Homicide

In 1827, a slave named Ambrose escaped from his owner Berryman Burger. Like most runaways, Ambrose did not make the dangerous trek north but remained in the area, a practice called ‘lying out.’ In most cases, such slaves kept a low profile, living off the land or from scraps gleaned from friends and compatriots in the quarter. Ambrose, however, took a different path, waging guerrilla war against slavery and local slaveholders. Over the course of more than a year he broke into barns, slaughtered hogs and poultry, pillaged smokehouses, burned outbuildings, destroyed cotton, and generally behaved like a local Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and returning to his fellow slaves. Within months, Ambrose had induced other runaways to join him, and he was regarded by local planters as a “desperate character ... capable of any act of villainy” who should be killed on sight.

Early in the morning of September 24, 1828, a local white man, Kirkland Harmon, surprised Ambrose in his camp and gunned him down as he rose. Ambrose winced as the buckshot “enter[ed] his back loins & hips,” and he bled out on the ground. His one-man rebellion was effectively over. Without the coroner’s inquest convened over his body, however, we would know nothing of his rebellion; the record of his death is the only record we have of his life. How many Ambroses were there? It is hard to know. To its credit, Ambrose’s band picked up his mantle and continued to operate in the area as plague to local planters.

I was not surprised to learn that such local resistance was quashed and that slaves like Ambrose were routinely murdered. I was surprised to learn how often the coroner responded. In her WPA interview, the former slave Mittie Freeman remembered the coroner as “that fellow that comes running fast when somebody gets killed,” and the coroner is mentioned in quite a few of the most famous slave narratives, including those by Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown. The coroner was often the only magistrate mentioned because he was the only ‘outside’ law the slaves ever saw. To be sure, there were countless masters who murdered their slaves and effortlessly covered it up. But if the murderer was someone other than the master, or if the master failed to cover it up, there was usually an investigation, at the very least because property had been destroyed, and someone expected compensation.

“Laws ... against the murder or torturing of slaves are about as well observed as might be laws enacted by wolves against sheep-murder.”

Reflecting on the South he was forced to flee because of his Unionism, John Aughey noted: “Of course the laws which exist in every state against the murder or torturing of slaves are about as well observed as might be laws enacted by wolves against sheep-murder.” But in the coroners’ inquest there was actually a subtle game of community standards going on. Standing over the body of a slave and surveying the grim damage, a coroner’s jury was often perfectly comfortable recommending that a white be indicted. And at coroner’s inquests slaves were allowed to testify. The actual jury nullification came later, in the courtroom, when the mangled body was not actually present and the murderer was let off. But by then he had been held up to public scrutiny; his judgment and decency had been questioned publicly and legally. It is less than justice, but it is not nothing, a fact which slaves themselves recognized. When the coroner came a-runnin’, many slaves thought he might bring justice with him from some far off, saner place. And in his own Narrative, Frederick Douglass tells the story of an unnamed slave girl whose mistress “pounded in her skull” with a piece of firewood because she allowed a baby to cry uncontrollably and wake the household. “I will not say that this murder most foul produced no sensation. It did produce a sensation. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Mrs. Hicks, but incredible to tell, for some reason or other, that warrant was never served, and she not only escaped condign punishment, but the pain and mortification as well of being arraigned before a court of justice.” It is hard to believe that for all he’d seen of the institution of slavery, Douglass still thought it capable of any justice at all.

What does not make it into many of the slave narratives, including Douglass’s, is the violence that existed within the slave community. Enslavement does not magically transform all who endure it into savvy, self-sustaining freedom-fighters. If we are going to grant the enslaved their full humanity we must grant that, like any other group of people, they occasionally fought, fornicated, and got into petty disputes that sometimes took a murderous turn. To be sure, as historian Steven Hahn has noted, the slave quarter produced one of the most radical and transformative politics ever seen in America, a politics that produced Nat Turner and Frederick Douglass and finally brought down a $3.5 billion dollar interest. But in coroners reports we get a glimpse of the violence that existed within the slave community that we knew had to be there. Thus did the slaves of the Haile plantation turn their children over to Tamer, the enslaved nurse, on their way out to the fields, little knowing that she liked to punish the children by tying them too close to a fire, a practice that was only discovered when she finally cooked one of them to death. Or take the case of a slave named Dick who became so jealous when a fellow slave wouldn’t sleep with him that he pulled a log from a fire and murdered the other man who was staying in her cabin.

