Court News Items from Local Newspapers

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, Va., Thursday, December 14, 1899
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Doings of December Court
A  list of deeds, and of fines returned by justices, and other writings recorded during the month of November presented and approved.
Rev. R.H. Mark, of this M.E. circuit, authorized to celebrate the rites of matrimony.
The last will and testament of H.S. Hudgins, deceased, presented and proved and Mary B. Hudgins, the executrix named, was allowed to qualify; bond $1,000.
Ex parte, in case of Susan Newcombe, continued from November term; the will of Wm. Newcombe presented and proved and ordered to record.
On motion of Thos. H. Colly, the owner of 105 acres of land on Cub Creek, formerly belonging to estate of J.H. Spraggins, it was ordered that the lieu of the Commonwealth for taxes for the years 1879 and 1880 be released, the same having been paid.
On motion of Clem Green, colored, it was ordered that the half acre of land at Drakes Branch, standing in the name of "Gallilean Fishermen," be exempt from taxation, the same being held for religious purposes.
On motion of the Attorney for the Commonwealth, the case of Com. vs. W.R. Lipscombe, on appeal from magistrate's court, be dismissed, the judgment of magistrate's court having been paid.
On motion of J.F. Wingo, the Commissioner of the Lower district was directed to change the tract of land of one and one-fourth acres from the names of J.F. Wingo and M.E. Wood to J.F. Wingo.
Application of Benny Bailey for license to sell spirituous liquors on the road from Harrisburg to Drakes Branch, three miles from Smithville, and S.L. Owen, at Hugh and Henry Hall, for same at Drakes Branch, were refused.
The following accounts were allowed and certified to the Auditor of Public Accounts; J.T. Paulett, for board of Solomon Booker, a lunatic in jail, $1.50; L.Cox & Son, Treasurer's notice, $5; W.D., Norvell, $1; J.H. Ward, $2.74.
The Court appointed Chas. E. Bouldin assessor of lands in the Upper District, and A.S. Barksdale assessor in the Lower District of the county.
Court adjourned to January term, 1900.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, April 5 1928.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

We, the undersigned landowners along Roanoke Creek, situated in Central District and Roanoke District, Charlotte County, Virginia, do hereby agree to prohibit all persons from seining for any fish in theaters of the said Roanoke Creek, and Ward's Ford Creek, or any of the ponds along or adjacent thereto, running through or upon their lands.  This agreement to binding for a period of three years from date.  
Given under our hands this 4th day of April, 1928.
Bouldin, Chappell & Pettus

Source: The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA, Thursday, June 4, 1874
Submitted by:  Bea Adams King


Circuit Court
Judge Asa D. Dickenson, presiding

The May term of this court commenced in this village on Monday, May 25th.  
The first case called was that of Commonwealth vs. W.B. Foster.  The Grand Jury at the Feb. term had found an indictment against W.B. Foster, A.W. 
Redmond, Henry Redmond and john Ellis for the murder of a colored man named Haskins Mosely in May, 1865.  The indictment which was a lengthy document, charges in four counts Foster and Redmond as being principals and accessories to the killing.
The following jurors were sworn: Chas. Clark, Wm. M. Wilson, Geo. Cox, Wm. 
Puckett, Jas. M. Hamlet, John C. Daniel, Geo. Deaner, John G. Clark, Wm. H. 
Deaner, G.W. Connelly, Wm. G. Smith, and N.H. Price.
??????? of the jurors, the ?????? Tuesday morning.

 ??? Tuesday, 26th.
The jury being called, the prisoner, W.B. Foster elected to be tried separately.  The indictment was then read, to which his counsel demurred, which demurrer was overruled, when the prisoner pleaded "not guilty."
The commonwealth proceeded to call Ann High, Glasgow Redmond, Clairbone Elam and John Palmer, colored.
Col. Barksdale for the defense objected to the swearing of the witnesses as being incompetent because they were negros and former slaves and moved to quash the indictment, on the ground that the law under which the witnesses were introduced was ex-poste facto.
After argument by counsel on both sides, Judge Dickenson overruled the objection and denied the motion, and the trial proceeded, counsel for the accused giving notice they should claim the right to file exceptions.

