To His Excellency John M. MOREHEAD, Governor of the State of North Carolina. Your memoralists citizens of the Counties of Duplin and Onslow respectfully represent to your Excellency, that at the Term of the Superior Court of Law held for the County of Duplin on the fourth Monday in March last past, John FOUNTAIN with ten other persons were charged by indictment for a Riot committee in the County of Duplin, and upon the submission of all the Defendants they were sentenced to imprisonment in the Jail of that County for the term of six months. Your memorialists show to your Excellency that said Defendants were committed to the Jail, on conformation with the Judgment of the Court and remained in Custody until about the 24th of the past month, when all the other prisoners except the said John FOUNTAIN made their escape-that the said John FOUNTAIN refused to do so, although the Jail was open and he was entirely at liberty to have escaped with his fellow prisoners. Your memorialists further represent to you Excellency that from the facts of the case as developed on the trial it appeared that the said John FOUNTAIN was less criminal than any of his co-defendants, that he was not present, nor did he in any manner take part in the --- act which constituted the riot, and that it tackmisally? Quietly it resulted subtly from the fact that he came to the place where the riot occurred in company with his co defendants-Your memorialist represent further to your Excellency that the said John FOUNTAIN is a very aged man (being now between seventy and eighty years of age) that he has ever sustained a most exemplary character both as a citizen and a Christian. Your Memorialist therefore represent to your Excellency that from the peculiar circumstances of the case they consider that it furnished a proper case for the exercises of the pardoning power so wisely by our Constitution rested? In your Excellency; and believing that your Excellency will agree with your memorialists in their view of the case, they pray that your Excellency will pardon the said John FOUNTAIN for the offence under consideration for which he has been sentenced to imprisonment for so long a term, and it so likely a period of the year and your memorialists as in duty bound will ---- pray. W. A. WRIGHT of Wilmington Jos. WRIGHT of Wilmington W. P.? HERRAND? J. WHITTE, J.P. Dan S. SANDERS, J.P. E. M. SANDERS, J.P. Jasper ETHERIDGE, C.C.C. Bryan J.? KOONCE, C.S. C. David MARSHELL Isom? HARROLD? H.? BARRY Jas. H. MUMFORD George SHEPARD B. J. POLLARD Jarrott GORNTO Shaderick JEWEL Whitehurst MASON Jas. GRANT Abram YOUNG B. W. LINQUIST John G. ROCHELLE John L. ENNETT H. L. KING Josiah HENDERSON William R. HARPER Piraham? PACKET?, minister of the gospel Samuel HOLT, minister of the gospel William RITCH Basel H. HUMPHREY Wm. H. KING Owen W. HILL John FISHER Louis GEORGE David K. CANADY James H. SCOTT Bengy? WILLIAMS Robert BRUCE Dexter BURNS H. GURGANUS Moses JARMAN Danl. EADINS Elijah MURRILL J. FRANCK B. M. BARRY Wm. ERINETT?, Esqr. Thos. C. CRAFT John WALTON, Sr. Edward HAMMOND George JINKINS Hennary LITTLETAN Emmett H. B. W. MASON Elijah BALL Esson THOMPSON Aaron DAVIS W. D. HUMPHREY William KING John BRYAN John F. DENNIS P. L. McLAIN? James LANGLEY Gabriel HANCOCK L. B. HUGGINS Robt. DAVIS E. PHILLIPS John JINKINS Benjamin JINKINS Thos. HILL John WARD Jno. KETCHUM John H. EMMETT Ewd. K. SHIVER Cornelius BRECE? Mathew MASON Jno. B. POLLOCK John SCOTT Isaac WILLIAMS Nathan PARKER William PETTAWAY Daniel FISHER Jacob R. KING Lott VICK John BRINSON M. PETTIT Manull ZEE? Hill POLLOCK Robert AMAN R. GRANT Wm. HUMPHREY, J.P. Jas. M.? R.? POSE?, J. P. Lott? GRANT F. L. HUMPHREY David GORNTO? Gardner SHEPARD Robt. D. WATSON Ely WALLACE Elder Lewis PADGETT Timothy HASKINS Jesse KING. Wm. POLLOCK J. H. CANADY J. D. CORBETT Uriah B. G. G. CANADY Thos. ENNET Abram. M. HEWETT Jonas JOHNSTON Thomas N. JAINES Alfred SHEPARD John SARNORY? S. DIXON J. H. RHODES John H. SPICER, Esqr. Lewis DIXON Harvey COX Isaac B. HORTON James HOUGIRTH? Edward SCOTT Benjamin SCOTT --- DAY George W. MEDLOC? Britan KING Zachariah S. BARROW David D. SUTTON Benjamin PARKER C. - HURST Solomon WALKINS? Richard CANADY E. W. COX Chas. DUFFY