Light On The “Jerome” Case

Judge Savery Says the Nameless Inmate of a Digby House is Likely Italian

No Inquiry Ever Made.

The Ship from Which Jerome was Put Ashore was Il Colombo—More Facts Furnished.

To the Editor of the Herald.

Sir, --In the articles in the St. John Gazette in your paper about the unfortunate man whose name heads this article, there is one remarkable and important omission. Allow me to supply it by saying that he stated that the Vessel from which he was put on shores was “Il Colombo.” When asked his own name he would say “Jerome.” When asked the name of his ship the answer would be, “Il Colombo.” Thus, I inferred that he was an Italian, and was a sailor or passenger in an Italian ship at the time when the inhuman outrage was perpetrated on him; and it seemed to me that there could have been no difficulty to finding that ship and solving the mystery if the provincial authorities had followed up that clue. But apparently, they took no interest in the matter whatever, further than to provide for him. I had removed my legal practice and residence from St. John to Digby in 1862, and lived in the latter place about two years before I ever heard of poor Jerome. I went to see him, and found him an inmate of a respectable Christian home—just as the French always from provide fro the few paupers they have. The woman of the house told me the fact and the name of himself and his ship, but when he noticed we were talking about him and mentioning his name, with a slight frown of reproach he started from the mat on the floor, where he was and crawled out of doors on his hands, dragging his stumps behind him. The records of the house of assembly will probably show the exact date when he was found somewhere about 1860. For several years about this period there lived at Meteghan one John Nichola, who had, I was told, been a soldier in the Sardinian contingent in the Crimean war, but who spoke both French and English very badly, and perhaps did not speak Italian very plainly either. A few years ago I was told that Nichola used to converse with Jerome, but perhaps the only foundation for this was that Nicola by addressing him in Italian got from him his name and that of the ship.

Some ten or twelve years ago my interest in the man’s history revived, and I thought of writing to the Italian secretary of state and recommending him to advertise the fact in the Italian newspapers, but probably neglected it.

A.W. Savary.
Annapolis, Royal, November 16.

Source: A. W. Savary, "Light On The "Jerome" Case," Halifax Xhronicle Herald, November 17, 1898.

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