Edgefield County, SC

County Name: 
Edgefield
State: 
South Carolina

Total population (1850): 39,262

Enslaved population (1850): 22,725

Percent slave: 58%

Extant nineteenth-century inquests: 524

Date range: 1829-1899

Percentage of violent crimes in county sample: 39% (202/524)

The small, rural district of Edgefield, South Carolina was the Deadwood of its day, amassing a reputation for murder and mayhem unique in the nation. Forget the gangs of New York, the toughs in tailored suits strutting about Edgefield's Court House Square were up for almost anything. Take this typical exchange between Thomas Cherry and Charles Cobb.

Cherry: "You Damn puppy."

Cobb: "What are you?"

Cherry: "Do you mean to call me a Damn puppy?"

Cobb: "What are you?"

Cherry: "If you call me a Puppy, I will ag you in the face."

Cobb: "You are nothing else."

With that Cherry stabbed Cobb through the face with an umbrella.

"If we over in Edgefield insult each other, there is generally a fight or a funeral afterwards."

"If we over in Edgefield insult each other, there is generally a fight or a funeral afterwards," noted Ben Tillman, one of the ten men of the district to serve the state as governor. Like Tillman, circuit judge Thomas Mackey took an almost perverse pride in the region's reputation. "I am going to hold court in Edgefield," he told a friend, "and I expect a somewhat exciting term, as the fall shooting is about to start."

Like most reputations, Edgefield's was at once deserved and exaggerated. At 39 percent, Edgefield County does have the highest proportion of violent crimes in the CSI:D sample. At 35 percent, Greenville County is not that far behind. More important, Edgefield's reputation for affairs of honor masks the mountain of dishonorable violence revealed by the morgue. Men spoiling for a fight on the street are rarely much different at home. In June 1893, Bill Gasten was sitting near his wood pile when his wife emerged from the house to draw some water from the well. Something she said set him off and he grabbed up a walking stick, hit her with it, then threw her down and began choking her. Emerging from the kitchen, her sister grabbed up the stick and told Bill to "let his wife alone." She had just started back to the kitchen when Bill cracked her head with a hoe.

Edgefield County, SC Inquests

Displaying 351 - 400 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort ascending Death Method
Mingo Mosley January 13, 1883 at Samuel[?] Corley's Accident
Tom Slave, old negro man January 12, 1853 near the residence of Harry Scott Accident
infant child infant child November 23, 1891 at the plantation of Willis Owdom[?] Accident
Willis Cumings child October 10, 1890 at C. M. Lanhams Accident
John Whitlock boy September 8, 1869 at Grainteville Accident
Dave negro man Slave March 16, 1849 at Kilcrease's Ferry Accident boat
Mary female Slave January 13, 1853 at Isaac Bowles[?] Accident
Tilman Attaway April 14, 1849 at the corner of the Oharer[?] old field Accident
Uriah Koon October 16, 1847 at the house of Col John Hunt Accident wagon
Henry Langley April 2, 1848 at Wm Vances Accident wagon
John Shumport[?] November 7, 1851 at John Shumports[?] Accident
Henry Peterson June 13, 1893 at Ridge Spring Accident train
Milledge Fuller freedman February 18, 1867 at John Ransford plantation Accident
Albert Brunson June 26, 1895 at Edgefield CH Accident train
George Mitchel June 21, 1881 at J. R Corleys Accident
Ben Culbreath July 24, 1895 at Jno A Corleys plantation Accident horse
Samuel Harrison February 18, 1881 at [inelligible - faded] Accident
William White December 10, 1898 at Savanah River Accident
Cland Elam child March 17, 1892 at A. J. Norris Place Accident
Richard negro boy Slave September 9, 1850 at Thomas Garretts Accident machinery
Benjamin Cockroft March 18, 1847 in the woods near the house of Beryman[?] Bledsoe Accident
Abram negro man Slave August 21, 1850 at Henry L Maysons Accident
Emanuel slave March 12, 1856 at Matthew McGraw's plantation Accident
Callen O'Neall November 11, 1855 at Luke Havirds[?] Accident
James Blocker May 6, 1897 Accident train
Elmira Jackson May 18, 1884 at George Holingsworths House Accident
Henry Jones September 21, 1855 Accident
Henry Ethredge June 2, 1899 at the plantation of P.B. Mayson Accident
George Delaughter April 30, 1861 at the Hamburg Passenger Depot Accident train
Auson Peeler July 25, 1868 near Kalmia[?] Mills Accident horse
Elijah Flour[?] youth July 24, 1849 at the hous of Mrs Salley Spradley Accident
Mike negro man September 13, 1844 at Dr John D. Nicholsons Mill Accident
Lewis Glanton September 8, 1846 near the church of Antioch Accident horse
negro man negro man April 10, 1850 near Kilcreases Ferry Accident
infant child infant child December 9, 1891 at a colored cemetary Accident
Hampton Weaver colored July 17, 1869 at the house of and on the farm of James T Outz Accident shotgun
Tom negro man Slave August 21, 1850 at H. L. Maysons in Beach island Accident
William C. Goff May 7, 1865 at Bethany Church Accident
Tom Waldrum colored man (Free) January 20, 1857 in the woods near Mr Avory Franklins Accident
Henry slave, boy May 1, 1857 at Arthur Glovers House, Horns Creek Accident
Elijah Sullivan April 24, 1898 at Cow-buel[?] place Accident
Hampton Reynolds July 30, 1892 at J.W. Reynolds Plantation Accident
Lucy Roper June 29, 1899 on the pantation of S.W. Miller Accident lightning
A. R. Steel girl child August 28, 1869 at Graniteville Accident
Willie Glover July 26, 1892 at Lark Glovers Plantation Accident mule
Duke negro man March 25, 1855 near Dennis Carpenters Accident
Kenneth Martor[?] January 15, 1852 at Thomas Samar's[?] Mills on horse creek Accident
William Harlin February 19, 1856 at a new place sitting by Mr James Swearingem(Jr) on the Akien Road Accident
Joe infant negro August 26, 1860 at John Huiets Accident
Fannie Patton November 18, 1898 at Francis Williams house Accident

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