Gentlemen: We, the citizens of Brookline township, most respectfully petition your honors (we being residents of the township, and living in the immediate vicinity where the search was inaugurated and consummated, which led to the development of the most horrible and hellish deed which the annals of crime records) that you will call a special session of the grand jury, to dispose of the case against George E. Graham, the murderer, and Mrs. Emma Molloy and Cora Lee (his paramour) as accessories of the said Graham in the murder of Sarah Graham:
First. We make this demand because this horrible outrage on humanity transpired in our immediate community; therefore, we consider ourselves the chief sufferers—the family and relatives of deceased excepted.
Second. We demand it in justice to T. L. Breese, who, being a laboring man, and whose expenses are necessarily great at present, and have been since the institution of the search for the body of the missing Sarah Graham, and another trip to Missouri, with the expense he has already been at, and his condition considered an injustice to him and a stigma on the great heart of the citizens of Greene County.
Third. We recognize and bow to the majesty of the law; but knowing that delay tends to thwart rather than to aid justice and knowing the sentiment of the people will brook no lengthy delay, we further demand a speedy trial.
Fourth. With due deference to your position, confidence in your official integrity and ability, we would suggest that the voice of the people is the only sovereign power in the United States, and that you, being officers elected by the people, are, or should be, subservient to the popular voice, especially when raised in demand and defense of justice and outraged humanity.
Fifth. We listened to and coincided with the wish expressed by T. L. Breese and seconded by yourselves with the understanding that a speedy trial would be forthcoming, but outraged justice will not be passive if there be continued delay.
Sixth. To John A. Patterson, the people’s attorney, than whom none could have been more persistent in his efforts to punish crime, whose efforts and ability have been so assiduously and courageously put forth in the defense of justice and the best interest of the people of Greene county, we will say that a grateful people will remember you in the future. All of which, gentlemen, we would respectfully submit.
[Signed] M. B. Loyd, Pres.
T. F. Spragins, Sec.
Law-abiding citizens and voters of Brookline township, Greene county, Missouri[i]
That evening, Springfield law men were alert to the possibility of mob violence. Sheriff Donnell added “thirty or forty well-armed men” to guard the jail. Rumors abounded of numerous mobs forming, but nothing came to fruition. Springfield saloons complied with Mayor Walker’s request that they close early, to avoid adding alcohol to incendiary public outrage.[ii]
[i] Springfield Herald, March 6, 1886.
[ii] The Graham Tragedy, 36.