John W. & Henry M. Diggins

1857                Address Unknown, Cincinnati, Ohio.

John W. and Henry M. Diggins was recorded in an article on November 10, 1857 in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.).  The Photographed Bank Bills.—The examination of John W. and Henry M. Diggins, on a charge of being engaged in photographing bills of the Northern Bank of Kentucky, took place before the Police Court in Cincinnati on the 3d inst.  Against John W. there was no evidence whatever to connect him with the charge, and he was discharged by the Court.

The principal witness against the defendants was Henry Campbell, father of Alexander Campbell, who furnished the information upon which the two brothers were arrested.  He testified that he took a letter to the daguerrean room of Henry M. Diggins, from his son, who was in jail at Louisville, urging the brothers to raise money to get him out of the scrape; that in the course of a conversation with Henry M. the latter said that the photographed bills were as good as half the money afloat, and as the banks were all cheating he did not think it any harm to make the bills; that they could be made so as to pass in the banks.

On his cross-examination, Campbell admitted that he had insisted upon the brothers raising $85 to get his son out of the scrape, and that he told Henry M. that unless the money was forth-coming he would have him arrested upon the charge which was subsequently made against both brothers.

This was the substance of the testimony upon which the defense attempted to show a conspiracy to extort money on the part of the Campbells.  None of the bills were found upon the persons or premises.  The prosecution claimed that with the evidence of their principal witness, the younger Campbell, they would be able to fasten crime upon Henry M. Diggins.  Mayor Thomas, acting Police Judge, therefore held him to bail in $300, which was given, and the accused set at liberty.—Cin. Gaz.

Henry M. Diggins is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry and Ohio Photographers 1839-1900.  John W. Diggins has not been recorded in other photographic directories.

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