The typical homicide in the United States involves one man shooting another, and this is equally true in the CSI:Dixie database. Comparatively speaking, the CSI:D sample has a higher percentage of male victims and a lower percentage of gun use. Today firearms are used in 68% of American homicides; in the CSI:D sample guns are used 52% of the time. Today 77% of homicide victims are male; in the CSI:D sample 88% are male (and virtually all of the perpetrators are men). Put bluntly, in the nineteenth century south, violent death was a more exclusively male province, and Death had more faces.

Interestingly, though, in the CSI:D database virtually none of the gun-related homicides are related to robbery. Most are the product of the highly combustible combination of anger and alcohol. The last words of J. Edward Sims were typical: “Shoot you damed cowardly son of a Bitch.” Or take this poignant exchange:

Tom Rutland (firing): “I will kill you, you son of a bitch.”

William Padgett (bleeding): “You have already.”

In the strange alchemy of the male brain, friends became mortal enemies in an instant, often over trivialities. “How in the hell did you Gap up My ax?” Gus Settler demanded to know of Allen Holmes in March 1882. I hardly know what a gapped-up axe looks like, but I do know that returning a borrowed tool in less than satisfactory condition is no grounds for murder. Settler disagreed and shot Holmes dead.


Infanticide

Life in the Faulknerian world of CSI:D was especially cheap for children. Catherine Berry, a domestic in the R. C. Poole household, was told that she would be terminated if she was indeed pregnant. In an awful feat of endurance, she continued with her chores until, doubled over with pain, she snuck away to give birth in the potato shed. Reeling from the loss of blood, she still managed to strangle the baby and fling it into the Pacolet River, where it washed up at the feet of some fishermen. When Peggy Bedenbaugh felt her first contractions, she went out to a corner of the yard, gave birth in a hole, and covered the baby over with dirt. Luly Collins threw her baby down a well. Nancy Owens swept hers under a brush pile. All had denied for months that they were in the “family way”; all had killed the evidence; all were indicted for murder.

Or take the case of Jane Arnold. On September 7, 1857, Brazeal Cox and his wife found sixteen-year-old Jane Arnold stretched out on the ground with a baby beside her, bleeding from its umbilical cord. When Arnold became aware of the couple she called out to Mrs. Cox, who wrapped the dying infant in Arnold’s apron and took it into the Arnold home. Mrs. Cox then returned and asked the girl why she hadn’t given birth indoors. Because her daddy was “doging” her, she said, and had cast her from the house. “She seemed to be grieving,” Cox told the coroner in a model of understatement, “but [I] don’t know what for, whether on the part of her dead child or the abuse of her father.”

“She seemed to be grieving, but [I] don’t know what for, whether on the part of her dead child or the abuse of her father.”

Three years later, at four in the morning, a shivering Jane Arnold knocked at the door of a neighboring farm. She was cold and unkempt, but she couldn’t make up her mind to stay. Instead she returned to the abandoned schoolhouse where she had taken her latest baby, born in the middle of the road, to die of exposure.

The coroners’ office reveals a world where men force women into sex and women pay the price for it, in embarrassing pregnancies, social stigma, and the occasionally desperate attempt to cover up the evidence. In 1829 a fire in Thomas Welsh’s smoke-house revealed a small cubby in which a full term child had been secreted in a jar of lime. It is impossible to know whether this was an infanticide or a child who had been stillborn. Regardless the mother was covering up something. Occasionally that something is an interracial liaison. More often it is simply a pregnancy out-of-wedlock. Many of the cases reveal that the women had been trying for some time to induce an abortion. ‘Home remedies’ for pregnancy mentioned in the CSI:D sample include savin powder mixed with turpentine, red bark bay tea, and the ashes of dried corn cobs. In this sense some of the infanticides are extremely late-term abortions. One unnamed mother gave birth to a stillborn child who bore unmistakable marks of abuse en utero. M. Lipscomb was found doubled over a fence having apparently bled out in a botched, self-induced abortion.

