Trial of Jim & Isaac (slaves of Samuel Champion)

September 22, 1831 –  Transported

 

Jim and Isaac were referred to the Southampton County Court after appearing before a Court of Oyer and Terminer in Sussex County, where their master Samuel Champion resided.

 

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At a Court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for Southampton County the 21st day of September 1831 for the trial of Jim and Isaac negro men slaves the property of Sam’l Champion and Preston a negro slave the property of Hannah Williamson charged with conspiracy to rebel and make insurrection.

 

Present—James Parker, Robert Goodwin, Jacob Barnes, James Trezvant and Alexander Myrick. Gent.

 

The Court being thus constituted the prisoners above named 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 tomorrow and the prisoners are remanded to Jail, and 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 22d day of September 1831 for the trial of Jim and Isaac negro men slaves the property of Samuel Champion and Preston a negro man slave the property of Hannah Williamson charged with conspiring to rebel and making insurrection.

 

Present—James W. Parker, Jacob Barnes, James Trezvant, Orris A. Browne and Alexander Myrick. Gent.

 

The Court being thus constituted Meriwether B. Broadnax Attorney prosecuting for the Commonwealth filed an Information against the said Jim, Isaac & Preston & thereupon the said Jim and Isaac were set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County and being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the information and

 

Beck a slave being charged and sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth says that on the 15th day of August last at a black persons house at Solomon Parkers she heard the prisoners say that if the black people came they would join and help kill the white people it was after they had been talking some time that she went in and did not hear the Commencement of the conversation there were several slaves present and one of them stated that his master had crossed him and he would be crossed before the end of the year. Witness had heard three other slaves make use of the same declaration some time previously in the neighborhood—prisoners lived about a mile from Solomon Parkers. They told her it was a secret and if she told the white persons 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 witness made the above statement in substance. Witness states that the reason of her not telling before was that she did not understand it. States that Jim denied he knew the witness on his examination before the Magistrate in Sussex—Witness states that she is a house servant and it seldom in the outhouses—

 

Bob a slave being sworn and charged as a witness for the Commonwealth says that the Monday night of the insurrection Isaac one of the prisoners left home and on his return stated he had been to Solomon Parkers and on Monday night before after the August meeting [as in, “on Monday night before, after the August meeting”?] both prisoners went to Solomon Parkers—Witness states that Jim frequently went to Solomon Parkers—

 

And the prisoners being fully heard in their defense by James S. French their Counsel the Court after hearing the testimony and from 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 them if anything for themselves they had or knew to say why the Court should not proceed to pronounce Judgment against them according to Law and nothing being offered or alleged in delay of judgment it is considered by the Court that the prisoners be taken hence to the jail from whence they came 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 two o’clock in the afternoon they are to be taken by the Sheriff of this County to the usual place of execution & there be hanged by the neck until each of them be dead. And the Court value the said slave Jim to the sum of three hundred dollars and the said slave Isaac to the sum of four hundred dollars—

 

Absent Orris A. Browne. Present James D. Massenburg—Gent.

 

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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.