Deposition to the Murder of Alfred Boyett

    This information is contributed by Carolyn Shank

    Deposition to the Murder of Alfred BOYETT-1859
    Source:  Governor's Papers, John W. Ellis, January-August 1859, G. P. 146, March 
    1854 Folder.
    North Carolina
    Duplin Co.
    The undersigned two of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for the said County 
    of Duplin, on the 2nd day of March, A.D., 1859, proceeded to take the depositions on 
    Oath of CLEM & ANDREW, slaves, the property of Wm. E. HILL of the County aforesaid, 
    touching what knowledge they have of the murder, or the agency of any person in and 
    concerning the Murder of Alfred BOYETT deceased;  and more particularly what agency 
    and connexion OWEN, the slave of Owen R. KENAN, had in and concerning said murder - 
    The said Slaves CLEM & ANDREW having satisfied the undersigned that they are cognizant 
    of the nature & consequences of an oath, when duly sworn upon the Holy Evangelist of 
    Almighty God deposed and said as follows.
    Questions to CLEM.
    Did you know Mr. Alfred BOYETT?
    Is he dead?
    Do you know who killed him?
    OWEN, slave of Mr. Owen R. KENAN
    How was he killed?
    With an axe.
    How was the blow given?
    OWEN stood behind and struck deceased on the left side of his head, struck no other 
    blow, OWEN carried him to the woods.
    What time was it?
    Early in the night, no one had gone to bed.
    How long was OWEN with the body of deceased?
    Not more than one hour.
    Where did OWEN then go?
    He left.
    What did he say he killed him for?
    For his money.
    Did he get any?
    Saw him open the pocket book, saw no money, saw three papers, never saw the pocket 
    book again.
    Where did you next see OWEN?
    In Jail.
    Did you have any conversation with him about the murder?
    I asked him why he did not confess it, replied he had not owned it, should not own it 
    at last, and advised deponent not to own it. No one but OWEN ever spoke to - of the 
    murder of Mr. BOYETT.
    ANDREW examined.
    How many blows did deceased receive?
    He had but one blow and that OWEN gave, after he killed him he asked us, CLEM & myself, 
    to help him throw the body over the fence into the potatoe patch, he then carried his 
    remains & buried them, it took an hour or nearly so. I was present all the way from the 
    place of the murder.
    What did he say he killed Mr. BOYETT for?
    For his money.
    Did he get any money?
    He showed me the pocket book, saw papers in it, looked like notes, had writing on them.
    What did he say to you about it afterwards?
    He asked me to keep it secret.
    Did you see OWEN with any money in Jail?
    We, ANDREW & CLEM, were going up to the HODGE place, we found OWEN in the corner of 
    the fence, CLEM asked him what he was doing, OWEN answered the business he spoke of 
    Saturday night - dissuaded him and went on, Mr. BOYETT overtook them, OWEN came up 
    behind struck the blow and killed him, struck but one blow, this is all I know about 
    the murder of Mr. BOYETT.
    A. SOUTHERLAND, J.P. (Seal)
    J. B. B. MONK, J.P. (Seal)
    State of North Carolina
    I, John J. WHITEHEAD, Clerk of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions of the County of 
    Duplin in said State, do hereby certify that A. SOUTHERLAND and J. B. B. MONK are 
    acting Justices of the Peace in and for said County, and were at the time of signing 
    the foregoing and that their signatures above are genuine and in their own proper
    hand writing, and that all faith and credit are due to all their acts as such.
    In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed my official seal at 
    office in Kenansville, this 2nd of March A. D., 1859.
    John J. WHITEHEAD, Clk.
    A true copy of the original.
    Attest: Graham DAVES,
    Private Secretary.

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