Trial of Nathan, Tom, & Davy (slaves of Nathaniel Francis)
September 6, 1831 – Transported
At a court summoned and held for the County of Southampton on the first day of September/1831/ for the trial of Nathan the property of Benjamin Blunt est. of this County and of Nathan, Tom, and Davy the property of Nathaniel Francis of this County for making insurrection.
Present. Robert Goodwin. James W. Parker. James Trezvant. Alexander Peete & Orris A. Browne. Gent.
The above named Nathan, Tom, and Davy were set to the bar in the custody of the Jailor of the County, and for reasons appearing to the Court the trial of the said prisoners is adjourned till tomorrow, and thereupon they are remanded to jail.
At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjornment and held for the County of Southampton the 2d day of September 1831 for the trial of Nathan a slave the property of Benjamin Blunt Est. of this county, Nathan, Tom and Davy Slaves the property of Nathaniel Francis charged with making an insurrection.
Present: Benjamin Griffin, William B. Goodwyne, James D. Massenburg, James W. Parker, and Alexander P. Peete. Gent.
The Court being thus constituted the above name Nathan, Nathan, Tom and Davy were brought into Court. Whereupon for reasons appearing to the Court the trial of the said prisoners is adjourned till Tuesday next and thereupon they are remanded to jail.
At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the 6th day of September 1831 for the trial of Nathan a negro man slave belonging to the estate of Benjamin Blunt, dcsd. & Nathan, Tom, and Davy negro boys slaves belonging to Nathaniel Francis, charged with consulting, advising and conspiring with divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and making insurrection and plotting to take the lives of divers free white persons of the Commonwealth.
Present: William B. Goodwyn, James W. Parker, James Trezvant, Alexander P. Peete & Joseph T. Claud. Gent.
Nathan, Tom, and Davy negro boy slaves property of Nath. Francis were then set to the bar in custody of the jailor of this County and being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information. /Thomas R. Gray/ William C. Parker and James S. French being assigned by the Court Counsel for the prisoners and
Moses a negro boy slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth says that the three prisoners were taken from Nathl. Francis and placed one behind each of the company that they went unwillingly but continued with them the whole of Monday—witnessed many of the murders but were constantly guarded by negroes with guns who were ordered to shoot them if they attempted to escape. They remained until the whole troop were dispersed. Question being asked by the Court relative to the ages of the prisoners it appeared that the oldest was not more than 15 years, the other two much younger, the oldest very badly grown.
The Court after hearing testimony and all the circumstances of the case are unanimously of opinion that the prisoners are guilty in manner and form as in the information against them is set forth and it being demanded of each of them if anything for themselves they have to know to say why the Court should not proceed to pronounce judgment against them according to Law and nothing being offerred or alleged in delay of judgment it is considered by the Court that the Prisoners be taken hence to the jail from which they were taken therin to be safely confined until Tuesday the 20th day of September instant on which day between the hours of ten o’clock in the morning and two o’clock int eh afternoon they be taken by the Sheriff to the usual place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck until each of them be dead and the Court from all the considerations of the case do recommend to the Governor to commute the punishment of the said Nathan, Tom and Davy to transportation. And the Court doth value the said slaves to the sum of three hundred dollars each.
The Court doth allow James S. French the sum of ten dollars his fee for defending Nathan a slave the property of Benjamin Blunt and to James L. French, William C. Parker & Thomas R. Gray the sum of ten dollars each for defending Nathan, Tom and Davy negro slaves belonging to Nathaniel Francis.
Full Trial Transcripts
Aug. 31, 1831
Sept. 1, 1831
Sept. 2, 1831
Sept. 3, 1831
Sept. 5, 1831
Sept. 6, 1831
Sept. 7, 1831
Sept. 8, 1831
Sept. 19, 1831
Sept. 20, 1831
Sept. 21, 1831
Sept. 22, 1831
Sept. 28, 1831
Oct. 18, 1831
Nov. 5, 1831
Nov. 21, 1831