Almost sadder is the number of women who were held to account for the ‘murder’ of infants who had most likely died of crib death or SIDS. Often sent back to the cotton field within days of giving birth, enslaved mothers were understandably exhausted, and they often slept with their infants so they could breast feed in a haze and go back to sleep. When they occasionally awoke to dead babies, they were unfortunately as susceptible as their doctors and masters to the notion that they had smothered their children in their sleep, a phenomenon which only enhanced their reputation as uncaring and unnatural mothers.

NEXT: Suicide

 


Murder Cases Tried in South Carolina, 1887-1900

Year Number of Homicides Tried Not Guilty Verdicts Guilty Verdicts Cases Dismissed or Continued Percentage Found Guilty
1887 79 54 11 14 13.9%
1888 117 61 36 20 30.1%
1889 120 69 30 21 25.0%
1890 incomplete returns - - - -
1891 151 76 46 29 30.0%
1892 incomplete returns - - - -
1893 incomplete returns - - - -
1894 incomplete returns - - - -
1895 210 112 67 31 31.9%
1896 201 110 67 24 33.3%
1897 215 120 64 31 29.7%
1898 248 105 96 47 44.0%
1899 205 83 97 35 47.3%
1900 224 127 71 26 31.7%

Credit: John Hammond Moore, Carnival of Blood: Dueling, Lynching, and Murder in South Carolina, 1880-1920 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006), pp. 130-131, taken from Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina

Homicide Inquests

Displaying 101 - 150 of 642
Name Deceased Description Datesort descending Inquest Location Death Method Inquest Finding
George Prisock June 11, 1840 at E. P. Porters, Union County, SC hoe

upon their oaths do say that the said George Prisock, was Struck one violent blow with a weading[?] hoe on the head which broke his skill, the above blow was Struck by a negro man Slave name James, the property of E. P. Porter

Frank slave July 16, 1840 at the house of Charles M. Breaker, Kershaw County, SC

upon their oaths do say we suppose he came to his death by the evidence before us by being stabbed in the thigh with a deadly weapon and that done by the hands of a negro man slave by the name of Titus the property of Samuel A.B. Shannon in or near the main road leading from Camden to Salisbury

Bacchus September 28, 1840 at the plantation of John Lowery, Fairfield County, SC whip

upon their oaths do say..that the believes the said negro Bacchus came to his death on the 26th day of Sept. Instant by Certain Blows inflicted on him by Wm L. Galloway with the but end of a waggon whip and by no other way

George slave September 1, 1841 at the plantation of Wm. K. Clowney, Union County, SC shotgun

upon their oaths do say . . .the above named slave was Shot with a Shot gun in the plantation of Wm. K. Clowney by Charles Ming the overseer of the above name plantation

female daughter of female daughter of November 28, 1841 at graveyard at Hammonds Old Field, Anderson County, SC

do say on oaths from the evidence before us and examination of the body that it came to its death by the improper interference of the mother Rebecca Mullinax cutting the string of the naval omiting to cord the same

infant March 29, 1842 at Tabitha Laird's, Kershaw County, SC

upon their oaths do say according to evidence taken before us at this inquest do believe that the Tabitha Laird. . .did destroy her infant child against the peace and dignity of said state have no proof how the infant came to its death

John Pitts June 11, 1842 at Elias Ford's, Kershaw County, SC shotgun

by their oaths do say that the said John Pitts was willfully and feloniously shot by Elias Ford with a long shotgun loaded with powder & large shot and ball somewhere near the residence of Elias Ford

infant Child infant Child August 22, 1842 at or near Mrs Marium Kershaw plantation, Union County, SC

do say that the bones shown to them at the Stump was the bones of an infant [?] Child and it appeared that they had been put there for the purpose of Consealing them [??] they war put thare in the flesh or cleand of flesh is to us unknown

James B. Brawly November 2, 1842 at Spartanburgh Court House, Spartanburg County, SC pocket knife

upon their oaths do say that the sd. J.B. Brawly came to his death by a stab wound from a common packet kinfe inflicted on his left side opposite his navel and about 4 inches from the same by the hand of John Davis

Thomas Linder November 2, 1842 at Spartanburgh Court House, Spartanburg County, SC pocket knife

upon there [sic] oaths do say that the said T.Linder came to his death by a stab from a common pocket knife inflicted on his left breast about two inches from his left nipple by the hand of John Davis

