Creator

Date Original

1835

Description

This is the indictment of James Bigger for beating to death a slave woman named Lucy.

Biographical/Historical Note

Some cases are tragic to read. In this one, James Bigger used hickory switches to take out his rage on a slave named Lucy. He beat her so severely that she died from her injuries. The Grand Jury approved the charge of murder so that the prosecution could move forward.

Transcription

United States of America, Arkansas Territory, County of Lawrence: In the Circuit Court
at the May Term thereof
eighteen hundred and
thirty five.
The grand jurors of the
United States of America, elected, empaneled,
tried sword and charged to enquire in and for
the body of the County of Lawrence upon their
oath present that James Bigger late of said
county labourer[sic] not having the fear of God
before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by
the instigation of the devil, on the thirty first day
of March in the year of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and thirty five with force and
arms in the County of Lawrence aforesaid in and
upon one negro[sic] woman slave Lucy in the peace of
the United States of America then and there being
feloniously, wilfully[sic], and of his malice aforethought
did make an assault; and that the said James
Bigger with hickory switches of the value of one cent
which he the said James Bigger in both his hands
then and there had and held to, against and
upon the said negro[sic] woman slave Lucy and
then and there with the switches aforesaid feloniously, wilfully[sic] and of his malice
aforethought did strike beat bruise wound and cut
giving to the said Lucy then and there by the
strokes bruises wounds and cuts of the said Lucy
and by then and there striking beating bruising wounding and
cutting the said Lucy in and upon the head
stomach back sides legs and thighs of her the
said Lucy with the hickories[sic] aforesaid so held
in both the hands of him the said James Bigger
in manner aforesaid several mortal wounds
bruises strokes and cuts in and upon the head stomach
back sides legs and thighs of the said Lucy
of which said several mortal wounds bruises strokes
and cuts the said
Lucy did then and there instantly died and so the
the jurors aforesaid, upon oath aforesaid
do say that the said James Bigger the
said Lucy in manner and form aforesaid felloniously[sic]
wilfully[sic] and of his malice aforethought did kill
and murder against the peace and dignity of the
United States of America and contrary to the form
of the statute in such case made and provided.
David Walker
Prosecuting Attorney
for 3rd Judicial
District
United States v. James Bigger, Indictment Murder
A true Bill
Burwell Wily
foreman of the
Grand Jury
Filed May 13th 1835
D.W. Lowe [Clerk]

Physical Description

Document. 8" x 12.5"

Subjects

Documents; Manuscripts; Law; Slaves; Slavery; Homicides; Crimes; Beating; Whipping

Contributor

David Walker

Geographical Area

Lawrence County (Ark.)

Language

English

Identifier

MSNE.0070, Box 4, Folder 294

Resource Type

Image

Collection

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

Publisher

Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Murder: U.S. v. James Bigger, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.

Rights

Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Disciplines

United States History

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Murder: U.S. v. James Bigger

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