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 at first governed his loss of life to be unintentional, an research equipped by means of planters from the neighborhood concluded that he were 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 lads concerned about the research arrived on the correct verdict. half essay at the paintings of ancient detection, half seminar at the historical past of slavery and the outdated South, loss of life of an Overseer is, specifically, a homicide mystery--a homicide secret that permits readers to sift in the course of the surviving proof themselves and are available to their very own conclusions approximately who killed Duncan Skinner and why.
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Additional resources for Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South
The Courier summarized his remarks to them in the following way: The prisoners had had a fair and impartial trial. The Court had employed able counsel for them, who gave them every opportunity to free themselves of the charge. But there had been no possibility of an acquittal. They were clearly guilty, having taken human life with premeditation and malice. There had been no excuse, no palliation in the circumstances attending the commission of the crime. It was proved beyond all question to have been a cold-blooded, deliberate and ferocious murder.
A coroners inquest was held, and a verdict from the jury, that he came to his death by a fall from his horse. His brother Jesse Skinner was not satisfied with the verdict, and called upon the neighbors to assist him in an investigation. Caution was observed to prevent the design from becoming public. Mrs. Sharp was not apprised of the intention until the morning of the investigation. Her overseer went to the field, brought all the negroes to the house, and placed them upon a line before the company assembled.
The homes of the growing number of merchants, professionals, and skilled craftsmen were much more modest as a rule, although often made of brick and neatly furnished. As for ordinary laborers, they rented rooms in boarding houses or cheap hotels or made do with small wooden cottages. Except in the alleyways under-the-hill, however, where the only dwellings to be seen were dilapidated shacks, the pattern of residence was not segregated along class lines. Rich, middling, and poor lived close to each other, often shared the same block.
Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South by Michael Wayne