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Colonial Cases

North Carolina

Republican & Savannah Evening Ledger, 13 May 1809

RALEIGH, (N.C.) April 27

HORRID MURDER.- Never were the feelings of the citizens of this place so deeply and so universally agonized, as by the following barbarous murder, committed in the very heart of the city, on the body of Mr. Patrick Conway, a native of Ireland, and a respectable merchant. 


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 12 October 1824

Murder of a slave.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 9 November 1824

Accident of the Steam Boat Columbia.

The steam boat Columbia, Captain  Clarke, left here on Thursday afternoon, with a loaded tow boat, to go by the inland passage to Georgetown.  In the evening she came to in the Narrows, back of Sullivan's Island, about two miles from the Cove.  The boat having been moored head and stern, as was supposed in the middle of the channel, the passengers and crew retired to rest.  Between 12 and 1 o'clock, on the falling of the tide, the boat was perceived to have taken the ground on one side, which caused her to careen very much - Dr. Hume and Mr. Flagg, two gentlemen who were passengers, had barely time to escape from their beds and run upon deck, before the cabin filled with water; and we regret to add that Mrs. Rantin, (wife of Mr. William Rantin, Baker, formerly of this city) and her daughter about five years of age, and a negro woman and child, who were in the after cabin, were drowned - the steam boat slipping off the bank on which she had partially grounded into deep water, immediately filled and sunk.  At low tide yesterday, her deck was entirely under water, with the exception of a few feet at the stern - but it is expected she can be raised with the assistance of other vessels which may be taken alongside of her.  The tow boat did not receive the least injury - she was brought back to town last evening.  The bodies of the unfortunate Mrs. Rantin, and her daughter, were recovered yesterday, having floated up out of the cabin, through the sky-light, and were brought to town with the tow boat.  A Coroner's Inquest being empannelled on the melancholy occasion, returned a verdict of accidental drowning.  The bodies of the negro woman and he child, have not yet been found. - Chas. Cour.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 22 February 1825


Was held in this place, on the 8th inst. over the dead body of a new-born white infant child, found within a few steps of the Mocksville road about a mile from town.  The verdict of the jury was, "that the child came to its death from the violence received at the hands of its mother, or some other person unknown."  The citizens of the town procured the body to be decently interred, on Wednesday last, the 9th inst. West Carolinian.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 29  March 1825

A dreadful accident. - Mr. Joshua Young, of Stokes county, N.C. on his return from a visit to some of his friends in Henry county, Va. on the 21`st ult. in crossing the Mayo river, the wagon upset, with himself, his wife, their two little daughters, (one 9, the other 12 years of age,) and Mrs. Young's niece, about 18 years of age, and dreadful to relate, every one of them perished.  The bodies of the Lady and her niece were found, but that of Mr. Young and the little girls were not, at the date of our account.  Danville Sentinel.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 13 September 1825


Melancholy Casualty. - A friend in Burke county informs us, that on the night of the 2d inst. a young man by the name of Gabriel Cox, at the house of Mr. Jacob Mullm in the neighborhood of Morganton, fell down stairs and broke his neck; he almost instantly died.  It is supposed that, in a fit of somnombulancy, he was walking in his bed-chamber, and stepped off the stair way, (there being no banister) and fell on his head, by which his neck was broken.  He was a young man of excellent character, and highly esteemed by all of his acquaintance.  Carolinian.

Fatal effects of unbridled passion. - On Monday, the 15th instant, two negro men in the employ of Mr. Alexander Penny, about 15 miles from this town, while at work in the field, quarreled about a drink of water; one of them seized an axe, with which he threatened to beat the other's brains out, the latter then picked up a heavy club, and in the scuffle that ensued, the one with a club struck the other so heavy a blow, as to split his head open to the length of eighteen inches.  He almost instantly expired.  Ib.



CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 29 August 1826

A letter from Ebbfield, in Halifax Co. to a gentleman in Warren, published in the last Reporter, states that on the Friday night preceding, the wife of Ricks Fort was shot dead in his own house, by some prowling assassin.  Mr. Fort and two of his children were in the porch, his wife came in, passed through the house with a candle in her hand, went into the back room in the left side, had taken some clothes out of a trunk; and just as she had risen, a gun was discharged through the window, and she fell and instantly expired.  It is thought the person who did it mistook his object.  It was the room in which Mr. Fort generally sleeps; his life had been threatened - he was apprehensive of danger and was so prudent as not to carry a light into the room when he went to bed. - Ral. Reg.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 28 November 1826

A Desperado. - On Saturday, the 18th instant, a most atrocious murder was perpetrated in this county by a man named Robert Yandle, the particulars of which, and of subsequent events resulting from it, we have obtained from the sheriff, and give them as follows:

   On the day above mentioned, Yandle came to his brother-in-law's, John Harris, against whom he had some spite, and as soon as he entered the house, told him he had come on purpose to kill him.  He immediately presented his rifle, which flashed; when Harris sprung up and seized the rifle, and a considerable scuffle ensued; but Yandle overpowered him, and beat his brains out with the butt of his rifle.  He then went to the house of James Morris, whither Harris's wife had fled, and attempted to kill her; but she fortunately escaped, after being severely wounded by a blow from his rifle, by getting under a small building.  Yandle then left the house, and after going about half a mile, met a young man by the name of Fisher, whom he had previously threatened to kill, fired at him and wounded him in the shoulder; Fisher ran, and Yandle pursued, in order to complete his murderous design; but before he could overtake him, Fisher reached a neighbor's house, almost exhausted from the loss of blood, and Yandle desisted from the pursuit.  He then went to the house of Mrs. Hooks, a widow woman, and attempted to lay violent hands on a young lady, who, he suspected, was about to be married to Fisher, whom he had previously attempted to kill; but she broke from his grasp, and fortunately succeeded in effecting her escape.

