Virginia Slavery Laws

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Trial of Nan, June 1768

Nan was accused of felony theft, but convicted only of a misdemeanor. By convicting of the lesser offense, the court was perhaps protecting the property of owner James.

[p. 81]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County On the 3d Day of June 1768 for the Tryal of Negro Nan a woman Slave belonging to James James Justice for Felony.

Present, Thos. Ryley, Tully Robinson Wise, James Arbuckle and John Smith Gent.

The said Nan being set to the Bar in Custody of the Sherif and charged with the Felonious breaking and Entring the Dwelling house of Sarah Clark in the night time and feloniously taking thereout Sundry Goods and Chattels the property of the said Sarah said she was not thereof Guilty and On Examination of Sundry Witnesses It is the opinion of this Court that She is not Guilty of Felony, But that She hath been Guilty of a Misdemeanor and therefore ordered that She receive thirty none Lashes at the Public Whipping Post and Stand in the Pillory one hour and ordered that the Sherif Cause immediate Execution thereof to be done.
These Proceedings were Signed
Thos. Ryley.

Hampton Jailed for Threatening His Master, August 1768

It is interesting that Hampton's security would have to be posted by his master, the man whom he was accused of threatening.

[p. xxx]

At a Court Continued and held for Accomack County August 31st 1768.

Present, Tully Robinson Wise, Isaac Dunton, William Selby Thomas Teackle, John Smith, & George Stewart Gent.

. . .

[p. 152]

Hampton a Negro man Slave the Property of William Kellam being committed to the Public Goal of this County for threatening to kill his said Master and Several other people by virtue of a warrant from under the hands and seals of Isaac Dunton and Thomas Teackle Gent. and being brought before this Court on hearing the matter It is considered that the said Hampton Give Security in the sum of Twenty pounds payable to our Sovereign Lord the King his Heirs & Successors upon Condition that he keep the peace toward all his Majesty's Leige people by the Space of twelve Calendar months now next Ensuing and that he pay the Costs.
Costs. Clks. 74. Sherf. 27 & 5 lb. Tobo. Gross for each Days Imprisonment & 15 / or 150 lbs. Tobo.

William Pettit Insults Isaac Smith, the County's Leading Justice, September 1768

Pettit had sued Smith in Chancery Court (an equity court that usually dealt with cases of disputed inheritance and property) but died before the case came to trial. Smith owned a number of slaves, and placed an ad for several runaways in 1777. See the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, July 27, 1777. Generally, as in this case, white men convicted of disturbing the peace or causing a public disorder were required to give a bond for their good behavior for a specified period of time, one month in this case, but sometimes an entire year. If the amount of the bond was too much or if, as in this case, the defendant refused to post sufficient security, he was jailed.

[p. xxx]

At a Court continued and held for Accomack County September 29th 1768.

Present Thomas Ryley, Isaac Smith, Tully Robinson Wise, and John Smith Gent.

. . .

[p. 193]

In the complaint Exhibited by Isaac Smith against William Pettit for abusing him and behaving Insolently to him & c. in Court On hearing the affair and Examination of Witnesses It is considered that the said William for the said offence Entered into Bond with good and Sufficient Security in the Sum of Ten pounds payable to our Sovereign Lord the King

[p. 194]

his Heirs and Successors upon Condition that he be of his Good Behaviour Towards all his Majesty's Leige people by the space of one calendar month now next Ensuing and that he pay the Costs and the said William Refusing to do It is ordered that he be committed to the Custody of the Sherif until he gve Such Security as afsd. and pay the said costs.
Costs Clks. 79 Sherf. for Conv. & c. 18 and 9 lb. Tobo. for Each Days Imprisonment and 15/ or 150 lb. Tobo.

Grand Jury presentments, November 1768

The grand jury comprised ordinary property holders of the county. They were empanelled from time to time to determine transgressions of the peace and offenses against morals. Presentments here include a charge against a free black woman, Jemima Harman, for not listing her tithable, that is a male or female older than sixteen years who lived with her and for whom she owed tax. Note also that carriages were also taxed.

[p. xxx]

At a Court Cont. and held for Accomack County November 30th 1768.

Present Isaac Dunton, William Selby, Southy Simpson, Henry Fletcher, Thos. Teackle and Geo. Stewart Gent.

. . .

[p. 226]

The Grand Jury for the Body of this County who were Sworn yesterday this day returned into Court and Presented a Presentment against John Chandler for Swearing one prophane [sic] oath, against Mary Walker for not listing Jos. Stockly a Tithable, agt. Wm. Taylor for not Listing Joseph Feddiman, agt. Covington Corbin for not inlisting Wm. Brown, agt. Francis Darby for not inlisting his land, agt. the Proprietor of the Land formerly the Property of William Elliott Waggam for not inlisting the said Land agt. William Shae for not inlisting his Titheable

[p. 227]

agt. William Bunting for not inlisting his Land, agt. John Custis for not inlisting his Land, agt. Sarah Watson for not inlisting her Land, agt. Isaac Smith for Swearing two prophane oaths, agt. Thomas Bayley for Swearing four profane oaths, agt. James Justice for Swearing two Prophane oaths, agt. Severn Guthrey for Swearing four profane oaths, agt. William Groton for Swearing four profane oaths agt. Thomas Burk for Swearing one profane oath, agt. Jabez Pitt for not inlisting three Tithables agt. John Goatee and Esther Simpson for incontinently cohabiting together, agt. Jemima Harman free negro for not Listing her Tithable agt. Francis Welburn for not listing his two wheel carriage againts Sarah Spires for Incontinently Living with Eyres Rodgers against Eyres Rodgers for Incontinently Living with Sarah Spires, agt. Jabez Pitt, for incontinently living with Sarah Taylor, agt. Sarah Taylor for incontinently Living with Jabez Pitt, agt. John Chandler for an assault, & c. on Josiah Piper, and agt. John Goatee for an assault & c. of Hugh Oharra True Bill.

Examination of John Brown and John Scott for Felony Theft, Sept. 11, 1769

This trial contains a record of the testimony, unusual for trials before the Revolution. Whites accused of felony were simply examined by the local justices, who determined whether they should be sent on the Williamsburg for trial before the General Court. For slaves accused of felony, the local justices served as a special court of Oyer and Terminer to avoid the additional expense of travel to Williamsburg. Hue and cry was a traditional way of raising the alarm in the community after a crime was committed.

[p. 233]

At a Court held in Accomack County for the Examination of John Brown and John Scott n Suspicion of Felony, On Monday the xith day of September MDCCLXIX.

Present John Watts, James Arbuckle, Southy Simpson & George Stewart Gent.

George Holden Junr. is by the Court appointed Prosecutor on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King.

