Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

Tag: acquittal

Not guilty.

New Hanover Superior Court. – Last week the Spring term of the Superior Court for this county was held in this town – his Honor Judge Dick, presided. The only case which created any public interest, was the trial of John Martin (a free Mulatto) and Menus Stow (a Slave,) for the murder of Edward Kinsley, in December last. This case occupied the attention of the Court from Thursday morning till Friday afternoon about 5 o’clock. The Jury, after retiring for about half an hour, returned a verdict of “not guilty,” whereupon the prisoners were set at liberty.

Wilmington Journal, 1 May 1846.

Two trials.

Superior Court. – On Thursday, the 7th instant. Negro Ephraim, the property of Dr. Simmons J. Baker, of Martin county, was tried before the Superior Court of this county, for killing Francis W. Anderson, a free boy of color, by throwing at, and striking him on the head with a stone, which occasioned his death, after lingering a few days. He was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to receive 39 lashes.

On the following day, the trial of a young man, of mixed blood, though, to all appearance, a white man, & having a white woman for his wife, charged with attempting to commit a rape upon a white girl of about 12 years of age, took place. The jury retired about eight o’clock in the evening, and, in three of four minutes after, returned with a verdict of Not Guilty.

The North Carolina Star (Raleigh), 15 April 1825.

Acquitted of rape of 80 year-old woman.

Wake Superior Court.

On Wednesday, Jones Kiff, a free boy of colour, about 21 years old, was tried on an indictment for Rape, committed on a free woman of colour, supposed to be 80 years of age. Verdict of acquittal.

Tarboro’ Press, 16 April 1836.


AIDING A SLAVE TO ESCAPE. – William Mayes, a free negro from North Carolina, was tried by the Hustings Court, yesterday, on the charge of advising Henry, slave to E.H. Stokes & Co., to escape from his owners, on the 26th of July last, and accompany him to North Carolina. Henry, the slave, testified that the prisoner had invited him to return to Carolina and promised to pay his passage to that State. Judge Crump appeared for the prisoner, and defended him with marked ability; Mr. Daniel prosecuting on behalf of the Commonwealth. At the conclusion of the argument, the prisoner was acquitted, three of the Justices believing him guilty and two of them deciding he was not.

The Daily Dispatch, Richmond VA, 12 August 1857.