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 supposing a coroner's jury firstly governed his demise to be unintentional, an research geared up by way of planters from the neighborhood concluded that he were murdered by means of 3 slaves performing less 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 interested in the research arrived on the correct verdict. half essay at the artwork of historic detection, half seminar at the background of slavery and the outdated South, dying of an Overseer is, peculiarly, a homicide mystery--a homicide secret that enables readers to sift throughout the surviving facts themselves and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
Coarse in manner, he drank too much and at times could be unbending. “Stern and inflexible as a Covenanter in the earnestness of his convictions” was the way a local historian put it. But he was also plain-speaking and his honesty was unquestioned. What, if anything, John McCallin expected from the meeting is unclear. He may well not even have been there. ” He also urged those in attendance to consider the evidence in a calm and thoughtinvestigation and verdict 21 22 death of an overseer The Sharpe Residence at Cedar Grove ful manner.
As Natchez developed, so did evidence of disparities in wealth among its white inhabitants. During the first half of the nineteenth century, quite a few large slaveholders from the nearby Louisiana and Mississippi countryside took up residence in the town, erecting imposing mansions in Federal and Greek Revival style. 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.
She directed that money earned from the plantation be used to fund a school for indigent girls in Natchez. The trustees were enjoined from selling any slaves during that time and instructed that, in any sales that took place afterward, family groups be kept together. The town of Waterproof, Louisiana, was first settled around 1830. ” It was Waterproof where McCallin lived at the time of the murder and Waterproof where he fled after the decision was handed down against him in Kingston. He must have convinced at least someone of influence that there was reason to believe he was being framed because, at a public forum late in August, a committee of three slaveholders—Henry W.
Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South by Michael Wayne