The said John Brown and John Scott being sett to the Bar and Charged with Taking Sundry Goods feloniously from out of the house of Arcadia Broadwater in the night Time the Property of the said Arcadia said they were not thereof Guilty.

Shadrach Dennis being Sworn Saith that the goods now produced by this Deponent he got from John Scott one of the Prisoners at the Bar on the thirteenth day of August last having apprehended him on a Description of him by an Hue & Cry issued by Capt. John Watts one of the magistrates for this County whereby he was charged with Robbing Arcadia Broadwater of Sundry Goods that after he had Taken him he delivered up the Goods and said that he with the other prisoner John Brown had Taken them from the said Arcadia Broadwater out of her house Together with Some money and a Trunk in which were the said money and goods. That after he this Deponent had taken the said Scott and carried him to Snow Hill he there saw the said Brown who had been taken up before and he there confessed that he was present with the said Scott & assisted him in Taking the said Goods and had some money which he confessed was the property of the said Arcadia and Took from her house in the said Trunk and that the Particularly Species of

[p. 234]

the goods so found are Contained in the Schedule to this his Deposition annexed and that John Brown also confessed that he had a silver Stock Buckle which was Taken at the same Time but had Lost it and that Both the Prisoners confessed That they had Taken also a Blanket which they have Lost in the woods where they Lay the night before they were apprehended. And further this Deponent Saith not.
Shadrach Dennis

Arcadia Broadwater being Sworn Saith That the several Goods contained in the Schedule to Shadrach Dennis's Deposition annexed (Except) a Brass Inkstand, a pair of Yarn Stockings, a pair of Small Shears & the Wallet are the property of this Deponent, & that She never Disposed of the same. That the Prisons [sic] at the Bar came to this Deponents house on the ninth day of August, & said they were Starving for Bread and Begged her to give them something to eat and that she took Compassion on them, and let them stay there that night and the next morning she set them to Work on their Request and at night they Took the Several Goods above mentioned, and some money to about the amount of Twenty Shillings and also a Silver Stock Buckle belonging to Jno. Blake Which Goods and Stock Buckle and a pocket Looking Glass and Some other articles which she hath not found were were Locked up in a Trunk (Except the pieces of Oznabrigs which she Looketh upon to be a canoe sail which they confessed they took & cut up) out of this Deponents house and further this Deponent saith not.

The Schedule to which Shadrach Dennis's Deposition refers, to wit,
"August 13th 1769. Memorandum of things I took from John Scott which the said Scott and his Companion stole as follows: 1 Country Linen Sheet, 3 white Linen handkerchiefs, 1 Lawn apron, 1 white Linnen do., 1 Jacket, 3 Women's caps, 1 Boys white Linnen Jacket, 1/2 Yard spotted calico, 3 small pieces white Linnen, 1 Small Calico Bonnet, 3 Skeins fine thread, 1 Ribband, 1 Cap Border, 1 pair woman's white gloves, 1 pr. Black do., 1 Girdle, 1 Black Silk Mitt, 1 Brass Inkstand, 3 small pieces Linsey Wolsey, 1/2 yd Cosinty Chex, 4 small pieces oznabrigs, 1 pair yarn Stockings, 2 short pieces Cap Tape, 3 Rows pins, 1 pair Small Shears, Two Boys hatts, 1 Silver Stock Buckle, 1 pr Locket [illeg.]

[p. 235]

1 Wallet which the said things were in. Shadrach Dennis."

It is the opinion of this Court that they are Guilty of the said Felony and that they ought to be Tryed for the same at the next General Court, and ordered that they be committed to the custody of the Sherif to be removed to the Public Goal of this Colony.

Shadrach Dennis & Arcadia Broadwater Recognized in the Penalty if fifty pounds Sterling for their personal appearance on the sixth day of next General Court To Testify on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King against the above John Brown and John Scott.

A slave named Jacob Accuses a White Man of Assault, September 26, 1769

Such cases were rare; if a slave could get another white man to testify on his behalf, he might have a case. In this instance Jacob's owner was one of the justices of the court, but the case was dismissed.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County September 26th 1769.

Present Thomas Parramore, John Watts, John Wise and Southy Simpson Gentlemen.

. . .

[p. 242]

The action of Trespass assault and Battery Brought by Jacob a Negro the Property of John Wise Gent. against Lawrence White being countermanded by the Pltf. is Dismissed

Glocester Tried for Felony, October 13, 1769

The justices convened as a special court of Oyer and Terminer to try slaves. This avoided the additional expense of sending them on to Williamsburg as in the cases of free offenders.

[p. 252]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County for the Tryal of Glocester a Negro man Slave the property of James Selby on suspicion of Felony on Fryday the 13th day of October MDCCLXIX.

The oaths appointed by Act of Parliament to be Taken instead of the oath of allegiance and Supremacy were administered to Thomas Parramore, William Selby, and Henry Fletcher Gent. who subscribed the Test and then had the oath of a justice of Oyer and Terminer administered to Them by Thomas Ryley Gen.

Present Thos. Parramore, Thos. Ryley, Wm. Selby and Henry Fletcher Gentlemen.

[p. 253]

George Holden Junr. is by the Court appointed, On behalf of our Lord the King, To prosecute the Prisoner at the Bar.

The said Glocester being Led to the Bar in Custody of the Sherif and arraigned for the Felonious Breaking and Entering the house of Jonathan Bunting in the Night Time and taking sundry goods and Chattels Thereout, The property of him the said Jonathan said he was not Thereof Guilty, and on Examination of sundry Witnesses Produced on behalf of Our Lord the King, It is the opinion of this Court that the said Glocester is not Guilty of the Felony wherewith he stands Charged. And Thereupon and the usual Proclamation being made It is Considered That the sd. Glocester go hence thereof Discharged.

These Proceedings were signed,
Thos. Parramore

Elizabeth Martin Presented for Bearing an Illegitimate Child, November 1, 1769

Churchwardens were parish elders appointed to oversee the church, take care of the indigent, and enforce moral behavior.

[p. xxx]

At a Court continued and held for Accomack County November 1st 1769

Present Thomas Ryley, Tully Robinson Wise, John Watts, John Wise and Geo. Stewart Gent.

. . .

[p. 257]

The Church wardens of St. George's Parish
agt.
Elizabeth Martin
Information for having a Mulatto Bastard Child

This Day came as well the said Informants by their attorney as the said Elizabeth in her Proper Person and Saith that She is Guilty of Bearing a Mulatto Bastard Child. Whereupon It is considered that the said Eliza. for the said Offence make her fine with the said Informants by the Payment of fifteen Pounds Current money for the use of the said Parish, and the said Elizabeth being unable to pay the same and failing to give security for the Payment thereof It is ordered that the said Elizabeth be sold for five years and that the Produce of the sd. Sale be for the use of the said Parish & c.

