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Trial of Moses (slave of Joseph Travis estate)

October 18, 1831 – Transported


At a Court of Oyer and Terminer summoned and held for the County of Southampton on the 3rd day of September 1831 for the trial of Hark a negro man the slave property of Joseph Travis’s Est. Moses a boy the property of Joseph Travis’s Est. Davy the property of Levi Waller & Nathan the property of Jacob Williams charged with insurrection.


Present: Carr Bowers, William B. Goodwyne, Robert Goodwyne, James Trezevant, and Ores A. Browne, Gent.


The Court being thus constituted Meriwether B. Broadnax Attorney prosecuting for the Commonwealth filed an information against the said Hark, Moses, Davy and Nelson.




Moses a negro boy slave the property of Travis was set to the bar in custody of the jailor of the County. Whereupon for good cause shown it is ordered that the court be adjourned till Thursday the 8th day of the present month and the prisoner is remanded to jail.




At a Court of Oyer and Terminer continued by adjournment and held for Southampton County on the eighth day of September 1831 for the trial of Moses a negro boy slave the property of Joseph Travis charged with conspiracy to rebel and make insurrection.


Present: Jeremiah Cobb, Carr Bowers, Benjamin Drewry, Thomas Pretlow and Benjamin A. Drew—Gent.


The said Moses was again set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of this County and for reasons appearing this Court is adjourned till Friday the 16th of September instant and the prisoner is remanded to jail.




[October 18]


Moses a negro boy slave the property of Joseph Travis dcd. who stands charged with having on the 22nd of August 1831 feloniously consulted advised & conspired to rebel & make insurrection and plot to murder sundry free white persons citizens of this coml.. was this day set to the bar by the sheriff of this county into whose custody he was heretofore committed, and M.B. Brodnax attorney for the court filed his information against the prisoner, and Thomas R. Gray was by the court assigned counsel for the prisoner, and the prisoner being arraigned of the premises & pleaded not guilty and thereupon divers witnesses were examined touching the premises to wit,


Jeff Drewry of full age being sworn saith that he was present on several occasions when the prisoner was examined as a witness on previous trials, some times for the commonwealth and some times on behalf of prisoners,--that his evidence was given freely and voluntarily after being told that he was not compelled to give testimony & that nothing which he said would be of any advantage to him, that the prisoner stated that he had been compelled to go with the insurgeants, that he continued with them them [sic], untill [sic] after the insurgeants were repulsed & forced to retreat from Parkers field—That he does not know whether the prisoner continued with them longer or whether he availed himself of that first opportunity of leaving them—


The evidence being then closed and the prisoner being fully heard by counsel. The court after hearing the testimony and all the circumstances of the case are unanimously of opinion that the prisoner is guilty of the offence whereof he stands charged. Therefore it is ordered that he be taken from hence to the place from whence he came and from there on the 7th of November next between the hours 10 o’clock in the fore noon and 4 o’clock in the afternoon of that day that he be taken to the place of usual execution and then and there be hanged by the neck till he is dead—


Memo: The court value the said negro boy Moses to three hundred dollars—and the court unanimously recommend to the Executive to commute the punishment of the said negro boy Moses—


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