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 301 - 350 of 524
Name Deceased Description Datesort ascending Inquest Location Death Type Death Method
John Henry King October 29, 1865 in Hamburg Homicide
William C. Goff May 7, 1865 at Bethany Church Accident
Prince slave January 15, 1865 at John Seiglers Homicide knife
Pete slave October 31, 1864 at Liberty hill Unknown
Bob negro September 23, 1864 in the District Natural Causes
John David Twiggs September 15, 1864 in Hamburg Homicide
Robert J. Butler September 15, 1864 at Hamburg Homicide
Lewis Bartie July 26, 1864 at Mount Zion Church Homicide shotgun
William Anderson April 14, 1864 at the plantation of T.[?] S Boles Natural Causes
John slave September 27, 1863 at the residence of Johnson A Bland Accident
William H Maharey May 25, 1863 at Haslin Factory on the Procelian Manufacturing Company Accident
Harry slave May 20, 1863 at Jesse Gomellions Homicide knife
Richard negroe Boy April 21, 1863 in the District of Edgefield Accident train
Baze negro slave March 31, 1863 at the D. J. Howls Homicide chop axe
Belaus[Velaus?] slave, boy March 30, 1863 at Robert Smiths Accident
Aron slave, boy June 15, 1862 near the White house Suicide vine
Daniel slave, boy May 27, 1862 at John H. Fair Homicide shotgun
Ransom Hollaway May 14, 1862 at Ransom Holaways Accident lightning
Hurnon[?] April 4, 1862 at Doct H R Cooks Plantation on Savanah River Unknown
Scipio slave April 1, 1862 at E. J. Youngbloods Homicide hatchet
David West boy January 30, 1862 at Graniteville Accident
Hardy Boulware January 2, 1862 at Hardy Boulwares Homicide
Charles slave, boy September 25, 1861 at Elijah Watson Homicide
infant child infant child September 15, 1861 at the residence of Mrs Margret Willis Accident
Rebeca Eidson May 29, 1861 at the Residence of William Eidson Natural Causes
Lewis slave May 21, 1861 at S. H. Roggers Suicide
Eugene McCarty May 11, 1861 at Edgefield Court house Homicide pistol
J. E. Black May 8, 1861 at the Residence of J. E. Black Other
George Delaughter April 30, 1861 at the Hamburg Passenger Depot Accident train
Lewis negro man, boy March 14, 1861 at Charles Hammonds Brickyard Homicide pistol
James Reynolds December 20, 1860 at the residence of James Reynolds Homicide
Lousay November 25, 1860 at Doct John E. Padgett Accident
J. J. Jennings November 16, 1860 at J J Jennings Suicide
Samuel Posey October 21, 1860 at P. B. McDaniels Homicide pistol
Wade Barronton October 8, 1860 at Wade Barrontons Residence Natural Causes
Abram slave October 8, 1860 at the Residence of H. B. Raborns Natural Causes
Joseph Jay October 4, 1860 at Joseph Jays Accident horse
Joe slave, boy September 13, 1860 at the residence of D. M. Glover Homicide
Lovina negroe girl, a slave September 4, 1860 at Doct H M Folks[Faulk?] Suicide
Isaah Golden August 27, 1860 at Silverton Beach iland Homicide knife
Joe infant negro August 26, 1860 at John Huiets Accident
Abram man slave August 17, 1860 at the Residence of Gen[?] Jas B. Griffin Accident snake
John G. Riddle July 3, 1860 at the residence of Mr Richard Burton Natural Causes
Joshua negro man slave June 26, 1860 at Harmon Gallman Unknown
John M. Tillman May 6, 1860 at Mr J.A Tillmans Steam Mill Homicide
John Radford April 12, 1860 at the residence of John Radford Accident wagon
Unknown April 11, 1860 at or near W.J. Walkers Unknown
Kizziah[?] slave, servant March 11, 1860 at the residence of Mr M Lanham Natural Causes
Betsey slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Louisa slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat

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