Costs Clks. 65 Sherf. Total 15/. or 130 lbs. Tobo.

A Runaway Servant Captured, November 2, 1769

Captors of runaways had their actions certfied before the local authorites which were sent on the the House of Burgesses for reward.

[p. 264]

At a Court held in Accomack County for Proof of Public Claims on Thursday the second Day of November 1769.

Present Thomas Parramore, Thomas Ryley, John Wise, James Arbuckle, & George Stewart & John Smith Gent.

John Wise (Constable) made oath to a Certificate for Taking up a Runaway Servant Called Peter Stafford Belonging to John Davis of Lancaster County which is Ordered to be certified to the next General Assembly & it is accordingly.

No further Claims appearing the Court is Discharged

These Proceedings were signed
Thos. Parramore.

Trial of Ismay, December 12, 1769

Felony convictions, even of slaves, had to be unanimous. Ismay had been tried, convicted and sentenced to death in August 1765. Presumably he had been pardoned.

[p. 295]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County December 12th 1769 for the Tryal of Ismay a negro man Slave Belonging to Richard West on Suspition of Felony.

John Wise Gen. had the Oaths required by Law administered to him by Thos. Ryley and the sd. Wise then Subscribed the Test and then had the oath of a Comr. of Oyer and Terminer administered to him:

Present Thomas Ryley, Tully Robinson Wise, John Wise & John Smith Gen.

William Elliot Waggaman is by the Court appointed Prosecutor to the Prisoner at the Bar.

The said Ismay being brought to the Bar in Custody of the Sherif and Charged with the Breaking and Entering the Dwelling house of James Hornsby and Stealing 1 white Calico Gown, 1 flowred [sic] Calico Gown, 1 Roll of Brown holland of the value of Twenty Shillings Sterling said he was not thereof Guilty and on Examination of the witnesses the Court being Divided he is Discharged.

These Proceedings were signed
Thomas Ryley

Trial of Two Men for Transporting Persons out of the Colony, February 27, 1770

Juries in these trials represented a cross section of the county's male population. The law was designed to prevent debtors from fleeing to escape their creditors.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County February 27th 1770.

Present Isaac Dunton, James Arbuckle, John Smith and George Stewart Gentlemen

. . .

[p. 361]

Wm. & Robert Polk Plts.
agt.
Wm. Seymour and Wm. Heath Defts.
In case upon the Act of Assembly for Clandestine transportation of Persons out of this Colony.

This day came as well the Plts. assd. by George Corbin Junr. their atto. as the said Defts. by James Henry their attorney and there upon came a jury to wit: Anthony West, John Meers, James Broadwater, Solomon Johnson, John Reid, John Sacker Banner, Geo. Garrison, Thomas Burton, Shadrach Bayly, John Taylor, William Patterson and Jacob Broadwater who being Elected tryed and Sworn the truth to speak upon the Issue joined in this Cause upon their oath Do say that the Defts. are not Guilty of a Breach of the Act of Assembly in manner and form as the Plts. in their Declaration have set forth as they the sd. Defts. in Pleading have alledged. Whereupon It is considered that the Plts. Take nothing by their Bill and that the said Defts. go hence thereof without day, [sic] and recover against the sd. Plts. their Costs by them about their Defence in this Behalf Expended and the said Plts. for their false Clamour In mercy &c.
Costs Clks. 137 lb. Tobo. at 15/. or 150 lb. Tobo

Apprentice complaint, April 24, 1770

To "gainsay" was to deny. By "not gainsaying," Judith Welch admitted that she was guilty of bearing an illegitimate child and was sentenced to an extra year of service.

[p. xxx]

At a Court held for Accomack County April 24th 1770.

Present Thomas Parramore, Tully Robinson Wise, Covington Corbin, John Watts, Southy Simpson, and Thomas Teackle Gen.

. . .

[p. xxx]

In the complaint of Robert Rodgers against Josiah Heath (his master) for ill usage on Examination of witnesses It is the opinion of the court that the said Robert hath been ill used by his said master in not finding him sufficient cloathing and ordered that he be continued with his said master, and that the said Josiah for the future find or provide for the said Robert good and sufficient cloathing and pay the costs.

Examination of a White Man for Killing a Slave, November 15, 1770

This case includes testimony, unusual for proceedings before the Revolution, that provides grisly details of the horrid murder. The defendant's alleged insanity would not have served as a defense.

[p. 116]

At a Court held in Accomack County for the Examination of Moses Riggs on suspition of Murdering a negro boy named Stepney Belonging to Benjamin West Junr. On Thursday the XVth day of November MDCCLXX.

Present Thomas Ryley, Isaac Smith, James Arbuckle, & Southy Simpson Gent.

William Elliott Waggaman is by the Court appointed Prosecutor for our Lord the King to prosecute the prisoner at the Bar.

The said Moses being set to the Bar and Examined said he was

[p. 117]

not guilty of the above Felony.

Elizabeth West aged Twenty five years or thereabouts being sworn saith that the said Moses Riggs came to this Deponent's Father's house on the day the afsd. negro boy was killed and said that he had killed the Devil Ben West's negro boy (meaning the negro Stepney afsd.) and that he had thrown him on one side of the Raod that immediately this Deponent's sister named Abigail, and a negro woman belonging to her father Benjamin West father of sd. Benjamin went and found the said negro Lying where the sd. Moses said he had thrown him as they told her and this Deponent afterwards went and saw the said negro Lying there his Brains being beat out as the sd. Moses said he had Done and when he came to her father's house and saw there the But end of a Gun Lying broken with which She imagined the said Negro had been killed as the said Moses had the Barrel of a Gun in his hand which was bloody and had Brains upon it it which he said was the Brains & Blood of the said Negro and that the said Moses then appeared to be a Distracted man much out of his Senses and hath often heard that he was a sort of mad man but was never much acquainted with him and farther saith not.
Elizabeth X West
her mark

Sarah Colony aged twenty one years or thereabouts being sworn Saith that about nine o'clock in the morning on Tuesday the ninth day of this Instant the said Moses the Prisoner came to the house of Benjamin West the elder where this Deponent then was and had the Barrel of a Gun in his hand which was Bloody and had Brains upon it and also his Trowsers was Bloody and had brains on them and said that Gun was Left him as a Legacy by his Daddy and that he had killed the Devil with it just Beyond Benjamin West the younger's fence and thrown it in the roadside and that there was his Blood and Brains Showing his trowsers and that she went along with Eliza. West the other witness to where the sd. Moses said he had thrown the Devil he had killed & saw the negro boy Stepney Lying with his head Beat all to Pieces and the Brains in the road and Saw the But end of a Gun and Several Broken pieces of a Gun Stock Lying there with which She Imagineth the said negro was killed

