Trial of Hardy (slave of Benjamin Edwards)

September 7, 1831 –  Transported

 

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for the County of Southampton on the 2d day of September 1831 for the trial of Hardy & Isham negro men slaves the property of Benjamin Edwards, charged with consulting, advising and conspiring to make insurrection and commit murder.

 

Present: Benjamin Griffin, William B. Goodwyne, James D. Massenburg, James W. Parker, & Alexander P. Peete, Gent.

 

The Court being constituted the above named Hardy and Isham were set to the bar in custody of the jailor of this county. Whereupon, for reasons appearing to the court the trial of the said prisoners is adjourned till Tuesday next and thereupon they were remanded to jail.

 

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At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the 7th day of September 1831 for the trial of Hardy and Isham negro men slaves the property of Benjamin Edwards for consulting, advising and conspiring to make insurrection and murder.

 

Present: Jeremiah Cobb, Carr Bowers, Robert Goodwyn, Orris A. Browne and Joseph T. Claud Gent.

 

Hardy a negro man slave belonging to Benjamin Edwards was again set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County and

 

Henry a slave being sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth says that on Saturday preceeding insurrection Isham told witness that Genl. Nat was going to rise and murder all the whites and that witness must join them or that if he did not they would kill him if they caught him. Witness went to new ground Monday morning found the prisoner & Berry Newsom. Berry stated that the damned Rascal, meaning the witness’ master, had been there, that they would get him before night—Prisoner was lying down at some distance asleep. Witness went about a quarter of a mile to Mr. Jones’ to get some water heard at Mr. Jones’ that the English were in the County killing white people, that he told to prisoner & Berry Newsom—prisoner made light of it and said it was nothing and ought to have been done long ago—that the negroes had been punished long enough. Witness does not know where prisoner was Monday night that on Tuesday prisoner and three were sent to Mr. Waller’s to bury the dead. Mr. Edwards the prisoners master came home Wednesday morning and ordered the prisoner not to go out of the yard. Mr. Edwards went away a short time afterwards and prisoner left home a shortly after and returned about an hour by sun in the evening. That while prisoner was at Waller’s Thomas Hatchcock/&/ four boys came to Mr. Edwards and said that Genl. Nat would be there Wednesday or Thursday and Mr. Edwards had 4 likely boys that he would take with them prisoners and two others said they would join.

 

Harry a slave also sworn and charged as a witness for the Commonwealth stated that Henry stated in the presence of the prisoner that Genl. Nat had sent word that he would be at their home on Wednesday or Thursday next for them to join him that prisoner and two others said they would join them.

 

Eliza Crathenton a free woman being charged and sworn as a witness for the prisoner says the prisoner and two others told her they meant to join Genl. Nat and she dissuaded them from it.

 

Hark a negro man slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the prisoner says Tom Hathcock and four boys came to Mr. Edwards & said they had separated from Nat and they were going to join them again.

 

The Court after hearing the testimony and from all circumstances of the case are unanimously of opinion that the prisoner is guilty in manner and form as in the information against/him them 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 & nothing appearing or being alleged in delay of judgment it is considered by the Court that the prisoner be taken hence to the jail from which he was taken therein to be safely confined until Tuesday the 20th day of September instant on which day between the hours of ten o’clock in the forenoon and two o’clock in the afternoon he is to be taken to the usual place of execution there to be hanged by the neck until he be dead. And from all the circumstances of the case the Court doth recommend to the Governor to commute the punishment of the prisoner to transportation—And the Court values the said slave Hardy to the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars.

 

The Court allows James. S. French the sum of ten dollars fee for defending slave Hardy the property of Benjamin Edwards.