By Michael Wayne
In may perhaps 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 if a coroner's jury at the start governed his demise to be unintended, an research geared up via planters from the neighborhood concluded that he have been murdered by means of 3 slaves performing lower than directions from John McCallin, an Irish carpenter.Now, nearly a century and a part later, Michael Wayne has reopened the case to invite no matter if the lads excited about the research arrived on the correct verdict. half essay at the paintings of historic detection, half seminar at the historical past of slavery and the previous South, demise of an Overseer is, principally, a homicide mystery--a homicide secret that permits 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 resources for Death of an Overseer : Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South
G. Dun & Co. Agency, forerunner of Dun & Bradstreet. It was rare for the Courier or its rival paper, the Mississippi Free Trader, to devote more than a paragraph or two to local stories. But the sensationalism of the case had obvious popular appeal, and although Hillyer denied being influenced by the prospect of increased sales—a motivating factor for editors in “large cities,” he scoffed, but hardly Natchez—he elected to give the trial front-page coverage. Copies of the paper quickly sold out and 32 death of an overseer two days later he used the public’s fascination with the murder as an excuse to run the story again.
Her father, Joseph Thomas, was buried there, too, as was her husband, Absalom, the two men who had plotted the course of her life. Some women were able to develop an independent cast of mind in this patriarchal society, but there is no evidence to suggest that Clarissa Sharpe was one of them. After Absalom died, she depended heavily on Alexander Farrar for management of her finances and left Duncan Skinner largely free to run Cedar Grove as he chose. Writing a will may well have represented one of the rare occasions on which she found the resolve to take responsibility for her own affairs.
The committee of Drake, Bowman, and Preston presented the evidence they had gathered, most of which probably came from the pen of Alexander Farrar. Whatever McCallin said in response, he failed to persuade those in attendance of his innocence. It seems that he accused Farrar of deliberately attempting to frame him, and that at least Bowman and likely other members of the committee responded angrily. The one charge the meeting did credit was that he had been prevented by threats against his life from obtaining certain evidence, not specified in the records, that he believed would exonerate him.