[p. 118]

and that she saw a hole in the Body of the said negro which answered to what the said Moses had said that he Punched the Muzzle of the said Gun into his Body until the Green Poison ran out. And this Deponent saith that at the time he came & related the said Murder he seemed to be much out of his senses and further saith not Sarah X Colony
her mark

John Drummond aged fifty years and upwards being sworn Saith that having as a Constable a warrant against the said Moses for the above murder found him at the house of John Riggs his cousin and that while he was waiting for the sd. John Riggs to Go with him as a Guard to carry the sd. Moses Before a Magistrate he asked him how he came to be Guilty of the murder afsd. to which the said Moses said what murder? the Deponent answered Ben West's Negro Boy whom he had beat all to pieces & murdered in so Barbarous a manner to which he (Moses) it was done and it could not be helpen and showed his Breeches & they were Bloody which he said was the negro's Blood this Deponent told him he might have helped it Because the negro could not offend him either by word as he could not speak or by his actions as he was too small but perhaps says Moses if I had not killed him he might have killed me the sd. Moses and that he was resolved not to Trust any Damned Devil but was resolved to have the first stroke himself and that after this Deponent had received the warrant he heard from several people that the said Moses was a Madman and had been for some time past and further saith not.
John Drummond

Jonathan Willet aged forty years and upwards being Sworn saith that he hath known the sd. Moses about twenty years and that he heard and sometimes hath seen him for about nine years past out of his senses at particular times and that he was then perfectly clear of Liquor and that in particular on that morning before he committed the murder

[p. 119]

he came very early to this Deponent's house before he was up and that he then appeared to be furiously mad and he believed he would have killed anyone that had come in his way having attempted as this Deponent to kill a child of his but he prevented him and Turned him out and he then told this Deponent that he met the Day before a Little Devil Driving an old one in a Cart and he would have killed him was was [sic] afraid he the old one would be too strong for him and further this Deponent saith not.
Jonathan Willet

On hearing the witnesses It is the opinion of the Court that he is Guilty and ought to be Tried for the same at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer and ordered that he be committed to the County Goal and from thence be removed to the Public Goal.

John Drummond and Jonathan Willet for themselves and the sd. Eliza. West and Sarah Colony with the sd. John their Security recognized in the sum of Twenty pounds Each for their appearance as witnesses (at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer) for the King agt. Moses Riggs

These Proceedings were signed Thos. Ryley

Trial of Jess for Attempted Rape, July 31, 1771

[p. 216]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County for the Tryal of Jess a Negro Slave belonging to George Parker on Suspition of Felony in attempting to Ravish Bridget Rodgers and breaking the House of Margaret Rodgers on Wednesday the 31st Day of July 1771.

Present Thomas Parramore, Covington Corbin,
Thomas Riley, Isaac Dunton and
Thomas Teackle, Gent.

The said Jess being led to the bar in the custody of the Sheriff and asked whether he was guilty of the said Felony said he was not therof guilty and on Examination of sundry witnesses on oath as well as on the part and behalf of our Lord the King as on the part & behalf of the prisoner at the bar It is the opinion of the court that the said Jess is not Guilty of the Felony aforesaid and that he go hence thereof acquit.

The Minutes of these proceedings were signed
Thos. Parramore

Trial of Ned and a Chancery Case Involving a Family's Division of Slaves, January 1, 1772

[p. 274]

At a Court of Oyer & Terminer held in Accomack County the 1st Day of January 1772 for the Tryal of Ned a negro slave belonging to George Parker on suspition of Felony in stealing four pieces of money called Mill'd Dollars Two Quarter Dollars &c Present James Arbuckle, Southy Simpson, George Stewart & Andrew Newton Gent.

The said Ned being led to the Bar and asked whether he was thereof Guilty said he was not. And on Examination of sundry witnesses It is the opinion of this Court that he is not Guilty and Discharged

Tully Robinson Wise, Anne, Casey, Betty & Mary Wise Infts Complts.
agt.
John Wise Jun. Infant Deft.
In Chancery

This Day came the Parties Complts. by Eyres Gillet their next Friend as also the Deft. by Littleton Dennis his Guardian for this Purpose particularly appointed and the Persons appointed to make Division of the Slaves in the Bill & answer mentioned having made return as followeth viz. "By virtue of the within order to us directed have divided the Several Slaves within mentioned as follweth To John Wise Phillis her child Peter, Janney, Hannah & Membo & he to pay nine pounds three shillings and four pence to Tully Wise, Solomon, Maria & Chloe & he to pay six pounds Three Shillings four pence. To Ann Wise Jacob Rachel, Caesar, and Latcharrow & to pay Ten pounds three shillings and four pence To Casey Wise Stephen, Judith, & Joan to receive four pounds sixteen shillings & eight pence To Elizabeth Wise, Jack, Bridget & Hannah and to receive Ten pounds sixteen shillings & eight pence To Mary Wise Bett & her child Adah, Peter and Cuffee to receive nine pounds sixteen shillings & eight pence We further say that Peggy Gillet made choice of Silla & Sarah as he slaves mentioned in the will of the within mentioned John Wise, John Wise, John Snead, Anthony West, Philip Parker" The same is admitted to record and ordered adjudged and Decreed that the Division so as aforesaid made be held firm and stable between the Parties. Costs taxed at Complts. request
Clks. 108 lbs. Sdn. Tobo at 22 lbs. Gd. Tobo. at 30/. or 300 lbs. Tobo.

Chancery was a special equity court that usually decided family disputs over inheritance.

Trial of Stepney and Sambo, April 30, 1772

[p. 354]

At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County on Thursday the XXXth Day of April 1772 for the Tryal of Stepney a Negro Man slave the property of Robert Snead and Sambo a Negro man slave the property of Mary Rodgers for Feloniously breaking and entering the smoke house contiguous to and used with the Mansion house of James Berry and taking thereout and carrying away two hundred weight of Bacon the Property of the said James Berry.

Present Thomas Parramore, Isaac Dunton, Henry Fletcher, Southy Simpson & George Stewart Gen.

The said Negroes being set to the Barr in custody of the sheriff and severally arraigned for the said offence said they were not guilty of the charge to them imputed & for tryal put themselves upon God and the court & c. and on hearing the Evidence of sundry witnesses so produced It is the opinion of this Court that the said prisoners are not Guilty Whereupon It is ordered that they go hence thereof acquit.

The minutes of these proceedings were signed
Thos. Parramore

A Complaint of Ill Treatment Brought by an Apprentice's Mother, May 27, 1772

[p. 374]

At a Court, Continued & held for Accomack County May XXVII MDCDLXXII

Present Thomas Parramore, Isaac Dunton, George Stewart, Andrew Newton & David Bowman

On the motion of Tabitha Wilinson ordered that citation issue against James Dorman to shew Cause why Lewis Wilkinson formerly ordered to be bound by this court to him should not be removed she setting forth that he is ill used.

