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Trial of Joe (slave of John C. Turner)

September 19, 1831 –  Executed


Joe a negro man slave the property of John C. Turner who stands charged with conspiring to rebel and make insurrection was this day set to the bar in custody of the jailor of this County (the Court summoned for his trial having failed to meet) and Meriwether B. Broadnax Attorney prosecuting for the Commonwealth filed an Information against the said prisoner and the prisoner being arraigned of the premises pleaded not guilty to the Information and


Hubbard a slave being charged and sworn as a Witness for the Commonwealth says that about one hour by sun Monday morning 22d Aug last the prisoner came to his mistress’s house (Mrs. Caty Whitehead) with Nat (who has been hung) bringing a raccoon. Said he had been hunting just after the family had been murdered—did not ask who had committed the murders or why it had been committed—prisoner lived about a mile off and had a wife at Mrs. Whitehead’s—prisoner appeared reluctant to go with the murderers but were told by them he should go and he went with them.


Christian a slave was also charged & sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth and says that the prisoner came to her masters, Mr. Elisha Atkins, about 8 or 9 o’clock on Monday /morning/ 22d August last with Turner’s Davy who has been hung as one of the insurgents & another—that prisoner was armed with a sword—enquired where her master was—that she answered he was gone—prisoner said he might go on. Davy enquired if there was any gun or ammunition in the house & proposed to break in the house—prisoner said no we have enough ammunition to do with without—the prisoner & Davy went off were armed, the other not—they carried off one other negro who returned shortly after.


And the prisoner was fully heard in his defense by James S. French his Counsel. 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 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 and therein safely confined until Monday the 26th September instant on which day between the hours of ten o’clock in the forenoon & two o’clock in the afternoon he is to be taken by the Sheriff of this County to the usual place of execution there to be hanged by the neck until he be dead. And the Court value the said slave Joe to the sum of four hundred and fifty 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.

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