John Pettigrew January 17, 1843 at the Irish buying ground, Kershaw County, SC knife

upon their oaths do say that on the 27th day of last December one Bennett Dozier of Kershaw District did wound with a knife the deceased John Pettigrew of Kershaw District so as to cause his, John Pettigrew's death on Sunday the first day of January

Cesar Negro, negro boy July 7, 1843 at the house of Elijah Watson, Edgefield County, SC

upon their Oaths do say. . .believe said negro came to his death by a sever blow given him by Jerry one of said Watsons negroes not with the intention to Kill

Allen slave September 19, 1843 at Samson Bobo's, Spartanburg County, SC hickory clubs

upon their oaths do say that the said Allen. . . was killed and murdered by some person or persons to the jurors unknown with two hickory clubs

Henry Woolbright October 26, 1843 at Wm. C. Brown's near Howell's Ferry, Union County, SC

upon their oaths do say that the said Henry Woolbright died in consequence of [?] abuse recd from his Father Tom Woolbright & from neglect at Various times by especially from the abuse recd . . .by certain strokes & blows inflicted by Thomas Woolbright at their own house

Ann slave January 2, 1844 at Capt. B. Haile's plantation, Kershaw County, SC

do say that the little girl Ann, a slave the property of B. Haile, came to her death by being burnt intentionally by the nurse, Tamer, a slave of B. Haile.

Moses Slave April 10, 1844 at Clayton Webb's Plantation...near the Spring Branch, Anderson County, SC shotgun

do say that Moses died?we are of the opinion that Sd Moses came to his death by a wound that we have seen below the back bone of the rightshoulder inclining to the right nipple rather downward made by a leaden ball or buck shot shot out of a double barrell gun...by Clayton Webb the owner of Moses

Randal negro man May 9, 1844 at Grancis Bettis's plantation on Horns Creek, Edgefield County, SC cow skin

upon their oaths do say, that the said negro Randal came to his death by wounds and bruises inflicted on him on yesterday the eighth instant ... with a cow skin by Alfred L. Hughes and Sebourn Randolph ... the said Alfred L. Hughes and Sebourn Randolph, the said negro, Randal, by misfortune and contrary to their will ... did kill and slay

Namro negro man August 11, 1844 at the house of Rob King Esqr, Edgefield County, SC club or stick

upon their oaths do say that the aforesaid namro a negro man was murdered near the house of R. Kenny Esqr . . .by Tim the property of L. Gomillion with a club or stick

Joseph W. Glover September 2, 1844 at Charles Comptys[?] Hotel, Edgefield County, SC

upon their oaths do say the he came to his death by the discharge of a pistol in the hands of Lovett Gomillion loaded with [?] Bullets which load of shot entered the said Joseph W Glovers body a little above the nipple on the right side of the breast . . .said pistol was discharged by said Gomillion in a street fight between himself and said Glover in self defence

March slave February 24, 1845 at Chesnut's Ferry, Kershaw County, SC

upon their oaths do say that he came to his death by a blow inflicted with some blunt instrument upon the head fracturing the skull for some five or seven inches by some person or persons unknown

Benjamin F. Jones March 24, 1845 at W B Griffins, Edgefield County, SC shotgun

upon their oaths do say that the said B F Jones was wilfully Killed by one Charles Price in the Store house of the above name W B Griffin . . .by shooting him the said B F Jones with a gun commonly Known as a shot gun in the left side of chest below the left Nipple

Elizer slave June 13, 1845 at the plantation of Mrs S. C. Sims, Union County, SC

upon their oaths do say . . .the death was occasioned by the violent abuse given her by the hands of David R. Henderson the overseer of [??] Sims by beating her with such weapons as was calculated to destroy life

Wilson Sosbee June 19, 1845 near G.B. Bishop's, Spartanburg County, SC

upon their oaths do say that the said Wilson Sosbee came to his death by being shot wilfully with a shot gun by the hands of Joseph Hughes[?]

