Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ingrid's Dance Photo

I got the perfect frame for Ingrid's dance picture. It looks even better that the picture. It looks like dust is on it but it's just a glare on the frame.

Friday, July 29, 2011

School Shopping

We went school shopping yesterday and then the girls came over and did a style show for Pop. Siggie brought most of the clothes in her closet. I got each grandgirl a couple of outfits. Siggie did get a few more than the other two as hers don't cost as much.

Yes, I do plan to buy some fall things for Clayton and Greta! Erin said she might try to buy them some stuff the tax free weekend. I told Laura I did not think I could shop that weekend as the crowds really bother me.

Helen, I loaded the folder of photos on Erin's shutterfly--can you remember how to get there. If not I will try to figure out how to post the link! The Link to Erin's Page!

Clayton Says Good Night

Clayton has a new bed. Erin bought it for 25 bucks. It looks like she got a good deal.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hens and Chicks

I want to go over behind my old house and tramp the woods for a hollow log to put all my Hens and Chicks. I am going to put them in my new side flower bed, but I want them in an old log with knot holes. I will have to wait until it cools to go look for one. I want a piece about 3 feet long. I hope I can keep the Chickens alive through the winter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Swimming Sigrid

This next week will be Sigrid's last with the swim team. They are called the Sharks. She has enjoyed being on the team. She has to get up at 6:00 in the morning (Tues. and Thursday) to go practice. She has really learned a lot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Helpful Sigrid

When Clayton stayed all night, my little assistant come over and took charge. She said--'Gigi do you have a tent. We could sleep outside and that would be fun!"

No, I said.

Gigi, you could build a big fire out there and we could roast marshmallows. That would be fun!

No, I said.

She did a great job of taking care of Clayton with just toys on the pallet and Netflix for entertainment. We could not have made it without her.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Astrid's New Shoes

I wear my clothes until I wear them out. I don't get new clothes for work each year. I would rather wear what I have...the older the old stuff just feels better. I am a sucker for new shoes though and I like good ones. I immediately go straight to the highest priced ones. I then look at the tag and yelp they cost the most. Astrid's tennis shoes are Nikes. I like Asics tennis shoes.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cherry Tree Limb

This huge limb on our Cherry Tree just split and the limb fell on Larry's Kennel fence. It fell about a week ago--before our last rain. I think it split because it is so dry and the sap is going down to the root of the trees to help sustain their life.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HollyHock Tea


When I grow old, I’ll raise turnips
And try to like turnip stew,
But now that I’m young, I raise hollyhocks
And asters, and marigolds too.

Raising turnips is sadness
That is why I dread growing old,
Do you think I could live on hollyhock tea
Or shop with the marigold gold?

Perhaps my flowers will remember
And make intercession for me,
And old age will come along gaily
And help me make hollyhock tea.

By Mary Elizabeth Mahnkey

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Summer is About Over

This summer is about over. Two weeks from Monday I start back to work.
I am already thinking of next summer and I hope it will be a cooler one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lamb's Ear

Fleta gave this to me in the spring. I have kept it alive but it does not seem to be growing much.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two of My Kids

Common Phrases From The Good Book

Common English Phrases Found In The King James Bible:

A lot of these things we say all the time 'apple of my eye', ' skin of your teeth' are in the Bible. They may have been used even earlier! King James had the Bible translated 400 years ago. That Version is still my favorite! 40 odd men broke the Bible into sections and worked on their part and then came together for agreement. King James wanted a new Bible because the marginal notes in the one used in that time was unfavorable to Kings. He also felt the English people would accept him if he endorsed a new version. The leaders of the various churches were clamoring for a new translation. Wouldn't it be great to be able to read Greek and read that old Translation!

A drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15)
A house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25)
A man after his own heart (Samuel 13:14 or Acts 13:22)
A wolf in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15)
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21; Matthew 5:38)
Apple of your eye (Deuteronomy 32:10, Zechariah 2:8)
At their wits' end (Psalms 107:27)
Baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11)
Bite the dust (adapted from Psalms 72)
Broken heart (Psalms 34:18)
By the skin of your teeth (Job 19:20)
By the sweat of your brow (Genesis 3:19)
Can a leopard change its spots? (Jeremiah 13:23)
Cast the first stone (John 8:7)
Chariots of Fire (2 Kings 6:17)
Cross to bear (Luke 14:27)
Don't cast your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6)
Eat drink and be merry (Ecclesiastes 8:15)
Fall by the wayside (Matthew 13:4)
Fall from grace (Galatians 5:4)
Fat of the land (Genesis 45:18)
Feet of clay (Daniel 2:31-33)
Fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12)
Fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24-26)
Flesh and blood (Matthew 16:17)
Fly in the ointment (adapted from Ecclesiastes 10:1)
Forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:9)
From strength to strength (Psalms 84:7)
Give up the ghost (Mark 15:37)
Heart's desire (Psalms 21:2)
He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword (Matthew 26:52)
Holier than thou (Isaiah 65:5)
How the mighty are fallen (Samuel 1:19)
In the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52)
It's better to give than receive (Acts 20:35)
Labour of love (Hebrews 6:10)
Lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7)
Land of Nod (Genesis 4:16)
Law unto themselves (Romans 2:14)
Letter of the law (2 Corinthians 3:6)
Living off the fat of the land (Genesis 45:18)
Love of money is the root of all evil (Timothy 6:10)
Manna from heaven (Exodus 16:15)
Many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14)
My cup runneth over (Psalms 23:5)
No rest for the wicked (adapted from Isaiah 57:20)
Nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
O ye of little faith (Luke 12:28)
Out of the mouths of babes (Psalms 8:2, Matthew 21:16)
Peace offering (Leviticus 3:6)
Pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)
Put words in her mouth (2 Samuel 14:3)
Put your house in order (2 Kings 20:1)
Reap what you sow (adapted from Galatians 6:7)
See eye to eye (Isaiah 52:8)
Set your teeth on edge (Jeremiah 31:30)
Sign of the times (Matthew 16:3)
Sour grapes (Jeremiah 31:30)
Sweat of your brow (Genesis 3:19)
Tender mercies (Psalms 25:6)
The blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14)
The ends of the earth (Zechariah 9:10)
The root of the matter (Job 19:28)
The powers that be (Romans 13:1)
The salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41)
The Straight and narrow (Matthew 7:13/14)
There's nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Two edged sword (Proverbs 5:4)
Voice crying in the wilderness (John 1:23)
Wages of sin (Romans 6:23)
Wash your hands of the matter (Matthew 27:24)
White as snow (Daniel 7:9)
Woe is me (Job 10:15)
Writing is on the wall (Daniel 5: 5/6)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Snake Story Sequel

Larry shot Mr. Black Snake with the 22. He dropped Mr. Jay and I went to get the hoe so we could make sure he was 'taken care of'. Whilst I was busy looking for the snake whacker, Mr. Black Snake retreats to the Blue Bird house! I was not sure that was where he went, but we thought it was. Larry said...stick a stick in there and see if he is there. NO WAY. I was not doing that. I think when we married I said I would love, honor and obey....but snake poking was not brought up in the Bible reference.... Larry stuck a stick in the hole and sure enough; he said the snake was there 'it feels rubbery, ' he said. He got his wrench so he could get the top off the little Blue Bird house to get at him. Here is just one video of the event. I was not much help. He finally did get the top off the house and Mr. Black slithered out quickly but Larry hoed him and that is the end of the Snake Saga.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What Bird is This?

This morn I saw a Blue Jay hanging out of my Blue Bird house so I went out to investigate and took my camera. I ended up having to get back up from Larry! Patsy, watch the video and see the new bird at my Meadow. He is now food for the turtles in the Pond!

Another Cousin For Patsy--Guess Who?

