|Wilkinson, Mississippi County Newspaper Slave Ads 1823-1829
I have been spending more time looking through Archived Newspaper’s on Ancestry.com and various one’s online. I came across this article on NewspaperArchive.com through Ancestry and was amazed by the horror of a Slave attempting murder of their Master and killing the Mistress. When I read this, the thought, “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” rang loud and clear. Those of us that have never lived during this time period could never imagine the horrific treatments African Americans had to endure. The Slave owners were at risk of this sort of thing happening at any moment. This account is very very horrific and sad. This is the Master’s account of what happened, unfortunately the Slave never had a chance to tell his side of the story.
On the morning of the second instant, about three miles from Woodville, was committed a most atrocious murder by one of the Negro men of William Cason, of this county, in most barbarously taking the life of his mistress.- The circumstances attending this most horrid deed, were such as to draw forth the tenderest sympathies of every person of feeling, towards the distressed family.
The perpetrator was an African negro, and had several times before run away from his master, but had been retake.-But it seems this time he had run away with a determination not to be again taken.-His master Mr. Cason, and a friend of his, had followed him about a mile to a neighbor’s house about ten 0’clock the evening before, where they found him in the kitchen; they immediately shut the door upon him to prevent his escape, or until they could procure proper means to take him. The negro seized an axe which was near him, and struck several times violently against the door to burst it open, so that he might escape-at length having broken open the door, he made several passes at his master but missed him as he gave way till about the third blow, when his master was obstructed by something which prevented his escape, and was severely wounded-and for some time was supposed to be dead.
The negro supposing he had killed his master, immediately went with his axe to the house of his master, about a mile as before stated, and having enquired of the negroes there who was at home and whether any male person was in the house, and being informed that there was no person in the house except his mistress and a young lady who had come to keep her company during her husband’s absence, he said that he intended to stay at home after that and behave himself and work faithfully for his master. He staid about the kitchen three or four hours until his mistress and the young lady who was with her retired to bed, and who having sit up very late waiting for the return of Mr. Cason, were very soon inveloped in profound slumbers, little thinking that the curtain of death would that night close her last sleep of existence.
But when all things became quiet, and all nature was still as if dreading the catastrophy she was about to witness, the negro took a chair from the passage which he placed under the window in the room in which they slept, and thro’ the window he ascended into the room.
He then proceeded to the bed where were sleeping and Miss Cook, (the young lady above alluded to) and with the axe with which he supposed he had killed his master, he having in his hand a brand of fire which he brandished about to aid him in his fell purpose, have his mistress five or six blows on the head perforating her skull in several places, through which her brains were discharged in considerable quantities, and cutting her temporal arteries so that when she was found by her_she was almost entirely destitute of blood-the whole presenting a scene indescribably horrible, and one more direful perhaps has been seldom if ever witnessed in this county-Mrs. Cason was never afterwards heard to speak, but lived till about ten o’clock, A.M. when she expired.-An inquest was immediately held over her dead body by the Coroner, and a Jury summoned for that purpose determined upon the evidence of Miss Cook and others that she had been murdered by the said negro.-Mr. Cason, it is believed is not in any danger from his wounds at present, but will recover.
The negro having made his escape, all means to secure him proved abortive, until Saturday night the fourth instant when being decoyed from his lurking place, he was shot in the head. The negro is not yet dead, but has not been heard to say anything intelligible.