Jeremiah Pearsall to Samuel Langdon, September 19, 1831
I cared not much about it, but the cries of my wife & children distressed me greatly, & just in the midst of my confusion, my mother & sister with their families came upon me, & their united cries soon almost unmanned me, I however soon reflected that something must be done, & by three o’clock we mustered about 600, at the Court House, the [?] I guess were helpless women & children. We soon heard that the alarm was false, & next morning marched again to our homes.
Every day since, we have held trials & I think no doubt but three will be convicted for the crime, tomorrow we again hold a court for the last time (as our Supr Ct. sits next week) & have to pass on about eight some of which I understand are guilty—
I don’t think the plot was known to many, tho I have no doubt but several of the Wilmington negroes are deeply concerned, & if they could receive such treatment as some got here they would disclose from one hundred to three hundred cracks of a paddle.
When we first got the news of the negro army we heard they were marching directly to our jail to rescue Dave & Jim who was designated as Genl & Col but a company who were there would have prevented the rescue, for they were immediately brought out, shot down, their heads severed from their bodies, & elevated in the air—This affair has caused rigid treatment to negroes generally, & I flatter myself it will do good—hoping that it may, I quit the subject & pass on----