Judith Powell and William Seals left North Carolina and went to Georgia. They had a son named Spencer Seals. He had a son named William Archibald who married Elizabeth Harris. Their daughter, Mary Ann Diligent Seals married Littleberry Walker Carter! Patsy you go figure the rest and say 'Howdy' to another famous cousin!

John Powell's Great Grandson

Jeptha V. Smith married Nancy Dickson. Jeptha was a son of William and Mary Powell Smith....Mary the daughter of John Powell. John the brother of our Charles. We are cousins to this Governor of Alabama!

The state's first Republican governor elected under the terms of military reconstruction, William Hugh Smith (1826-1899) remains a controversial figure. For all of his support for Reconstruction, Smith occupied a
complicated position as the head of a Republican Party composed primarily of freedmen. Before the war, Smith had owned slaves, and he opposed secession on the grounds it would imperil slave property. Practical considerations, rather than enthusiasm for emancipation and civil rights, motivated his political course, and once elected governor he quickly sought accommodation with the ex-Confederate white majority. He left office under suspicions of corruption because of his handling of state aid to railroads.

Smith was born in Fayette County, Georgia, on April 26, 1826, the son of Jeptha Vinnen and Nancy Dickson Smith. He had two sisters and six brothers, several of whom became his political allies. In his teens, Smith moved with his family to Wedowee, in Randolph County. After receiving a traditional early education, Smith read law and was admitted to the bar in 1850. In 1856, he married Lucy Wortham, with whom he would have three sons and five daughters.

After some years as a lawyer, Smith moved into a political career. From 1855 through 1859, he served in the Alabama House of Representatives as a states' rights Democrat, but he gradually evolved into a strong Union man. In 1860, he ran as an elector on the presidential ticket of Stephen A. Douglas, and, in the ensuing crisis, opposed immediate secession. After the war began, criticism of Smith'sUnionist position became so intense that he heard reports of his imminent arrest as a traitor. In December 1862, he fled behind Union lines with his father and three brothers. Smith spent the remainder of the war recruiting soldiers for the First Alabama Cavalry, a Union regiment, and he accompanied that regiment during General Sherman's "march to the sea."

After Appomattox, Smith was a leading candidate of the "Unconditional Unionists" for appointment as provisional governor under Presidential Reconstruction. The more conciliatory Lewis Parsons received the post instead. Parsons appointed Smith to the Alabama circuit court. Smith soon resigned the position on the grounds that no Union man could, in good conscience, serve under the post-war circumstances that existed in Alabama. In concert with other disaffected Unionists, he lobbied Congress to overturn Presidential Reconstruction and enact black suffrage. He also devoted himself to his entrepreneurial interests in mining and railroad promotion.

With the passage of Military Reconstruction, Smith emerged as a leading political figure in Alabama, chairing the first statewide Republican convention in June 1867. He pledged to carry out the work of reconstruction. Smith's service as head of General Wager Swayne'svoter registration bureau, established to implement the Military Reconstruction Acts, helped him win the Republican nomination for governor in the February 1868 election, which also was called to ratify the Reconstruction constitution.

When a conservative boycott appeared to have defeated the ratification of the Reconstruction constitution, Smith opposed Republican efforts to declare the document in effect without the stipulated majority. He thus opposed his own inauguration as governor, but Congress placed him in office in July 1868. Among his first actions in office was to secure the removal of the constitution's provisions that disfranchised Confederate public officials and military officers. Despite Republican arguments that terrorism made a fair election impossible, Smith vetoed the proposal of the Republican legislature to cast the state's presidential electoral vote in 1868 without holding an election. Smith also publicly denounced outsiders, known as Carpetbaggers, within the party, specifically Alabama Senator George E. Spencer, and this stand won him considerable praise in the Democratic press.

The most striking demonstration of Smith's conservative proclivities was his refusal to take drastic action against the terrorist Ku Klux Klanorganization. His term coincided with that group's worst violence, but Smith did not invoke the constitution's provisions for a state militia because such a force would be overwhelmingly composed of newly freed black men, and this might have led to a racial bloodbath. He argued that local law enforcement could deal effectively with the situation, and he publicly opposed federal legislation against the Klan, even feigning ignorance of its existence in Alabama in a published interview. Only in 1870, in the face of spectacular public violence, did Smith exert his power to place terrorists on trial and to publicize their atrocities. Smith's cautious position endeared him to conservatives in the state but antagonized the freedmen and white Republicans to whom he owed his office.

Smith also cooperated with conservative Democrats on less emotional issues. His major goal was the economic development of the state, and railroad promotion was a particularly popular position with bi-partisan appeal. During Presidential Reconstruction, the conservative Democratic legislature had already passed a general subsidy act for railroads built within the state. With Smith's support, the Republican legislature expanded the government endorsement of company railroad bonds from $12,000 to $16,000 per mile. The state subsidy legislation encouraged local grants to railroads as well, resulting in a dramatic increase in railroad mileage and government potential liability. Smith participated personally in this activity, serving on one railroad's board of directors along with several legislative allies.

As the railroad bond endorsements swelled the potential state debt, Smith finally suggested scaling back the public's liability. His actions were fiscally dubious, especially with respect to the strategic Alabama & Chattanooga line, whose directors hoped to penetrate the mineraldistrict around modern Birmingham. These directors contributed substantial sums to the governor and reportedly financed Smith's own separate railroad corporation. The Alabama & Chattanooga clearly benefited from the governor's special attention. Smith signed a $2 million direct-aid bill—primarily for the benefit of the Alabama & Chattanooga—despite his awareness that legislators had been bribed by agents of that company. More strikingly, the governor endorsed hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonds to the Alabama & Chattanooga above the amount authorized by law, leaving his successors with nightmarish fiscal difficulties that culminated in the state's insolvency. Smith later admitted his negligence in this matter, and a recent study of southern railroads singles Smith out among southern governors as one of several "fools" of the era who engaged in "slovenly" record keeping.

As Smith's reelection campaign approached, he faced numerous challenges. The newly freed blacks and many white Republicans resented his inaction on the Klan and his lack of enthusiasm for civil rights. Furthermore, the state's increasing fiscal woes undermined the Republicans' ambitious desire for more free public schools. Smith was re-nominated by a divided party, and although the freedmen had little choice but to back him, other white elements around Senator Spencer reportedly colluded in his defeat. Smith's support among white Democrats evaporated as the election neared and the scope of railroad bond abuse became evident. By a narrow margin of 77,721 to 76,292, Smith was defeated by Democratic candidate Robert Burns Lindsay. In November 1870, Smith, surprised by the outcome, contested the election on the grounds of fraud and intimidation, citing Klan outbreaks of violence in several counties. After barricading himself in his office for some weeks and surrounded by still-present units of the Federal army, Smith eventually conceded defeat and withdrew.

After leaving the governorship, disclosures of Smith's official misconduct effectively ended his political career. He returned to Randolph County and resumed the practice of law, was appointed circuit judge by Republican governor David P. Lewis in 1873, and later served as federal district attorney under President James Garfield. He remained active in Republican patronage matters, maintaining his opposition to carpetbag influence in the party for decades. Smith eventually relocated to Birmingham, where he died on January 1, 1899, at the age of 72.

In recent decades, scholars have applauded Republican efforts during Reconstruction to implement equal justice under the law. As governor, William Hugh Smith supported ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, securing equal suffrage, and his government oversaw creation of a free school system that for the first time included Alabama's black children. Beyond this, his accomplishments in the field of civil rights were limited, while the other complaints of his various critics—white and black—appear all too valid.

Glory Hallelujah!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hens and Chicks for Helen's Apartment

I saw that a developer is trying to put a big race track (cars) at Ridgedale. I think Granpa would have liked that. These are hens and chickens Helen. Grandma Gaddy liked them. You could have these on your patio and have chickens like the rest of the family!

New Bird Bath

I have had a lot of birds drinking from this little stainless dish. Larry went today and got me a bird bath. My first bird at my new watering hole was a beautiful Mockingbird! One of my favorites!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Red Bird

This Red Bird hangs out by window most of the day. It is so hot he wants in the house, I guess. I put a little pan of water out there for him. He even sings to me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot Day Extra

While Helen is lounging around in a hotel with her temperature set on 65, I am doing my Monday wash. The clothes will dry on the line in about 30 minutes.

James Dalton

James Dalton was a well known thief in London in the days that John Whalebone lived. James was also transported to Virginia. There he met up with Whalebone and they marauded up and down the American coast....

I think this is the man (John Whalebone) that Grandpa Powell spoke of when he talked of the rich thief who had the golden statue hid in a keg of lard.

Here is some of the story written about James Dalton before he was hanged at Tyburn!

On their arrival here they fell to robbing with such fury that the streets were hardly safe when the sun was set; but Dalton apprehending that this trade would not lost long, resolved to make a country expedition, in order to get out of the way. Thereupon down he went again to his old city of refuge, Bristol. There he did not continue long before he was apprehended for breaking open a linen-draper's shop but the burglary not being clearly proved, the jury found him guilty of the felony only, whereupon he was once more transported to Virginia.

He did not continue long in that plantation before growing weary of labor, he thought fit to threaten his master, so that the man was glad to discharge him, and thought himself happy of getting rid of such a servant. Upon which Dalton soon found out one Whalebone, a fellow of a like disposition with himself; and they went about stealing boats and negroes, running away with them and selling them in other colonies. At last Dalton met with a ship which carried him for England. By the way he was pressed on board the Hampshire, man-of-war, in which he was a spectator of the last siege of Gibraltar.

Life of John Whalebone

Title: Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed
for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences  Author: Arthur L. Hayward
The Life of JOHN WHALEBONE, alias WELBONE, a Thief, etc.

This malefactor was born in the midst of the City of London, in the Parish of St. Dionis Back Church. His parents were persons in but mean circumstances, who however strained them to the uttermost to give this their son a tolerable education. They were especially careful to instruct him in the principles of religion, and were therefore under an excessive concern when they found that neglecting all other business, he endeavoured only to qualify himself for the sea. However, finding this inclinations so strong that way, they got him on board a man-of-war, and procured such a recommendation to the captain that he was treated with great civility during the voyage, and if he had had any inclinations to have done well, he might in all probability have been much encouraged. But after several voyages to sea, he took it as strongly in his head to go no more as he had before to go, whether his parents would or no.

He then cried old clothes about the streets; but not finding any great encouragement in that employment, he was easily drawn in by some wicked people of his acquaintance, to take what they called the shortest method of getting money, which was in plain English to go a-thieving. He had very ill-luck in his new occupation, for in six weeks' time, after his first setting out on the information of one of his companions, he was apprehended, tried, convicted, and ordered for transportation.

It was his fortune to be delivered to a planter in South Carolina, who employed him to labour in his plantations, afforded him good meat and drink, and treated him rather better than our farmers treat their servants here. Which leads me to say something concerning the usage such people met with, when carried as the Law directs to our plantations, in order to rectify certain gross mistakes; as if Englishmen abroad had totally lost all humanity, and treated their fellow-creatures and fellow-countrymen as slaves, or as brutes.

The Colonies on the Continent of America are those which now take off the greatest part of those who are transported for felony from Britain, most of the Island Colonies having long ago refused to receive them. The countries into which they now go, trading chiefly in such kind of commodities as are produced in England (unless it be tobacco), the employment, therefore, of persons thus sent over, is either in attending husbandry, or in the culture of the plant which we have before mentioned. They are thereby exposed to no more hardships than they would have been obliged to have undergone at home, in order to have got an honest livelihood, so that unless their being obliged to work for their living is to pass for great hardship, I do not conceive where else it can lie, since the Law, rather than shed the blood of persons for small offences, or where they appear not to have gone on for a length of time in them, by its lenity changes the punishment of death into sending them amongst their own countrymen at a distance from their ill-disposed companions, who might probably seduce them to commit the same offences again. It directs also, that this banishment shall be for such a length of time as may be suitable to the guilt of the crime, and render it impracticable for them on their return to meet with their old gangs and acquaintance, making by this means a happy mixture both of justice and clemency, dealing mildly with them for the offence already committed and endeavouring to put it ever out of their own power by fresh offences, to draw a heavier judgment upon themselves.

But to return to this Whalebone. The kind usage of his master, the easiness of the life which he lived, and the certainty of death if he attempted to return home, could not all of them prevail upon him to lay aside the thoughts of coming back again to London, and there giving himself up to those sensual delights which he had formerly enjoyed. Opportunities are seldom wanting where men incline to make use of diem; especially to one who had been bred as he was to the sea. So that in a year and a half after ms being settled there, he took such ways of recommending himself to a certain captain as induced him to bring him home, and set him safe on shore near Harwich. He travelled on foot up to London, and was in town but a very few days before being accidentally taken notice of by a person who knew him, he caused him to be apprehended, and at the next sessions at the Old Bailey, he was convicted of such illegal return, and ordered for execution.

At first he pretended that he thought it no crime for a man to return to his own country, and therefore did not think himself bound to repent of that. Whatever arguments the Ordinary made use of to persuade him to sense of his guilt I know not. But because this is an error into which such people are very apt to fall; and as there want not some of the vulgar who take it for a great hardship, also making it one of those topics upon which they take occasion to harangue against the severity of a Law that they do not understand, I think it will not, therefore, be improper to explain it.

Transportation is a punishment whereby the British law commutes for offences which would otherways be capital, and therefore a contract is plainly presumed between every felon transported and the Court by whose authority he is ordered for transportation, that the said felon shall remain for such term of years as the Law directs, without returning into any of the King's European dominions; and the Court plainly acquaints the felon that if, in breach of his agreement, he shall so return, that in such case the contract shall be deemed void, and the capital punishment shall again take place. To say, then, that a person who enters into an agreement like this, and is perfectly acquainted with its conditions, knowing that no less than his life must be forfeited by the breach of them, and yet wilfully breaks them, to say that such a person as this is guilty of no offence, must in the opinion of every person of common understanding be the greatest absurdity that can be asserted; and to call that severity which only is the Law's taking its forfeit, is a very great impropriety, and proceeds from a foolish and unreasonable compassion. This I think so plain that nothing but prepossession or stupidity can hinder people from comprehending it.

As to Whalebone, when death approached, he laid aside all these excuses and applied himself to what was much more material, the making a proper use of that little time which yet remained for repentance. He acknowledged all the crimes which he had committed in the former part of his life, and the justice of his sentence by which he had been condemned to transportation; and having warned the people at his execution to avoid of all things being led into ill company, he suffered with much seeming penitence, together with the afore-mentioned malefactors, at Tyburn, being then about thirty-eight years of age.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Duke Whalebone's Testemony

Duke Whalebone followed his father's lifestyle. Here he testifies against Irish Nell. It is one of my favorite of the Old Bailey records about the Whalebones. Duke's nickname was Dumplin and I think he was a happy sort!

51. Eleanor Willford was indicted for feloniously receiving the same, knowing them to be stolen .

Elizabeth Wingfield. On the 9th of January about 8 at Night, I was in a back Room, behind my Shop, at (Lime-house , by Dick's-Shore) and I heard the Sash shove up; I came out and found all the Goods which lay in the Window were gone.

Duke Whalebone , otherwise Dumplin. This John Busk , and one Bird, and myself committed this Robbery: Busk shoved up the Sash, and Bird ran away with a Bundle of blue Bird-ey'd, and a Bundle of Copper coloured Handkerchiefs, a Bundle of white Linnen, and a Bundle of chequ'd Linnen. We sold them to Elen. Willford for 7s - we call her Irish Nell.

