Testimony of Mrs. William Thaw (Harry's Mother)
 Harry Thaw Trial 1907

 Testimony of Mrs. William Thaw

Delmas: “In what time of the fall of 1903 did you son, Harry K. Thaw, come to you home in Pittsburg?”

Mrs. William Thaw: “In October.  He came two days after my other son was married."

Delmas:  “During the time that Harry K. Thaw was at your home did you notice anything peculiar in his conduct denoting a change?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “When he first entered the house his manner was such that it stuck me at the time.”

Delmas:  “Will you describe his appearance?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “He seemed absent-minded and had a despairing look.  The impression grew on me. He appeared to be laboring with a problem.  He went to the drawing room and I heard the piano playing violently at first and then the tone grew softer and softer. This happened after he would come back, and after a while he would go to the drawing room and resume playing in the same way, first wildly and then softer and softer."

Delmas:  “Did this contine?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “Yes.”

Delmas:  “What followed?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  ““But the most marked feature was his wakefulness at night.  His room was next to mine and I would her him sobbing.  I would see a light under the door at three or four in the morning.  I would go into his room and find his sitting up crying.  This sort of thing happened several times at night.  His room was next to mine and he sobbed violently during the night.”  [Mrs. Thaw stops to cry.]

Delmas:  ‘Had you proceeded to state what he said?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “I am not of a prying disposition, and I did not inquire into his trouble at once.  He finally told me one night what the trouble was.  He did not tell me definitely at first.  He first said that it was something a wicked man in New York had done that had ruined his life.  That was as much as I cold get from him at first. He said the man was probably the worst in New York.”

Delmas:  "Had you made an inquiry of your son as to what that man had done?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “On Thanksgiving I learned more.  I did not ask the girl’s name.  I learned from his one night what the wicked man had done to the young girl.  I did not want to inquire any further.  I told him that sort of thing happened in New York constantly and I asked, 'Why should that ruin your life?'  But he insisted it had.  I tried to influence him the other way, to show him that it was not his place to look after the young girls.”

Delmas:  “Did you learn more about that statement?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “Yes. I could not learn who the girl was who was associated with this wicked man in New York.”

Delmas:  “Did you learn her name from your son?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “Yes.”

Delmas: “Will you tell us just what was said?”

Mrs. William Thaw: “I learned more about it afterward.  He said the girl had the most beautiful mind of any woman he had ever met and that if she had been under the influence of a good mother she would have been the best woman that ever lived.  I cannot recall the entire conversation, but that is the substance of it.”

Delmas:  “Was that all you learned up to Thanksgiving day?”

Mrs. William Thaw:  “I only know that on Thanksgiving Day that incident occurred.  It was the Thanksgiving Day in our new church, and as it was very crowded.  Harry and I had to stand under the gallery.  I was glad afterward that we had to, as we heard the beautiful music...."

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