He supposed she had gone to New Bern.

by Lisa Y. Henderson


We learn from Mr. O.F. Alexander, that on the 24th of February last, his negro girl Sarah Jane, left his premises without any cause, and he supposed she had gone to Newbern. On Friday last, the 18th of March, he was informed that a free negro, called John Shavers, had carried her off. That night two of his neighbors and himself went to look Shavers up, and luckily succeeded in taking him. On examining him he said he had carried the girl off to the edge of Onslow county and left her in a piece of woods, in Mr. Seth King’s field, he being at the time hired at some Salt Works near by. Mr. Alexander kept Shavers secure until Saturday morning, when he made his escape, carrying off a trace chain locked around his ankles. Mr. Alexander repaired to the place Shavers had described to him where he left the girl, and about 150 yards from the road, with some friends, found the dead body of the girl covered over with limbs, straw, etc. Her head was separated from the body – by her side lay a lightwood limb, from which most probably the unfortunate girl received the fatal blow.

A jury of inquest was called, and their verdict was, “that Sarah Jane came to her death by a blow or blows inflicted on the back of her head by the hands of John Shavers.”

A reward of $100 is offered for his arrest. Wil. Journal, 26th.

North Carolina Argus (Wadesboro), 7 April 1864.