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This is the indictment entered by the prosecuting attorney Samuel S. Hudspeth against Jarrett for murdering Polly Hillhouse. Both the grand jury and the trial jury found Jarrett guilty, as noted on the back of the indictment.

Biographical/Historical Note

In the conclusion to the Hillhouse murder case, Jarrett was found guilty by a jury of white, land-owning men. The indictment penned by Samuel Hudspeth details Polly's wound and asserts that Jarrett shot her, but no concrete evidence is provided beyond that. It's entirely possible that critical pieces of this case were lost over time, or that Jarrett confessed and it wasn't recorded. It's also possible that Jarrett was made a convenient scapegoat in the death of a wealthy woman. Either way, the murder of Polly Hillhouse was a shocking tragedy to the community at Strawberry.


Territory of Arkansas, Lawrence County: In the circuit court
of Lawrence county
aforesaid of the term
of November in the
year of our Lord
eighteen hundred and
thirty one
The Grand Jurors for the United
States elected - - -
sworn and charged to inquire
in and for the body of the
county of Lawrence aforesaid
upon their oath present and
say that Jarrett, a boy slave,
late of the Township of Strawberry
in the county aforesaid, labourer[sic],
not having the fear of God
before his eyes; but being moved
and seduced by the instigation
of the Devil, on the thirteenth
day of July in the year of
our Lord eighteen hundred
and thirty one with force and
arms at the Township afore-
said in the county aforesaid
in and upon Polly Hillhouse
in the peace of God and
of the United States then and
there being felloneously[sic] willfully
and of his malice aforethought
did make an assault and

Physical Description

Document, 8" x 13"


Documents; Manuscripts; Law; Judicial proceedings; Juries; Crimes; Criminals; Criminal investigations; Homicides; Slaves; Lawyers; Rifles


Samuel Hudspeth

Geographical Area

Strawberry, Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0070, Box 17, Folder 133

Resource Type



Lawrence County (Ark.) Circuit Court records, MSNE.0070


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Hillhouse murder: indictment and verdict, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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United States History


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Hillhouse murder: indictment and verdict