Collection: Stephen Griffin Collection >> "Rosemary and violets," poems / by the Very Reverend...
"Rosemary and violets,"
by the Very Reverend James E. Coyle.
|Main Creator:||Coyle, James Edwin, 1873-1921.|
|Published / Created:||
[Birmingham, Ala.] : [Dispatch Printing & Stationery Company], 
GR P 733 has inscription from author's sister, Marcella Coyle, to Margaret J. Martin. Dated November 3, 1922.
Also available in digital form on the Internet Archive Web site.
On August 11, 1921, the Irish-born Father James Coyle was shot in the head on the porch of St. Paul's Rectory by E. R. Stephenson, a Southern Methodist Episcopal minister and a member of the Ku Klux Klan. There were many witnesses. The murder occurred just hours after Coyle had performed a secret wedding between Stephenson's daughter, Ruth, and Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican she had met while he was working on Stephenson's house five years earlier. Gussman had also been a customer of Stephenson's barber shop. Several months before the wedding, Ruth had converted to Roman Catholicism. Stephenson was charged with Father Coyle's murder. The Ku Klux Klan paid for the defence; of the five lawyers, four were Klan members. The case was assigned to the Alabama courtroom of Judge William E. Fort, a Klansman. Hugo Black, a future Justice of the Supreme Court and future Klansman, defended Stephenson. The defence team took the unusual step of entering a dual plea of "not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity", essentially arguing both that the shooting was in self-defense, and that at the time of the shooting Stephenson had been suffering from "temporary insanity". Stephenson was acquitted by one vote of the jury. In 1917, Father Coyle had been vilified in a rabidly anti-Catholic publication, Response of Doctor O. T. Dozier to priest James E. Coyle, pastor of St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Birmingham, Alabama.
Physical description: 91 pages : portrait ; 20 cm.
|Contained in:||Stephen Griffin Collection|
GR P 733: Stephen Griffin Collection
|Call Number||View in||Collection|
|GR P 733||Main Reading Room||Griffin|