Trial of Will, September 30, 1772

[p. 446] **At a Court of Oyer and Terminer held in Accomack County on the XXXth Day of Septemer MDCCLXXII for the Trial of Will a Negroe Man slave the property of George Parker on suspition of breaking and entering the store house of Isaac Smith, and taking therefrom sundry goods &c the property of the said Smith and others

Present Walter Hatton, James Arbuckle, William Selby, John Smith, Andrew Newton and David Bowman Gen.

The said Will being Sett to the Barr and arraigned plead not Guilty and on Examination of sundry witnesses It is the opinion of this court that he is not Guilty and Thereupon considered the he go hence of the said felony acquitt.

These minutes signed William Selby

The Ad

FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD. July 2, 1779. RAN off, on Sunday night, the 11th inst. from Onancock, in Accomack County, Virginia, sundry NEGROES, three of whom belonging to the Subscriber, he can only describe, viz. JESSE, a tall yellow fellow, about 28 years old; ISAAC, a dark well set fellow, a shoe-maker by trade, about 25 years old; and AKEM, a dark short thick set fellow, about 22 years old. They went off in a large boat, calculated for 9 oars, of the whale-boat construction, her inside painted red, and has a white bottom, her frame cedar and mulberry, and her foremast step of oak painted red. It is believed the above-described Negroes have been influenced away by infamous Myster and Carmine, and that their intentions are to plunder, the boat being well calculated for that purpose. It is supposed they lurk frequently about the straits and islands up the Bay; Hunger River, and Pocomoke, are the probable places for them to rendezvous. I will give One Hundred Pounds for each Negro and One Hundred Pounds for the boat, and pay the charges of conveying them to me. ISAAC SMITH. N.B. It is probable they may change the colour of the paint; she is a very long boat; they took off one sail, but may have more. I. S.

Notes

More Information: Isaac was tried before the Accomack County Court in April 1780, along with several other escaped slaves and Stephen Mister, the ringleader. See Adele Hast, Loyalism in Revolutionary Virginia, and Accomack Co. Orders, 1780.**

A child Accused of Murder, November 14, 1772

Because of the age of the defendant, the verdict was death by accident.

[p. 462]

At a Court held for Accomack County for the Examination of Richard Evans an Infant on Suspicion of Murder of Francis Evans an Infant on Saturday the fourteenth day of November MDCCLXXII

Present Thomas Parramore, Tully Robinson Wise, Walter Hatton and Andrew Newton Gen.

The said Richard being at the Bar in custody of the sheriff and asked if he was guilty said he was not. And on hearing and examination of the matter It is by the Court considered in regard of the Infancy that the said Richard is not guilty of murder but of Homicide by misadventure and Discharged.

These minutes signed Thomas Parramore

Covington Carmine Accused of Dealing with a Slave, October 27, 1772

    Carmine may have been related to James Carmine, who was a leader of a mixed gang of loyalists and runaway slaves operating on the Eastern Shore during the Revolution. They were captured and tried in summer 1779

    [p. 462]

    At a Court held for Accomack County October 27th 1772

    Present Thomas Parramore, Henry Fletcher, John Smith, Walter Hatton & Andrew Newton Gen.

    . . .

    [p. 463]

    Our Sovereign Lord the King
    agt.
    Covington Carmine
    on a recognizance for his good behaviour

    Came as well the attorney for our Lord the King as the said Covington his proper person on his said Recognizance to answer for receiving wheat from a Negroe Slave belonging to Ayres Gillet and on hearing him and the Examination of witnesses It is ordered that he be committed to the custody of the sherif till he give good Security himself in Ten pounds Sterling and his said security in five pounds Sterling payable to our Sovereign Lord the King his heirs and Successors. Upon condition that he appears at the next Grand Jury Court to be held for this County and answer the same, and in the mean time be of his good behaviour and that he pay the costs of this prosecution.

    The Ad

    FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD. July 2, 1779. RAN off, on Sunday night, the 11th inst. from Onancock, in Accomack County, Virginia, sundry NEGROES, three of whom belonging to the Subscriber, he can only describe, viz. JESSE, a tall yellow fellow, about 28 years old; ISAAC, a dark well set fellow, a shoe-maker by trade, about 25 years old; and AKEM, a dark short thick set fellow, about 22 years old. They went off in a large boat, calculated for 9 oars, of the whale-boat construction, her inside painted red, and has a white bottom, her frame cedar and mulberry, and her foremast step of oak painted red. It is believed the above-described Negroes have been influenced away by infamous Myster and Carmine, and that their intentions are to plunder, the boat being well calculated for that purpose. It is supposed they lurk frequently about the straits and islands up the Bay; Hunger River, and Pocomoke, are the probable places for them to rendezvous. I will give One Hundred Pounds for each Negro and One Hundred Pounds for the boat, and pay the charges of conveying them to me. ISAAC SMITH. N.B. It is probable they may change the colour of the paint; she is a very long boat; they took off one sail, but may have more. I. S.

    Notes
    More Information: Isaac was tried before the Accomack County Court in April 1780, along with several other escaped slaves and Stephen Mister, the ringleader. See Adele Hast, Loyalism in Revolutionary Virginia, and Accomack Co. Orders, 1780.

    Trial of Shadrach and Joseph, November 19, 1772

    Joe was acquitted, Shadrach found guilty but received benefit of clergy and sentenced to be branded on the hand.

    [p. 468]

    At a Court of Oyer & Terminer held in Accomack County on Thursday the Nineteenth day of November MDCCLXXII for the Tryal of Shadrach a Negroe Man Slave belonging to John Milby, and Joseph a Negro Man slave belonging to William Groton on Suspition of the Felony in breaking and entering the Store House of Isaac Smith in the said County, in the Night Time, And taking thereout sundry goods and chattles [sic] the property of the said Isaac.

    Present Thomas Parramore, James Arbuckle, Thomas Teackle, Walter Hatton, Andrew Newton and David Bowman Gen.

    The said Prisoners being set to the Bar, & severally asked if they were Guilty of the Felony whereof that stand accused, severally said they were not thereof Guilty. On hearing the witnesses and the Prisoners by their Councils It is the opinion of the Court that Joe is not Guilty, and that the said Shadrach is Guilty, And that he is Intitled to the benefit of the clergy And ordered that he be burnt in the Hand in open Court, and that he receive Thirty nine Lashes on his bare back at the Public Whipping post, which burning was performed in Court accordingly.