Ellen Willford . Ask him if he sold me the Goods, or took the Money for them?

D. Whalebone, Busk, and Bird's Wife sold them to her for 7s.

Holderness. Lawrence the Constable on the other side of the Water, had been looking after Dumpling, and he desired me to seize him if I should see him. While I was at work in Leaden-hall-street, I thought I saw him go by; I went after him, and charged him with stealing a shew Glass, he desired to be made an Evidence and put Busk into an Information. I went to Kent street to look for him, as I had been directed, and searched the House, but could not find him: at last we made a Woman who was sitting in the Chimney Corner get up, and found Busk upon his Hands and Knees under the Woman's Petticoats; she had been sitting upon his Back. When he was carryed to the Constable, he desired to be made an Evidence: I told him I would speak to Lawrence about it, if he could do any thing to save his Life: Lawrence would do nothing without the Advice of Justice Lade; he admitted Dumpling to be an Evidence, and then Busk cryed, G - d - my Eyes I shall be jamm'd this time; I wish I might either lye in Jayl, or be transported, but I shall be jamm'd now. He mentioned this Robbery, but could not remember the Particulars, and confessed he had knocked a Boy down in Ratcliff-high way, and took his Hat.

Pris. Busk. 'Tis the Practice of these Thief-takers to take up young Fellows, make them drunk, and get them to say what they would have them, that they may take their Lives away for the sake of the Reward.

Pris. Willford. I never laid out a Half-penny with these Creatures in my Life.

- Mitchell. I know Willford has a very ill Character, and has been tryed before this, at Kingston Assizes.

D. Whalebone. I have sold Irish Nell a great many stolen Goods. On the 30th of January I sold her a Coat for 6 s. I took it from a Coach-Box, and she knew I made it; and on the 1st of February, she bought a Looking-Glass, and gave me 6 s. for that.

Busk was acquitted of the Burglary, and found guilty of the Felony . Eleanor Willford guilty, 4 s. 10 d.

Nancy Whalebone McClain

John Powell's daughter married Joseph McClain. They moved to Rockingham County, N. C. Joseph was the Adm. of the John Powell estate. I have been looking in my old paper folders. There was a Jemina, Martha, Elizabeth, Judith, Mary, Charles, John, James Powell...but I think he had 10 kids. Mary married William Seals. Judith married William Smith. I think Peter Powell that Fleta found is a grandson of John and a son of James, John, or Charles. Peter's father died and his mother married Robert Lyons. The Lyons lived near Moon Creek and John Powell lived on Hogan Creek. They were near each other. I have wondered if Winnie Edwell was not a daughter of John Powell because he took her kids when she died.

Well, Joseph McClain died in 1805 in Rockingham Co. N.C. Several of the children moved to Henry and Weakley Co. Tennessee. There was a murder over there by one of the boys. His conviction was overturned. One day one McClain brother went to visit the other in the Weakley County Jail. He changed clothes with his brother and the murderer left in a long coat wore in by his brother. After a while the remaining brother called for them to let him out of there. Murderer McClain left the country and was never heard of again. Sounds like our relatives. I thought Patsy might want to real all about it....I will try to copy the story here.
The story was written by Garry Brown, I think he is a descendant.

The following summary is a bit of history about the North East corner of Weakley County that is mentioned in the history books but has never been developed in detail. It is a tragic story and paints a different picture of life in early West Tennessee than that which we often see or imagine. It deals primarily with the SUMMERS, STUNSTON, PRICE, and McCLAIN families in District 1. I will use the spellings above. SUMMERS is sometimes spelled SOMMERS and sometimes has one M. STUNSTON can be STUNTSON, STUNSON, or STINSON. And there are at least seven other ways to spell McCLAIN; I used the spelling my McCLAINs used.

The amount of time we spend trying to understand allied families is amazing. This is especially true in the north part of Weakley County. It seems that there are vague and distant ties between every family line. There are few records so we are constantly trying to find clues about our families by looking at the people around them. To the best of my knowledge, I have no direct connection to any STUNSTON, SUMMERS, or PRICE family. But these families lived along side the McCLAINs in District 1 in the far northeast corner of Weakley County in the earliest years of the county. Their destinies were tied to one another in several ways.

My interest is in the McCLAIN family. They were first generation settlers in District 1, coming from Rockingham County, NC. They also settled in the northwest corner of Henry County and soon were in the southeast corner of Graves County, KY. The North Fork of the Obion River with its bottoms was a far more confining boundary than mere state and county lines. My original McCLAIN in this area was George McCLAIN, b. Apr 13, 1783 d. May 13, 1857. His wife was Mary (Polley) KEEN from Caswell County NC, b.1787 d. aft 1860. George was first married to Jane DILL. Their only child was Rachel Christa who married Elisha PASCHALL of Caswell County NC and moved to Weakley County about 1825. She was probably the first McCLAIN in the County. They moved a few miles east to the area just north of Jones Mill in Henry County about 1828. Their descendants abound in this area.

George and Mary arrived in District 1 in late 1828 or early 1829. They had 12 children. The oldest was John who settled in the northwest corner of Henry County about 1827. John is the ancestor of most of the McCLAINs in Graves County and Calloway County KY. George and Mary had 4 daughters and one son that haven’t been identified. All the other known children came to Weakley County with George and Mary.

This isn’t all of the McCLAINs in the early days. Charles McCLAIN, who may be a brother of George or who may be a cousin moved into what is now District 13 on the north side of the North Fork of the Obion river in 1827. This is about 10 miles (as the crow flies) southwest of the George McCLAIN home place located on the road today known as Jaybird Lane. Interestingly for this discussion, Charles came to Weakley County from that part of Gallatin County IL that became Saline County IL. He came with a group of people named DAMRON, ATKINSON, and SHULTZ. This Charles had a son who lived in District 1, about one mile east of George, from about 1831 to about 1838. He also had a daughter, Susan Elizabeth, who married William STUNSTON. They had children Synthia b.1828, Charles b. 1832, and Levi b. 1834.

There was a Charles S McCLAIN who moved into what is now District 5, about two miles south of Latham and perhaps three miles southeast of Charles, in 1830. He may have also come from Illinois. He may be a nephew of George. (There is still a lot of work to do on this family.)

George had a sister, Mary 1794-1871, who married a James ALDERDICE also from Rockingham County. They moved to District 1 sometime in the 1830’s.

And finally George had a brother, Joseph b. abt 1785 d. abt 1840, who moved from Rockingham County to the same area mentioned above in Northwest Henry County in 1835 or 1836. He had two sons who had children who muddy the water a little also.

George’s neighbor to the West was William PRICE. To the south lived Henry STUNSTON who had purchased his farm in 1828 from George’s son-in-law, Elisha PASCHALL. To the east lived James ALDERDICE and then further to the east lived the John STUNSTON family.

There were two STUNSTON families in Weakley County in 1828, John and Henry. It is an unusual name. It is inconceivable that they weren’t related. When John made his will, Henry witnessed it. When John’s son, James, left the county, Henry’s son Lewis bought his land. And Henry posted a security bond for both James and Levi while they administered John’s estate as well as posting the security at one time or another for several of John’s children. There were many other interactions that suggest they were related. But we do not know just how they were related at this time.

There was a Richard SUMMERS who witnessed the Entry Deed for the John STUNSTON farm. The Entry is undated but it was probably in 1827 and could have been no later than 1838. And a David SOMERS of Graves County bought Levi STUNSTON’s land in 1838.

Now let me discuss some of the interactions between these families. The details of the story are not known. Very few facts have been recorded and it isn’t clear if all of them are relevant. I believe the story may well start with the John STUNSTON family. John had six children: James, Levi, William, Juliea, Nancy and Elizabeth. I believe all were born between 1800 and 1820 but I am not certain of this. I also believe James was the oldest. We don’t know the name of John’s wife although we do know she survived him.

