October 4, 2007

Additional Family Information

I find this a little disturbing reading all of the information about this murder case. I also have a few other articles/court documents that pretty much log when Mr. Drake was in and out of court. I know it is a little brutal but at the same time I would have like to have known what he said when he had the chance to testify seeing that he pled not guilty. He had an eye witness and still pled not guilty! yeah he was not crazy or anything. Thought I would post the court documents as well Just in case I am not the only one looking for this information.

Court: Matthew DRAKE, 1840-41: Southampton Co., VA Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:Matt Harris, Zoobug64@aol.com Copyright. All rights reserved.http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/copyright.htm[Order Book, p.] 262

At a Court Summoned and held at the Courthouse of Southampton County on the 21.st day of December 1840 for the examination of Matthew Drake charged with the murder of James Scott, Ann Pretlow, Sarah C Pretlow, Lydia Mingo, a free woman of colour & Seth Mingo a coloured infant at the house of the aforesaid Scott in the County -

Present James D Massenburg, James Maget, William A Spark, Edwin B Claud and William H Nicholson -

Gent. The Court being thus constituted the said Matthew DRAKE was set to the bar in custody of the keeper of the Jail of this County and thereupon Sundry witnesses to wit, Jesse Drewry, Charles Butts and Thomas C Jones were sworn and examined and the prisoner heard in his defence by Counsel: On consideration whereof it is the opinion of the Court that the said Matthew Drake ought to be tried for the offence aforesaid of which he stands charged at the next Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for this County - And thereupon he is remanded to Jail.

(Signed) J D Massenburg Teste L.R. Edwards CC [end; remainder of page blank]

[The two preceding pages (260-61) record orders bearing on the administration of the estates of victims Ann Pretlow and James Scott, also 21 Dec 1840.] [Common Law Book, p.] (400.)

At a Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery held for the County of Southampton at the Courthouse thereof on Thursday the first day of April 1841-

Present:The Honorable: Richard H Baker Judge Cuthbert D Barham foreman, William D Hood, Simon Murfee, John Moore S.r Edward Crumpler, James E Crichton, Gilliam Edwards, William H Harrison, Thomas Hunley, Matthew W Vaughan, William Edwards, Mills Pope, George Williams Davis Barrett- Lewis Worrell, John Thorp, William B Pope, Levi C Waller, James L Gray, Matthew R Pope, and Bird Lundy were Sworn a Grand Jury of inquest upon the body of this County and having received their charge withdrew and Sometime afterwards returned an Presented.

An Indictment against Matthew Drake for murder "a true bill."

An Indictment against Matthew Drake for murder. "a true bill".

An Indictment against Matthew Drake for murder. "a true bill".

An Indictment against Matthew Drake for murder "a true bill:"

An Indictment against Matthew Drake for murder "Not a true bill."

And the grand Jury were adjoined till tomorrow morning, ten O.Clock

Mark T Peete, Thomas D Knight and Mills L Gray - who were Summoned to appear here this day as grand jurors were Solemnly called, but came not. Therefore it is ordered that they be summoned to appear here on the first day of the next Term to Shew cause if any they can, why they Should not be fined for Such their contempt.

[...DREW v. LAIN & HOOD] [Common Law Book, p.] 413 [odd pages numbered in later hand & pen] [Friday April 2.d 1841] [...; sundry grand jury indictments]

Matthew Drake late of the County of Southampton labourer, who stands indicted of murder, was led to the bar in Custody of the Jailor of this Court, thereof arraigned, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment. Whereupon, came a jury to wit- Joseph C Murdaug. James W Parker. John Moore jr. Harrison Joyner. Jordan Edwards. John B Jenkins, Anthony Vaughan, William P Cross, John Vick, Matthew Wills. Richard Hines and Benjamin E Pope who being elected tried and Sworn the truth of and upon the premises to Speak, and having heard the evidence, upon their oath do Say that the said Matthew Drake is guilty of murder in the first degree in manner and form, as in the Indictment against him is alleged. And thereupon, he is remanded to jail

Present: The Hon: Richard H Baker judge [...; BRADSHAW v. GRIFFIN]

Matthew Drake late of the County of Southampton a labourer who stands Convicted Murder in the first degree was again led to the bar in Custody of the Jailor of this Court and thereupon it being demanded of him if any thing for himself he had or knew to say why the Court here to judgement and execution against him of and upon the premises should not proceed, he said he had nothing but what he had before said: therefore it is Considered by the Court that he be hanged by the neck until he be dead and that execution of this judgement be made and done upon him the said Matthew Drake by the Sheriff of Southampton on Friday the 21.st day of May next between the hours of Ten in the forenoon and two in the after noon of the same day at the usual place of execution and thereupon the said Matthew Drake is remanded to Jail-

[...; HARRISON v. ROCHELLE] [Order Book, p.] 262 [21 Jun 1841]

Ordered that the estate of Matthew Drake dec.d be committed to the hands of Thomas Pretlow Sheriff of this County for administration according to lawSouthampton Co., VA,

Order Book 1839-1843, pp. 262, 333 The Library of Virginia, Southampton Co. Microfilm Reel 31 Southampton Co., VA, Common Law Order Book 4 (1831-1841), pp. 400, 413, 432 The Library of Virginia, Southampton Co. Microfilm Reel 189

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