Ann High, called.  Was the slave of W.B. Foster, in the spring of 1865, and was living at his house when the Yankees came through here.  Foster has some meat hid out; Henry Redmond hid it.  When they went to get it, some of the meat was gone.  Some of it was found in the possession of Haskins Mosley.  
Heard Haskins tell Foster Henry let him have it, and I heard Foster tell Henry that Haskins had told him that he - Henry - had let him have it.  Sunday night, Foster, Abner, Redmond, Henry and John Ellis, all went to Mr. Moss' after Haskins, and brought him to Foster's house.  Mrs. F. asked Foster, what he was going to do with that nigger?  He said, "I will keep him till morning, and then carry him to the Yankees."  They kept him in the yard till after supper, then they, carried him to the woods, where they whipped him till he couldn't holler.  Then Foster sent Henry to the house after fire, and told him to bring some leaves.  Henry brought the fire and the leaves and I heard Haskins say, "Lord, Lord, you've done whipped me, and now you going to burn me!"  It was little after sundown when they brought Haskins to Foster's and kept him till after supper.  This was after dark.  They carried him behind the nigger house, not fifty yards from the house where I was.  They whipped him.  I did not see but two folks whipping him.  I took them to be Foster and Henry.  The white man was in his shirt sleeves.  Could hear them talking, and could hear the licks.  They were in the edge of the woods.  Both were laying on the licks.  Can't tell whether he was stripped or not.  He was on a place like a rail-pen.  I reckon they were whipping him two hours.  They whipped him a smart while after he quit hollering.  The last words I heard were, "Lord, Lord, as much as you've done, now you're going to burn me."  Saw them carry fire and leaves, and carry the leaves and sprinkle on the old man, and set them afire.  I then left.
The next morning, Monday, before breakfast, Miss Susan called me and asked, "Ann, what did they do with that nigger last night?"  I told her they killed him.  She said "Lord a mercy! what did they do with him?"  I said, they put him in the gully.  Tuesday they had us up to know who knew of it.  Next day, Mr. Foster said to me,"-----old----- if you don't go and dig him up from where you saw him put, I'll kill you and put you there."  I saw the old man in the gully.  It was a smart way from the house, 200 yds. or more; the pines were very thick, but the gully was not very deep.  They pulled in some dirt and bushes.  Saw him in the gully when I went after the calves.  His feet were out; could see his big toes.  Twas Tuesday Foster has us up to know which one of us knew Haskins was killed.  Told him did and could carry him to the gully.  Glasgow was there and old uncle Isaac.  It was at Foster's house. 
 I told Miss Susan Monday the man was killed.  When Foster told me to dig him up, I took my hoe and went ahead of him, but he had been moved.  I saw no evidence that he had been moved, made no examination, saw no marks where he was carried to the gully.
Knew Haskins; he was a middle-aged man, ginger-cake-color, brighter than I am, with hair kinky like mine.  Often saw him.  Had but one hand, his left hand was cut off above the wrist.  He used to pass my house going to see his wife at Mr. Moss'.  He had six children.  Have never seen him since the time he was killed till the bones were dug up.  Live now in Halifax.  This was done in Charlotte here.  I saw Foster, Abner, John and Henry come in the yard with Haskins, and saw all four go to the place of whipping, but I don't know they all stayed.  Foster left house in his shirt sleeves.  I was standing in corner of the chimney, a few bushes between me and them.
Cross-ex.  Am wife of Sam High.  Abner R., took out warrant.  Foster had Sam put in jail for stealing tobacco.  Didn't know what was done with Sam.  I did not go to Mr. Gaines to make this complaint.  Gave some testimony.  
These things happened 1st  year of surrender - about planting time - I think in May.  Have heard Foster swear.  Heard he belonged to the church.  I belong to the Devil's church, and think he'll have me.R.H. Gaines.  I am Justice of the Peace.  Mr. Woods told me he wanted to see me.  Ann High did not make the complaint.  
I issued the warrant on Mr. Woods application, on her evidence.
W.H. Woods.  On Court day I heard something which led me to believe that Ann High knew something of this murder.  I also heard thro' Abner Redmond.  
Ann was not a voluntary informer.
Glasgow Redmond.  Belonged to Ben. Redmond in spring of 1865, and lived at W.B. Foster's.  Sunday Mr. Foster was looking for his meat, and went to Mr. 
Moss'.  That night he called for Abner Redmond, John and Henry to go after Haskins.  I was standing in the gate, after supper, when they came.  After I had gone to bed, my wife waked me up, hearing a noise, and told me to go and see what it was.  To oblige her I got up, and saw all four; old man Haskins was lying on ground.  I saw John whipping him with a piece of trace.  I heard Mr. Foster say "call him."  I could not understand what the old man said. 
 Foster then told Henry to bring fire, and they put leaves on him and fire. 
 Foster told John to call him.  He said "Haskins! Haskins!" the old man groaned out something.  Foster said, "d--n him, he is possuming.  Strap him."  
Foster then got on the rails, and shook them.  The old man rose up and fell back.  Foster then set out on a trot for his house.  John Ellis then said to Henry, "now the old man is dead, what going to do with him?"  After a few minutes they put him on two rails and carried him to another place, fifty yards from where the bones were found.  This was on Mr. Foster's land, and on Monday it wasn't plowed up.  Monday all hands were sent to Ben Redmond's; Henry claimed sick, and didn't go.  Tuesday found the land plowed up.  I stayed at Foster's till corn was gathered.  Have not seen Haskins since.
Cross ex.  My last master was Ben Redmond.  Was whipped for going to Yankees.  Abner Redmond had me whipped;  Foster tried to have it stopped.  Henry hid the meat.  Heard some was found at Haskins', and that he said Henry let him have it.  The only thing I saw Foster do was when the old man raised up, Foster hit him with a piece of rail, but not hard enough to hurt him and then Foster ran away.  Didn't tell the Yankees anything about Foster.  I went to Roanoke, and stayed two days.  Abner Redmond had me whipped because I went away.  Never told the Yankees anything about it until after Mr. McCargo and Brooks had the trial.  Was afraid.  It was two miles from Foster's to Moss'.  Foster had his coat on at the time; it was a dark one.  Henry had Foster bro't before Dr. Brown and Col. Carrington on a dispute about some money, which was decided for Foster.  Henry and John stayed there short time after the fuss about Henry's daughter.  Henry died in Richmond.
Clairbone Elam, called.  Lived at Mr. Moss'.  Haskins Mosely worked at saw-mill near Wylliesburg; his wife cooked for Mrs. Moss. Sunday night before the first holiday nine year's ago, Mr. Foster and Henry Redmond came there, and took Haskins, and asked him about the meat.  They tied him by one hand.  
He said he did not know anything about it, except one piece he got from Henry.  They quizzed him about it till he owned the meat was in the granery. 
Mr. Moss told me to go up, but there was no meat there.  They burst open the lower part of the door.  Henry had a bar in his hand.  Redmond told him he must tell him where the meat was.  He then said it was in the smoke house; I told him he was lying.  Finally he said it was at his own house.  They then made a noose of the other end of the rope, and threw it over the old man's neck, when Abner Redmond got on his horse, and dragged the old man off.  
Redmond then knocked him with his fists.  He told him if he didn't tell where the meat was he was afraid Redmond would kill him, and if he didn't tell, he would kill him any how.
Cross ex.  When Redmond put the rope around his neck and started, it choke the old man down; he struggled and knocked him down several panels of the fence.  I told Mr. Moss about this; he died several years ago.  The times were so particular, I was afraid to tell of it; was afraid if I did, that Mr. 
Foster and Redmond would put me to where they had Haskins.  Mr. Foster and Mr. 
????????.  Mr. Moss said he was afraid of Mr. Redmond. and would not go where they had Haskins; told me to go. 
John Palmer, called.  Was waiter at Alleck Roberts' 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from Mr. F's on a by-road from Mr. Moss to Mr. Foster's.  Have nothing against Foster or Redmond, I asked where they were going.  They said to old man Mosely's.  Nearly an hour after that, heard a great noise at the creek; heard the water go back and forth in recess; seemed like they were ducking some one; hears some one say, "O Lord, please master, let me alone."  When they came back, the rope was around the old man's neck and arm, and I heard Redmond say to Henry "touch him up!"  He did touch him up, smartly, and they then went out of sight.  They came by my house about daylight down.  It might be an hour and a half before they came back; stayed at the creek, should think, an hour.  The old man was on his feet walking when they came back, and when Henry touched him up with his poke, he sure walked faster.  [The witness seemed to be very much amused at the scene which his testimony revived.]
Dr. Joel Watkins, called.  Am a physician and was present at the coroner's investigation when the bones were found.  There was nothing peculiar about them except the hand of the left arm had been cut off.  The bones were those of a colored man.  There was some brush, I think sweet gum, about the body, as if it had been dragged there.  There was no coffin, nor was it a place which would have been selected for a decent grave.  The body was found in a ditch in a low ground of Mr. Foster's land.  No sign of a grave about it.  
There was another ditch some eight or ten feet distant.  [The bones were here produced in Court and identified as those which were found in the low grounds.]