James married a young woman named Burnetta SUMMERS. She left him two times, claiming he was mean and that she didn’t love him and she was forced to marry him. The second time she left him was in October 1828 when she went to the house of Henry STUNSTON. James petitioned the state legislature for a divorce in 1829. Elizabeth STUNSTON and Elizabeth SUMMERS filed affidavits on her behalf. The divorce was not granted. I have no proof but I think it likely that the divorce or lack of it was a factor in subsequent events.

William STUNSTON married Susan Elizabeth McCLAIN daughter of Charles McCLAIN (of District 13) as noted above. He was declared an idiot by a court appointed jury in February 1837 and Charles McCLAIN was appointed as his guardian. Nancy married a DUNN. Elizabeth married Richard (Dick) SUMMERS.

In the spring of 1836 the interactions between these families became quite intense. On Tuesday June 14, 1836, George W McCLAIN (23 year old son of George), William PRICE, and Benjamin MERRELL were indicted for first degree murder for the death of John STUNSTON. STUNSTON was shot and mortally wounded in front of his corn crib. I will quote here from the autobiography of John GARDNER. “John STUNSTON was a tall, raw-boned, stoop shouldered, illiterate pioneer who at an early day settled in the northeast corner of this county, near the town of Boydville. He was a successful cattle breeder and common report said a cattle thief. However this may be, he accumulated a good estate, and died worth several thousand dollars. He was shot and killed at early twilight one morning, at his crib door while feeding his stock, by McLAIN. ... STUNSTON had several grown daughters, one of whom married Dick SOMERS, an ignorant man who lived in the neighborhood.” It isn’t clear when the crime occurred. The bill for guarding the defendants locally was submitted to the court on May 26. The defendants had been in custody for many days, possibly more than 22, prior to that. STUNSTON’s will was dated April 8.

The indictment against MERRELL was apparently dismissed. It was never mentioned again in the records. A decision was made to try McCLAIN first. No reason was given; but he was probably the shooter. Both McCLAIN and PRICE pled not guilty. They were remanded to the Henry County Jail in Paris to await trial because the Weakley County jail was not adequate. To skip ahead, George was tried in October and, after deliberating for several days, the jury found him guilty. Levi STUNSTON was the prosecutor in these trials. I believe this means he was the principal accuser as opposed to the prosecuting attorney. The attorney general was the actual prosecutor. (There was a lot going on and there is no record of the evidence presented. The STUNSTONs were not the most popular people in the county. Remember that John was rumored to be a cattle thief, James’ wife left him in a day when that wasn’t so common. James’ sisters and Henry sided against James. There were at least two civil suits pending between John and his neighbors at the time of his death. These included Peter WILLIAMS and William TAYLOR and there was another civil suit pending, John STUNSTON vs George W McCLAIN and William PRICE. I don’t know the cause of this suit. It was an appeal from the Justice of the Peace and may have been connected to the shooting and filed before STUNSTON died. This is completely supposition on my part. George W was sentenced to hang in Dresden on November 4, 1836. He appealed and the State Supreme Court agreed to hear his case so he was remanded to the Henry County jail to await the outcome. In the meantime, William PRICE’s trial was repeatedly postponed until George W’s case was completed. Both were being held in jail all this time. The Supreme Court heard the case in April 1837 and ruled in a precedent setting case that a major error was committed by allowing some of the jury to be unattended. George W was awarded a new trial.

But the murder trial wasn’t the only issue. James Stunston was indicted, tried and convicted of Perjury in November 1832. He was sentenced to three years hard labor. He appealed and remained free on bond. He won a new trial which was repeatedly delayed until November 1835. A mistrial was declared when the jury couldn’t agree and the case was continued several times. It finally came to trial again on October 11, 1837. Again the jury could not agree. Two days later the Attorney General came into court and declined to prosecute the case any further. Charges were dismissed.

In November 1835, James STUNSTON and Temperance McCLAIN were charged for open and notorious lewdness. John STUNTSON posted their security. I believe Temperance was a daughter of George (and therefore a sister of George W.) but I cannot be certain of that at this time. (The only other likely possibility is that she was a daughter of Charles from District 13.) Open and Notorious Lewdness is difficult to define. Black’s Law Dictionary defines Lewdness as gross and wanton indecency in sexual relations so notorious as to tend to corrupt the community’s values. Open and Notorious is just that, conspicuous. In modern times, this could be nothing short of public intercourse. In the early nineteenth century standards were different even if behavior wasn’t. It is worth noting here that the grand jury brought a bill of presentment rather than an indictment for this charge. The difference is that the grand jury made the charge based on their own knowledge without any prosecutor making a charge or bringing any evidence. One could even surmise that someone on the grand jury had a grudge against STUNSTON. I do not know the details or issues of these charges. I suspect that Temperance and James were cohabiting. James had sought but been unable to get a divorce. Everyone knew that so they were openly and publicly living in sin. When seen in the context of all the other legal problems of this family it is easy to imagine that people were looking for charges to press.

At the same time as the Open and Notorious Lewdness presentment was made, James was also indicted for malicious mischief. John STUNSTON helped James and Temperance post bond on these charges. When the charges came up in District Court in June 1836, the Attorney general refused to prosecute and these charges were dropped. It is worth noting that the murder of John occurred while these charges were still pending. James and Temperance were charged the court costs and Levi STUNSTON was their security.

Just to complete the picture, in that same November 1835 term of the Circuit Court, Levi STUNSTON was indicted for assault with intent to kill. Levi had attempted to stab James CLOYD. This case was also continued for term after term. In each term of the court the defendant had to appear as well as all the witnesses. They all then posted or pledged a security (like a bond) that they would appear in court at the next term for the trial. This continued until February 1838 when the Attorney General decided not to prosecute the case. In that same month Levi lost two civil suits against him. On February 15, 1838 Levi sold his 200 acre farm to David Summers of Graves County KY.

To get back to the murder trial, George W. McCLAIN and William PRICE were being held in the Henry County Jail all this time without bail. In each term of the court they were brought to Dresden, the Attorney General would ask for a continuance for the Price case and he would be returned to Paris. George’s first trial and appeals were conducted and he was also transported back to Paris after each event. George’s second trial was scheduled for June of 1837. In the meantime George’s lawyer, William R HARRIS, was appointed Circuit Judge and he couldn’t hear the case. The case was continued to the October term and George and William were sent back to jail in Paris. In October, the case was continued until February 1838. This was the last time George’s case came up in court. We know from various historical accounts that George escaped from the Henry County Jail and disappeared.

In February 1838, William’s trial was held. It began on a Thursday and the jury was in session over the weekend. On Monday, the jury returned and found PRICE not guilty. He was set free after almost two years in the Henry and Weakley County Jails. Those accounts literally give no more information than that. There is no certain record of George after the October 1837 Term of the court. (I believe there are traces of George to be found in following years but that is the subject of another paper.) The fact that George is not mentioned in the record again and that PRICE’s trial was conducted at the beginning of the February 1838 term gives a rather narrow window for that escape, between late October 1837 and early February 1838. His escape was likely in late 1837. There is an old family story about a McCLAIN man who was in jail for some time. He was visited by a brother who looked like him and who wore a long coat. During the visit, they exchanged clothes (coats) and the prisoner left in his brother’s clothes. After a suitable interval, the brother called the guard and asked to be let out as he wasn’t supposed to be there. The family has forgotten the names but not the incident. I believe it must refer to the escape of George. The last Weakley County record I have of William is an entry in the Pleas and Quarter Session Court of Weakley Co from later in 1838. The Court ordered Aaron FARMER paid $3 for giving information to the coroner regarding the death of William PRICE.

