Henry Manasseh, or Mossuck, was one of the Tunxis Indians who for centuries had made their home in the Meadows at Farmington, in the bend of the river where today community gardens grow and model airplanes are flown. By 1850 the tribe had been dispersed, Manasseh to a rough cabin in the Tunxis' old hunting grounds in Colebrook. It was on the Riverton Road, in that town, on a Saturday night in the last week of March, that the tollkeeper Barnice White was clubbed to death, in a manner so violent that the plaster on the ceiling above the blood-soaked corpse was found to be damaged. Ultimately two men, William H. Calhoun and Benjamin Balcomb, were charged with the murder, and they implicated Manasseh.
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