J.W. Watson, called.  Was coroner at the finding of the bones.  Worked Saturday without success.  On the south side of the old ditch came to something hard, and finally found the bones.  When jury came had them taken up and put in a bag.  The same that Dr. Watkins has here exhibited.  The left hand was off.  No appearance of a decent interment.  There was a grape vine around one arm, and a withe around the body.  The witness testified as to the position of the old and new ditches, and the place where the body was found.
The prosecution here rested the case.
The witnesses for the defence were then called, the first being Col. John Booker, of Richmond.  Have been Mr. Foster's commission merchant, and have know him some 15 or twenty years.  His general character as far as I know is that of a peaceable and quiet citizen.  His business transactions with me have been in all respects honorable to the present time.  Have never made any enquires of his neighbors respecting him; but have never heard anything said against him.
E.B. Davis, called.  Am constable and auctioneer.  Agree with Mr. Booker in his testimony.  Never heard anything said against Mr. Foster, as a peaceable, quiet and industrious man.  Judge him to be industrious form passing his farm.  Live 12 or 14 miles from him.  Don't know what his neighbors think of him.  Never have heard of his having any difficulty with his neighbors.
Dr. John Brooks, called.  Am a physician.  Have known Foster since he was a boy.  His general character is that of a peaceable, respectable, honest citizen.  Have had good opportunities of knowing him.  Have heard some rumors respecting his family - the Redmonds - and some family difficulties.
Col. H.A. Carrington, called.  Am Clerk of the Courts of the County of Charlotte.  Have never known of any difficulty between Mr. Foster and his neighbors.  Was provisional justice in 1865, and tried some 800 cases.  There was a complaint at that time made by some negroes against Mr. F., with reference to some accounts, and an examination made; but Mr. F., was sustained.  At that time colored troops were here, as well as Yankee troops.  The first regiment which came was commanded by a Massachusetts officer, who sent a force to protect my horses and other property.  Mr. F., was never before the Courts.  Knew him as I have known all other citizens.  Never heard any of his neighbor speak against him till some ten days ago.
John H. Thompson, called.  Live within seven miles of Mr. Foster.  Have never heard anything prejudicial to him, except some difficulties with his brother-in-law.  His old neighbors give him a good character. 
Jas. L. Garden, called.  Have lived in the neighborhood four years.  Apart from difficulties with the Redmonds, he never heard anything against Mr. 
W.N. Coleman, called.  Have known Mr. Foster as a kind neighbor, a peaceable, and even a timid man.  I was a prisoner, till the 20th day of June, 1865. 
Have heard that the Redmonds made trouble for Mr. Foster.
The Counsel for the defence have rested the case.

The Commonwealth's At., W.H. Woods, then proceeded to an exposition of the law defining murder, as to its different phases and penalties, and also to a brief and rapid review of the facts as shown by the testimony.  It appears that W.B. Foster, the prisoner at the bar, in the spring of 1865, had entrusted some of his meat to Henry Redmond, a headman on his plantation, for the purpose of secreting it.  Some of this meat had been found in the possession of a one-armed colored man, named Haskins Mosely, who alleged that he purchased it of Henry.  Foster then taking Abner Redmond, his brother-in-law, and Henry Redmond and John Ellis, two colored men, goes to the house of Mr. 
Moss, where Haskins was, binds and drags him away, then attempts to drown him in the creek, most cruelly whips him until life is nearly extinct, then thrown him into a gully, orders leaves and fire to be brought, strikes his helpless victims back in his dying agonies, and thus consumates one of the most fiendish and atrocious murders ever committed.  Years pass by, the evidence and witnesses of the crime had been well nigh forgotten, when vengeance which is ever on the track of the guilty, discloses the crime, opens the dead man's grave, and presents before this jury his very bones, the handless arm, the withe around the body - mute but certain evidences of the fearful crime.  
The solemn oath you have taken, gentlemen of the jury, the great interests of society, the stern demand of justice, all require that you should render a verdict in accordance with the testimony and facts.

