October 4, 2007

New Family Tree Info

Ok so I received an email yesterday with a few links in it from a fellow family tree researcher. We seem to have the same interest in a certain family member and an even that took place. As I wrote about in my previous entries, there was a murder and we were not sure about all the details and what was true and what was not.

Well I think I finally have the true story. Actual court documents and the newspaper article were found but a fellow researcher. YAY! So I must say after all of this it is nice to finally have the real story although a bit disturbing. I am posting the article. A little easier to follow instead of me trying to re-tell the story!

Newspapers: Matthew DRAKE, 1840: Southampton Co., VA Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:Matt Harris, Zoobug64@aol.com [brackets & line breaks mine] Copyright. All rights reserved.http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/copyright.htm ______________________________
Most Atrocious Murders!-A most shocking case of the deliberate murder of five persons, committed, it would seem, for the sole purpose of preventing the discovery of a contemplated robbery, is related in the Portsmouth, Va., Times of the 16th inst. as follows:
(From the Portsmouth (Va.) Times, Dec. 16.)
We learn that a series of most atrocious murders was perpetrated by a miscreant in Southampton county, on Monday night. An aged Quaker of the name of Scott, residing not far from Jerusalem, his sister, also aged, a little girl, about nine years old, named Pretlow, a negro woman and her child, were successively butchered to further the design of robbery, entertained by their destroyer. Six persons were on the premises at the time and but one escaped. This was a young negro girl.- She relates, we understand, that a man residing in the neighborhood visited the house a little after sunset and spent the evening by the fireside of Mr. Scott in conversation with the family. As he was about to quit, he asked Mr. S. to walk with him to the gate, as he had a word to say to him in private. To this the unfortunate man consented. The girl saw no more of him. A violent struggle was next heard in the kitchen. The murderer armed with a short heavy dogwood pestle, had seized the negro woman, and was beating out her brains, when the aged sister of Mr. Scott, attracted by the noise, appeared and begged him to desist. Irrevocably bent on his design he instantly despatched the poor negro, and seizing the old lady felled her to the floor with a blow of the pestle. A negro boy about nine years old was then killed in the same manner. He next proceeded in search of the little white girl and the young negress. The latter made her escape unobserved. The other child was not so fortunate. She was caught in the room and murdered as summarily as the rest. Not seeing the negro girl, and resolved to leave no clue to his fearful secret, the monster made a careful search in the rooms, turning over the beds and scanning every corner narrowly. Convinced that one of the family had escaped, he seems to have gone off, without consummating the robbery. The girl fled immediately to the nearest neighbors, and communicated what had occurred in her sight and hearing. They repaired to the premises forthwith, and found the melancholy confirmation of her story. The murderer had fled and the house was burning slowly. The fire was extinguished before it had defaced the bodies, or done much injury to the building. In the morning, among the spectators of the night's bloody fruit, was the individual spoken of by the girl as the actor in the scene. He gave a instant contradiction to her story, and referred to the abscence of blood from his clothing as proof of his innocence. He denied also, we learn, having been on the premises for a fortnight. Traces of blood, however, it is said, were found among his whiskers, and he was detained till search was made at his house. This resulted, we learn, in the discovery of a suit of clothing excessively besmeared with blood. He was forthwith apprehended. Mr. Scott was an old and esteemed resident of the county, and was reputed to be wealthy. The hope of securing his money led to a scheme of murder, as boldly conceived and deliberately executed as any furnished by the annals of crime. The escape of the girl alone prevented the full execution of the plan. If she had fallen, all explanation of the mystery would have been impossible. The house and bodies of the slain would have been consumed together, and the murderer would have possessed in security the poor reward of his atrocities, beyond the fear of detection.
The Southampton Murders.
- We learn that at least $15,000 in silver have been found on the premises of Mr. Scott, the Quaker who was murdered together with five of his household, by a miscreant who had invaded the home of a miserly old man under the impulses of a diabolically criminal cupidity.
[Norfolk Beacon. [italicized] [next article details LEWIS ~ CONWAY murder case] "The (Richmond) Enquirer." Richmond (VA), Thursday, Dec. 31, 1840. [p. 3] The Library of Virginia, Newspaper Microfilm Reel 23a

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