   By this time the alarm had been given, and Philemon Morris, Esq. and Capt. Zebulon Morris came on to Charlotte, and made application to Judge Ruffin, who was then here, for authority to apprehend Yandle.  He immediately issued a bench warrant, and directed the sheriff to take him, dead or alive.  The sheriff started the same night, reached the neighborhood by sun-rise next morning, summoned a guard of about 20 men, surrounded the house of Yandle, where he had shut himself up and armed himself with a rifle and shot gun, and summoned him to surrender.  This he positively refused to do  and attempted to fire at a part of the guard out of the garret window; several shots from them, however, but which did not take effect, caused him to retreat from that position.  In a short time he made a second attempt, but was again driven back by a fire from the guard. - The guard remained secreted behind the spring-house, until the latter part of the day, without being able to effect their object, when the sheriff and the guard agreed to rush upon the house, which was instantly done.  He was again summoned to surrender, but he replied, that he knew he would have to die if he gave himself up, and he would rather die there than surrender.  He then made several attempts to fire, both at the sheriff and guard, and at length put his gun through a crack and snapped it at one of the guard, only a few paces distant; at that several of the guard fired at him, through the crack, but unfortunately missed him, and killed a little daughter of his, who was lying in bed.  This was the first knowledge which either the sheriff or the guard had, that any other person was in the house besides Yandle - they had supposed he had either murdered his family, or sent them off.  But it seems, as they were subsequently informed by his wife, that when his house was surrounded, he put her and his children in bed, covered them up, and declared, if they made the least noise, he would instantly put them to death.  In the unfortunate death, therefore, of the little girl, not the least blame can be attached to anyone, but the wretched father.

   Immediately on the firing of the guard, Yandle dropped his rifle, snatched up the shot gun, rushed out of a door on the opposite side of the house, and fired on the guard within four paces of the muzzled of his gun.  At the moment he rushed out, however, two of the guard fired and shot him  through; and to this circumstances it is doubtless owing that his fire did not take effect, as the wounds he received caused him to elevate his gun  so that the shot passed over the heads of the guard.  The remainder of the guard fired instantly, and he fell dead several paces from the door.

   We have purposely gone into the details of this melancholy transaction, in order to remove misapprehensions and prevent false reports from getting into circulation.


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 13 March 1827

Another warning ! - A man by the name of Major Griffin, died in this city, on Wednesday night the 28th ult., from the effects of intemperance.  Some person at one of the tippling houses (those pests of society) gave him, as we learn, a quart of liquor, on condition he would drink the whole at one time.  He succeeded in getting it down, and soon after fell into a profound sleep, from which he never awoke ! Raleigh Register


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 19 June  1827



To the Editor of the Journal :

Two men, by the names of Sides and Bradshaw, came to this village yesterday after a negro man who had been committed to our jail as a runaway.  Upon the obtaining possession of their victim, they repeatedly struck him over the head with a club, and concluded the first act of the tragedy by binding his hands behind him, confining them so closely as to stop the circulation of blood at the wrists, and placing a running noose round his neck.  One of them took the end of the rope and got on his horse, when they moved out of town in a swift trot, compelling the negro to keep up, edging him constantly into the worst part of the road, and swearing they would take him home that night, a distance of more than 60 miles, or they would kill him.

   This morning our citizens were informed that the negro lay dead seven miles from this place, on the Lincoln road.  Upon examination of the body and of witnesses by the coroner's inquest, it appeared, that in every instance when they were seen on the road, Sides and Bradshaw con tinu7ed to beat the negro with a hickory club.  That he became exhausted and prayed for water, which was denied him, and the club applied instead.  That when they crossed the Moravian creek, they permitted him to lie down and drink, from whence he was unable to rise until they had drawn him up by the cord around his neck, and that they struck him repeatedly over the head and in the face with the club.  He went but little farther, before he sank down and died, and these men continued the chastisement even while he was in the agonies of death. - They then offered a farmer, who lived a few rods from the place, five dollars to bury the negro and keep the secret; and escaped.  The verdict of the coroner's inquest was "murder." Sides and Bradshaw were immediately pursued; but it is presumed they will have leisure to escape for the present.

   It seems that the negro, while in prison, had some presentiment of what would befall him.  He had resigned himself to his fate, and had apparently made his peace with his God.  I have never seen a more submissive human being.

   This is the second foul murder committed within \twenty miles of this place during the last fortnight.  A man, named Barlow, in a fit of jealousy, beat his wife with a rock until he supposed her dead.  But she revived and crawled towards the house, when he again assailed her and beat her head into a jelly.  The only excuse he gives for his conduct is, that he was insane at the time, and still remains so.

   Eighteen months ago, a jury of this county, in the majesty of their might, commuted the punishment which a wretch had incurred, by deliberately whipping to death his slave with rods, into the punishment inflicted on clergyable offences, by rendering a verdict of manslaughter and the Governor pardoned him.  Six months since, another jury declared, that a man who had for months incited his nephew to murder his uncle, and who had sought the opportunity for his nephew, and stood by when the deed was done encouraging him, was guilty of "manslaughter," while the nephew, the less guilty of the two, was hanged in a neighboring county, by a Jury of Quakers, without ten minutes deliberation.