J.M. Bouldin, junior counsel for the accused, then proceeded to make the opening argument for the defence.
Your honor please and gentleman of the jury, you are called upon to perform the most solemn duty ever given to twelve men this side the grave.  The fate of a fellow being is in your keeping, and it rests with you to say whether he shall live or die.  I am persuaded you will discharge this solumn trust with pure hands and clear consciences.  When, does the Commonwealth charge this terrible tragedy took place?  Nine years ago upon a holy Sabbath night in May, 1865, just after the noble legions of Lee had laid down their arms at Appomattox, and with sorrowing hearts and bowed heads had returned, to find their homes desolate, their household shrines desecrated, their lands a waste.  Fear was in every heart.  Who could tell at night that the morning might not bring tidings of a servile war?  Of Virginia then it might be said:
"The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cave, Mankind their country; Virginia but a grave."
Our slaves had been suddenly liberated, our Courts destroyed, and our towns and villages garrisoned by federal troops, white and black.  It was in this dark hour, that it is said the prisoner committed this fearful crime.  Was it possible for him to commit it?  Under such circumstances, would any sane man have attempted it?  If he had done it, would those who are now hounding him, with the opportunities they then had, have remained silent, and for nine long years?  But they tell you they were afraid.  Afraid?  My God! of what?  Afraid?  when this very village circumstance stamps this foul charge as a fabrication and a lie.
But upon what kind of testimony does the Commonwealth attempt to sustain this charge?  That of men of his own race and color?  O, no; but upon the purjured statements of four negro slaves!  His Honor has seen fit to admit this testimony, and I shall not argue against his instructions.  But thanks to a just and righteous God, this jury are judges of the testimony, and they alone are to say what it is worth.  I would not have the meanest wretch that crawls convicted upon the testimony of such creatures.  For nine long years, no one has had the hardihood to make this charge.  Not until all those who could have aided the prisoner are in their graves, do we hear of this prosecution.  Susan Foster is in her grave; Reuben Moss has gone; their voices are hushed in death; and now four negro slaves, after nine years, come forward to charge upon the prisoner this fearful crime!  And she who started the charge, who stands here and boasts of her infamy and shame, she never opened her lips until Foster testified against her husband for stealing his tobacco!
In a strain of mingled invective and impassioned eloquence, the counsel proceeded to show the falsity, inconsistency and worthlessness of the testimony.  Throughout the argument was able, and the appeal forcible.  Its conclusion was grand.  The jury must remember the great interests of Society, of justice, as well as of the prisoner are in their charge.  Can they condemn the prisoner, and those interests not suffer?  To what condition would society be reduced, if on the testimony of his former slaves, any citizen may be condemned for imaginary crimes, committed years ago?  Listen to the appeal of your own dear ones, of your fellow citizens, of our old Commonwealth, of all the interests of Justice and of truth, to save a persecuted brother  and a suffering people, from the fearful consequences of malignant hate.  God grant to him and to us all a just and safe deliverance.

May it please your Honor and gentlemen of the jury, the circumstances attending this trial are most remarkable.  An attempt is being made to deprive a respectable citizen of his life, by the testimony of his former slaves, and on the charge of a crime said to have been committed nine years ago!  The very thought is monstrous.  If the testimony which had been given was credible, yet should the jury on their oaths acquit the prisoner, because the witnesses were not competent to testify of the alleged facts, at the time they are said to have occurred.  His Honor has admitted the testimony, yet he would not say it should be believed, and tho' it were possible to introduce like evidence to rebut it, the defence would not rely upon negro testimony.
It was first necessary that the prosecution should prove that a murder had been committed, that W.B. Foster, the prisoner at the bar, committed it, that he only had the motive, and the opportunity, that nobody else could have done it; and all these facts should be proved beyond the possibility of reasonable doubt.  Yet have they done this?  Is there not a question whether this old man Mosely was murdered at all?  No doubt that Foster murdered him?  
Can the jury suppose that an intelligent man would commit such a crime, and then place the evidence of it on his own low lands, where he must ditch and plow, and the fact of his guilt be revealed?  If they can believe that Foster committed this crime, if crime there was, then they must believe him a fit subject for a lunatic asylum rather than the gallows.  Who had the motive for the murder?  Henry had been entrusted with the bacon.  Foster got Henry and Haskins together to settle the question who had it.  It was Henry and not Foster who had the motive; but if Elam could be believed, neither of the, nor yet Abner or John, could have done it.  The stronger probability is that the old man wandered off, and if killed at all, it was by some straggling Yankees.
But is it morally certain he was murdered?  Who ever heard of it?  If such a crime had been committed, in those times which one witness calls so particular, would not information have been lodged with the Freedman's Bureau?  
Would not somebody have heard of it?  Yet up to the time that this old witch - Ann High - who says she belongs to the Devil's church - and I believe she does - made this complaint, nobody had ever heard of it.  If this murder had actually been committed, would those witnesses so long have remained silent? 
and would Foster, if guilty, have aroused the anger of the purjured creature?  Then the character of this testimony.  One tells you Foster was in his shirt sleeves, another that he had a dark coat on; one witness said there were four persons engaged in this business, another saw but three, while another declares there were only two!  If Elam told the truth as to the rope-ing and ducking, could Palmer have told the truth about touching the old man up?  
The whole is but a tissue of inconsistencies.  If Foster had committed this crime, and these negroes knew it, he would not be here to-day.  Palmer tells you that he told Mr. Moss about it; a good, law-abiding citizen knew a great crime had been committed, yet he takes no notice of it!  Nobody knew of it, but these creatures, and nobody would ever have heard of it, but for Foster's recent attempt to protect his own property.
After a most scathing review of the testimony for the prosecution, the counsel proceeded to allude to the general character of the prisoner, the testimony of his neighbors and friends, and the utter improbability that a quiet, intelligent, honorable man, such as he had proved himself to be, could be guilty of such a crime.  He closed with an earnest appeal to the jury to see to it that they did not open the flood-gates of all infamy and abuse by sending a fellow-citizen to his fatal doom on the testimony of such questionable witnesses - that they did not violate their solemn oaths by condemning an innocent man on so imperfect and contradictory and incredible testimony.

Hon. T. S. Flournoy, senior counsel for the prisoner, then arose to conclude the defence.  He at first passed in rapid review on the character of the witnesses which had been relied upon for the prosecution, and those called for the defense, and then proceeded to a consideration of some of the circumstances connected with the alleged crime.  It was committed nine years ago?  
Why has it slept so long?  When the witnesses are asked why they didn't speak out earlier, they tell you they were afraid.  Afraid? Of who? Our lands had been devastated, our Courts destroyed, hostile forces had been all around us, and regiments of both white and colored troops were in our very midst, to keep our people in subjection at the very point of the bayonet.  A freedman's bureau or commission had been established, and Col. Carrington tells you that more than 800 cases were brought by negroes before him to settle.  In one instance, Glasgow brought Henry as a witness against the very prisoner at the bar, for some supposed damage.  And yet he tells you he was afraid of Foster!  The fear did come upon the negro; the fear came upon us.  Well do I remember the scenes which were enacted in my own yard and at my own house.
But nine long years have passed, and now when Foster has caused the arrest of the husband and daughter of this creature - Ann High - she becomes for the first time an informer of the crime.  She denies this fact.  Yet how did Mr. Woods else come to the knowledge of it?  Had he known it, would he have been so long derelict in his duty in regard to it?  But why is it that only at this late day, and through such witnesses as have been produced here, that this crime is revealed?  Where is the wife and children of the murdered man
- living as it is said they are here in this very county - why are they not here to testify?  Where is Mr. Moss and why did he not reveal his knowledge of this guilty act?  Mr. Roberts - who if so atrocious a crime had been committed must have known about it - why is not he here to testify?  Where are all the many other credible witnesses, who, if such a crime had been committed, should have ere this hour revealed it, or been here to-day to testify.  
Such witnesses never existed, or such facts, or such a crime; save in the imagination of Ann High and the rest.
I impeach their testimony because of their natural and normal condition, which is that of a savage beast.  To-day they sell their own children.  I would not believe them for their natural mendacity, and for the fiendish hate which has been instilled into them.  Sooner than consign a respectable man to the gallows or the penitentiary upon the testimony of such creatures, I would sit upon my seat till it might grow to me.
With mingled invective and scorn the learned counsel procured to analyze the testimony as to the alleged facts, alluding to a case of a man from Kentucky convicted in Pittsylvania of passing counterfeit money.  The people in Ky., asked that some one be sent to that State to ascertain his real character.  They did so, and all became convinced that he was liberated.  He closed with a most moving appeal to the jury to send the prisoner at the bar home to his family, to his children, that together they might again discharge the sacred duty of strewing flowers upon their mother's grave, rather than to consign him to a felon's doom.

