Sheriff Bates records that although Henry More Smith’s cell was so cold that he feared the prisoner might freeze to death, Henry’s bare hands and feet, as well as his chains, always felt warm! Barbara Grantmyre in her book “The Lunar Rogue”, suggests Henry might have had some acquaintance with yoga, but in 1814, rumour in the community had it that Henry was in league with the devil. Given the extraordinary events that had transpired since the God-fearing Sheriff Bates and the rogue, Henry More Smith, had crossed paths, the Sheriff probably agreed but he stopped just short of stating that for the record. In any event, Henry’s astonishing escapes are as baffling today as they were to Sheriff bates 200 years ago.
Throughout January and February, Henry repeatedly escaped the chains, handcuffs, padlocks and iron collars that were intended to keep him secure. One collar was kept for many years as a curiosity and a testament to Henry’s strength. It was made of a flat bar of iron an inch and a half wide but Henry had twisted it from his neck and broken it in two parts. Despite the appearance of insanity, Henry seemed to have no trouble focusing his attention when it was in his interest. He smashed the wire-hooped bucket his water was kept in and broke the iron hoops into 3 inch pieces. Each time the jailer raised a candle to the wicket in the cell door in an attempt to check the prisoner and despite the fact that he was handcuffed, Henry would wing a piece at the candle snuffing it every time.