   Since the last Circuit, our most clement and merciful Chief Magistrate has remitted every punishment, of any magnitude, inflicted by the Superior Court in the adjoining county of Ashe, and such is the effect there, that if you attempt to collect a debt, you are immediately threatened with the Governor. ...

FIAT JUSTITIA, Willesboro'. June 5, 1827


CATAWBA JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 7 August  1827

On Thursday, the 17th inst. An affray took place in Iredell county, between Thomas Harvey and Isaac W. Lawrence: during which Harvey inflicted a wound on Lawrence, which soon caused his death.  Several persons were present, but Harvey was suffered to escape.  He is upwards of 40 years of age, 6 feet high, slender made, black hair, dark eyes, is given to intoxication, and quarrelsome; but when sober, his appearance is decent and gentlemanly; can neither read nor write; had on a blue cloth coat, much worn and patched; white vest,. Pantaloons and hat; has a scar, made by a knife, leading back from one eye towards his ear.  The good people of this, and any of the adjoining states, would do well to apprehend the said Thomas Harvey, that he may be brought to justice.  Printers will serve the cause of humanity, by publishing this.

P. CALDWELL, Sheriff of Iredell.  July 23, 1827.



MINERS' AND FARMERS' JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 22 June 1831

We learn from the Newbern Sentinel, that a terrible outrage was committed in Duplin County, in this State, on the 29th ult.  Miss Nancy Bohyet, the daughter of a respectable widow, having left home with the intention of visiting a neighboring family, was found after night, shockingly mangled, in an adjoining pond.  "From appearances., the murder must have been perpetrated at a distance of two hundred yards from the pond in which the body was found, and the resistance must have been desperate.  The ground and bushes at the place of conflict, were much trodden and broken, and some lightwood limbs that were on the spot, appeared to have been used by the monster in completing his designs.  The young lady's combs were also found, broken and scattered on the ground.  No discovery leading to the detection of the murderer, has yet been made, and with the exception of its fatal result, the whole transaction is yet a mystery to the neighborhood.  It must have taken place about noon,. In a thickly inhabited settlement, and on the public road leading from Whitehall to Fayetteville.  An inquest was held, and a verdict pronounced of 'rape and murder, by some person unknown.'


MINERS' AND FARMERS' JOURNAL (Charlotte, N.C.), 10 November 1832

Murder. - A murder of a most atrocious nature was perpetrated on Saturday night last, on the person of an unfortunate man, named JOSEPH WIENAND, the keeper of a house called the Neptune Hotel, and the lower end of Verdue Range.  The particulars, as far as we can learn, are these: At about 6 o'clock yesterday morning, a black woman, a servant of the deceased, rapped at the door, according to custom, to arouse the inmate, but receiving no answer to her repeated calls, became alarmed, and stated to an individual passing by, her fears that something must have occurred to Mr. W. as he usually heard her calls, and arose - on examination , it was found that the door of the house was unfastened, and the person entered, ascended the ladder which led up to the little loft where Mr. W. usually slept, and discovered him  extended upon the floor, bereft of life, and weltering in his blood.  A coroner's inquest was held upon the body, and from the evidence given in, it appeared that the fatal deed was committed by twisting his handkerchief closely around his neck, and striking him on the head with a stone, (which was lying near the body) in such a manner as to fracture the skull in several places.  The general opinion appears to be that more than one individual was concerned in the nefarious transaction.  Suspicion, has as yet, fixed upon no particular person.  Mr. WIENAND, it is said, was in possession of two or three hundred dollars in money - and this was, most probably, the cause of the horrid catastrophe.  Chas. Courier 29th ult.

THOMAS COFFIN and JOHN KELLY, are the names of the persons who are accused of the murder of Mr. WEINAND.  They were arrested on Monday evening, in a house in Market-st. and in the bed of KELLY, a sum of money and a bloody handkerchief were found concealed.  THOS. SMITH, the witness on whose information they were apprehended, is not charged with being implicated in the horrid deed, but was, it is said, made a confidant of by one of the criminals, and made an  exposition voluntarily.  He was committed to jail for want of security for his appearance at Court. - COFFIN and KE,LLY, were seamen on board the schr. Cotton Planter, which was cast away on her voyage from this port to Nassau, and arrived here on the 22d inst. on the schr. Primrose. - Chr. Cour. 31st ult.



THE LINCOLN REPUBLICAN (Lincolnton, N.C.), 26 February 1840


A gentleman of Davidson County, N. C. well acquainted with the circumstances, a few days ago furnished the particulars, briefly, of a supposed murder recently committed in that County.  The account is substantially as follows:

   On Saturday, the 11th inst. a Jury of Inquest was held over the dead body of a little girl named Phoebe Floyd, about 5 years old.  The deceased lived in the family of Jacob Tyce.  After she had been buried, suspicion of violence and ill usage grew so strong that the corpse was disinterred and submitted to a post mortem examination by Dr. L. Wood, in the presence of the Jury and some fifty other persons, at Zion Meeting House.  Whereupon the Jury, after hearing all the evidence adduced, reported a verdict of Wilful murder against five of Mr. Ryce's family, viz: two women with young children - two girls one 12 and the other 16 years old, and a boy of about 13; all of whom are committed to jail, to await their trial at the next term of Davidson Superior Court.  These are all the facts communicated; and as a legal investigation has to take place hereafter, it would be improper to give the reports of the neighborhood, even if we had them at hand.   Southern Citizen.