Rose negro woman Slave March 14, 1846 at Michael Longs, Edgefield County, SC

Upon their Oaths do say that the aforesaid Rose being chained in the Meat house of said M. Long, around the neck with a common chain trace with one ened and the Other end of said chain aforesaid to the Joist broke her neck either by design or by accident

William Bailey July 19, 1846 at the House of Samuel C Scott, Edgefield County, SC

upon their oaths do say that the said William Bailey was feloniously Killed and Murdered by Thomas Prince at the house of Saml C. Scott . . .with a pocket Knife

Charles August 2, 1846 [near the house of David L Milling], Fairfield County, SC

the death of the afforesaid Charles was caused by a stab inflicted by a pocket knife near the joint[?] of the breast bone which wound is horizontal & about 1 1/4 inch in length 2nd That from the testimony produced they are fully satisfied that the wound was caused the death of Charles was inflicted by the hand of a negro boy Ned the property of Andrew [?]

Rose three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden, Edgefield County, SC

upon their oaths do say the said Riller Lizzy and Rose were feloniously Killed and Murdered in the negro house of said Philip Brogden on the night of the 1st inst by breaking their sculls with an axe and cutting the throats of Riller & Lizza by the hands of their own Mother named Clarisy the property of said Brogden

Lizzy three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden, Edgefield County, SC axe

upon their oaths do say the said Riller Lizzy and Rose were feloniously Killed and Murdered in the negro house of said Philip Brogden on the night of the 1st inst by breaking their sculls with an axe and cutting the throats of Riller & Lizza by the hands of their own Mother named Clarisy the property of said Brogden

Riller three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden, Edgefield County, SC

upon their oaths do say the said Riller Lizzy and Rose were feloniously Killed and Murdered in the negro house of said Philip Brogden on the night of the 1st inst by breaking their sculls with an axe and cutting the throats of Riller & Lizza by the hands of their own Mother named Clarisy the property of said Brogden

John Peagles November 30, 1846 at Camden, Kershaw County, SC pistol

upon their oaths do say that the said John Peagles came ot his death from a pistol shot fired by the hands of Wm. B. Hamilton

Unknown Infant, supposed to be of Amanda Simpson Unknown Infant, supposed to be of Amanda Simpson December 1, 1846 at James Brewsters, Laurens County, SC

upon there oaths do Say, That the said infant, came to its death by violence, unknown to us, (and from reports, supposed to be the Child of Amanda Simpson, against the peace and dignity of the same State afforesaid.

Bob January 16, 1847 at Francis Thomasson's, Laurens County, SC stick

upon their oaths do say, that the said Bob came to his death by a blow on his head with a stick by Henry Hill at Francis Thomasson's in the district aforesaid on the 15th Jany 1847. And do the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said Henry Hill did kill the said Bob in self defence in witness thereof I C.G. Franks Coroner aforesaid and the Jurors aforesaid so this inquisition have interchangeably put out hands and seals the day and year above mentioned.

Augustus W. Burt March 25, 1847 at the Plantation of A.W. Burt, Edgefield County, SC axe

upon their oaths do say that the said A.W. Burt was Killed by his own slave Toll with an axe

Mary Slave May 17, 1847 at the Plantation of A. Perrin, Edgefield County, SC

Upon their oaths do say, that. . .the said Mary came to her death by being choked, by Joe, a negro man belong to Omey Patterson, who confined to us that he was the murder, and purpetrated said deed on Sunday 16th inst. Showing us where he had Killed her near the above named Plantation

Robert Neid free man of Colour August 26, 1847 at Vaudun[?] Factory, Edgefield County, SC dirk knife

upon their oaths do say that the said Robert Neid Came to his death by a wound inflicted by one Zack Williams with a dirk Knife

Willis slave October 5, 1847 at James Burnett's, Spartanburg County, SC rock

upon their oaths do say he came to his death by a wound with a rock in the forehead at the camp meeting at Prospect[?] by the hands of Dave belonging to John Liles of Polk County, N.C.