On August 8, 1837, James sold all his household goods, furniture, animals, etc to Temperance. The deed took the form of a trust deed or mortgage but my guess is that he was transferring his assets to Temperance in anticipation of the perjury trial slated for October. He had finally obtained his divorce from Burnetta the previous October and there is no record of he and Temperance getting married in Tennessee so this would be his only way of providing for her. The deed was witnessed by Rebecca STUNSTON and Letty PRICE. Henry STUNSTON had a daughter named Rebecca. This could also have been the wife of John. Letty was the wife of William.

So 1837-1838 was a pivotal time for all these families. James STUNSTON finally got his divorce and he was cleared of all the criminal charges against him. In December 1838, Lewis STUNSTON gained title to all of James’ land. Levi STUNSTON was cleared of the criminal charge against him. He sold all his land in early 1838. And he lost a couple of civil suits. William STUNSTON died in late 1837 or early 1838. William PRICE was acquitted of the murder of John STUNSTON in February 1838 after spending almost two years in jail. He was then murdered sometime between March and August of that same year. George W McCLAIN escaped from the Henry County jail in late 1837 or January 1838 and was ostensibly never seen again. A review of the 1840 census data reveals that all were gone from the county (except Lewis STUNSTON) by that date.

We also have the Civil War Pension application of David Price. These papers clarify several issues. First they make it clear that Levi STUNSTON left Weakley County in 1838 and went to Gallatin County IL and subsequently to Saline County IL, next door. They also make it clear that Letty Price was the wife of William Price, that William PRICE was ambushed and murdered in Weakley County, that Letty PRICE apparently left Weakley County with Levi and then married him in Saline County, IL on August 9 that same year, and that Letty PRICE’s maiden name was SUMMERS. Just to complete the picture of Levi STUNSTON, consider the following from the David PRICE Pension application: “Stunston was a very bad man, when drinking. He loaded up an old fashioned horse pistol and declared his purpose to kill a Mr. Sheppard of this County before night. Sheppard was advised of the situation and he and another man who had trouble with Stunston laid their loaded guns upon the court yard fence at Raleigh and fired at Stunston, killing him instantly.... They were tried and acquitted.” So shortly after Levi’s assault charges were dismissed William PRICE, the accused killer of Levi’s father, was acquitted and released from jail after having been imprisoned for 22 months. PRICE was ambushed and murdered, Levi sold all his property and left the state, and Levi married PRICE’s widow (now using her maiden name) almost immediately.

There are intriguing possibilities for further research in these families. We know that the District 13 McCLAINs came to Weakley County from Gallatin County IL. In fact they came from that part of Gallatin County that became Saline County. There are several STINSON/STUNSON families in this area in 1840 and 1850 as well as SUMMERS families. James STINSON married Tempa McCAIN in Saline County on May 5, 1855. This is very likely James and Temperance from Weakley County but it hasn’t been shown. Levi STUNSTON was killed about 1857. The guardian for his son, Alexander, was David PRICE. My part of the story ends here. Perhaps this will help others with a more direct interest in these families complete the story.

Garry S Brown

The following is a partial abstract of the Weakley County Circuit Court Minutes that are relevant to this story.

Weakley County Circuit Court

May 1832


Civil suit

appealed to Superior court


Civil suit

continued to next term at request of STUNSTON.

Nov 2, 1832

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

Pled not guilty. Jury trial held that day. Found him guilty. Made a motion to "arrest judgement". I believe that is same as asking the court to set it aside.

Nov 23, 1832

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

There were motions to stay the sentence and to ask for a mistrial and a new trial. All were denied. The charge had something to do with an Indictment and trial for Assault committed by Mathers or Mathew P DUNN. STUNSTON was sentenced to 3 years hard labor in prison. He was released on $2000 bond by John and James STUNSTON to appear before State Supreme Court in Jackson in February 1833


Civil suit

STUNSTON dropped the suit and paid the court costs.

Unsure of date. Probably Feb 1834

Indictment for Perjury

New indictment.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

James and John STUNSTON pledged $1000 ($500 each) that James would appear before the court in May 1834

May Term 1834

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

John and James STUNSTON renewed his bond for $2000 to appear before the court on NOV 17, 1834

Not sure of date Sometime between May 1834 and Nov 1835

State of TN vs James STUNSTON and Temperance McCLAIN

Grand Jury Bill of Presentment for Open and Notorious Lewdness

A bill of presentment is a charge made by the Grand Jury based on their own knowledge without any evidence or charge made by a prosecutor.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Malicious Mischief

John and James STUNSTON under bond for $750 for James to appear before the court in November 1835

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

John and James STUNSTON under bond for $1000 for James to appear before the court in November 1835

November 18, 1835

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

The case was continued to May 1836 with the consent of both the defendant and the Attorney General and the Court. John and James STUNSTON under bond for $1500 for James to appear before the court in May 1836. Thomas WASHBURN, Henry YOUNG, Peter WILLIAMS, ? WINSTEAD, John JOHNSON, John S MURRELL, & ? Under $125 Bond to appear as witnesses for the state.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON and Temperance McCLAIN

Indictment for Ludeness

John and James STUNSTON and Temperance McCLAIN posted $1250 bond to assure that both james and Temperance appear in court on May 16, 1836.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Malicious Mischief

John and James STUNSTON under bond for $375 for James to appear before the court on May 16, 1836.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON and Temperance McCLAIN

Bill to the court for guarding said prisoners.

A M SPROUT 2 days $2; Hiram FARMER 2 days $2; E L HUGGINS 1 day $1

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment for Assault with Intent to Kill

John and Levi STUNSTON under bond for $1500 for Levi to appear before the court in May 1836

Friday Nov 20, 1835



Continued to next Court

June Term 1836

John STUNSTON vs George W McCLAIN and William PRICE

Appealed from Justice of the Peace

Disposition not clear. All parties acknowledged the death of the plaintiff. The case may have been cancelled or it may have been carried over to the next term.

Peter Williams vs John STUNSTON

Appealed from Justice of the Peace

Disposition not clear. All parties acknowledged the death of the plaintiff. The case may have been cancelled or it may have been carried over to the next term.

State of TN vs Temperance McCLAIN

Presentment for Open and Notorious Ludeness

The Attorney General is unwilling to prosecute this suit any further against the defendant. The case was dismissed. The defendant agreed to assume the court costs. Levi STUNSTON acknowledged himself as security for the defendant and paid the costs for her.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Presentment for Open and Notorious Ludeness

The Attorney General is unwilling to prosecute this suit any further against the defendant. The case was dismissed. The defendant agreed to assume the court costs. Levi STUNSTON acknowldeged himself as security for the defendant and paid the costs for him.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Malicious Mischief

The Attorney General is unwilling to prosecute this suit any further against the defendant. The case was dismissed. Levi STUNSTON and the defendant agreed to assume the court costs. Levi STUNSTON acknowldeged himself as security for the defendant and paid the costs for him.

Grand Jury Appeared with Bill against George W McCLAIN, William PRICE, and Benjamin

Indictment for 1st Degree murder

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment for Assault with Intent to Kill

Case continued to next term. Levi, James, and Henry STUNSTON pledged $1000, $500, and $500 respectively that Levi would appear. Henry STUNSTON ($1000(, James STUNSTON($500), and Levi STUNSTON($500) posted $2000 bond that Levi would appear.

State of TN vs PRICE and McCLAIN

Bill for costs of their interment prior to the case being sent to the court on May 26

11 guards, 2 days and 1 night each so they were arrested in early May. This list of guards would be very familiar to anyone researching District 1 families. It is clear that the defendants were held under guard in District 1. Guards: John S MURRELL, Elijah WHEELIS, Thomas WASHBURN, J FREELS, Aaron FARMER, Hiram FARMER, Mattis? Burk?,Joel HAMBLIN, James STUNSTON, Levi STUNSTON, Masy YOUNG. John WOOD constable.

