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Minutes of the Salisbury District Court of Oyer and Terminer
North Carolina. Court of Oyer and Terminer (Salisbury District)
June 01, 1775 - June 06, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 1-9

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[From the Court Records of Rowan County.]
Transcript of the Minutes of a Court of Oyer and Terminer for the Salisbury District.

North Carolina—To wit:


June 1st, 1775.

Proclamation being made and silence being commanded, the King's commission of Oyer & Terminer was publicly read, in which commission Alex. Martin, Esquire, was nominated one of the Judges of a Court of Oyer & Terminer appointed by act of Assembly of said province, to be held at Salisbury, on the first day of June in the XV year of the reign of Our Sovereign Lord, George third, King of Great Britain &c, for the Counties of Rowan, Anson, Mecklenburg, Tryon, Surry and Guilford.

The Honorable Alexander Martin, Esqr took the oath prescribed by law for the qualification of public officers and an Oath of office and repeated and subscribed the Test, took his seat and proceeded to business.

The Court appointed Adlai Osborne Esqr Clerk of the Court, who qualified according to law.

Benjamin B. Boote Esqr produced a Deputation from Thomas McGwire Esqr his Majesty's Attorney General for the Province of North Carolina, appointing the said B. B. Boote, Deputy Attorney for the Crown for the District of Salisbury, who qualified by taking the oath prescribed by law for the qualification of public officers, an oath of office and subscribing the Test.

The Sheriffs of the several Counties of the District of Salisbury, being called and required to make return of the several venires and other process from the said Counties and returnable here this day, Thomas Harris high sheriff of Mecklenburg failed to appear and make return of the process to him directed—

Therefore ordered by the Court, that the said Thomas Harris be fined £50 for his not attending and that he be cited to show cause &c next Court.

The Sheriff of Mecklenburg returns the venire.

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Thursday June 1st 1775.

Be it remembered that this day several Recognizances were returned into Court and entered up, as pr. Docket following.

The following Venire was returned by the Sheriffs of the several Counties, viz:

ROWAN.
1. Moses Winsley
2. Will Davison
3. Saml Harris
4. Geo. Hen. Berger
5. Griffith Rutherford
6. Will Alexander
7. John Dickey
8. Geo. Davison
9. Saml Reed
10. John Sloan
11. Saml Young
12. James McCay
ANSON.
1.John Coleson
2. Charles Robison
3. James Cotton
4. Solomon Gross
5. James Pickett
6. Will. Coleson
7. Buckner Kimball
TRYON.
1. Will. Moore
2. Fredk Hambright
3. James McIntire
4. Moses Moore
5. John McKinney
6. Will. Gilbert
7. Abram Kerkendoll
8. James Johnson
SURRY.
1. Saml Freeman
2. Thos Poindexter
3. John Armstrong
4. James Glenn
5. Will Coker
6. Joseph Nations
7. Elia Turner
GUILFORD.
1.Thos. Blair
2. Edward Gilbert
3. Benjamin Sterrett
4. James Hunter
5. James McCuiston
6. Ralph Gorrell
7. Daniel Gillespie
MECKLENBURG.
1. Hezekiah Alexander
2. Robert Harris
3. Adam Alexander
4. John McKnitt Alexander
5. John McCulloh
6. Charles Polk
7. Aaron Huston
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Of the foregoing jurors, Thos Poindexter & John McIntire were excused from attending.

Ordered by the Court that James Cotton, Abram Kerkendoll, James Glenn, Elias Turner, Joseph Nations, Benjamin Sterrett, Hezekiah Alexander, Aaron Huston, Adam Alexander, John McKnitt Alexander, and John McCulloh, be fined each £3 nisi for not attending this Court as jurors agreeable to summons.

Ordered by the Court, That William Johnston and James Ross, committed to the Gaol of the District of Salisbury on a Hue & Cry, and charged with having robbed the store of John Cox within the District of Beaufort in the Province of South Carolina, be transmitted by a proper officer and Guard to the aforesaid District of Beaufort, there to be dealt with as the law directs. And that a Smooth Gun, a man's Saddle and a man's White Hat, found in possession of the said William & James & known to be the property of the said John Cox be delivered up by the Sheriff of Rowan, or any other officer who may have them in possession.

Be it remembered, That Saml Luckey, Joseph Erwin, Jno. Morrison, William Young, Arthur O'Neal and Thos Winkler (Constables), appeared at this Court agreeable to notice to them directed and offered reasons for their not attending the last Court as Constables, which were adjudged by this Court sufficient and their fines were remitted. Also Jno. Idereal, Sheriff, Alex. Dobbins, Jno. Freeman and Chas. Polk, jurors.

Then this honorable Court adjourned till tomorrow 9 o'clock.


Friday, June 2d 1775.

This Honorable Court met according to adjournment.

And the following Grand Jury was empannelled and sworn, viz:

1. Griffith Rutherford
2. Moses Winsley
3. Geo. Hen. Berger
4. Geo. Davison
5. John Coleson
6. Moses Moore
7. Samuel Freeman
8. James Hunter
9. Ralph Gorrell
10. John Sloan
11. William Alexander
12. Samuel Young
13. James McCay
14. John Dickey
15. William Gillbert
16. John Armstrong
17. James McCuiston
18. Charles Polk.

Be it remembered, That this day Richard Travillian, Hugh Bowman, and Aquilla Sherrell (constables, appeared on notice of a

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sci. fa. fine, entered against them last Court, and showed cause, and their fines were remitted.

William Shores, Rice Maderas and James Finley, summoned to give evidence on behalf of our Lord the King vs. Oliver Wallace and the subpœna returned executed, the said Witnesses were called and failed to appear. Ordered by the Court that an attachment for a contempt issue vs. the said William, Rice and James, returnable to this Court, for their contempt in not attending agreeable to summons.

Dom. Rex
vs.
John Whitacre } Indictment, An Assault, of last Court.

Defendant charged—pleads not Guilty.

The following jury, viz:

1. Will. Davison
2. Sam'l Harris
3. Sam'l Reed
4. Charles Robison
5. Sol. Gross
6. James Pickett
7. Buckner Kimball
8. Will. Moore
9. Fred'k Hamright
10. James McIntire
11. John McKinney
12. James Johnston
being empaneld and sworn on the issue of traverse, find the defendant not guilty.

Then this honorable Court adjourned till two o'clock p. m.,

When this honorable Court met according to adjournment.

Several recognizances were returned and entered up as pr. Docket. Several indictments presented to the Grand Jury, were returned and docketed, as pr. Docket of Indictments of this Term following.

Dom. Rex
vs.
Stephen Herring } Indictment for a Robbery.

The following jury were empanelled and sworn, viz:

1. James Johnston
2. Charles Robison
3. William Moore
4. Solomon Gross
5. Will. Davison
6. James Pickett
7. Fred. Hamright
8. Will. Coker
9. Sam'l Harris
10. John McKinney
11. Geo. Cathey
12. Tho. Allison.

Find the Prisoner, Stephen Herring, guilty of the Felony and Robbery in manner and form as charged in the indictment.

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Motion in arrest of Judgment by Wm Kennon, Counsel for the Prisoner.

Dom. Rex
vs.
Joseph Pettoway } Indictment for a Robbery.

The following Jury were empanelled and sworn, viz:

1. William Davison
2. Will. Coker
3. Thos Ellison
4. Charles Robison
5. James Pickett
6. Will Moore
7. Solomon Gross
8. Fred. Hamright
9. Sam'l Harris
10. James Johnston
11. Geo. Cathey
12. Edward Gillbert

And find the Prisoner Joseph Pettoway guilty of the Robbery in manner and form as charged in the indictment. Motion in arrest of Judgment by Counsel for the Prisoner.

Thos Blair, one of the venire, fined £3 for absenting himself without leave of Court.

Then the Court adjourned till tomorrow 9 o'clock.


Saturday, June 3rd 1775.

This honorable Court met according to adjournment.

Thos Blair appeared and his fine remitted.

Sundry recognizances entered into as per Docket of Recognizances.

Dom. Rex
vs.
James Patterson } Indictment found last Court for passing Counterfeit Money.

Charged and pleads not guilty.

The following Jury was empaneled and sworn, viz:

1. James Reed
2. Thos Blair
3. Chas Robison
4. Solomon Gross
5. Edward Gillbert
6. Sam'l Harris
7. Dan'l Gillespie
8. Will Coker
9. John Carson
10. Geo. Cathey
11. James Patterson
12. Joseph Hughes

And find the prisoner, James Patterson, not guilty of the Felony in manner and form as charged in the indictment. Then the prisoner was discharged by proclamation and to be set at liberty on payment of fees. And the said James Patterson came into Court and prayed to be admitted to the benefit of an Act of Assembly

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made for the benefit of insolvent debtors, and took the oath prescribed by said law and was discharged.

Dom. Rex
vs.
William Woodliff } Indictment for Horse Stealing.

Charged and pleads Not Guilty.

The following Jury empanld and sworn, viz:

1. Charles Robison
2. Sam'l Reed
3. Solomon Gross
4. Dan'l Gillespie
5. James Pickett
6. Will Coker
7. James Johnston
8. Will Moore
9. Thos Blair
10. John McKinny
11. Geo. Cathey
12. Christopher Eller

And find the prisoner Will. Woodliff not guilty in manner and form as charged in the indictment.

Afterwards, to-wit, this term the said William Woodliff came into Court and prayed to be admitted to the benefit of an Act of Assembly made for the relief of insolvent debtors, and having taken the oath by said Act prescribed was discharged.

Dom. Rex
vs.
Thomas Ward } Indictment for Grand Larceny.

Charged and pleaded Not Guilty.

The following Jury empannelled and sworn, viz:

1. William Coker
2. William Moore
3. John McKinny
4. Charles Robison
5. Solomon Gross
6. Edward Gillbert
7. James Pickett
8. Will Davison
9. Thos Hamright
10. Dan'l Gillespie
11. James Johnston
12. Geo. Cathey

And find the defendant Thomas Ward Guilty. And that the goods charged in the indictment to have been stolen are but of the value of eleven pence sterling. Then this honorable Court proceeded to give judgment on the above verdict according to law, to-wit: That the prisoner Thomas Ward receive 39 lashes on his bare back, well laid on at the public Whipping Post, and that the sheriff of Rowan put this sentence in execution immediately and that the prisoner be committed till fees and prison charges are paid.

Be it remembered, that sundry indictments were returned by the Grand Jury and docketed as hereafter.

Then this honorable Court adjourned till Monday 8 o'clock.

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Monday June 5th 1775.

This honourable Court met according to adjournment.

The Jury who passed on the trial of Oliver Wallace at June Court of Oyer 1774 being called; On examination that they could not agree on a verdict, and that they did not separate till after that Court had adjourned, till the December Court following. They are discharged by this Court without fine.

An attachment of Friday this Term vs. Will Shores, Rice Maderas and James Finley, is this day returned executed. Parties discharged.

On motion, That a new Inquest should pass on Oliver Wallace for that the jury sworn on that trial at June Court of Oyer 1774 departed without giving a verdict. Ruled by the Court a new inquest be awarded. Then the Attorney for the Crown entered a nolle prosequi as to the first indictment, and Oliver Wallace was charged on an indictment for murder, found by the Grand Jury this term.

Dom. Rex
vs.
>Oliver Wallace } Indictment for Felony & Murder.

Charged and pleads Not Guilty.

The following Jury were impanelled and sworn:

1. George Cathey
2. Fredk Hamright
3. Saml Harris
4. Will. Coker
5. Thos. Blair
6. Henry Sloan
7. Will. Brandon
8. Joseph Atkins
9. Joseph Rogers
10. Michael Holtzhouser
11. Benjn Robison
12. Jacob Brown

And find the prisoner at the bar, Oliver Wallace, Guilty of the Felony and Murder as charged in the indictment, and that he had no lands &c.

Motion in arrest of Judgment by the Counsel for the prisoner.

Then this honorable Court adjourned till to-morrow at 8 o'clock.


Tuesday June 6th 1775.

This honorable Court met according to adjournment.

Sundry Indictments were returned into Court by the Grand Jury, and docketed. Also sundry Recognizances acknowledged in Court by which the parties are bound to appear next Court, as pr. Docket.

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Dom. Rex
vs.
David Jones. } Indictment for Murder.

Charged and pleads Not Guilty.

The following Jury empannelled and sworn, viz:

1. James Pickett
2. Edward Gillbert
3. Fredk Hamright
4. Charles Robinson
5. Saml Harris
6. John McKinny
7. Solomon Gross
8. Will. Davison
9. Thomas Blair
10. Will. Coker
11. James Johnston
12. John Trite

And find the Prisoner David Jones Not Guilty of the felony and murder in manner and form as charged in the indictment.

David Jones was discharged by proclamation.

Ordered that an attachment issue vs. John Oneal for a contempt in not attending this Court and giving evidence on behalf of our Sovereign Lord the King according to subpœna against him returned here executed.

Ordered by the Court that the friends of Oliver Wallace, Joseph Pettoway and Stephen Herring be admitted, one at a time to visit them in Gaol, and that the Sheriff attend and be careful and search all persons before they are admitted.

Ordered by the Court that a silver watch the property of John McFarland, found with Joseph Pettoway and now in the hands of John Shields, be restored to the said John McFarland on his making oath to his property.

The Sheriff of Mecklenburg County is excused from the fine laid on him of Thursday of this Term.

On motion of the Attorney for the Crown, Oliver Wallace, convicted of Murder, Joseph Pettoway and Stephen Herring, convicted of Robbery, were brought to the bar of the Court, and each being required to show reason why sentence should not be passed against them according to law, Reasons were adduced by the counsel for the prisoners and overruled by the Court.

Then this honorable Court proceeded to pass sentence on Oliver Wallace, Joseph Pettoway and Stephen Herring, in the following manner:

That you Oliver Wallace be taken from hence to the place from whence you came and from thence to the place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck till you are dead, dead, dead.

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That you Joseph Pettoway be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, and there to be hanged by the neck till you are dead, dead, dead.

That you Stephen Herring be taken from hence, to the place from whence you came and from thence to the place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck till you are dead, dead, dead.

And that the Sheriff of Rowasn put this sentence in execution on Friday the 30th day of June Instant between the hours of eleven in the forenoon and four in the afternoon of the same day, and that the posse of the County of Rowan attend and guard at the execution.

Then this Honorable Court adjourned till the 1st day of December next.