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Horrible Murder By Slaves

New York Times

Wednesday, November 3, 1856

The Petersburg,(Va.) Express says; It was announced in last Saturday's Express that Lewis B. Norwood, Esq. and influential and widely known merchant of Granville County, North Carolina, had come to his death on the night of Tuesday, the 21st last, in a sudden and mysterious manner. About his usual hour of retiring, 9 o'clock, his overseer left him in his chamber.

He was then in his usual health and condition, both of mind and body. Some two hours after, his negroes reported to the neighbors that he had fallen in the fire and been burned to death. The neighbors immediately assembled, and found him a corpse.  Burns upon different parts of his person were discovered, but his hair was not singed even and his clothing was without a scorch.  Under these circumstances it was supposed that the burns must have been scalds from hot water. His two little daughters were asleep at the time, but of course could tell nothing of the sudden and mysterious manner in which they had been deprived of their protector.

An examination being instituted, suspicion rested upon his negroes, and it is now ascertained that he was foully and shockingly murdered by two of the slaves.  From such facts as we have been enabled to gather, it seems that a negro man belonging to him had been for some time absented himself. Mr. Norwood suspected that two of his negroes were harboring the runaway and to prevent a continuance of the practice, had for several nights previous to his murder locked up the two suspected in an outhouse on his premises.  On the fatal night however, he was stunned by a blow, and a large pot of boiling water which had been prepared for the purpose was poured through a funnel down his throat until life became extinct.  He was then conveyed to his chamber and the neighbors apprised of the death, as  we have state above.

We understand that two of his negroes have been arrested and are now in jail.  Others will probably implicated as participants in this diabolical outrage. It is one of the most cruel and atrocious murders, that we have ever been called upon to record, and we sincerely trust that the fiendish perpetrators may pay the penalty of the horrid crime by a forfeiture of their lives.

2010 by  Deloris Williams, Nola Duffy and/or individual contributors.  No portion of  any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research.  Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner. Last updated 12/01/2011


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