P.W. McKinney, of Farmville, who at the request of the Com. Attorney had been associated with him in the conduct of the case now arose for the closing argument for the prosecution.  May it please your Honor and gentleman of jury, were it in my power or yours, the prisoner at the bar would have no hindrances in the discharge of the loving service to which the learned counsel has so movingly alluded.  If he is restrained in his liberty, if his life is forfeited, it is because he has invoked his doom upon his own head.  By no act of mine or yours can he be harmed, but by his own, and not upon you but upon himself must the responsibility rest.
Counsel has told you even if you believe this testimony, you ought still to acquit the prisoner, because the testimony ought not to have been admitted. 
But His Honor has told you these are competent witnesses, and it is for you to decide whether they are to be believed.  What have you to do with the law which makes them witnesses?  You have sworn try this case on the testimony given, and it is your duty to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to remember the oath you have taken, the interests of society reposed in your hands, and to render such a verdict as shall be justified by the facts which have been proved before you.
After a brief review of the law relating to the crime of murder, the facts as shown by the testimony were recited in a clear, lucid manner - the going to the old man's house, the return to Foster's, the whipping, the burning, the midnight burial, the removal, the ploughed field, the finding of the bones, all up to the present hour, until one seemed to feel that he stood in the presence of a great crime, the victim confronting the murderer.
There is a point, said the able counsel, at which the burden of proof is lifted from the prosecution.  The last that was seen of Haskins Mosley he was in the custody of the prisoner.  What did he do with him?  What became of him?  Failing to show that the presumption of the law is that he was murdered, and the prisoner was his murderer.  I care not if the witnesses belong to the devil's church, if that race will lie and steal, civil rights bill and all - I care not for them.  The very circumstances of this case, show that a fearful crime has been committed, and point with unerring certainty to the prisoner as the guilty man.  What matters all the minor points upon which counsel have so persistently dwelt?  What clothes Foster had on - who of you, gentlemen, can remember the color of your coat or gravat, at the last Presidential canvass?  An hour or two more or less in time amounts to little.  Such discrepancies must exist when witnesses tell the truth.  But when all the hands are sent away, Henry only the partner in crime left behind, and when the plowman comes back the next day, his surprise at finding the field plowed up - how are these, and so many other damning circumstances to be accounted for.
But counsel tell you, this man was a Christian gentleman; he was a trespasser and a violator of the law from the very commencement of this fearful tragedy; he knew he was violating law in going to that old man's house, without a warrant, laying violent hands upon a citizen of the Commonwealth.  Lowly and humble though it be, the poor man's house is as sacred as the palace; the wooden bolt as secure as the brazen lock.  Was he law-abiding on the premises of Mr. Moss?
Gentleman, why should not these witnesses be believed?  The prisoner had the right to impeach the testimony; he could have brought witnesses to show their want of credibility; he did not do it, and why?  They have asked why this case has slept so long?  That question is for us, for you to ask.  If this prisoner is the high-toned Christian gentleman counsel declare him to be, if these shrieks rang through his own home nine years ago, if a foul murder was committed by somebody, if a human being had mysteriously disappeared, it was Foster's business to have investigated it.  It is for the Commonwealth to ask why this case has slept so long.
The defence has brought evidence as to the good character of the accused.  
But who have they brought?  Mr. Booker, his commission merchant, who lives a hundred miles away, who, when he is asked what he may know of the reputation of Mr. Foster, replies, "he pays his debts;" - what do his neighbors think of him?  "I have always found him correct in his business transactions."  
None of his witnesses know much about him; only some have heard rumors - fatal rumors!  Why are not his friends and neighbors here to-day to aid him?  
Now is the day and now is the hour.  Col. Flournoy has spoken of the action of the friends of a man from Kentucky.  Well do I remember the case of the young man accused of murder when I was at Washington University.  The defence rested upon his general character.  The old pastor came and all who had known him from his youth up came and bore testimony that such had always been his character that the jury were convinced he could not be guilty of such an atrocious crime.  Old Judge Brockenborough, putting his arms around the young man's neck, declared he would be almost willing to be accused of such a crime, to be able to prove such a character!  But where are those who should be here today to testify to this man's good character?  Standing, as he does, in this imminent peril, why do they not fly to his relief?
And yet more.  Failure to bring competent testimony, when such testimony can be had, is presumptive evidence of guilt.  There is a competent witness - the brother-in-law of the prisoner - who has been here in Court, indicted with this very man - why does not Abner Redmond come here, and deny this charge, and say that this man is innocent?  Is it not because the prisoner - counsel know that he cannot - he dare not?
In Eastern legends it is told that when a fearful murder has been committed, the stars watch over the bloody deed and the dead man's grave, by night, and when the stars are sleeping, the flowers watch.  So, me thinks, it has been with this crime.  For nine long years the stars have been watching this poor old man's grave, and the fatal gum tree has been keeping vigil, too.  
You are asked to give the prisoner the benefit of your doubts.  Doubt?  'Tis the defence of guilty minds.  But what reasonable doubt of guilt can there be in this case?  Doubt fled from all minds two days ago, and justice has taken its place.  Take the case, gentlemen, and render such a verdict as the testimony you have heard, the oath you have taken, and the demands of justice shall seem to you to require.
The jury then retired, but after a short time returned to the Court for instructions.  After again retiring, an interval of painful suspense ensued, broken at length by the re-appearance of the jury.  To the important question, "have you agreed upon a verdict?" answer was given, "we have."  "Is the prisoner at the bar guilty or not guilty?"  "Not guilty."  Judge Dickenson then ordered the prisoner to be released and the jury discharged.