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Bill of costs.

Bill for costs which originated before the case was entered in County Court but before the Justice, Aug 20, 1836. There were 9 guards and 8 witnesses

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN & William PRICE.

Indictment for murder in the first degree

The attorney general asked that the prosecution be continued to the next term of the court. McCLAIN & PRICE pled not guilty and were remanded to close and safe imprisonment in the Henry County Jail as there was no suitable jail in Weakley County.

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN & William PRICE.

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Levi STUNSTON came into court as the prosecutor in this case and posted or pledged a $250 bond that he would appear in court for the trial on October 12, 1836. Then came Hugh S MOORE, Walter BUNCH, Madison FLETCHER, Sarah SUMMERS, Charlotte STASY, Moses STASY,and Charles McCLAIN Junior to pledge a $100 bond that Hugh S MOORE, Walter BUNCH, Madison FLETCHER, Sarah SUMMERS, Charlotte STASY, and Charles McCLAIN Junior shall each appear on October 12.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

he case was tried. The Jury could not agree. A mistrial was declared and the case was continued to the October term. James and Levi STUNSTON each pledged a $500 bond that James would appear.

October 1836, Monday

State of TN vs William PRICE & George W McCLAIN .

Indictment for murder

The Sheriff of Weakley County was ordered to summon sufficient guard to bring the defendants from the Henry County jail to the common jail in Weakley County and keep them there until further ordered.


John STUNSTON vs George W McCLAIN & William PRICE.

Civil suit

Continued to next term.

Peter WILLIAMS vs John STUNSTON Executors

Civil suit

Continued to next term.

State of TN vs William PRICE

Indictment for murder

The Attorney General and Levi STUNSTON, the prosecutor, came into court and Levi pledged a bond of $500 to appear Feb 15, 1837 and prosecute on behalf of the state in this case against William PRICE. Also came: Henry STUNSTON, Elizabeth STUNSTON, Madison FLETCHER, Hugh S MOORE, Sarah SUMMERS, Mason STACA, Charlotte STASA, Charles McCLAIN, John A HENDERSON, John CARN, James DAVIS, and Elizabeth SUMMERS and pledged a bond of $250 to appear on Feb 15, 1837 and give evidence on behalf of the state.

Wednesday Oct 12, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

Came into the court the attorney general who prosecutes on behalf of the state. The defendant filed some affidavits.

October 12, 1836 Circuit Court


Petition for Divorce.

This day came on the above cause to be heard before the honorable John W COOK, Judge of the 9th Judicial Circuit of the State of Tennessee presiding at Dresden upon the Bill answers _____ & Testimony the same having been regularly set for hearing and appearing to the satisfaction of the counts from the Bill answers and Testimony-that the facts charged in complainants Bill are true and that complainant is entitled to the relief prayed for in said bill- It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by this honorable court that said complainant James STUNSTON be freed from his matrimonial engagements heretofore entered into with Defendant Burnetta STUNSTON formerly Burnetta SUMMERS and that each party be restored to all their former privileges—It is further ordered adjudged and decreed by this honorable court that complainant pay the cost of this and that Execution issue for the same and that said marriage contract be declared null and void.

State of TN vs William PRICE

Indictment for Murder

The attorney general asked for and got s continuance until the next (Feb 1837) term.

Thursday October 13, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

To court came James R McMEARES, the attorney general, and the defendant. The jury was empanelled and the trial began. The court could not get through all the evidence in the first day so the trial was carried over to the following day.

Friday Oct 14, 1836

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

The attorney-general ask for and got a continuance to the next term. James and Levi STUNSTON each pledged a $500 bond to assure that James would appear in the February 1837 term of the court.

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment for Assault with Intent to Kill

Case continued to next term. Levi, James, and Henry STUNSTON pledged $500, $250, and $250 respectively that Levi would appear in the next term in Feb 1837. Also appeared Abner BOYD, John E DODDS, and Michael McNEELY who pledged a $250 bond each to appear and give evidence on behalf of the state.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

came into court: Edwin TAYLOR, Chapman TAYLOR, John JOHNSON, Johnson WINSTEAD, Peter WILLIAMS, Allen WILLIAMS, _____, and John S MURREL who all pledged $250 bond to appear in court in the next term to give evidence on behalf of the state.

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

The trial continued. The evidence was presented and the jury was respited until the following morning to render their verdict.

Saturday Oct 15, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

The record is not clear here. Apparently the trial was still going on and the case was carried over to Monday.

Monday Oct 17, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

All the arguments still were not heard and the trial was carried over to the next day.

Tuesday Oct 18, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

All the arguments still were not heard and the trial was carried over to the next day.

State of TN vs William PRICE

Indictment for murder

Case continued to next term. PRICE was ordered to be returmed to the Henry County Jail.

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

The record here is very difficult to read. The jury returned a verdict of guilty. This may have been late Tuesday or on Wednesday. McCLAIN and his counsel then submitted several affidavits seeking to have the jury overturned and or a new trial.

Thursday October 20, 1836

State of TN vs George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

All of McCLAIN's appeals were overruled. The Judge found no error or reason. The Sheriff was ordered conduct McClain "to the common jail of Weakley County and there kept in close confinement until the 4th day of November next and that on the said fourth day of November next that the Sheriff take the said defendant George W McCLAIN to a gallows to be erected by him in said county and between hours of one and four o’clock in the afternoon of said day and hang ... McCLAIN.. by the neck until dead." The court also said McCLAIN should pay the costs of the trial. McCLAIN's counsel immediately filed an appeal to the State Supreme Court in Jackson which was granted. It would be heard in April 1837. So McCLAIN was ordered to be returned to the Henry County Jail.

February Tern 1837 Monday

John STUNSTON vs George W McCLAIN & William PRICE

Civil suit

Continued until next term.

Peter Williams vs John Stunston and adm of his estate.

Civil suit

The defendants came into court and said they could not gainsay the plaintiff’s action therefore they agreed to pay a judgment of $2.12.


State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

Case continued to June Term 1837. Levi & James STUNSTON pledged $500 bond each that James would appear. Thomas WASHBURN, Allen WILLIAMS, Peter WILLIAMS, Johnston WINSTEAD, John JOHNSON, John S MURRELL, Mark WHELUS, Jacob ROGERS and Henry J YOUNG Under $250 Bond to appear as witnesses for the state.

Thursday Feb 16

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment for Assault with Intent to Kill

Case continued to next term. James STUNSTON and Richard SUMMERS helped pledge his security.

State of TN vs William PRICE

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Case continued to next term. Came into court, Levi STUNSTON, prosecutor in this case, Henry STUNSTON, Elizabeth STUNSTON, Richard SOMERS who enters into______ for Sarah SOMERS his wife, Mason STACY who enters into _______ for himself and Charlotte Stacy his wife, Charles McCLAIN, Elizabeth SOMERS, James M DAVIS, and John D CARNE all of whom pledge a bond to attend the June term Court session.

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment for A&B with intent to commit murder in the first degree on the body of James CLOYD

Abner BOYD and James C DOODS came to pledge a bond that they would appear to give evidence in June.

State Supreme Court at Jackson

Wednesday April 7, 1837

George W McCLAIN vs State of TN

Appeal conviction for murder

Several of the jurors were separated from the other jurors and from the officer of the court charged to have custody over them several different times for 15-20 minutes. The Supreme Court considered this a serious error and through out the verdict, ordering a new trial in Weakley County. George was returned to the Henry County Jail.

Weakley County Circuit Court

Monday June 12 1837

State of TN vs William PRICE

Sheriff is ordered to summon a guard and bring PRICE from the Henry County Jail to the Dresden Jail.

