During the court martial, Gordon was denied the opportunity to consult with counsel, though he was able to summon witnesses in his defense and to cross examine witnesses against him.  At the time of his arrest and during his court martial, Gordon asserted that he had no advance knowledge of the rebellion; he had been ill for several weeks and could not have been involved in planning the uprising, a fact later affirmed by his physician, who was never summoned to testify at the court martial (Kostal 140-41). The court martial found Gordon guilty of high treason and sedition and sentenced him to death. He was executed by hanging from the central arch of the court house, a particularly shameful and public death, along with seventeen others, early in the morning on the following Monday, 23 October, after having been given only one hour’s notice of his impending execution (Heuman 150). Gordon used the short time prior to his execution to write a letter to his wife, asserting his innocence and denying any involvement with Bogle in planning the events at Morant Bay, but also indirectly defending the justice of their cause: “All I ever did was to recommend the people who complained, to seek redress in a legitimate way; and if in this I erred, or have been misrepresented, I do not think I deserve the extreme sentence. It is, however, the will of my Heavenly Father that I should thus suffer in obeying His command, to relieve the poor and needy, and to protect, as far as I was able, the oppressed” (Gordon 2). Gordon also attempts to console his wife: “Comfort your heart. I little expected this. You must do the best you can, and the Lord will help you; and do not be ashamed of the death your poor husband will have suffered” (Gordon 2). The contents of the letter were transmitted to the author and secretary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Louis Chamerovzow, who published it in a pamphlet on 30 November along with an account of Gordon’s arrest and execution. Asserting that “No unprejudiced person can read Mr. Gordon’s last letter, without having the conviction of his innocence forced on his mind,” Chamerovzow attests that Gordon died as a Christian “martyr” and expresses his hope that the letter’s release to the public will be effectual in “obtaining justice for his memory” (Gordon 4).
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There is an additional Bible passage that utilizes an almost identical Hebrew word. I Chronicles 4:22 mentions a Jewish ruler of the region of Moab who was named Saraph. One can only speculate why he would have been given this name, but the region he ruled to the southeast of Israel proper (on the border of Edom) was quite close to the area where the Israelites had encountered the serpents in the wilderness. It is likely that the New Testament also referenced these fiery winged seraphim when writing to the Hebrews: “Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire” (Hebrews 1:7). The emphasis then, it would appear, is on the saraph’s bright, fiery nature.