Peter slave March 31, 1848 at or near Calum Foster's[?], Spartanburg County, SC rifle

upon their oaths do say that he came to his death by the hands of C. Alexander being shot with a rifle ball through the head

William negro man, boy, slave February 13, 1849 at R. F. Barretts, Edgefield County, SC knife

Do say upon their Oaths that one Samuel Butler of the District aforesaid not having God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil . . .with force & arms at his place of residence . . .made an assault, and . . .with a certain Kinf & whip ... did inflict ... several wounds and bruses of which wounds & bruises he lingered and died

Matilda H. Posey February 26, 1849 at the house of Martin Posey, Edgefield County, SC stick

upon their Oaths do say, she came to her death, by violence inflicted on her person. . .by a stick or some deadly instrument in the hands of a negro man name App, or Appling belonging to, or owned by Martin Posey

Apling negro man April 5, 1849 in the woods in said district near the Lexington line on a branch of McGier Creek, Edgefield County, SC

do say upon their oaths do say that they believe the decd to be the remains of Ap or Apling . . .and that he came to death by a leaden ball shot from a gun[?] or pistol by the hands of some person or persons unknown

Michael Long April 17, 1849 at the house of Michael Long, Edgefield County, SC shotgun

upon their Oaths do say, that Michael Long was shot with a double barrel shot gun in the forehead. . .by some person or persons to the Jurors unknown

Lucinda Clantice May 1, 1849 at the late residence of Lucinda Clantice, Laurens County, SC stick

do say upon their oath that one Nancy Morgan late of the District aforesaid not having God before her Eyes but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil on the 29th day of April in year 1849 at Joel L. Andersons Saw Mill in the District aforesaid in and upon the said Lucinda Clantice then and there being in the peace of God and of the said State feloniously voluntarily and of her own laaice afore though made an assault and that the aforesaid Nancy Morgan then and there with a certain wooden Stick which She the said Nancy Morgan then and there held in her hand the afore said Lucinda Clantice; upon the left sideof the head about three Inches above the left Ear together with other wounds to wit one on the left arm one on the left hip one of the left lef of the said Lucinda Clantice... the afore said Nancy Morgan did then and there feloniously kill and Murder the Said Lucinda Clantice agains the peace of this State...

black child black child July 31, 1849 at Morton's old place, Greenville County, SC

upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the aforesaid Harriot and Amy and Jenny did then and there feloniously cause the death of the said chile contrary to the peace and dignity of the state.

Jesse Weatherford September 4, 1849 at the plantation of Mrs R Blaylock, Edgefield County, SC shotgun

upon their oaths do say the said Jesse Weatherford was killed & murdered at the plantation of Mrs Rossita Blaylock . . .by a negro man named Jo the property of Mrs Rositta Blaylock by the said Jo shooting the said Jesse Weatherford in the left side and arm with a shot gun loaded with powder & leaden shot

Willis Rabon September 4, 1849 at William Rabon Sen.r, Horry County, SC

upon their Oaths do say that Abram Rabon Jun'r of the State and District aforesaid did feloneously with a Kinfe stab and Kill the said Willis Rabon and further saith that Abraham Rabon Sen.r and Duke Rabon were Accessories to the same

Joshua Hammond Jr. September 6, 1849 at a place belonging to John Bauskett[?] on little horse creek, Edgefield County, SC fence rail

upon their oaths do say that the said Joshua Hammond Jr came to his death by Sunday[?] blows inflicted by the hands of John Green Jr & Julius Green with a gun[?] & fence rail and that John Green senior was aiding and abetting at the time at a place on the Hamburg Road belonging to John Baushkett[?] on little horse creek now occupied by Benjamin Davis

Coleman slave September 30, 1849 at the house of A.M. Smith, Spartanburg County, SC large stick

upon there [sic] oaths do say that the deceased child Coleman was filfully murdered on the 29th September 1847 in the woods with a large stick about 4 feet long by divers[?] blows being inflicted on its head & body by some person or persons unknown

Prince negro boy December 23, 1849 at Thos G. Lamars Mills on little horse creek, Edgefield County, SC knife

upon their Oaths do say, by a stab in the breast with a sharp pointed knife, held in the hands of a negro boy named Robert, about nine years old

Eleck slave May 30, 1850 at the quarter of A.D. Jones Esq., Kershaw County, SC shotgun

do say that he came to his death by a shot gun wound inflicted by the hands of Thos. Mickle under justifiable circumstances.

Nance June 21, 1850 at James Youngs, Laurens County, SC hickory stick

upon their oaths do Say that the decead Slave Nancy came to her death at James Youngs by James Young with weapon's unknown to the Jury and So the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do Say that the aforesaid Slave Nance in manner and form aforesaid James Young then and there feloniously did Kill against the peace and dignity of the same state aforesaid...

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