William S SCOTT & Levi STUNSTON (adm John STUNSTON estate) vs George W McCLAIN & Wm PRICE

appealed from Justice of Peace

Continued to next term.

Wed June 14, 1837

State of TN vs William PRICE

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Charlotte STACY was called but not there so an attachment against STACY was issued. Not clear if the trial actually started. Hugh L MOORE was called but not there so an attachment against Moore was issued.

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

Case dismissed as the attorney-general entered a nole prosequi writ-a declaration that he did not want to prosecute this case.

Very confusing. Four pages later in the records, on the same day, it is written as follows. The defendant and the attorney general came into court. The attorney general moved to continue the case to Oct 1837. It was granted. James, Levi, and Henry STUNSTON posted securities of $500, $250. & $250 respectively that James would appear. T Allen WILLIAMS, Peter WILLIAMS, Johnston WINSTED, John JOHNSON, John S MURRELL, Mark WHELUS, Jacob C ROGERS, Chapman TATLOR, Edmund TAYLOR, and Henry J YOUNG Under $250 Bond to appear as witnesses for the state. There may have been two indictments.

State of TN vs WM PRICE & George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Attorney-General came and stated that the new presiding judge (William R. HARRIS) is incompetent because he had been of counsel (their lawyer). Court ordered the case continued until third Monday in July (July 17). Levi STUNSTON posted $500 to assure he would appear. Then Henry and Elizabeth STUNSTON posted $250 to assure she would appear. Levi STUNSTON and Sarah SUMMERS posted $250 to assure she would appear. Also came Charles McCLAIN, John D CARNE, James B DAVIS, and Henry STUNSTON posting bond as witnesses.

State of TN vs WM PRICE

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Ordered that Sheriff collect $250 from Mason Stacy because Charlotte didn't appear.

July 19, 1837

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment with intent to commit murder

Case continued to next term. Security posted for Levi by Levi, James, and Henry STUNSTON was $500, $250, and $250 respectively. Abner BOYD, John C DODDS, & Daniel MALIGANBOUGHER each posted $250 bond that they would appear as witnesses.

State of TN vs WM PRICE & George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Court concurred that it was incompetent to sit in this case because the Judge had been a counsel for the defense so the case was continued until Oct 11, 1837. PRICE and McCLAIN returned to Henry Co Jail. Witnesses and prosecutor all pledged a security that they would appear. Charlotte STACY ordered held by the sheriff until her bond was paid for failure to appear.

Monday Oct 9, 1837

William S SCOTT and Levi STUNSTON adm of John STUNSTON dec vs Wm PRICE & George McCLAIN

Civil suit appealed from JP court

The plaintiffs asked that the case be dropped. It was so ordered and the plaintiffs were charged al the court costs.

Wed Oct 11, 1837

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

Tried by Jury. The Jury returned on Thursday and said they could not agree on a verdict. The Attorney-General came into court on Friday and submitted a writ that he would no longer prosecute this case. The Jury was called in and dismissed.

Thurs Oct 12, 1837

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment with intent to commit murder (attempted to stab James CLOYD)

Continued until Feb 1838. Security for Levi pledged by Levi STUNTSON and William DODSON ($500 each). Abner BOYD, John C DODDS, & Daniel MALIGANBOUGHER each posted $150 bond that they would appear as witnesses.

State of TN vs WM PRICE & George W McCLAIN

Indictment for murder in the first degree

Continued to Feb 1838. Levi STUNSTON posted $250 to assure he would appear. Then Henry STUNSTON, Sarah SUMMERS, Charles McCLAIN, John D CARNE, John SUMMERS and Elizabeth SUMMERS his wife posted $250 bond as witnesses that they would appear.

Thurs Feb 15, 1838

State of TN vs Levi STUNSTON

Indictment with intent to commit murder

The attorney general came into court and decided not to prosecute this case any longer. The court agreed and assessed court costs against STUNSTON. John C DODDS was his security.

State of TN vs WM PRICE

Indictment for murder in the first degree

The trial began. The Jury was sworn. The case carried over to the next day. On Saturday the jury said they had not completed their argument so they were held over until Monday.

Sat Feb 17, 1838



$100. + $3.75 costs. Found in favor of plaintiff.

Mon Feb 19, 1838

State of TN vs James STUNSTON

Indictment for Perjury

Total costs of STUNSTON's perjury trials enumerated. Total = $91.

State of TN vs George McCLAIN

Indictment for murder

Tabulation of costs of imprisonment. Apparently the transport to and from Paris was by wagon with five guards + the sheriff, 46 miles each way. Charges were listed for hay for the horses, overnight expenses in Paris, candles at night, guards at Dresden jail during the term, sheriff + two guards to take McCLAIN 55 miles to Jackson and return for his appeal, (they made the trip with a wagon and two horses in one day each way). The total bill for all the transport and local (Dresden costs) was $528.82. The cost of interment in the Henry County Jail was not included in this total. For most items, George was assessed only half the cost as William PRICE was also being guarded, transported, etc.

State of TN vs WM PRICE

Indictment for murder in the first degree

The jury found PRICE Not Guilty!

Mon June 4, 1838

Wm PRICE case

Bill from Henry County Jail

The Henry Count Jail submitted a bill for the incarceration of William Price for $176.25. The bill included costs for 115 days in 1836 and 343 days in 1837. There were no listed charges for 1838.

Tues Jun 5, 1838

George McCLAIN case

Bill from Henry County Jail

Sheriff of Henry Co billed the court $34.72 for transporting George to Jackson (Madison Co) for his appeal.

Wed June 6, 1838

George McCLAIN case

Bill from Weakley Co Jail

$40.50 for charges in 1836 and 1837: turn keys, boarding during court sessions

Tues June 5, 1838


Civil suit appealed from Justice of the Peace

Jury found in favor of the plaintiff. Court ruled that WILLIAMS should recover $25.75 from STUNSTON or from Richard SUMMERS his security.

The following is my transcription of the affidavits filed with James STUNSTON’s divorce petition in 1829. The divorce was not granted by the legislature.


To the Honorable the general assembly of the state of Tennessee

Whereas your petitioner doth petition you that my wife Burnettey eloped from my house and premises in Weakley County about the ninth of October 1828 without any provocation and will not return by any means or any insinuations that I can make or do and states that she never will return to live with me any more and that she has no love for me nor never had with many more unbecoming expressions which I could mention and also prove was it necessary. Therefore I trust your Honorable Body will take the matter into consideration and grant me a Divorce or put it in such a way as it can be obtained, and your humble petitioner will for ever pray.


James Stunston


State of Tennessee

Weakley County Personally came before me-Joseph Wilson one of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for the said county-James Stunston and made oath in due form of law and states that the facts in the above petition is true.

Sworn and subscribed his

Before me on the 17th day of James Stunston

September 1829 mark

J Wilson JP


State of Tennessee

Weakley County Personally came before me-Joseph Wilson one of the acting Justices of the Peace in and for the said county-Elizabeth Stunston and Elizabeth Summers after being sworn in due form of law and saith that James Stunston and Burnetty his wife parted twice. She came to the house of Henry Stunston both times. I persuaded her to go back and live with him. She answered she would not live with him for she hated him so bad that she would not live with him and the moment he came to the door that it was nothing but a quarrel and a cursing each other for she hated him so bad that she could not bear him in her sight. And she said God damn him she wished he was in hell as far as a pigeon could fly in two weeks and she never married him for love and that she was forced to do it and that her father says if she would forgive him that he would dress her as fine as fine clothes could dress her and further I heard her say that he was a man that she did not like and that she would not live with him another day. She would spit in his face and do everything that she could to have a fuss with him and further these deponents saith not.


Sworn to and subscribed Elizabeth Stunston

Before me the 17th day of mark

September 1829

J Wilson JP her

Elizabeth Summers