MECKLENBURG JEFFERSONIAN (Charlotte, N.C.) 2 November 1841

Horrid Affair. - We understand that the wife of a Mr. Hinkle, in the adjoining County of Lincoln, was taken up a few days since, and after trial before a court of magistrates, committed to prison, charged with the murder of her own slave, an aged negro woman.  It would be improper for us at this time to give the particulars of this horrid affair.  We may state, however, that the body of the negro was found at a spring some distance from the house.  She had doubtless been murdered at the house, as the floor was stained with blood; and, after being stripped of her clothing, was dragged over a fence down to where the body was found.  The verdict of the jury of inquest was, that the negro had been murdered by Mrs. Hinkle.  When arrested, Mrs. H. was intoxicated, and a bottle of spirits was found in the spring near the dead body of the negro !


THE LINCOLN COURIER (Lincolnton, N.C.), 20 February 1847

Coroner's Inquest.

A Jury of Inquest was empannelled on Monday morning last, at the residence of the deceased, to inquire into the cause that led to the death of John Carpenter.  After a patient examination of the circumstances, and a dissection of the head, (the os occipitis having been perforated by a blunt pointed instrument, the pia  and dura mater not lacerated, a blow on the back part of the head immediately above the dental process, would have produced death, the sinuses were engorged, some of the smaller vessels were ruptured, and a large quantity of blood coagulated around the brain) the Jury were unanimously of the opinion that the deceased came to his death by violence, and a verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts.  The proximity to his dwelling (200 yards) led the jury to suspect some of the negroes, two of whom were committed for examination by the Magistrates, and subsequently re-committed by them.

   Mr. Carpenter was 85 years of age on the day of his death; he was a good citizen, and in easy circumstances.


THE LINCOLN COURIER (Lincolnton, N.C.), 22 December 1849

Horrid Suicide. - "On the night of the 11th instant, between 8 and 9 o'clock, there came a certain man who called himself William Harrison, so the house of John J. Miller, in Rowan county about four miles West of Gold-Hill, and insisted in staying all night. - The writer of this article being there at the time, interrogated him, (though much under the influence of spirituous liquors) and learned that he was from Raleigh, and had a family living there: that he came to God Hill about three weeks since.  He was asked why he  left Gold Hill, but could give no satisfactory reply.  He was evidently laboring under affection of delirium tremens.  At half past 9 o'clock he was put to bed but rather requested that some one of the family should sleep with him. - Some time after midnight he was heard walking about in the house, and talking to himself all the time.  After some time he went to bed again, and was silent until about daylight, when he got up, and talked a great deal about cutting of the throat, but could not be understood, his articulation being very indistinct. - He then wanted a razor for to shave, but that being denied him, he went to breakfast, and whilst seated at the table, he asked Mr. John J. Miller whether he had a knife.  Mr. Miller replied he had. He then requested to see the knife, which Mr. Miller handed him; and as soon as handed to him he put it in  his pocket, and handed Mr. Miller a half dollar.  Mr. Miller refusing to take it, he threw it on the table, got up, walked into the parlor, lighted his pipe, and walked out about fifty yards from the house, and behind a pig sty.

   The air with which this was done, was not calculated seriously to arouse Mr. Miller's fears as to the object he had in view; and supposing that he had retired to the place to comply with a call of nature, and that he would soon return, Mr. M. did not follow him.  Some minutes after, a struggling, groaning noise was heard in that direction by some children about the house.  Mr. Miller was told of it, went up to the place where Harrison was last seen to go. - There they found him, on his knees and hands, with a most frightful cut on his throat - bleeding profusely - the knife still in his right hand.  The alarm was immediately given to the neighborhood, but before assistance arrived the man had expired."

   The Coroner of the County having been notified of the above case, an inquest was held on the body of the deceased yesterday evening, which resulted in the return of a verdict according with the facts as stated in the foregoing article.  The pockets and clothing of this man being examined by the Jury, two silver half dollars, and a small piece of tobacco, was all that could be found. - Salisbury Watchman.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 16 December 1851

Three Children Burned to Death. - We are informed by the Coroner of this county. L. M. McLendon, Esq., that on Wednesday last he held an inquest on the dead bodies of three negro children, the property of Anna Bailey, daughter of Thomas B. Bailey, and grand-daughter of Samuel Pratt.  The inquest was held at Hiram J. Pratt's, 13 miles from Wadesborough.  It appears that the mother of the children had left them but a short time when the house in which they were, was discovered to be on fire but too far consumed to save the children, as the roof was falling and the children clinging to each other in the back part of the house.  They were burnt to a crisp.

   The Jury, after being impannelled, inquired into the case and returned a verdict of accidental death by the house taking fire. - Wadesborough Argus.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 25 April 1853

Drowned. - An Irishman by the name of Suffie was drowned last evening in the Cape Fear River.  It seems that, while under the influence of delirium tremens, he jumped overboard, from Mr.  Farmer's Wharf, below the Railroad, and, although got out in a short time, he was quite dead.  The Coroner is now holding an inquest over the body.  The verdict will, no doubt, be in accordance with these facts.  We understand that the deceased leaves a wife and two children in Albany, N.Y., and a mother and two sisters somewhere in that vicinity. - Wilmington Journal.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 10 October 1853

INFANTICIDE. - We learn that an inquest was held on the body of an infant child found in a branch in Robeson county on the 6th inst.  The result was a verdict that the child was wilfully murdered by its mother, a free woman of color named Arrah Carter.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 28 November 1853



On the evening of the 21st inst. an outrageous murder was committed upon the person of J. C. McCormick, who lived about 12 miles from Lumberton, near Scuffletown.   On the 23d the body was found in a branch, and a jury of inquest was held on the 24th, whose verdict was murder, and by a post mortem examination his cranium was found broken into half a dozen pieces.  Supposed to have been done by Enoch Cummings and two of his sons; the former and one son are in prison, the other one ran off.  It was made to appear that his head was laid on a large root and mashed into pieces with clubs, like common people would do a viper.  Respectfully yours,  J. F. H.  Lumberton, Nov. 25, 1853.



Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 19 January 1854

Murder. - A most brutal murder was committed on the person of Nathaniel Blake, by Landy Tippett and George E. Keith, on last Saturday evening, at John Rosemond's, about four and a half miles west of this city.  An old grudge had existed between them, and one of the parties held Blake, whilst the other struck him.  An inquest was held by Coroner Scott, over the body of Blake, on Sunday last, and the jury rendered a verdict according to the facts.

   We understand that Tippett and Keith delivered themselves up on Monday last. Raleigh Star.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 23 January 1854

Homicide. - We learn that a fight took place at Rockfish village, near this place, about 3 weeks ago, in which a man named Jos. Edwards, a resident on the eastern side of Cape Fear river, received wounds of which he died.  The circumstances, as far as we have learned are these: A man by the name of Jonathan Baker was whipping his wife, when the deceased interfered (at the urgent solicitation of the woman) and prevented him from further violence.  Baker then struck Edwards on the head with an axe, which caused his death as above state.  Baker was pursued into Robeson  county by officer J. J. Phillips, who arrested him and brought him to this place, where he is now confined in Jail to await his trial. - North Carolinian.

Infanticide. - An inquest was held the other day over the body of a child, 6 or 7 months old, found dead in the vicinity of this place.  The verdict of the Jury was - smothered by the mother, Catharine Campbell.  But whether the death was caused wilfully or accidentally has not yet been fully ascertained. - North Carolinian.

Accidents. - Capt. J. Bishop, a resident of New-bern,  died on Monday, in consequence of injuries which he received from the accidental explosion of a camphene lamp.

   A negro woman, named Polly, belonging to the estate of Josephus Hall deceased, was also burned to death, on Monday morning.  It is supposed, that she had a fit, and fell on the fire, which burned her to death before assistance could be rendered. - Newbern Atlantic.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 17 August 1854

Homicide. - A negro woman, by name Martha, the property of Stephen Williams, of this county, was killed on Friday the 4th instant.  An inquest was held on the body, and the jury agreed in the opinion that the death of said negro was caused by a load of shot discharged from a gun in the hands of Sarah Williams.  Mrs. Williams has fled. - Wadesboro' Star.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 21 September 1854

Drowned. - Capt. Andrews of Schr. Araminta, from Baltimore, accidentally fell into the river on last Saturday evening, and was drowned.  An inquest was held over the body by Coroner Wood, and a verdict as above was rendered by the jury.  Wil. Herald.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 9 November 1854

Fatal Accident. - A most frightful accident, resulting in the sudden and violent death of a most estimable lady of this county, occurred in this city on Saturday morning last.  As Mr. William Rand was coming in to the city accompanied by his wife, the horses attached to his carriage took fright just below the residence of Maj. Gwynn, ran away and upset the carriage, throwing Mrs. Rand out upon the rocks in the street, with so much force as to cause her death in a very short time.  She was, we understand, quite an aged lady. - Ral. Star.

Murder. - An inquest was held by coroner Scott over the body of a free negro named Chas, who was found murdered on the Fayetteville road, several miles from this city, on Friday morning last.  His death was caused by a frightful wound extending from the groin upwards towards the bowels, which was doubtless made by a knife.  The testimony before the coroner's jury, we learn, implicates a free negro named Jordan, and a free woman, in the horrid deed.  The woman has been lodged in jail, but the man has not yet been taken. - Ral. Star.


NORTH CAROLINA WHIG, 21 November 1854

Long report of a New South Wales Murder; Fisher, Penrith.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 6 September 1855

Sad Accident. - A boat containing four white men and two negroes, was run over by the steamer Jas. R. Grist on last Saturday night a short distance above town, on the Cape Fear River.  The white men we learn were saved, but the two negroes were drowned.  Coroner J. C. Wood is holding an inquest on the dead bodies to-day. - Wilmington Journal.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 17 July 1856

Sudden Death. - Mr. Robert Findlater, residing near this city, was found dead in his bed on Wednesday morning last.  Inquest held over him by Mr. Coroner Scott, and verdict of death by visitation of Providence. - Ral. Standard.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 2 October 1856

The Charleston Mercury came to us this morning in mourning for the death of one of its editors, Wm. R. Taber, jr., who fell in a duel with Edward Magrath, on Monday afternoon last.  The difficulty originated from the publication of communications in the Mercury , in reference to the Hon. A. G. Magrath, a candidate for Congress from the Charleston District.  The name of the author of the communication s was not demanded, but a preemptory challenge was sent and accepted, and, at the third fire, Mr. Taber fell, the ball taking effect in his head.  The weapons were pistols and the distance ten paces.  Wilmington Herald.

