Two cases of murder.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
From the Halifax Advocate, Oct. 29.
Our Superior Court. — …
The next case taken up was that of a free man of color named Morgan. He was indicted for the murder of James Wiggins, a white man. The prisoner was defended by Messrs. Whitaker and Spruill. The testimony, in substance, was that the prisoner and the deceased, not long before the homicide, had a quarrel and that a few days thereafter, and before the homicide took place, the prisoner had been heard to make threats against the life of Wiggins, in the event of another dispute occurring between them; that soon after this the deceased, with three other men, went to the prisoner’s house in the night with a view of chastising him, and required him to open the door, he refused to do so, upon which the door after several attempts, was pushed open, and the deceased entered and as he did so the prisoner struck him with an axe burying the blade up to the helve in his bowels. The prisoner instantly fled and the deceased very soon died of his wound. After a lucid charge from Judge Donnell, the jury retired and in about ten minutes brought in a verdict of manslaughter.
The third case, was an indictment against Polly Carter alias Polly Harrison, a free woman of color, for the Murder of Nancy Combs, likewise a free woman of color. It appeared in evidence, that at the very moment when the deceased came in sight of the prisoner, the latter was listening to a conversation calculated to exasperate her against the former and immediately ran to her and struck her on the face. The deceased, who was a tall and athletic woman, and very far gone in pregnancy, threw the prisoner down with ease and while the parties were in this situation, a white man named _____ Hall came up and kicked the deceased violently in the side just above the hips. The parties were then separated, and soon afterwards the prisoner made another attempt to revive the fight. Upon this part of the case, there were direct contradictions among the witnesses. Some, and the greater number, affirmed that the person of the deceased was not touched, and others that she received a blow of some violence about the small part of her back. The deceased immediately complained of much pain in her side, and continued to linger in much distress for 6 or 7 days when she was delivered of a still born child, and did [sic]. In the opinon of the physicians who heard most of the testimony, the death was caused by the violence in the affray, and the prisoner was found guilty of woman slaughter, and imprisoned one month, and to pay the cost of the indictment. _____ Hall had fled from justice.
The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 6 November 1834.