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Trial of Frank (slave of Soloman Parker)

September 22, 1831 –  Transported


At a Court continued and held for the County of Southampton on the 22d day of September 1831


Present J. D. Massenburg Jacob Barnes Robert Goodwin James Trezvant and Alexander Myrick Gent.


Frank a negro man slave the property of Solomon Parker was again set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County and Meriwether B. Broadnax Attorney prosecuting for the Commonwealth filed and [sic] information against the prisoner and thereupon the prisoner being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information and


Becky a slave being charged &c sworn says that on the 15th day of August last the day on which the insurrection broke out in the County she heard at a black persons house at Solomon D. Parkers the prisoner say that if the black people came that way he would join them and help kill all the white people—it was after they had been talking some time before the witness went in—she did not hear the commencement of the conversation, there were several slaves present and the prisoner said his master had crossed him and he would be crossed before the end of the year. That the slaves the witness heard conversing told the witness it was a secret and if she told the white people they would shoot her. Witness’s mistress went to Sussex upon the alarm of the late insurrection and while there witness’s mistress said she wondered if her negroes were concerned upon which the witness made the above statement in substance—Witness states that the reason of her not telling before was that she did not understand it.


And the prisoner was fully heard in his defense by James S. French his Counsel. The Court after hearing the testimony & 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 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 jail from whence he was taken therein to be safely confined until Friday the 30th day of September instant on which day between the hours of ten o’clock in the forenoon and four o’clock in the afternoon he is to be taken by the Sheriff to the usual place of execution and there hanged by the neck until he be dead. And the Court from all the circumstances of the case recommended to the Governor to commute the punishment of the prisoner to transportation, and the Court in consideration that the said slave Frank is a blacksmith value him to the sum of six hundred dollars.


Ordered that the Sheriff send an express to the Executive with copies of the record of the convictions of Jim and Isaac slave [sic] belonging to Saml. Champion & Frank a slave belonging to Solomon D. Parker Joe belonging to John C. Turner & Lucy belonging to the Est. of John Barrow.


Ordered that the Court be adjourned till the first day of the next term.

                                                                                    J.D. MASSENBURG


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