THE ARGUMENTS - We have given but a brief sketch of the arguments in the case of Commonwealth vs. W.B. Foster.  But one opinion can be entertained of their ability.  The prosecution showed good care and industry in the preparation of the case.  The closing argument of P.W. McKinny was a splendid effort.  Without seeming to rely upon the testimony alone, his masterly use of the circumstances, seemed to invest all with terrible accuracy and power.  The very arguments of the defence were used against them.  At its close doubt indeed seemed to have fled from all minds.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Smithville, VA., Thursday, June 25, 1874.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

VIRGINIA: -- In the Clerk's Office of Charlotte Circuit Court.  In vacation, June 16th, 1874, Thomas B. Purcell and others, Plaintiffs,
John C. Hamlett, jr., late adm'r of Walter Cole, dec'd; Edwin Cole: Paul V. Adams, late sheriff of Charlotte, and as such adm'r de bonis non of Walter Cole, Elmira Cole, late wife of Walter Col,e, dec'd.,  D.D. Burke and Viney his wife, formerly Cole and D.W. Cole, who was also adm're de bonis non of P.W. Cole, dec'[d, and in his own right; A.B. Paris, Trustee of Mrs. Hatchett; John T. Hatchett and -- Hatchett his wife; Joseph H. Cutbutson; Josiah Vaughan, assignee in bankrupcy of D.w. Cole, dec'd, Defendants.
The object of this cross bill is to settle up the estate of Walter Cole, dec'd, and subject the same, real or personal, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to the payment of his debts.
And it appearing by affidavit filed, that the defendants, D.D. Burke and Viney his wife, are non-residents of the state of Virginia, it is ordered that they appear here within one month after due publication of this order, and do what is necessary to protect their interests in this suit. 
A copy - Teste,

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, May 22, 1873.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

LUNACY -- Sandy Pettus, colored, of Ronoke township, was examined before justices Moore, Morton and Sublett, on the 5th inst., pronounced lunatic. From the medical testimony, it appeared he was subject to attacks of epilepsy.  He is to day carried to the asylum at Richmond.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, June 5, 1873.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

ACQUITTED -- Albert Barrett, tried at the County Court, before a colored jury, for felony, was acquitted, the evidence being merely circumstantial.  He was ably defended by Messrs. Henry Watkins, and Paris.  The Commonwealth's attorney, Wm. W. Woods, was assisted by J.M. Bouldin, Esq.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, June 5, 1873.
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

LUNACY -- Mr. John M. Lawson, of Aspenwall, was adjudged a lunatic by a board of magistrates, consisting of Samuel Baldwin, C.M. Pugh, and R.F. Hutcheson, on Tuesday, and sent to the asylum at Williamsburg.  He was very reluctant to submit to this judgment.  Pecuniary difficulties, in connection with religious excitement is supposed to be the cause of his derangement.  He has been under treatment before.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, June 5, 1873.
Submitted By
:  Bea Adams King

COUNTY COURT -- Most of the time of the Court on Monday was occupied in the qualification of county officers.
The special grand jury found bills of indictment for felony against Albert Barrett, Walter Jenkins, and Ben. Williams; for misdemeanor, Newton Wyatt, and William Goulding.  The grand jury also presented the contractor of the road from the Courthouse to Drake's Branch, for not being the same in good order, as required by law.

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, December 13, 1945
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Commonwealth of Virginia,
In the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of the County of Charlotte on the 11th day of December, 1945.
County of Charlotte, Virginia Plaintiff, against
Allen Burrell, et als Defendant
The object of this suit is to subject the real estate standing in the name of Elvira Jeffress in Bacon magisterial District, Charlotte County, Virginia, containing six acres, more or less, bounded on the south by the estate of Matthew Hankins, on the west and north by Jim Thompson and on the east by the lands of Howard Henderson, being the same land conveyed unto the said Elvira Jeffress by deed from Bessie M. Hutcheson and husband, dated January 4, 1912, and of record in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of Charlotte County in Deed Book 63 at page 235, to the lien of unpaid and delinquent taxes, penalties and interest due the Commonwealth of Virginia, County of Charlotte and Bacon District for the years 1926 and 1928 through 1945, inclusive, under and by virtue of section 402 of the Tax Code of Virginia.
And an affidavit having been made and filed that Jennie Burwell, defendant in said suit, is not a resident of the State of Virginia and that there are or may be other persons interested in the subject matter to be disposed of in said suit whose names, numbers and whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained, and who are made parties defendant in the bill under the general description of "Parties Unknown" it is ordered that the said Jennie Burrell and all such unknown persons do appear within ten days after due publication hereof and do what may be necessary to protect their interests in this suit.
A Copy--Teste:
?. Page Morton ???