William M. BARBER? W. P. POLLOCK Durant H. THODES Abram GIDEONS D. W. SANDERS James R. PHILLIP Lewis HUMPHREYS R.? WILLIAMS James PARKER Elza SANDERS G. H. McMILLAN B. H. BRYAN ---- QUIN John DAWSON E. WALTON Edward NANCE Owen JARRATT BERNIS? MELTON? O. B. SANDERS Stephen HERRING Gibson SLOAN State of North Carolina Duplin County April, 1842 To The Honorable John M. MOREHEAD, Esquire, Governor- We the undersigned citizens of the counties of Duplin and Onslow and others, respectfully represent that at the present Spring Term 1842, of the Superior Court of Law for the County of Duplin, John FOUNTAIN, Brinson SPIVEY, Joab FOUNTAIN, Jr.; John R. FOUNTAIN, Hezekiah FOUNTAIN, Fields BRINSON, Brantly BRINSON, Isaac BRINSON, Lewis FUTRELL, Andrew BRYAN and Wright HORNE upon an indictment for a Riot without being arrested came into Court and had their supinah recorded-whereupon the Court sentenced them to an imprisonment for six calendar months. Your Petitioners further represent to your Excellency that the fact of the case as given in evidence by the witnesses were substantially these-that in the month of November 1840, there were three Negro slaves in the neighborhood of these defendants who had committed many acts of great outrage against these defendants, that they were harbored by certain white persons in that neighborhood that they went armed with guns that they had killed the stock of these defendants on some occasion in their own plantations and carried them off, that they had killed John E. FOUNTAIN the son of John FOUNTAIN one of these defendants having shot him down in the woods that they had made threats against these defendants in case they should ever get out of the jail where they were imprisoned having been caught. Further that previously to their imprisonment from their many outrages these defendants their families and the whole neighborhood were held in constant alarm-to such an extent that they were actually afraid to leave their houses after night. That after these Negroes were caught and put in Duplin Jail one of them made his escape and declared that when one of these defendants and his wife were walking along the road that he LEWIS ----- his gun at him several times. That it was further in evidence that the jail of Duplin was notoriously insecure, insufficient securely to confine prisoners. That soon after LEWIS made his escape from jail these defendants went to Kenansville, Duplin Court House to enquire into the situation of the jail and to see whether the Negroes were safe having heard that one had escaped and that the jail was insecure. That when these defendants came they expressly declared that they had no wish to violate the law that they came to see if the jail was safe and to take the Negroes to another jail if this was not a sufficient jail to keep them until the next Court. That they applied to the Magistrates of Duplin County for the purpose of getting relief and authority to take them to another jail-supposing they had authority to do so-that the magistrates by removing the Negroes. That these defendants made known to the Magistrates that threats had been made by these Negroes in case of their escape and that their lives were in danger if these Negroes ever supposed again to go at large. That these defendants finding they could get no penance that these Negroes would be kept safely, broke open he jail and took the Negroes out. The Indictment against them charged them with "unlawfully riotously and sinuously breaking and entering the jail and taking there from the two Negroes BALAANI & HOWARD. Your Petitioners represent to your Excellency that it was satisfactorily established that these Defendants from this punishment or if your Excellency should not deem it proper to enter entire relief to them that your Excellency will relieve them from a portion of this Term of imprisonment. Elias FAISON Buckman L. HILL Jas. CHAMBINE? William WRIGHT John MALLARD John PETERSON Mitchell GRADY Shadrach STALLINGS Daniel BLAND Charles WINDERS Howel BROWN Wm. WILKINS Kinsey WHALEY Robert CANTEN? Wm. BROWN Yates BROOKS? The above are Grand Jurors Lewis G. BASS Wm. COOPER J. E. HALL R. J. HUNTER Drewery HALL A. J. HURST Samuel HOUSTON