    The Minutes of these proceedings were signed
    Thomas Parramore

    The Grand Jury's Presentment Against Covington Carmine

    Carmine may have been related to James Carmine, leader of a mixed gang of loyalists and runaway slaves operating on the Eastern Shore during the Revolution. They were captured and tried in summer 1779.

    [p. xxx]

    At a Court held for Accomack County December 30th 1772

    Present Covington Corbin, Isaac Smith, James Arbuckle, Thomas Teackle and John Smith Gen. Present Tully R Wise, Andrew Newton & Henry Fletcher

    . . .

    [p. 481]

    Our Sovereign Lord the King
    agt.
    Covington Corbin
    On a Presentment of the Grand Jury for Dealing with a negroe Man Slave the Property of Ayres Gillet for half a Bushel of Wheat.

    Came as well the Attorney for our said Lord the King as the said Covington in his proper person, and saith that he will not Contests with our said Lord the King in the Premises but Submitted himself therein to the mercy of the Court. Whereupon It is considered by the consent of the said Covington that he receive at the Publick Whipping Post of this County Twenty five Lashes on his bare back well laid on and be thereof Discharged paying the Costs of this Prosecution

    Clks 87 Shef. 20 Total 107 lb. Gn. Tobo. at 15/ or 150 lb. Tobo

    The Ad

    FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD. July 2, 1779. RAN off, on Sunday night, the 11th inst. from Onancock, in Accomack County, Virginia, sundry NEGROES, three of whom belonging to the Subscriber, he can only describe, viz. JESSE, a tall yellow fellow, about 28 years old; ISAAC, a dark well set fellow, a shoe-maker by trade, about 25 years old; and AKEM, a dark short thick set fellow, about 22 years old. They went off in a large boat, calculated for 9 oars, of the whale-boat construction, her inside painted red, and has a white bottom, her frame cedar and mulberry, and her foremast step of oak painted red. It is believed the above-described Negroes have been influenced away by infamous Myster and Carmine, and that their intentions are to plunder, the boat being well calculated for that purpose. It is supposed they lurk frequently about the straits and islands up the Bay; Hunger River, and Pocomoke, are the probable places for them to rendezvous. I will give One Hundred Pounds for each Negro and One Hundred Pounds for the boat, and pay the charges of conveying them to me. ISAAC SMITH. N.B. It is probable they may change the colour of the paint; she is a very long boat; they took off one sail, but may have more. I. S.

    Notes
    More Information: Isaac was tried before the Accomack County Court in April 1780, along with several other escaped slaves and Stephen Mister, the ringleader. See Adele Hast, Loyalism in Revolutionary Virginia, and Accomack Co. Orders, 1780.

    Examination of Reuben Warrington for Aiding Stephen Mister to Break Jail

    Examination of Reuben Warrington for aiding Stephen Mister to break jail, Sept. 1777. James Carmine and Stephen Mister were notorious leaders of a band of runaways and Loyalist raiders who attacked people and property on Eastern Shore during the years 1777-1779.

    At a Court held in Accomack county on Tuesday the 16th day of September 1777 for the Examination of Reuben Warrington by his consent on suspicion of aiding & assisting a certain Stephen Mister a Prisoner in custody of the Sherif of this county charged with high treason against the State of Virginia to escape from the Goal of the said County on Monday the 14th Inst.

    Present
    Tully Robinson Wise James Arbuckle
    Thomas Teackle & Willima Parramore Gent.

    The said Prisoner being this day arraigned Plead not Guilty and on the examination of sundry witnesses It is the opinion of this Court that he is guilty, that he is triable at Williamsburgh the first tuesday in November next & ordered that he be remanded to the county Goal to be removed & c ---
    Esther Gunter with George Parlson her security, Solomon West with Robt. Snead his security, Thomas Copes with David Bowman his security, John Riley Parker, with John Powel hhis security & James Cox recognized each in the sum of Ten pounds each for their appearance at Williamsburgh as above against the above named Reuben Warrington Prisoner

    The Minutes of these Proceedings were signed
    Tully Robinson Wise

    The Ad

    FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS REWARD. July 2, 1779. RAN off, on Sunday night, the 11th inst. from Onancock, in Accomack County, Virginia, sundry NEGROES, three of whom belonging to the Subscriber, he can only describe, viz. JESSE, a tall yellow fellow, about 28 years old; ISAAC, a dark well set fellow, a shoe-maker by trade, about 25 years old; and AKEM, a dark short thick set fellow, about 22 years old. They went off in a large boat, calculated for 9 oars, of the whale-boat construction, her inside painted red, and has a white bottom, her frame cedar and mulberry, and her foremast step of oak painted red. It is believed the above-described Negroes have been influenced away by infamous Myster and Carmine, and that their intentions are to plunder, the boat being well calculated for that purpose. It is supposed they lurk frequently about the straits and islands up the Bay; Hunger River, and Pocomoke, are the probable places for them to rendezvous. I will give One Hundred Pounds for each Negro and One Hundred Pounds for the boat, and pay the charges of conveying them to me. ISAAC SMITH. N.B. It is probable they may change the colour of the paint; she is a very long boat; they took off one sail, but may have more. I. S.

    Notes

    More Information: Isaac was tried before the Accomack County Court in April 1780, along with several other escaped slaves and Stephen Mister, the ringleader. See Adele Hast, Loyalism in Revolutionary Virginia, and Accomack Co. Orders, 1780.

    Warrington was Kept in Prison for 13 Days

    From the county levy we learn that Warrington was kept in prison for 13 days following his examination, guarded by eight men who received four shillings each for the job. The charges consist almost entirely of expenses related to imprisonment and trial of criminals and traitors.

    [p. 45]

    At a Court held in Accomack County on Monday the 8th day of December 1777 for laying the County Levy

    Present
    Tully Robinson Wise James Arbuckle
    John Smith Southy Simpson
    Nathaniel Beavans & John Custis Gent.