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, December 28, 1893
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Special Notices
The undersigned having become the purchaser of lots No. 12, 39 and 40, in a plan of lots in the town of Keysville, standing in the name of R.H. Gilliam, at a sale of lands delinquent for taxes, February Court, 1892, hereby gives notice that he will have the same surveyed by the Co. Surveyor on December 14, 1893, according to law, and shall apply to the Co. Court for a title to the same at the January term of the Court.
Smithville, Nov. 17, 1893.-dec.7-4t.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, March 11, 1926
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Commonwealth vs. H.C. Hutcheson, violation of the State prohibition law.  The accused entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to one month in jail and a fine of $50.00, but the jail sentence was suspended upon execution of a bond in the penalty of $1,000, by the defendant, with security, conditioned not to violate any of the provisions of the State prohibition law for one year.
Commonwealth vs. Fitz Mason and Joe Scott, violation of the State prohibition law.  The accused Fitz Mason plead guilty and elected to be tried by a jury; Joe Scott plead not guilty and was tried by the same jury.  Joe Scott was acquitted and Fitz Mason received six months in jail and a fine of $50.00.
Commonwealth vs. Carson Hubbard, transporting ardent spirits; the accused plead guilty and was sentenced to three months in jail and a fine of $5.00.
Commonwealth vs. Floyd Atkins, the accused plead not guilty; was tried by a jury and a verdict brought in of one month in jail and a fine of $50.00.
Commonwealth vs. James Waddill, transporting ardent spirits; the defendant plead not guilty, was tried by a jury, and a verdict was returned giving the defendant three months in jail and a fine of $50.  Defendant moved to set aside the verdict of the jury and grant hi ma (him a) new trial, which motion was continued until the first day of May term, and the defendant permitted to give bail.
A Nash automobile was condemned as forfeited to the Commonwealth for being used for transporting ardent spirits, subject, however, to a first lien in favor of J.T. Colgate for repairs, etc.
A Chevrolet automobile was condemned as forfeited ? Commonwealth, the same having been captured by the officers with whiskey in it.
Several civil cases were tried by juries; a great many chancery decrees were entered, and on Monday was adjourned until the 16th inst., when an important civil case will be tried.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 11, 1926
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

VIRGINIA: In the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of Charlotte County.
R.S. Weaver................Plaintiff
Vs. Order of Publication
C.W. Tucker, E.H. Hall and S.T. Williamson, partners trading as Tucker, Hall and Williamson, and Samuel C. Spain....Defendants
The object of this action is to recover of the defendants the sum of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,000.00) for the value of property belonging to the plaintiff and by the defendants converted to their own use, and to attach, and subject to the payment of said sum of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, the property of the defendants, E.H. Hall and Samuel C. Spain, in the County of Charlotte, Virginia, and particularly the following property of the said Samuel C. Spain, namely:
That certain real estate which was conveyed to him by deed dated July 7th, 1921, from W.T. Pollard and E.M. Pollard, C.W. Tucker, E.H. Hall, and S.T. Williamson, Deed Book 74, page 344, which real estate is described as follows:
All that certain tract or parcel of land in Madison District of the County of Charlotte, Virginia, and bounded as follows: Beginning in a hedgerow, at the Northwest corner of Lot 7 in the line of S.C. Spain (formerly Walter H. Pollard) near Wardsfork Creek at Station A; thence up a branch, which is the north line of Lot 7 of the above referred to survey, S.86 1-2 E. 13 3-5 poles, N. 74, E. 14 poles, N. 53 E. 12 poles, N. 85 E. 12 poles, N. 72 E 16 poles, to a point in the branch by an elm at station B; thence a new line off from the branch, S. 4 E (crossing the division line of Lots 7 and 8) 112 2-5 poles to a heap of stones in the old line at station C; thence along the old lines (the notes of the above mentioned survey) S. 60 W. 82 poles to Stones at Station D. N. 4 W. 137 poles (1060' plus 1200') to the beginning.
And affidavit having been made and filed, according to law, that E.H. Hall and Samuel C. Spain are not residents of the State of Virginia, and that service cannot be had on them in this state, it is ordered that they do appear within ten days after due publication of this order and do what is necessary to protect his interest in this action.
The court having prescribed no newspaper in which this and like orders shall be published, the clerk doth direct that this order be published for four successive weeks in The Charlotte Gazette, a newspaper published and "circulating" in the County of Charlotte.
Given under my hand this 1st day of February, 1926.
Allen and Weaver, p.q.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 11, 1926
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

In the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of the County of Charlotte on the 21st day of January, 1926.
P.B. Glinn, F.J. Glinn and Rush M. Glinn, Plaintiffs; against Fannie Allen Glinn, Rochett Van Sicle, Janie Baltzell and Mrs. Willie Proctor, defendants; In Chancery.
The object of this suit is to effect a sale of two certain tracts or parcels of land lying in the town of Keysville, Charlotte County, Virginia, containing 42 and 14 acres respectively, of which the late G.R. Glinn died seized, and known as his "Home Place' and to obtain a partition of the proceeds of the said sale in accordance with the terms of the will of the said G.R. Glinn.
And an affidavit having been made and filed that the defendants, Rochett Van Sickle, Janie Baltzell and Mrs. Willie Proctor do appear withing ten days after due publication hereof, and do what may be necessary to protect their interests in this suit.
A copy -- Teste:
K.L. Woody, p.q. 

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 25, 1926
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Of Six Room Cottage House, 23 7-8 Acres of Land, Water Wheel, in Good Condition, and Other Flour Mill Equipment
At Wren, Charlotte County, Va., and better known as "Clay's Mill."
Pursuant to the terms of a certain deed of trust from W.D. Sowell and Grace B. Sowell, to the undersigned bearing date on the 3rd day of January, 1922, and of record in the Clerk's office of the Circuit Court of Charlotte County, Virginia, in Deed Book 77, Page 446, default having been made in the payment of the debt thereby secured, and being requested to do so by the holder of the said, debt, the undersigned will on SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 1926, AT 11 A.M. upon the premises, offer for sale at        PUBLIC AUCTION, to the highest bidder, in accordance with the provisions of the said deed of trust the property thereby conveyed consisting of the following:
All of that certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in Midway Magisterial District, Charlotte County, Virginia, on the West side of Turnip Creek, adjoining the lands of F.A. Mason and others and known as "Clay's Mill Tract", containing twenty-three and seven eighths (23 7-8) acres, with building situated thereon and appurtenances thereto belonging, which is the same identical tract or parcel of land conveyed to the said W.D. Sowell from Fannie A. Rosser by deed dated January 1, 1920, to which deed reference is here made for a more complete description of the tract or parcel of land hereby conveyed.
The improvements on this property consists of a nice 6 room cottage house with basement, in splendid condition, rock and concrete mill dam, mill race, large steel water wheel, etc. with adequate water supply for operating an up-to-date flour and grist mill, and the location has long been considered one of the most desirable mill sites in Charlotte County.
Responsible parties may arrange terms with representative of State Bank of Pamplin on day of sale.
S.P. LOVING, Trustee

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 11, 1926
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

