SAYS HIS BELIEF WAS WRONG. ~ But Sharp Doesn't Want to Be Hung Before He Can Set His Followers Right.

December 11, 1908

But Sharp Doesn't Want to Be Hung
Before He Can Set His
Followers Right.

"Oh, it's terrible, terrible," James Sharp repeated over and over between questions asked of him by the police officers on the way to the city. Inspector Charles Ryan asked Sharp to tell why h e had attempted to overpower the police. "Well, brother, it was the Lord's will. The Spirit led me," he answered.

"Are you in the habit of carrying guns when you are preaching?"

"Ever since we fought the police in Canada, we have had guns. You know, we have been persecuted all over the country, and we decided that we would not stand for it any more. I believed it was the spirit moving me or a revelation. When the Humane officer came in he brought it out of me, and I thought I was doing right. Then the spirit led me to take the followers of the faith and go and preach. An officer came out and I was arguing with him. He was about convinced that we were right. If that tall young man had not pointed that pistol at me, there would not have been anyone killed. You know, it is the spirit that moves you, the flesh can't do anything."

"Honestly, captain, I believed that we were doing right and that it was God's will. When the bullets commenced to hit me then I had a revelation. The Lord was either not with us or was on a vacation. Now I know my faith was wrong, that I was mistaken. I am glad to be back and want to stand for anything that God wills. If I was in the wrong, then I should be punished for it.


"Do you know what is going to happen to you for killing those officers, Sharp?" he was asked.

"No, but I suppose they will hang me or send me to the penitentiary for life. The people must feel pretty hard against me, and I don't believe you will get me to jail if they see me, but it is God's will.

"I would like to see my wife and tell her to give up the fiath, for she won't believe I want her to unless I tell her. Then I want to live long enought to write a letter to my followers explaining my failure and asking them to live right and be law-abiding people. If the police put them in jail they should go peaceably. It is hard on those poor innocent police officers who were drawn into that terrible fight, without knowing what it was about.


"I had a nice farm in Oklahoma and was doing well when I believed I was called. Now I have no money, my children have left me and I have murdered innocent men. I can hardly believe I have any faith. I don't even believe in the Bible now."

Sharp said he taught his followers that he was Adam, who was David, or Jesus Christ. "But I guess the Lord is against me," he said.

Before leaving Olathe Sharp presented to Sheriff J. S. Steed with the knife he carried, bu the Kansas City officers brought it with them. They will use it as evidence against Sharp in the trial for attempting to kill Sergeant Patrick Clark. The handle of the knife had been broken by a bullet hitting it while he was fighting in the middle of the street.

Sharp was shot twice and his clothing was struck three times by bullets. He received a flesh wound along the edge of the palm of the left hand and the three fingers on his right hand were badly cut by a ball. A hole was mde through the brim of his stiff hat and a ball passed through the lapel of his overcoat. Another bullet went t hrough the right leg of his trousers. Sharp said he did not know he wsa shot until he walked away from the fight.


Just before reaching police headquarters Sharp told the police that when he got his religion at first people said he was crazy, and added: "They must have been right or I have two or three follies in my head I will have to get out."

Leaving the street car the religious fanatic asked the officers to proteect him and not let a mob hang him before he can write an open letter to his followers. He said he did not care what they did with him then. "I want to make restitution," Sharp said. "If those officers were poor and had families I want them to have my money and divide it between them."