    Accomack County Dr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lbs. Tobo.
    To the Clerk of the Court his salary . . . . . . . . . . . . 1248
    the Sherif his salary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1248
    the Attorney of the Commonwealth his salary . . . . . . . . 1500
    the Clerk for attending a calld Court for the trial of Cato
    a negroe man slave the property of John Custis for felony . 200
    the sherif for summoning & attending said Court . . . . 200
    Do. for Committment & c of said criminal 20 days Imprisonment 120
    Clerk for attending a calld Court for the examination of
    Nicholas Potter for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
    the Sherif for summoning & attending said Court . . . . 200
    the Secretary for 2 commissions of the Peace & 2 of Oyer
    & Terminer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520
    The Clerk for attending a Calld Court for the Examination
    of Reuben Warrington on suspicion of aiding & assisting
    a certain Stephen Mister to escape out of the custody
    of the Sherif charged with high treason against the State. . 200
    The Sherif for summoning & attending said Court . . . . 200
    Do. for Committment & c of sd Prisoner & 13
    days imprisonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
    The Clerk for attending a calld Court for the Examination
    of Robert Parker on suspicion of his being an Enemy to the
    State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
    The Sherif for summoning & attending said Court . . . . 200
    Do for committment of Said Prisoner . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
    The Clerk for Attending a Calld Court for the examination
    of Custis Jenkinson on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . 200
    The Sherif for summoning & attending said Court . . . . 200
    The Attorney for prosecuting the above mentioned Cato,
    Warrington, Parker & Jenkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800
    John Powel & Luther Martin for prosecuting the above
    named Nicholas Potter . 100 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7741
    [p. 46]
    To John Johnson Riley, George Young senr., John Russel Salatiel
    Baker, Solomon Young, Joshua Ball, Isaiah Baker
    & John Abbot for guarding Reuben Warrington
    in Goal 13 days at 4/ ea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £20.16.0
    To Bagwell Bull, Thos. Lewis, Leaven Nelson, John Poolman,
    Major Hornsby, William Bunding, Labrun Chandler,
    & Southy Bull allowed for guarding Cato 7 days in Goal
    at 1/ ea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.4.0
    To William Bell, Garret Slover, Levin Prewit,
    & Whitmore Prelue for guarding said Cato 6 days in Goal
    at 4/ ea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.16.0
    To Littleton Savage for one record Book . . . . . . . . . . . 3.15.0
    To Major Bayley, Levi Bird, Jacob Bell, &
    Southy Bloxom for guarding Robt. Parker
    4 days in Goal at 4/ ea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.6.0
    To Levi Dix, Jacob Wright, George Middleton, &
    Elijah Befield [?] for Do 7 days at 4/ ea. . . . . . . . . . . 5.12.0
    To the Sherif for a pair of Irons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . --.6.--
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49.15.--
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lb. Tob.
    Tobacco brought Over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7741
    To the Sherif for conveying said Warrington to Williamsburgh
    & ferriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800
    To Do for summoning 5 witnesses adst. said Warrington . . . . . 50
    To Do for summoning 3 witnesses agst Littleton Ward . . . . . . 30
    To Do for summoning a Court for the examination of Nancy
    Andrews on suspicion of felony (who escaped out of Goal) . . . . 200
    To summoning a Court for the Examination of Stephen Mister
    on suspicion of Treason agst. the State who escaped the morning
    of the day which he was to have been examined . . . . . . . . . 200
    To the Clerk for attending said Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9291
    [p. 47]
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lb. Tobo.
    Carried up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £49.15.-- . . . . . . 9291
    To the Sherif for summoning 7 witnesses agst. said Mister . . . 70
    To Do. for summoning 14 witnesses agst. Cato . . . . . . . . . 140
    Tobacco to be levied & sold for Cash to pay off the
    Publick Cash debts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3980
    To the Sherif for Collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 906
    To depositum in Sherif's hands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 795
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15112
    By 3778 Tithables at 4 lb. per Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15112
    By last years depositum . . . . . . . . 858 lb. Tobo. . . .
    Ordered that the sherif on giving security collect the said County
    Levy & that it may be discharged in Cash at 3 d. per lb.
    & that he be on Oath to pay all Tobacco & cash he receives

    Signed
    Tully Robinson Wise

    Examination of Custis Jenkinson on Suspicion of Treason

    Examination of Custis Jenkinson on suspicion of treason, Dec. 8, 1777

    [p. 265]

    At a Court held in Accomack County the 8th day of December 1777
    For the Examination of Custis Jenkinson on suspicion of his being Guilty of Feloniously levying war against this Commonwealth

    Present
    James Arbuckle Southy Simpson
    John Smith Thomas Bayley
    Nathaniel Beavans & John Custis Gent.

    The said Jenkins [Jenkinson] being set to the Bar plead not Guilty whereupon sundry witnesses being sworn & examined & the prisoner heard in his defence It is the unanimous opinion of the Court that the said Custis Jenkins is not Guilty in manner & form as in the Indictment against him is alledged, and the said Custis is hereby acquited & declared Innocent

    The minutes of these proceedings were signed
    James Arbuckle

    Stephen Mister, Escapes Prison

    Stephen Mister, who escaped prison in fall 1777, was captured and appeared again before the Accomack magistrates in November 1778. Learning that he was under indictment in Maryland, he was returned to custody for transferral to Maryland

    Commonwealth
    vs.
    Stephen Mister Deft.

    On recognizance for misdemeanor
    On hearing the attorneys & c ordered that he be discharged from said recognizance, Whereupon the Court being informed by Luther Martin upon oath that there was an Indictments pending in the general Court of the State of Maryland against the said Mister for high treason against that state and that the said mister had been committed to the Sherif of Baltimore county to answer the said Indictment from whom he escaped.---It is therefore ordered that the said Mister be immediately committed to the sherif of this county and by him to be carried under a safe guard & delivered to the sherif of Worcester county together with a copy of this order

    Trail of Isaac

    Trail of Isaac, property of Isaac Smith of Onancock, April 13, 1780. Isaac was part of a band of Tories and runaways who attacked Virginia planters during the war years.

    [p. 21]

    At a Court held in Accomack County April 13th 1780 for the trial of Isaac a Slave the property of Isaac Smith on suspicion of Grand Larceny in feloniously stealing one china bowl & cup of the value of £5 the property of Edmund Custis
    William Gibb appd. prosecutor

    Present
    James Arbuckle Clem Parker
    Thomas Bayley John Custis
    & Charles Bagwell Gen.

    The said Prisoner being set to the bar & thereof arraigned pleaded not guilty whereupon sundry witnesses being sworn & examined it is the opinion of the court that he is guilty & ordered that he be forthwith burnt in the hand in open court & receive thirty nine lashes on his bare back well laid on at the public whipping post & that the Sherif see execution thereof done immediately

    The minutes of these proceedings were signed
    James Arbuckle

    Trials of Other Members of the Group

      [p. 22]

      At a Court held in Accomack County April 19th 1780 for the Trial of Jacob a negroe man slave the property of John Riley on Suspicion of the same offense as before
      Willm. Gibb appd. prosecutor

      Present
      Same Magistrates

      Same proceedings Guilty & same order for punishment except 15 lashes in the room of 39

      Signed
      James Arbuckle

      Trial of Thom Hill

      Trial of Thom Hill, sentenced to be hanged, and valued at £3500, an extremely high sum owing to the inflation sparked by the war. As noted Hill was pardoned.

