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Trial of Moses (slave of Thomas Barrow estate)

September 1, 1831 –  Executed


[p. 72] At a court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for the County of Southampton at the Courthouse on the 31st day of August 1831 for the trial of Daniel, a negro man slave the property of Richard Porter, Jack, the property of Everett Bryant, Moses, the property of Thomas Barrow, Tom, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Jack, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew, late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy, late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen, the property of Thomas Ridley, and Curtis, the property of Thomas Ridley, charged with feloniously consulting, advising & conspiring with each other and divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of this Commonwealth—


Present: Jeremiah Cobb, James D. Massenburg, Alexander P. Peete, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne. Gent. Justices.


Meriwether B. Broadnax, attorney for the Commonwealth filed an information against the prisoners above mentioned [struck through: and the court doth appoint William C. Parker, Esq., Att. at Law to defend the prisoners.]



[p. 73]Moses late the property of Thomas Barrow was 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 on the motion of the said Moses by William C. Parker his attorney appointed by the court to defend him, his trial is adjourned till tomorrow.




[p. 74] At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for the County of Southampton on the first day of September 1831 for the trial of Moses a slave late the property of Thomas Barrow, Jack late the property of Caty Whitehead, Andrew late the property of Caty Whitehead, Davy late the property of Elizabeth Turner, Stephen the property of Thomas Ridley, Curtis the property of Thomas Ridley, and Jack the property of Everitt Bryant charged with having on the 22d day of August 1831 at this County feloniously consulted, advised and conspired with each other and with divers other slaves to rebel and make insurrection and for making insurrection and taking the lives of divers free white persons of the Commonwealth.


Present. Carr Bowers, James D. Massenburg, James W. Parker, James Trezvant and Orris A. Browne, Gent. Justices.




Moses late the property of Thomas Barrow who hath heretofore been arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the information was again set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this Court and


Shadrach Futrell a witness sworn on behalf of the Commonwealth, says that about twenty five negroes made an attack on Doctor Blunts on Tuesday morning the 23d August 1831 a little after day break when it was light, that he witness was standing at the porch when he saw them coming in at the gate about seventy five or eighty yards off the prisoner rode foremost within thirty feet of the porch dismounted and charged a negro girl with a little child into the garden—that he the witness is positive that prisoner is the man—that the prisoner remained in the garden about fifteen or sixteen minutes until he was taken—the others being fired on and dispersed while he was charging the woman & child.


Frank a negro slave being sworn and charged as a witness for the [p. 77] Commonwealth pursued the prisoner into the garden and took him and delivered him to the witness, he was then secured and sent to jail—the negroes were all mounted and prisoner was the only negro who went into the garden—that the prisoner was lame and could not run—the witness says that it is impossible that the person who jumped into the garden could have been the one who was shot—


Mary a slave being sworn and charged as a witness for the Comth. says that when the alarm was given of the attack made by the negroes on her Master Doctor Blunts house—her Mistress Mrs. Blunt told her to take her child and make her escape with her, that she ran down in the garden, became so fatigued and frightened that she put the child down and told her to get in the bushes—that she then returned toward the house and met a negro man, who asked her who she was that he appeared to be a small man with a light colored cap on.


Frank a slave being sworn as a witness on behalf of the Commwth. says that the prisoner was taken in the garden fifteen or twenty minutes after the attack on Doctor Blunts house, by the witness and brought up with a cap on such as described by Mary—that he the witness was standing in the yard when the negroes rode up—that the foremost of them had on light breeches and the others dark ones—that the foremost one held up his gun flashed it threw it down, dismounted and jumped over the garden fence saying Oh God dam you have I got you to Mary and two or three women who were running in the garden—that he was looking in the garden found the prisoner concealed in the corner of a house, took him and brought him up—that his breeches corresponded with those which the foremost man had on—that the prisoner said that Newit Drew had sent him to Mrs. Vaughans to see what the news was—that before he got there the negroes took him and forced him to join them.


Hark a slave was charged and sworn as a witness for the Dft and stated that he was one of the insurgents that the prisoner joined him voluntarily—that they were together some time that he was in the company that went to Dr. Blunts, but that the witness did not get to the house, but the prisoner went on and he saw nothing more of him.


Dilsy a slave was charged and sworn on behalf of the prisoner who states that she lived at Mrs. Vaughan –that the prisoner came there Monday evening the day before the attack was made [p. 78] at Doct. Blunts the next morning, that after being there about three quarters of an hour, the insurgents were seen coming about three hundred yards off—that the prisoner remained until they came up altho’ he was mounted—that they required the prisoner to go with them which he objected to that they threatened him gave him arms and he went off with them. Witness thinks prisoner could have escaped while the insurgents were coming up.


Newit Drew was sworn and examined who stated that he gave no such orders to the prisoner as he spoke of but on the contrary that he the witness met with the prisoner shortly before he was at Mrs. Vaughans and ordered him to go home-


Whereupon hearing the testimony and the prisoner by his Counsel, the Court unanimously of the 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 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 place from whence he came where he is to be safely kept until Monday the fifth 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 be hanged by the neck until he be dead. And the Court doth value the said Moses to the sum of four hundred dollars—



Ordered that William C. Parker be allowed the sum of ten dollars for his fee for defending a negro slave Moses belonging to the estate of Thomas Barrow, to be paid out of the said Barrow estate, charged with insurrection and murder.



Court Minute Book, Southampton County, Virginia, 1830-1835:

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