H. J. KENNEDY? J. E. HUSSEY?, Sheriff N. P. MATHIS William W. MILLER David SOUTHERLAND Harget KORNEGAY Thos. STANFORD A.H. GRADY D. HERRING H. WILLISMA T. B. JONES D. H. SIMMONS W. J. KORNEGAY John HALL N. ROUNTREE Riley DAVIS Amos B. WALLER A. T.? STANFORD Wm. GRADY Felix FREDRICK Joshua LOFTIN Jeremiah PEARSALL John FARLOW? John BROWN J. J. KELLY E. P. ROUTLEDGE Thos. CANTER G. GIBSON? Alsa SOUTHERLAND Jas. CAVINAUGH Thos. PHILLIPS A. KORNEGAY David GILLISPIE James MAXWELL B. F. GRADY James WILLIAMS, Jr. G. SMITH James DICKSON, Clerk Duplin County Court Stephen W. BANKS John B. HUSSEY G. H.? JUDGE Jas. L. SMITH William MASON? Daniel WILLIAMS D. C. MOON Williams TEACHEY Gibson SLOAN William MCGOWAN John MILLER Lewis HODGESON N. SANDLIN William FARRIOR, Clk. Isaac B. KELLY Jos. MAXWELL Jacob BOSTICK John SWINSON William BOSTICK B. MERRITT ? WARD D. ALBERTSON Jacob BEST D. GILLESPIE Thomas W. EVANS? David CARLTON H. SULLIVAN James WARDEN? John W. MOON? James P. TUCKER W.? JARMAN? Edward E. HUSSEY Joseph HOLLAND John? SMITH Benson? GRADY Alexander GRADY J. G. SMITH James CARRELL Lewis -INNY? -IRNY? Wm. ------- James HOUSTON Robert O. HOUSTON John STRICKLAND G. B. WILLIAMS John WILKINSON Dennis EVERRITT James WADKINS A. J. GRADY Williams BEST Alsa BEST J.? MIDDLETON Wm. L. HEATH Merit MANNING Jas. HUGGINS A.?A? SOUTHARD? Jesse EZELL David D. SLOAN John T. CARROLL W. A. HANSLEY? Wm. H. NELSON J. M. GRADY Zacchus SMITH, Junr. Sherwood GRADY A. O. GRADY D. H. SIMMONS James P. DAVIS B. W. GRADY B. WALLACE Thos. J.? HOLLAND A. T. MCCALLUM R? J.? GRADY Stephen HOWARD Benami HERRING James G. BRANDS? H.? BOWDEN John DOLSON James P. MCGOWEN Henry STOKES John GRAY/GAY? Frd. WILLIAMS J. W. MONK Mathew PITMAN James KINNY Wilsons BOURDEN Geo. M. SHEPHERD Lewis OUTLAW P. ALBERTSON D. SEOTEL? SCOTEL? J. WELLS Isaac TEACHEY T. Alligood KAISER/HAISER? Alex SOUTHERLAND Saml. SOUTHERLAND Moses M. PADGETTE Nicholas HALL?/MAIL? Jas. WILLIAMS Wm. E.? FREEMAN Jno. W. HALL H. N. HOUSTON Jaob BRANEN Wm. W. TURNER John SOUTHERLAND John T. RHODES Ward KORNEGAY David SLOAN William MCGOWIN, Senr. Needham W. HERRING Curtis EZZELL T. D. LOVE George MCMILLAN O. L. FILLYAW Wiley J. MAILS?/NAILS Jas. W. BABER? Stephen WILLIAMS Duplin, N.C. 6th April 1842 His Excellency J. W. MOREHEAD, Esqr. Dear Sir, I hope you will not think me presumptuous if I again importune you in behalf of offender. I am aware it is not an enviable occupation and but for the peculiar circumstances connected with the transaction, I First, the account of the affair had been misrepresented to present at the time of the trespass, & all being indicted it was impossible for the transaction to appear as it really was; and thirdly, there were many mitigating circumstances, that amounts almost, if not quite to justification- At out last Superior Court, John FOUNTAIN, Joab FOUNTAIN, John R. FOUNTAIN, Brinson SHIVARS, Fields BRINSON, Hezekiah FOUNTAIN, Brantly BRINSON, Isaac BRINSON, Lewis FUTREL, Andrew BRYAN & Wright HORN stood charged with riotously breaking the Jail of the County, and without any arrest from the Sheriff, came into Court submitted to the charge; whereupon the Judge sentenced them to six months imprisonment & the Costs-I am ready to admit that these men were guilty of a most violent outrage, yet doubtless the report has been exaggerated to their prejudice; and tho they were unable to satisfy the Court of the whole of the circumstances, yet the whole county agree if such conduct was ever admissible, it was in this particular case- Hear those circumstances-In the Spring of 1840, HOWARD, BAALAM & LEWIS, Negro slaves, ran away and took up quarters in the neighborhood of those Defendants; it was universally believed they were countenanced, yes, harbored by two white men Dan'l. & Stephen BRADHAM living in that vicinity; (and such belief yet remains) they commenced depredating upon these defendants & others, and continued their operations for eight months. In this time their conduct to the Defendants was such, that no white Patriot could tolerate; they killed three Beeves, more than a dozen sheep, and several hogs- They on one occasion went to the yard of A. BRYAN the Def't. took a hog from his pen, shot his dog & threatened to shoot him if he showed any resistance; on another occasion they went to the feeding place of another of the Defendants, killed a hog, before his face & threatened to kill him if he even told of it; on another occasion they went to another of the Defendants (who had spoken against them) cut his mill dam & broke the stones publicly, with a threat of greater violence if they heard from him again; on another occasion they attempted to shoot five of these Defendants who were shucking corn in the night & this together with their other conduct produced general alarm throughout the whole region; consequently a company was raised to take them, who had not proceeded far before Joab FOUNTAIN was fired on, several shot passing through his hat & coat collar, and immediately after, John E. FOUNTAIN (son of John FOUNTAIN the Def't) was shot dead by the Negroes who made their escape. A few days after, Jezekiah HOUNTAIN was snap'd, at by said Negroes who swore they would destroy every man who had been engaged in the pursuit; & afterwards Joab FOUNTAIN was fired on, several shot passing through his clothes, though but one giving much wound. This caused a second pursuit, when the Negroes were taken and carried to Jail-A few days after their confinement, LEWIS broke the Jail & made his escape (and here let me say that the Jail was insufficient to hold any body) upon hearing which these Defendants came to the Court House presented their difficulties to the acting Sheriff, also called on three Magistrates & sought for protection; no protection being afforded, they being much excited (and I must add, encouraged by the company) committed the trespass alluded to, tho let it be distinctly understood that John FOUNTAIN did not aid (only by his presence) in the commission of the crime, the evidence was "that he advised them not to use any violence" and was not nearer than thirty yards when the Jail was broken. I am well acquainted with John FOUNTAIN, & have ever considered him a pious & upright man, now old of seventy years of age; I have some acquaintance with the other Defendants, they have sustained the character of good & peaceable citizens, & none of them has ever been indicted before for any breach of the Peace-They are all poor men & if they have to remain in prison till the Fall, the whole of all their property will be insufficient to pay their attorneys, Jail fees, & the costs of the Indictment. They all have families & are dependant upon the daily labor of these Defendants for their support- Considering all the circumstances I respectfully & with great deference suggest to your Excellency the propriety of granting them a discharge from imprisonment in part or intoto? As to your Excellency may seem right; or (should you think it a case not authorizing your absolute interference) to suspend the imprisonment till the crop season has passed over, upon their giving surety for their appearance - But should you conclude the Defendants are not all entitled to your clemency absolutely & immediately, suffer me to bring to the expected notice of your Excellency John FOUNTAIN, the man who had his only son killed by the Negroes and after that, together wit the other injuries he has suffered, he offered no violence to the Laws & even advised the others to adopt his course, he only was seen in company of the other Defendants during the day, on several occasions. Touching the sentiment of the people, I believe there is but one opinion concerning these Defendants and that is, that they done only what every spirited man would do, tho that nineteen twentieths of every white man & woman in this County wishes your interference in their behalf & if you are satisfied of the circumstances, you have nothing to fear from complying with their wishes. - I intended seeing you in person on this subject, and also intended to be with you on the 4th but the situation of my Family forbade it; I hope the next Papers will communicate the proceedings of the convention, and will be able to give us some cheering news. Hoping for the best. I am sir your Obed't. Servant, Jese PEARSALL His Excellency John M. MOREHEAD, Esqr., Raleigh, N.C.
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