Under and virtue of a decree of the Circuit Court of Charlotte County, entered at the January term, 1926, in the chancery cause of Andrew Bailey et al vs. Hamlet Bailey et al, the undersigned will offer for sale at PUBLIC AUCTION on the premises at Rough Cree (Creek), Va., on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH, 1926, at 11 o'clock A.M., the following described property, to -wit:
All of those two certain adjoining tracts or parcels of land lying and being at and near Rough Creek, in Madison Magisterial District, Charlotte County, Va., and containing 315 acres in the aggregate, known as Hamiltons Tract and Noels Tract of which the late Andrew Bailey died seized.
Terms one-third in cash and the residue in two equal installments due in one and two years after date of sale with interest from date, title to be retained until all of the purchase money shall have been paid.  Or all cash, at the option of the purchaser.
Special Commissioner

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, November 5, 1925
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

In the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of the County of Charlotte on the 8th day of October, 1925.
Arthur Johnson, who sues for the benefit of himself and all other creditors of Daniel Giles.......Plaintiff
???? against
Daniel Giles, Ida Giles, Alfred Giles, Mattie Giles and Arvis Giles Defendants.
The object of this suit is to subject the interest of Daniel Giles in a certain tract or parcel of land containing 79 2-5 acres of which James Giles died seized, lying in Roanoke Magisterial District, Charlotte County, Va. to the payment of a certain judgment of record in the Clerk's Office of Charlotte County in favor of Arthur Johnson against Daniel Giles and Cleophus Gaines in the sum of $100.m with interest from November 24, 1925 and 10 per cent attorney's fees, as well as all other liens of record against the said Daniel Giles.
And an affidavit having been made and filed that the defendants Daniel Giles and Alfred Giles are not residents of the State of Virginia, it is ordered that they do appear within ten days after due publication hereof, and do what may be necessary to protect their interests in this suit.  And it is further ordered that a copy hereof be published once a week for four consecutive weeks in the Charlotte Gazette, a newspaper published in the County of Charlotte, that a copy hereof be published in the County of Charlotte, that a copy be posted at the front door of the Courthouse of this County on or before the ?????? 1925, that being the next succeeding Rule day after this order was entered, and that the Clerk mail a copy hereof to each of the said defendants to the postoffice (post office) address given in the affidavit herein, and file a certificate of the fact in the papers of this case.
A copy - Teste:
K.L. Woody, p.q.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, November 5, 1925
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

In the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of the County of Charlotte, on the 16th day of October, 1925.
Andrew Bailey et als..........Plaintiffs
Hamlett Bailey et als..........Defendants
The object of this suit is to obtain partition in one of the modes prescribed by law among the parties entitled thereto of those two certain tracts or parcels of land lying and being in Madison Magisterial District, Charlotte County, Virginia, known as the "Hamilton Tract" and the "J.A. Noel Tract", containing 315 acres, more or less, and being the same tracts or parcels of land assigned to the heirs of Andrew Bailey Jr. in the chancery suit of J.H. White et als. vs. Bailey et als.
And an affidavit having been made and filed that the defendant, Alice Hall, is not a resident of the State of Virginia, and that there are or may be parties interested in the subject to be divided or disposed of in this suit, to-wit, the heirs, devisees or alienees, made defendants under the general description of Parties Unknown, do appear within ten days after due publication hereof and do what may be necessary to protect their interests in this suit.
A Copy--Teste:
K.L. Woody, p.q.

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, September 24, 1925
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

By virtue of two certain decrees of the Circuit Court of Charlotte County, entered at the July term, 1923 and the September Term, 1925, in the chancery cause of Edward Arvin and others vs. Mollie A. Smith's Exor, and others, we will sell on the premises at Public Auction on
The following real estate:
1st.  All that certain parcel of land situated in Central District, in the town of Drakes Branch, Charlotte County, Virginia, composed of two lots, one of said lots designated as Lot No. 21 containing 50 poles and the other of said lots designated as Lot No. 22, containing one-half acre and on which said lot is situated what is known as "THE HOTEL PROPERTY," called "THE CLIFTON HOUSE"
2nd. Also those two certain other lots of parcels of land in the town of Drakes Branch, containing respective 3-4 of an acre and 1 6-16 acres, lying between the Southern railroad right of way and Twitty's Creek.
The foregoing real estate is the land owned by the late Mollie A. Smith at the time of her death, and being the identical land devised to the said Mollie A. Smith by Pattie E. Shaw by her last will and testament.
TERMS:  One-third cash, the balance in two equal installments payable in one and two years respectively from date of sale, purchaser to execute his bonds for the deferred payments, payable to said Commissioners with six per cent interest from date, payable annually, and to carry insurance on the Hotel building in an amount proportioned to its value, title to be retained until the whole of the purchase price is paid.
Special Commissioners

Source:  The Charlotte Gazette, Charlotte Court House, VA., Thursday, May 22, 1873
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

LUNACY - Sandy Pettus, colored, of Roanoke township, was examined before justices Moore, Morton, and Sublett, on the 5th inst., pronounced lunatic.  From the medical testimony, it appeared he was subject to attacks of epilepsy.  He is to day carried to the asylum at Richmond.

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, May 4, 1933
Submitted By:  Bea Adams King

At the May term of the Circuit Court of Charlotte county, presided over by Judge Robert F. Hutcheson, the following cases were tried:Commonwealth vs Willie Jones, transportation and possession of ardent spirits.  Jones was convicted and sentenced to thirty days in jail and fined $50 and costs. The jail sentence was suspended provided the fine and costs were paid before the end of the court term.
Commonwealth vs Thornton Kell, Jr., Burglery (Burglary) and larceny; convicted and sentenced to sixty days in jail.  The beginning of the sentence was postponed until the September term of court.  

Commonwealth vs Bernice Owen, burglary and larceny of meat of one C.C. Foster.  Convicted and sentenced to two years in the peniteniary (penitentiary).
The case of Alonzo Newcomb who was on trial for murder was continued until the July term of court, due to the absence of material witnesses.
Stencil Arrington vs W.H. DeFord a case of malicious prosecution, Arrington claiming that DeFord unlawfully charged him with the stealing of some of his corn.  At the magistrates trial, Arrington was acquitted, and this suit was brought by him for damages for reason of previous prosecution.  The case was decided in favor of the defendant.