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Trial of Ned (slave of Charles Stuart’s estate)

September 12, 1831 - Executed


At a Called Court of Oyer and Terminer held for Sussex County at the Courthouse on Thursday the 1st day of September 1831 for the trial of Ned a negro man slave the property of Charles Stuart’s estate charged with using sundry seditious speeches and threats.


Present Thomas Hunt, George Blow, James Dillard, Robert Eldridge, and Robert Key, Gent Justices.


For reasons appearing to the Court the trial of the said negro slave Ned is adjourned to Monday the twelfth day of the present month.


Th. Hinks, J.P.



[September 12]


Ned, a negro man slave the property of Charles Staurt’s estate was led to the Bar in Custody of the Jailer of this County and having James S. French Esquire appointed as counsel to defend him in his behalf, pleaded not guilty to the charge and for his trial putteth Himself upon God and the Court and whereupon sundry witnesses were charged, sworn and examined on behalf of the Commonwealth, to wit--


Lizzy, the property of Elizabeth Stuart says that on this day three weeks ago his mistress told him that the negroes had risen and said she was compelled to go from home to keep from being killed. Heard the prisoner Ned say that he knew the [illegible] was coming a long time ago, that they did not come here fast enough that he wishes God would send [illegible] faster every day that he could cut them down as fast as they were brought before him and if they did come he would show them the way to his master Lewis’s house. He expected to be free [illegible] long as much as if he was now free. Witness heard that she could not tell any person. Prisoner should be damned if he could not. Negro man Abram was setting at the door at the time but said he was asleep and did not hear it.


Lewis Stuart a witness for the Commonwealth says that he had the management of the estate of Charles Stuart decd the plantation on which the prisoner lives is about half a mile from his house – he heard of the insurrection on Monday about 2 o’clock and set off for Southampton that night. The insurrection was generally known in the neighborhood and Mrs. Stuart with a number of other females went to his house, that night. Mr. Stuart hired Ned the present year


William Parham a witness for the prisoner says that he committed the prisoner and that the evidence of the witness Lizzy now and at that time is about the same. The negro man Abram said he did not hear Ned say any thing about the Butchery nor had he heard any thing of the insurrection and gave as a reason that was sick.


The Court after hearing the evidence and maturely considering the same and the prisoner being heard in his defense by and through his counsel is of the opinion that the prisoner Ned is guilty of the offenses of which he is charged and do sentence him to be hanged by the neck until he be dead and its agreed that he be remanded to Jail where to be safely kept until Friday the 23rd day of the present month and its further ordered that the Sheriff of this County do then between the house of ten o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon carry the aforesaid sentence into execution. The Court appraise the value of the said Slave Ned to four hundred twenty-five dollars.


Ordered that James Stuart a son of Charles Stuart decd pay James S. French ten dollars for defending his Slave Ned this day condemned to be executed.

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