Trial of Isham (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 sixth day of September 1831 for the trial of Hardy and Isham negro men slave the property of Benjamin Edwards for consulting, advising and conspiring to make insurrection and commit murder.

 

Present: William B. Goodwyn, James D. Massenburg, James Trezvant, Alexander P. Peete and Joseph T. Claud. Gent.

 

The Court being thus constituted M.B. Broadnax attorney prosecuting for the Commonwealth filed an information against the prisoners . . .

 

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Isham a negro man slave was set to the bar in custody of the jailor of this County—And for good cause shown this Court is 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 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.

 

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Isham a negro man slave the property of Benjamin Edwards was set to the bar in custody of the jailor of this county, and the Court doth assign William C. Parker Counsellor the prisoner in his defense and the prisoner being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information and

 

Henry a slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth says that on Saturday night preceeding the day on which the insurrection broke out the prisoner told him that Capt. Nat was going to collect his company and rise and kill all the white people /and wanted witness to join but witness declined doing so. Made no communication to anyone./ that on Tuesday morning Thomas Hatchcock & Nathan and three boys came to Mr. Edwards and told the witness and others that Capt. Nat and company had a fight with the white people at Parkers Field—that Capt. Nat was then making towards Belfield and would return and be at Mr. Edwards on Wednesday or Thursday and Mr. Edwards had four likely men who should join them—Witness was at Mr. Jervis’ Monday and learned there that the British were in the Country killing the white people—that the prisoner was absent from home on Wednesday and that Thomas Hatchcock & Nathan and three boys were at Mr. Edwards and told of the fight Cap Nat Had with the whites at Parkers field, and Nathan said Capt. Nat had gone towards Belfield to kill all the whites that way and would be at Mr. Edwards on Wednesday or Thursday that Mr. Edwards had four likely negroes that should join them that prisoner had been informed of is said he would join them.

 

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

 

The Court after hearing the testimony and 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 him if anything 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 which he was taken and therein to be 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 by the Sheriff to the usual place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck until he be dead. And the Court from all the circumstances of the case recommend to the Governor to commute the punishment of the prisoner to transportation—and the Court values the said slave to the sum of three 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 and to William C. Parker ten dollars fee for defending negro Isham the property of Benjamin Edwards.