   Fatal Shooting Affair. - We learn that on yesterday afternoon, Needham Stanly, a resident of Masonboro' Sound, shot a young man named Puckett, the latter being a son-in-law to the former.  Puckett is dead.  The Coroner and jury are gone down to hold an inquest. - Wil. Herald.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 4 February 1858

Sudden Death. - A stranger, by the name of Mr. R. L. Bandy, arrived at the Carolina Hotel on Friday night last.  He eat supper and took rooms with another gentleman, who left Saturday morning.  Nothing unusual was observed in the appearance of Mr. B. through the day on Saturday.  He was called to breakfast and to dinner; but he told the servant that he did not wish to be called.  He was found dead in his bed at tea time, and to all appearances had died as in sleep, and when found was like a corpse laid out.  Not a line could be found to tell of his friends or where he was from.  He registered his name from Florida - told someone he was from near Tampa Bay.  Nothing further can be ascertained of him.  Coroner Hartsfield held an inquest on the body, but we have no learned the verdict of the jury. - Wilmington Herald.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 8 February 1858

Mr. Daniel McLeod, of Moore county, was drowned in the factory pond at Rockingham, Richmond county, N. C., on Tuesday, the 26th ult.  His body was found on Friday and an inquest held by the Coroner, whose report was as above.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 11 March 1858

THE COLUMBUS MURDER. - A letter from Whiteville mentions that the Jury of Inquest have rendered a verdict against Bythil Mitchell, and that all other parties arrested on suspicion have been discharged.


BUCKINGHAM, Richmond Co., N.C. March 8.

Mr. Editor:-- The Rev. Mr. Dowell, a native of Massachusetts, was found dead in his buggy, on the road about four miles from this place, on the night of the 4th inst.  He staid at the house of Mr. J. W. Leak, in this town, on the night before his death, and started for Fayetteville, next morning; and when about four miles from this place (where he was found) it is supposed he took a fit (to which I learn he was subject) and died.  An inquest was held over the body, and a verdict rendered as above.  I learn that he had a life policy for $3,000, in the Greensboro' Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Massachusetts papers will please copy the above and oblige his relatives in that State, and his friends here.  Yours truly, F.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 12 April 1858

To the Editors of the Observer.

WHITEVILLE, N.C.,  April 8, 1858.

Dear Sirs: The Superior Court for this County has just closed its session for this Term - his Honor Judge Manly presiding.  There being several capital cases on the Criminal Docket, but little civil business was transacted.

   On Tuesday morning, Bythel Mitchell and Dugald Clark, (white,) and W. H. Patrick, Joshua Freeman and Eli Jacobs, (free colored,) were arraigned for the alleged murder of James E. Shaw, a tobacco trader of Alamanee, on the 18th Feb'y last in this county, and whose body was found on the 10th ult.  No counsel appeared for the prisoners, except Clark, for whom Mr. Empie appeared.  For the other prisoners, the Judge, at the request of Mitchell, assigned George Davis and John Maultsby, Esqs.  On affidavit of the defendants, their trial was removed to New Hanover.  Solicitor Strange appeared for the State.


   On yesterday at 10 o'clock, Joe and Sarah, slaves, belonging to David Nealy, were put upon their trial for the murder of Susan Nealy, wife of David Nealy, on the 7th June last in this county.  The owner of the slaves did not employ counsel to defend them.  His Honor, however, assigned Messrs. G. Leitch and J. A. Richardson.  The case was a plain one, the proof being positive.  Anna, a girl belonging also to Mr. Nealy and apparently about 15 years of age, testified that on the afternoon of the day alluded to, her mistress, Susan Nealy, the prisoners, Joe and Sarah, together with herself, went to set on fire an Ash-heap, which was about a quarter of a mile from her master's house, and that after they had reached the place and had set the heap on fire in several places,. And when it was well under way burning, the deceased, the prisoners and witness being present, she saw the prisoner Sarah knock or shove the deceased into the fire; that as she attempted to rise from the fire, Sarah struck her twice on the side of the head, felling her to the earth; and that the prisoner Joe struck her two blows on the head, as she lay prostrate on the ground, with the handle of a rake; that as he struck, the rake fell off the handle and he threw the handle into the fire; that the prisoner Sarah threw her on it, with her face under.  Witness and prisoner Sarah then went home, leaving Joe sitting on a stump by the fire.

   The girl did not vary in her account of the affair, although subjected by Mr. Leitch on the part of the defence, to a very searching cross-examination.

   This witness was corroborated by Mr. Wadkins and Mr. Best, two of the Jury of Inquest, who proved that the deceased was lying on the heap when found, in the manner described by witness, that there was a fracture of the skull over the left eye as if caused by a blow from a stick and that a rake without a handle was lying near the place.

   Mr. Richardson on the part of Joe, introduced some witnesses to prove that he was an Idiot and could not therefore be held accountable, but although one or two swore that he was idiotic, that he had but little mind, had but little sense, &c., they would not undertake to say that he had not seen se enough to discriminate between right and wrong (or food and evil.)

   The case was argued for the State by Solicitor Strange, and by J. A. Richardson, Esq., for the prisoners.  After the argument of counsel was concluded and the Judge delivered his charge to the Jury, they retired and were barely absent a minute when they returned a verdict of guilty of murder against both the prisoners.  The Jury was a very intelligent one.

   Before proceeding to pronounce sentence, the Judge delivered a very solemn and impressive admonition to the unfortunate prisoners, earnestly urging on them the great necessity of employing the short time left them in preparing to meet the awful fate that awaits them.  He beseeched them to receive this request as coming from one who, allied to them by the common ties of humanity, earnestly felt concerned for their eternal happiness; as coming from one who, ere long, instead of sitting in Judgment on them, would stand side by side with them to be Judged by the Judge of all.

