Petition #11281904


Fourteen men ask the governor to grant leniency to John McLeod, a resident of Johnson County who "engaged in a transaction which was supposed to eventuate in the death of a negro man." McLeod's supporters recount that the accused "first gave the fellow a flogging (by the master's permission) with a view of extorting from him a confession of the place of concealment of one of the Said McLeod's negroes, whom he was confidently informed the Said Deceased had harboured." They further explain that "Mr. Sumner, the owner, chastised said deceased (for conduct entirely unconnected with the object of McLeod's whipping) and then committed the offender to prison, where he died in the space of an hour or so." The petitioners insist that McLeod "has sustained from his infancy, a fair unblemished character" and that he could not have anticipated "that the severity of the punishment would be so great as to fix irrevocably the fate of the negroe." They therefore pray that "your Excellency will be pleased ... to stay any further proceedings against him, and permit him to resume that Station in Society which he believes he has not justly forfeited." A witness to the whipping attests that Isom's head was tied "in a fence" and he was "lying over a Barrell" when McLeod whipped him; that he was whipped "with a leather strop chiefly on his buttocks”; that Sumner whipped "the said negro Isom with a cow Skin ... the number of strips given by McLeod & Sumner did not exceed One hundred." The witness then relates that Isom was dragged "on his rump" to the jail. The witness thinks "the said negro was not whipped unmercifully."

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Citation information

Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina