Download Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from by Michael Wayne PDF

By Michael Wayne

In may perhaps of 1857, the physique of Duncan Skinner was once present in a strip of woods alongside the sting of the plantation close to Natchez, Mississippi, the place he labored as an overseer. even supposing a coroner's jury before everything governed his loss of life to be unintentional, an research geared up by means of planters from the neighborhood concluded that he have been murdered via 3 slaves performing lower than directions from John McCallin, an Irish carpenter.Now, nearly a century and a part later, Michael Wayne has reopened the case to invite even if the lads excited about the research arrived on the correct verdict. half essay at the artwork of historic detection, half seminar at the historical past of slavery and the previous South, loss of life of an Overseer is, especially, a homicide mystery--a homicide secret that permits readers to sift throughout the surviving facts themselves and are available to their very own conclusions approximately who killed Duncan Skinner and why.

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Extra info for Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South

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Henderson was sent for, and tied off from the others. At first he denied knowing any thing that had been done on the place that was wrong. His conversation and looks however clearly indicated his guilt. Reuben had previously told us that in the struggle Skinner had caught Henderson by the throat, and that the mark or print of his finger nails were still to be seen. We examined and the scars were plainly imprinted upon his throat. Several of those who composed the coroners jury were present, and they as well as the whole crowd assembled, expressed themselves as being fully satisfied that Reuben Henderson and Anderson had murdered Skinner, and that nearly every negro on the plantation knew something about it.

We then examined a number of the other negroes, their confessions all agreed, and corroborated with each other, as well as the statements of Jane and Reuben. Henderson was sent for, and tied off from the others. At first he denied knowing any thing that had been done on the place that was wrong. His conversation and looks however clearly indicated his guilt. Reuben had previously told us that in the struggle Skinner had caught Henderson by the throat, and that the mark or print of his finger nails were still to be seen.

The great majority of slaves in the district lived on plantations. However, more than 2,000 could be found in Natchez, representing about onethird of the town’s population. Many were domestic servants in the mansions of the planters or the homes of successful merchants and professionals. Others served as common laborers or drayers or worked down at the docks or in one of the small factories around town. A few may have been owned by the municipality itself and employed in public works. It was a fairly common practice in town, although far less so on the plantations, for a slaveholder to hire out a slave, the length of time ranging anywhere from a day up to a year 30 death of an overseer or more.

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