James Roosevelt, DA under the Southern-leaning Pa. Democrat President James Buchanan, offered a plea deal. Gordon in Eldridge St. Jail (with walk-around outside privileges) rejected it. Lincolnís DA E. D. Smith withdrew offer, locked up Gordon in the Tombs, sought death penalty to signal strong will to end NY port ties to the slave trade. Note that the hand-written death sentence specified City Prison as the place.
The NYCHS graphic pen sketch of Edward Delafield Smith is based on a Library of Congress image no longer found on the web but that was part of a web presentation about the Gordon case by former National Archives education specialist Karen Needles on a Documents on Wheels site. The image of the recorded sentence (to which NYCHS has added red underlines for emphasis, is likewise from the same source.