      At a Court held in Accomack County April 22d: 1780 for the trial of Thom Hill a negro man slave the property of George Parker on suspicion of feloniously breaking & entering the Store house of Edm Custis and stealing thereout one box of Glass ware & china and a quantity of muscovado sugar above the value of Twenty shillings the property of the said Edmund on the 21st day of March in the night time
      William Gibb appd. Prosecutor

      Present
      James Arbuckle William Parramore
      William Williams John Burton
      Thomas Bayley Nathl. Beavans
      Clem Parker John Custis
      & Chas. Bagwell Gen.

      The said Prisoner being set to the bar & thereof arraigned pleaded not guilty whereupon sundry witnesses being sworn & examined it is the opinion of the court that he is guilty and ordered that he be committed to the goal of this county & there be confined until monday the 22 day of may next and on that day be brought from thence to the place of execution and be hung by the neck till he be dead.
      said slave valued at £3500

      Signed
      James Arbuckle

      memd: the above slave was pardoned

      Trial of Shadrack

      At a court held in Accomack County same day for the trial of Shadrack a man slave the property of George Cuttar on suspicion of feloniously breaking & entering the store house of Edmund Custis in the night time on the third day of March 1780 and stealing thereout a large quantity of sugar the property of the said Edmund
      Willm. Gibb appd. prosecutor

      Present
      James Arbuckle Clem Parker
      William Williams Nathl. Beavans
      Thomas Bayley John Burton
      & Chas. Bagwell Gen.

      The said prisoner being set to the bar & thereof arraigned pleaded not guilty and it being late the court adjourned till monday morning at 10 O'clock

      signed
      James Arbuckle

      Trial of Shadrack continued

      [p. 23]

      At a court held by adjournment for the trial of Shadrack as above on the 24th day of April 1780

      Present
      JJames Arbuckle Clem Parker
      Wm. Williams John Custis
      Ths. Bayley --- & Chas: Bagwell gen.

      The said Prisoner being set to the bar & the witnesses heard the court were divided in opinion upon the matter in consequence of which the said Shadrack is acquitted

      signed
      James Arbuckle

      Same proceedings & circumstances in the trial of Jacob belonging to Abraham Outten for same offence
      signed
      James Arbuckle

      Same proceedings & circumstances in the trial of George belonging to James Twiford for same offence
      signed
      James Arbuckle

      Same proceedings & circumstances in the trial of Nim belonging to Anne Holden for same offence
      signed
      James Arbuckle

      Trial of Joe

      Trial of Joe. In this case, the value of the stolen goods did not amount to the minimum for a felony charge, so Joe was burnt on the hand and given thirty-nine lashes.

      [p. 24]

      Same Court for the trial of Joe a slave the property of Ezekiel Young on suspicion of the same crime in the night time on the 22d day of March 1780 sugar and Jesuits bark taken valued at 15/
      The said Prisoner being set to the bar & thereof arraigned pleaded not guilty and on the Examination of the witnesses the court are of the opinion that he is guilty and ordered that he be forthwith burnt in the hand in open court and receive 39 lashes wll laid on at the public whipping post

      Signed
      James Arbuckle

      Trial of Stephen Mister, May 1780

      Mister and James Carmine were leaders of a mixed group of loyalists and runaways who operated on the Eastern Shore during the war.

      [p. 24]

      At a Court held in Accomack County May 6th 1780 for the Examination of Stephen Mister on suspicion of being guilty of Treason against this State in being adherent to the enemies thereof

      Present
      James Arbuckle William Parramore
      Thomas Bayley John Custis
      & Tully Wise Gent.

      [p. 25]

      The said Stephen being set to the bar & thereof arraigned pleaded not guilty whereupon sundry witnesses being sworn & examined and the prisoner heard in his defence it is the opinion of the court that he is guilty and ordered that he be sent over the bay for a further trial & committed to the custody of the sherif.
      William Young Bartholomew Mears Shadrack Chance & Gilbert Relee recognized each on the sum of Two thousand pounds upon this condition that they each of them make their personal appearance at Richmond on the second tuesday in June next at the general court to be held for this state on criminals

      The minutes of these proceedings were signed
      Thomas Bayley

      Truly Recorded

      Littleton Savage

      Court Held for Public Claims

      Court held for public claims, May 1780 indicates the degree of crime and unrest created by the war.

      [p. 25]

      At a Court held in Accomack County May 31st 1780 for the proof of public claims

      Present
      James Arbuckle Charles Bagwell
      John Burton & John Cropper Gen.

      The Public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .to Accomack County . . . Dr
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lb Tobo.
      To the sherif for summong. court & c on the Examn. of Thos H Parker
      on suspicion of high treason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Benj. Hipwell on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Custis Rodgers on same suspn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Jno Shield . . . on same suspicion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Egar Kellam . . . on suspicion of high treason . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on trial of Fender a woman Slave the propy. of Rob. Coleburn
      for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Geo Bunting for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Jno Campbell for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Jacob a man slave the propy. of Eliza. Warrington for felony . . 200
      To Do for Do on Holly for felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Emanuel a man Slave the propy. of Wm Williams for felony . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Examn. Ishml. Andrews on suspicion of forgery . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Thom a man slave the property of Shoken [?] Parker for felony . . 200
      To Do for Do on Jas Raynolds on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do on Eliza. Woodridge on suspicion of felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200

      [p. 26]

      The Publick
      to Accomack County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lb Tobo.
      Brought over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
      To the Clerk for attending said 15 courts 200 per Ct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
      To the attorney for prosecuting 200 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000
      To the sherif for removing Bunting & Campbell to
      the public goal 150 lb Tobo. each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
      To Do for whipping 3 negroes by order of court 10 ea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
      To Do for commit & releasing Thom & 18 days Imprisonment . . . . . . . . 200
      To Do for Do negroe Boston & 5 days Imprisonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9600
      To the sherif for victualing Bunting & Campbell
      in Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £16.4.0
      In all £16.4.0 & 9600 lb Tobi. at 3/ per lb assessed in county Levy

      The minutes of these proceedings were signed
      James Arbuckle

      Truly Recorded
      Littleton Savage Ct Cl

      [p. xxx]

      At a Court continued and held for Accomack County February 2d 1764.
      Present John Wise Tully Robinson Wise
      Covington Corbin John Wise Junr.
      Thomas Riley Southy Simpson Gent.

      [p. 10]

      In the complaint exhibited against William Parramore On the behalf of Our Sovereign Lord the King for not obeying the Sherf. when commanded to assist him in taking Aaron a negro man slave the property of Mr Edward Ker being charged with an assault on the Body of Comfort the wife of Joseph Keath to the endangering of her Life Cam the attorney for our said Lord the King and also the said William in his Proper Person And On examination of Sundry Witnesses It is considered that he make his fine with Our Said Lord the King by the Payment of Two Shillings Curr. money of Virga. and paying the costs of this Prosecution.