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Minutes of the Inferior Court for the Trial of Slaves and Free
1848. A Georgia Slave is Executed for the Rape of White Woman [Manuscript] [Slavery]. [Georgia]. Minutes of the Inferior Court for the Trial of Slaves and Free Persons of Color for Capital and Other Offences [Headline Title]. Habersham County, Georgia, March 21-30, 1848. Five 12-1/2" x 8" ruled leaves, probably removed from a ledger, content to rectos and versos. Light toning, otherwise fine. Manuscript accompanied by a typed transcription. An excellent example of a slave trial. $3,000. * This legal record details the arrest, indictment, trial, witness statements and sentencing of the Negro Slave Dave, "property" of Francis Powel, for the Rape of Hester Ann Dobbs. The rape of a white woman by a Black slave was the most horrifying crime in the mind of the white population of the antebellum South. According to Census records, Hester Dodds was the 14 or 15 year-old daughter of a farmer. The rape was alleged to have occurred on March 18, "in the woods nearby a private pathway." Dave, the accused slave was arrested three days later. At first, he maintained his innocence, but after being jailed he allegedly "confessed" to his guilt. The trial took place on March 30. Despite his jail-house confession, Dave pleaded not guilty. Dobbs, the victim, testified that she saw Dave at his master's home. When she left, he followed her into the woods, where, seeing he was naked, ran from him. He followed, carrying a stick in one hand. Though only striking her with his hand, he threw her to the ground. She "resisted his attempts for some time," but he finally "ravished her by force." Though she was "much frightened," she "thinks she remembers all": that Dave "entered her" and that "an Eruption of Matter took place." He then "quit of his own accord and warned her that "he would kill her" if she told anyone about his crime. The victim's mother testified that her daughter returned to her their home "much injured and hurt. Bruised all over" and "much frightened", but relating what had happened, she said "If I don't live, I want you to make" the slave "suffer for this act". Two men who had not personally witnessed the rape merely testified they had seen evidence of a "considerable scuffle" (this despite a "heavy rain") at the scene of the crime, a "dried pine limb" nearby which "looked as though it had been used" and "barefoot tracks" on the path w.
      [Bookseller: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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