Trial of Davy (slave of Elizabeth Turner estate)

September 2, 1831 - Executed

[p. 72] At a court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for the County of Southampton at the Courthouse on the 31st day of August 1831 for the trial of Daniel, a negro man slave the property of Richard Porter, Jack, the property of Everett Bryant, Moses, the property of Thomas Barrow, Tom, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Jack, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy, late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen, the property of Thomas Ridley, and Curtis, the property of Thomas Ridley, charged with feloniously consulting, advising & conspiring with each other and divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of this Commonwealth—

 

Present: Jeremiah Cobb, James D. Massenburg, Alexander P. Peete, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne. Gent. Justices.

 

Meriwether B. Broadnax, attorney for the Commonwealth filed an information against the prisoners above mentioned [struck through: and the court doth appoint William C. Parker, Esq., Att. at Law to defend the prisoners.]

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[p. 74] At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the first day of September 1831 for the trial of Moses a slave late the property of Thomas Barrow, Jack late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen the property of Thomas Ridley, Curtis the property of Thomas Ridley, and Jack the property of Everitt Bryant charged with having on the 22d day of August 1831 at this County feloniously consulted, advised and conspired with each other and with divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and for making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of the Commonwealth.

 

Present. Carr Bowers, James D. Massenburg, James W. Parker, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne, Gent. Justices.

 

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Jack the property of Everitt Bryant, Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner & Stephen & Curtis the property of Thomas Ridley who stand committed to the Jail of this county upon a charge of conspiring to rebel and make insurrection were this day brought into Court and for reasons appearing to the Court the trial of the said prisoners is adjourned till tomorrow—Ordered that this Court be adjourned till tomorrow morning nine o’clock.

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At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the 2d day of September 1831 for the trial of Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen the property of Thomas Ridley, Curtis the property of Thomas Ridley, & Jack the property of Everitt Bryant charged with having feloniously on the 22d day of August 1831 at this County consulted, advised and conspired with each other and with Divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and for making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of this Commonwealth.

 

Present Thomas Pretlow, Samuel B. Hines, James W. Parker, James Trezvant & Alexander P. Peete. Gent.

 

The Court being thus constituted the above named Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner was set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County [p. 80] and Thomas R. Gray is by the Court appointed Counsel for the prisoner in his defense and thereupon the prisoner being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information and

 

Hubbard a slave being sworn and charged, as a witness for the Commonwealth, says that he is the property of the late Mrs. Caty Whitehead, that a company of insurgent negroes came to his Mistresses and murdered her and family—that the prisoner Davy was in company with them the witness is positive that the prisoner was there because he had known him well for several years & spoke to him.

 

Moses a slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the prisoner says that he was with the insurgent negroes that went to Mrs. Elizabeth Turners where the prisoner lived and murdered Mrs. Turner and family that the prisoner took no part in murdering his mistress and family-- the prisoner was told by the insurgents if he did not join them he should die there, the prisoner put on his clothes and went of[f] with the insurgents—the company divided and some went to Henry Bryants and some to Mrs. Whiteheads the witness was with those that went to Mrs. Whiteheads and the prisoner was one of the company that went to Mr. Bryants witness says prisoner was not at Mrs. Whiteheads.

 

Nathan a slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the prisoner, says he was with the insurgent negroes above mentioned, that the prisoner was with the company who went to Mr. Bryants (they were on foot) but came to the other party at Mrs. Whiteheads—the prisoner came with them. Mrs. Whitehead & family were murdered before the party that went by Mr. Bryants came up—witness says the prisoner was at Mrs. Whiteheads—the witness heard one of the party say that Mr. Bryant and family were murdered. The witness further says that the prisoner told a negro belonging to John C. Turner that he had been forced to join and he the negro should also join.

 

The Court after hearing the testimony and from all the circumstances of the case are unanimously of opinion that the prisoner is guilty in manner and form as in the information against him is set forth. And it being demanded of the prisoner if anything for himself he had or knew to say why the Court here should not proceed to pronounce judgment against him according to law and nothing being offered or alleged in delay of judgment it is considered by the Court that the prisoner be taken hence to the place from whence he came where he is to be safely kept until Monday the twelfth day of September instant on which day between the hours of ten o’clock in the forenoon and two o’clock in the afternoon the prisoner is to be taken by the Sheriff to the usual [p. 81] place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck until he be dead—and the Court doth value the said slave Davy to the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars--

 

Absent. James Trezvant, James W. Parker and Alexander P. Peete, Gent.

Present. Jeremiah Cobb, Carr Bowers & William B. Goodwyne, Gent.

 

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Ordered that Thomas R. Gray be allowed the sum of ten dollars as his fee for defending a slave belonging to the estate of Elizabeth Turner, named Davy charged with insurrection and murder.

 

 

Court Minute Book, Southampton County, Virginia, 1830-1835: http://www.brantleyassociation.com/southampton_project/gallery/min_bk_1830-35/index.html