by Will Jones on his death bed to Sheriff
Mason some fifty (50) years after the killing in 1884."
Andrew Jackson Lambert was buried in Old Cherokee Boarding School Campus
Cemetery. He was one-eighth Eastern Cherokee.
- Peggy Lambert 11/3/2005
"[Jack Lambert] . . . was hung, innocent. He never done the crime. Later years, after
he was hung -- that's giving you a little idea of our United States judgement -- they
didn' get the truth. They just hung him because he was in the crowd, they accuse'
him. . . . they was out that night . . . . He was there, and this man got killed. And they
accused him of it. Later, eight years after he was killed I think it was . . . the man
come in and surrendered, and said he was the man 't killed the man. Jack Lambert
did not kill him." - Francis David Childers, speaking in the 1976 interview recorded
and transcribed by Dwight Childers. Audio
Andrew Jackson Lambert worked as a miner, at least part-time. In his letter, he
relates that in December 1884 (when the killing occurred) he was living in Jackson
County near Panther Knob (just west of Sylva and Cullowhee) and was prospecting
for mica. From census records it is clear that he moved around quite a lot. In May
18, 1880, he is listed, age 35, with his wife Lucy Voils and their three children at
Ocona Lufty, Swain County, with occupation "farmer". But for that same 1880
census, he is listed twice more: June 9, with the Burton Reece family (Burton Reece
was a cousin of his second wife, Louisa Jane Reece) in Pigeon township, Haywood
County, and June 11, with the James Justice family in a different neighborhood of
that same township. This later listing, by the same enumerator ("Cyrus" or "Green"
[?] M. Moore), is crossed out, indicating error, but in both cases the age is 35 and
the occupation is "miner". It seems very likely that all these listings refer to the same
Source: U. S. Census 1870, 1880
"Andrew Jackson Lambert was the first and last man that was
hung in Charleston, Swain County, NC, which is now Bryson
City. He was an innocent man hung for a murder he never