October 21, 1773: Levi Ames
Boston, Massachusetts
      My first thefts were small.  A couple of eggs, and then
      a jack-knife.  After that some chalk.  A fair
      piece of broadcloth, a filver fpoon and ten
      or eleven dollars from Mr. Symond.  A pair
      of filver buckles, twelve tea-fpoons, filk mitts.

He asks the preacher for this psalm: My heart 
is smitten, and withered like grass, so I forget 
to eat my bread, &c. My time is so short.

He reads Ezekiel: A new heart will
I give you, &c.  For my heart was bad, 
bad indeed. At the gallows he asked if the souls
of the wicked, at death, would appear before our God
or immediately pass to Hell, and wait their doom.

      Soon, dear sir, I shall know more than you.


Ames’s execution was very well-attended and publicized; Andrew Eliot, Samuel Mather, and Samuel Stillman all published sermons based on his trial, imprisonment, and execution. Mather’s contains Ames’s dying confession, and Stillman’s includes the conversation on “the souls of the wicked.”


Mather, Samuel. Christ sent to heal the broken hearted. A sermon, preached at the Thursday lecture in Boston, on October, 21st. 1773. when Levi Ames, a young man, under sentence of death for burglary, to be executed on that day, was present to hear the discourse: By Samuel Mather, D.D. pastor of a church in Boston, in New-England. To which is added his life written by himself. Boston, Printed and sold at William M’Alpine’s printing-office in Marlborough-Street, 1773

Stillman, Samuel. Two sermons : the first from Psalm C11, 19, 20, delivered the Lord’s day before the execution of Levi Ames, who was executed at Boston, Thursday, October twenty-first for burglary Et 22 ... the second, from Proverbs xvii, 25, preached the Lord’s day after his execution ... to which is added ... an account of the exercise of his mind. Boston: J. Kneeland for P. Freeman, 1773

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