The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier
|To the Board of Trade
Wmsburgh, Augst. 1st 1765
I am now to beg the Favor of your Lordships to intercede with his Majesty to pardon two persons condemned for Murder. One name Francis Kennedy. ... The other is the Case of an Indian Woman named Abigail Briggs tried at the general Court before me and the Council. On the Tryal it appeared that the prisoner and the Deceased a Negro, were fellow servants in the same house, that they were in the Kitchen no one else being present. That a Quarrel ensued and blows given, that the Mistress alarmed with the Noise and the blows went down Stairs, and saw the Negro Man lying dead, knocked on the head with the pestle of a Mortar which was of Wood: which the prisoner acknowledged, and said she took it up as the first Thing she could lay her hands on, to defend herself against the Assault of her fellow Servant. The Negro was old, the Kitchen of Stone, and it was not clear whether the Skull was fractured by the blow or the fall. He had the Character of being quarrelsome she of being a quiet woman. She had been held over from the preceeding Court, her Mistress then not caring to appear against her. Upon the whole my Lords I am fully perswaded, that had she been a white woman, the Jury would have altered their Verdict to that of Manslaughter. The Gentlemen on the Bench with me were of my Opinion. I am with the greatest Respect My Lords Your Lordships most Obedient & devoted Servant.
To the right honble. the Lords of Trade &ct.
|From the Board of Trade
Whitehall Novr, 8 1765
Francis Fauquier Esqr. Lt. Govr. of Virginia
Enclosure: Warrant for Pardon
[10 October 1765]
By His Majesty's Command