By Michael Wayne
In might 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 though a coroner's jury before everything governed his loss of life to be unintentional, an research prepared by way of planters from the neighborhood concluded that he have been murdered by way of 3 slaves appearing lower than directions from John McCallin, an Irish carpenter.Now, virtually a century and a part later, Michael Wayne has reopened the case to invite even if the boys inquisitive about the research arrived on the correct verdict. half essay at the artwork of old detection, half seminar at the historical past of slavery and the outdated South, loss of life of an Overseer is, peculiarly, a homicide mystery--a homicide secret that enables readers to sift in the course of the surviving facts themselves and are available to their very own conclusions approximately who killed Duncan Skinner and why.
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Additional info for Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South
They then got out his clothes, dressed him, and to turn away suspicion, put his watch around his neck, and his purse with part of his money in his pocket; brought out his horse, saddled it; put the lifeless body on it, and led it to the woods, where the body was afterwards found. Here, after running the horse up and down, they took off the body, turned the saddle, and set the animal loose. The latter returned home a few hours after. The body of their victim, they placed in such a position, as would indicate the possibility of accidental death; they brought out his gun, cap, whip and game-bag; discharged one barrel, and placed the several articles in the tracks as if of a runaway horse.
Martin. Martin, who would rise to the rank of general in the Confederate army, had come to Natchez from his native Kentucky in 1842, finding work as a tutor in the household of John P. Walworth, a merchant and planter with vast slaveholdings in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. He also received instruction from Walworth in the law, later entering into practice on his own and quickly gaining a reputation as the most able attorney in the community. Professional success had translated into social standing, allowing him to marry the daughter of a wealthy planter.
Despite Farrar’s recommendation, the board ruled on December 7 that the interests of the community would be most effectively served if the execution took place in public. They selected as the site for the hanging a corner of Rose Hill plantation just across the Natchez-Kingston road from where Reuben and Anderson had dumped Skinner’s body. ” The following day, Tuesday, December 8, three days before the execution, Reverend Joseph Stratton made his way to the jail. There had been heavy showers all morning and it would rain again that night.
Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South by Michael Wayne