   Never have I heard anything more eloquent and impressive.  A profound silence pervaded the Court room.  The prisoners were sentenced to be hanged on the 30th inst.


   Scott Johnson, whose case was removed here from New Hanover, charged with the murder of a slave in Wilmington some time ago, was not tried, owing to some informality in the proceedings connected with the removal of his case.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 15 November 1858

HALIFAX, N.C., Nov. 10th, 1858.

Two Serious Accidents. - A servant, the property of Mr. Purnell, residing near this place, was crushed to death in the cog wheel of a gin on last Saturday.  It seems that he was on the wheel driving the machine, and was carelessly caught in the cogs.  Before the mules could be stopped he was killed.  Mr. Purnell's boy was valued at $1,000.

   A servant of Major J. V. Allen, of Halifax, was killed on the railroad near this place last Monday night.  He was found dead near the road.  An inquest was held last evening, but the jury have not come to a decision, nor do they know how he came to his death. -  Cor. Per Express.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 12 May 1859

HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE IN RICHMOND COUNTY. - We learn that Mt. Turner Smith was found dead on the 3d inst. near his house in the neighborhood of Bostick's Mill, Richmond County.  The body bore marks of violence - the head badly bruised.  There was reason to suspect a man named Thomas Robinson of the killing, and the Jury of Inquest found against him.

   Robinson was an old man, perhaps 60 years of age, had been all his life an idiot, and had a guardian.  It is supposed that he committed suicide soon after the murder, as his body was found, shockingly defaced, about a week after the murder, hanging by a grape vine to a tree.  There were appearances of his having made several efforts, by cutting his throat and hanging, to destroy himself, before he finally succeeded.

DEAD BODY OF A MAN FOUND IN THE CAPE FEAR. - We are informed that the body of a well-dressed man, with his throat cut and a bullet hole in his stomach, was found recently in the Cape Fear River, near Averasborough, Harnett County.  There were no papers on the body by which it could be recognized, nor was it known to any person in the neighborhood.

   Our informant, who learned these facts from a most respectable citizen of Harnett, knew no other particulars, but requested this publication in  hopes of eliciting information concerning the supposed stranger.

BODY FOUND. - The body of -------- Sessoms, who was supposed to have fallen overboard from the steamer Fanny, on the 20th ult., (as mentioned in the Observer of the 25th ult.,) was found in the Cape Fear near Elizabeth and buried at Waddell's Landing on the 4th inst.  The Coroner held an inquest the result of which was a verdict of accidental death.  About $60 in c ash were found in his pockets.


NORTH CAROLINA WHIG (Charlotte, N.C.), 9 August 1859

MYSTERIOUS DEATH. - Some days ago, the Newbern (N.C.) Progress mentioned the accidental death of Mr. Wm. Lee, in the upper part of Craven County.  The following further particulars is furnished by the Progress:

   Mr. Lee took his gun, on last Sunday week, and went out to hunt turkies, and not coming in towards night, his wife becoming alarmed, sounded a horn.  This drew the neighbors together, who next morning, went in search of Mr. Lee, and soon found him about half a mile from his own house, dead.  He was lying on the ground, with his gun and a dead turkey beside him.  The only perceptible mark about his body was a small wound in the temple.  The jury of inquest rendered a verdict of accidental death from his own gun - they coming to the conclusion that he fired the gun, which being over charged, "kicked," und that the hammer made a fracture in the temple.  We understand that many doubt his having come to his death in this way, and that consequently much excitement prevails in the neighborhood relative to the matter.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 8 September 1859

MONTGOMERY COUNTY AFFAIRS. - Letter to the Editors of the Observer, dated

TROY, N.C., Sept. 1, 1859

Henry Ward, as citizen of this county, committed suicide on Sun day evening last, near his residence, by shooting himself.  He was found on Monday dead, having received the contents of a heavily loaded shot-gun in  his chest.  The gun was found near him and also a rod or stick which he had used in discharging the gun.  From appearances the act was a very deliberate one.  The deceased was about 30 years of age, was a very quiet and industrious man, and leaves a wife and two children.  No cause was known for the commission of the rash act.  The Coroner of the county held an inquest on the body and the jury found a verdict as above.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 20 February 1860

Murder. - On Sunday last, the body of a free colored man, named Michael Knight, was found near Sandy Plain church, in this county, under circumstances that lead to believe that he had been foully dealt with.  He was entirely nude, excepting socks on his feet, and the body was horribly mangled, having been badly beaten with a stick, and his neck dislocated.  Coroner Niven held an inquest on Monday, before whom, evidence was brought to light pointing to two white men as the perpetrators of the deed.  The evidence, however, is wholly circu7mstantial.  We suppress the names of the accused for the present , understanding that warrants are in the hands of the proper officers for their arrest. - Wades. Argus.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 5 July 1860

Coup de Soleil. - A man named Michael Gilmore, died yesterday on Red Cross Street between the hours of 12 and 1 noon.  During the morning he was seen in a state of intoxication, and it is supposed that this effect, added to that of exposure to the sun, became the means of his death.  A jury of inquest was held by Coroner Jones and the verdict of the jury was given in  accordance with the above facts.  Wil. Herald, 2d July.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.),  8 November 1860

SUICIDE. - The body of Mr. Daniel McPherson, a respectable citizen, residing about 3 miles from this town, was found in the woods a few hundred yards from his house on Monday morning last, with his throat cut and a razor lying near.  There appears to be no doubt, as the Coroner's inquest ascertained, that he had committed suicide.  He was a single man, of perhaps 50 years of age, in comfortable and even opulent circumstances, of a gloomy habit of mind; and on Sunday morning had sat down to breakfast, but ate nothing'; rose and walked out, without exciting any particular attention, and was not seen again  till his body was found the next day.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 22 November 1860

Homicide. - On Wednesday the 14th inst., Mr. John Whitehead, a gentleman residing about thirty miles down the river, went in a boat through Clubfoot and Harlow's Creek Canal to Beaufort and Morehead City.  He took two colored men with him, named Isaac Brown and Wm. Fenner.  When they returned Fenner was missing.  Search was made for him and he was found dead about four feet from shore in two feet water.  There was blood and marks of violence upon the body.

