James Becket and Elijah Scott: an Atrocious Murder, 1831

From Genealogy Bank, Charleston Mercury, June 10, 1831.

State of South Carolina.

A PROCLAMATION.

By James Hamilton, Junr. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid,

WHEREAS, I have received information of a wanton and atrocious Murder having been committed at Black Swamp, St. Peters Parish, by a free colored man of the name of JAMES BECKET, on the body of Elijah Scott, also a free colored man — and whereas the said Becket has fled the Public Justice of the Country.

Now, Know ye, that, to the intent that he the said Becket may be brought to legal trial and condign punishment, I do hereby offer a reward of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars, for the apprehension and delivery of the said James Becket to any one of the Sheriffs or Jailors of the said State.

The said Becket is represented to be a quadroon, full six feet in height, about 45 years of age, with his upper front teeth projecting more than usual, and an effeminate voice; he is by occupation (as much as bad habits and no fixed residence will allow) a jobbing Carpenter and Cooper. It is supposed that he has crossed the Savannah River and is lurking in that part of Georgia which is opposite to St. Peter’s Parish.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the State at Charleston, this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, and of American Independence the fifty fifth. JAMES HAMILTON, Junr.

By the Governor,

John N. Barrillon,

Deputy Secretary of State.

June 7

I’ve found so much news about Robertville and St. Peter’s Parish that I am overwhelmed. I have been adding new articles to the original post, but occasionally one stands out more than the others.

I’m curious as to how these Free People of Color came to the area. As always, more questions than answers.

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