   An inquest was held with the verdict that - "The deceased came to his death by blows inflicted by John S. Whitehead and Isaac Brown."

   Whitehead and Brown have been arrested and confined in  our county jail.

   As in a majority of such cases, liquor was one of the incentives to this deed of blood. Newbern Progress.

Tragedy at Newbern, N.C. - A man named James Griffin was shot and killed at Newbern, North Carolina, on Friday last, the 16th inst., by Elisha R. Robinson, sometimes called "Dr."  A quarrel has occurred between Griffin and the wife of his slayer, and he had visited the house to apologize for the language he used, when at the solicitations of the woman, Robinson  took a gun from her hands and shot griffin dead.  Both the men, before the difficulty, were accounted peaceable, quiet citizens.  Robinson was arrested.

Drowned. - We are pained to learn  that Mr. John Thomas and family - a wife, a lad and infant, were drowned last Saturday by the capsizing of his boat somewhere near Adam's Creek.  Newbern Progress.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 29 November 1860

Homicide. - An unfortunate homicide was committed in this town,. Last Saturday night, at the Tenpin alley of Mr. Thomas Waters.  Wm. Sauls becoming offended with Noah T. Turnage, keeper of the alley, lifted a "pony" ball and struck Turnage a blow on the right temple, knocking him down; and of which blow, according to the verdict of the coroner's inquest held over the dead body, Turnage died.  The affair happened about 9 or 10 o'clock, Saturday night, and the un fortunate man lingered in great agony until about 11 on Sunday morning when he expired.  Sauls was arrested Sunday morning by sheriff Thomson, and was formally committed. Goldsboro' Rough Notes.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 21 March 1861

We learn that a Coroner's Inquest is now being held over the body of a man named Hegeman, who got in to a fight yesterday during a snow-balling frolic, and died from the injuries received. - Wilmington Herald.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 15 April 1861

CORONER'S INQUEST. - An inquest was held on Thursday afternoon last over the body of an unknown white man, which was found in the river near this place.  It had evidently been long in the water, and was too much mutilated to be identified.  No evidence was obtained as to the manner of the drowning, which is supposed to have been accidental.

   It has been reported that it was a negro man belonging to Farquhard Smith, Esq., of Harnett, who is said to have been drowned some weeks ago whilst endeavoring to navigate a raft over one of the locks and dams above this place - which, by the way, are and have long been, and are likely long to be, great public nuisances in their unfinished and imperfect state.  But the jury pronounced the body that of a white man.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 27 January 1862

Found Drowned. - Yesterday afternoon, Coroner Jones held an inquest over the dead body of an unknown man , found floating in the river nearly opposite Mount Tirzah, that forenoon, by Mr. George Pearman.  He had evidently been drowned for some time. - Wil. Journal, 23d inst.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 19 October 1863

Drowning case. - The acting Coroner was called yesterday to hold an inquest over the body of Laughlin McFadyen, a private in company D, Second regiment North Carolina cavalry, taken from the basin.  A pass to visit Robeson county, North Carolina, was found on  his person, dated October 7, 1863.  The body was found in the canal, floating nearly opposite Messrs. Warwick & Barksdale's mills.  About $38 and a watch were found on the pockets of the deceased.  As there were no marks of personal violence on the body no inquest was deemed necessary. - Richmond Examiner, 15th.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 4 April 1864


On Friday the 1st April a Coroner's Jury of Inquest was held over the body of a negro woman which was found near the lower Lock on Cape Fear River.  She appeared to be of middle age, and from all appearances had been drowned several weeks.  The verdict of the Jury was that she came to her death by drowning.  April 4, 1864. ISAAC HOLLINGSWORTH, Coroner.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 15 August 1864


A Jury of Inquest was held over the body of James Bowden on Saturday, Aug. 13.  Verdict of the Jury is that he came to his death by a load discharged from a gun in the hands f his son, John W. Bowden.    ISAAC HOLLINGSWORTH, Coroner.


Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.), 7 November 1864

A Horrid Murder. - On yesterday week, a man by the name of J. Owens, who had been passing himself as a South Carolina soldier on his return to Petersburg, but who had stopped over a few days and was drinking, was found murdered in a quarter of a mile of the house of a woman  by the name of Odell, four and a half miles from High Point.  Several persons must have been engaged in its perpetration.  A jury of inquest returned that they were of opinion that Wm. M. Darden, a private of the 30th N. C. troops, had been a participator in it.  On this finding the coroner committed Darden to jail. Greensboro' Citizen, 3d.


WINONA DAILY REPUBLICAN, MN., Saturday 4 September 1869 (2)

Wholesale Murder of Union Men in North Carolina - Arrest and Confession of the Murderers - Startling Disclosures.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School