Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

10 Year-Old Slave Girl Goes on a Murdering Spree

March 2, 2009
Unprotected Spring

Unprotected Spring



Otho Shipley, of Baltimore county, 23 miles from the city of Baltimore, on going to the spring about 5 weeks since, found one of his children, three years old, dead in the spring, the water in which, was not more than three or four inches deep; suspicions resting upon no particular person, it was supposed to have been an accident. The spring was afterwards covered with boards, sufficient room only being left to dip out the water. About two weeks afterwards, another child named Jemima, about six years old, was found dead in the spring; from which the boards had been removed, the face of the child was in the water, and had upon it marks of violence. Suspicion then attached to a black girl, who had nursed the children, but not sufficient to enable them to extort a confession from the negro, in consequence of her age, which was only ten years. Mr. Shipley, however determined upon sending the black girl, to his father’s from whence he had got her, and mentioned the circumstances. The negro girl had not been at her master’s more than two weeks, before a black child was found dead, having been suffocated; she afterwards requested another negro child to lay her head upon a block, and taking an axe, said she would show her how they killed chickens; the child became alarmed,  and ran from her. At night she was discovered in a room in which some of the ladies of the house usually slept, and was turned out; in about an hour afterwards, she was discovered, getting in at the window, and being asked what she wanted, she said, that she came to tell them, that it was she who had killed Jemima, (the child of Mr. Shipley, mentioned above) and on being questioned, acknowledged that she had also killed the negro girl, and related the particulars of the murder of Jemima, as follows” —

She was with the child in the garden, and struck her — the child returned the blow, she (the negro) then took a handful of sand, and stuffed it into her mouth and took her to the spring, where she immersed her face in the water, until she supposed she was dead; she then left her, and went towards the house; but, hearing the child cry, to make use of her own words, “she went back and finished it.”

The above narration we have had from a source that entitles it to full credit, and we do not remember ever to have heard of a transaction in which at so early an age, such shocking depravity has been displayed.
Baltimore Chronicle.


We understand that the Girl, of whose depravity so shocking a detail was given in our paper of yesterday, has been examined by the proper authority and has substantiated by her confession every part of it, with the exception of getting in at the window, her hands having only extended up toward it.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) May 30, 1827

Runaway Slaves

February 24, 2009


$100 Reward.
RAN away from the subscriber, living near New-town, (Trap,) Frederick county, Md.

On Saturday night, the 22d insant,


One named JESS, but calls himself Jess Mackaby, a blacksmith by trade, about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, yellow complexion, has a deep scar on one of his ancles near the ancle bone, the sinew nearly cut in two, occasioned by the cut of a scythe, and also a scar on one wrist near the hand, caused by the cut of a knife — reads a little. Had on two linen pantaloons, fulled linsey drab coat, two linen shirt, the chain cotton, fur hat about half worn, and old boots.

The other named ADAM, calls himself Adam Jones, about 23 years of age, about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, black complexion, has a small piece bit out of one ear, the middle finger on one hand much larger than the others, occasioned by a cut, and has several scars on his back from large biles. Had on and took with him, the same clothing as Jess, excepting a wool hat and coarse shoes. It is supposed they have made for Pennsylvania.

Fifty dollars will be given for the apprehension of the above described negroes if taken in Frederick county; and the above reward if taken elsewhere, and all reasonable expenses paid if secured in Frederick county jail.
James Hook.
September 26.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Oct 17, 1821

John Kitts:Soldier of the Revolutionary War

January 30, 2009
John Kitts 1870 Census

John Kitts 1870 Census

A Man Over One Hundred and Four Years of Age.

Baltimore boasts one of the most remarkable cases of longevity in the country. Person who are in the habit of traversing Calvert street may have frequently observed at the corner of that and Mulberry street a very elderly gentleman, quietly seated on a chair or  promenading in the vicinity, regarding attentively every object which passes him, and though mostly reticent, yet prompt to reply to any remarks addressed to him. There he enjoys the quiety and repose of age, looking out upon the world more than a century older than when he was first ushered into it. Our ancient friend’s name is John Kitts.

Bloody Run, Pennsylvania

Bloody Run, Pennsylvania

He was born at Bloody Run, in Bedford County, Pa., in 1762, and is, therefore, now in the on hundred and fifth year of his age! In 1776, when fourteen years of age, he was a member of the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Revolutionary War.

Battle of Yorktown

Battle of Yorktown

He was in the battle of Yorktown, and occupied at one time the position of errand boy or messenger to Washington and Lafayette. He retains a distinct recollection of the personal manners and habits of those illustrious heroes of our first struggle with Great Britain. He was too old to be drafted in 1812, but he entered the army, and remained about a year.

He has no constitutional disease; of course suffers somewhat with debility; but he moves about without assistance; has a dark, keen, observant eye; is quick and appreciative in his responses to queries; hears remarkably well; his eyesight is good; he never uses glasses; he says that “he is afraid they will injure his eyes.” He has a most excellent memory. Like most very old people, however, he remembers the events of his earlier years better than those of recent occurence.

Mount Vernon Rye Whiskey

Mount Vernon Rye Whiskey

On propounding the question as to whether our Methuselahian friend had practiced “total abstinance,” he replied, “No; I always drank whenever I felt like it, and enjoy a glass of old rye as much now as ever.”

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Sep 13, 1867

Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de Lafayette

John Kitts, claiming to be 107 years old, and a soldier of the Revolution under Lafayette, has applied to the Baltimore City Council for an appropriation.

New York Herald (New York, New York) > 1869 > November > 16

Genral Nathaniel P. Banks

Genral Nathaniel P. Banks

A Soldier of the Revolution on the Floor of the House — A Hero of Two Wars Petitioning for a Pension.

John Kitts, a veteran, who served in the war of the Revolution, called at the Executive Mansion today to pay his respects to the President. He was received with much cordiality by the President, who questioned him concerning his history and invited him to remain for lunch. The old gentleman declined, because, he said, he was anxious to see Congress in session. The President ordered Mr. H.L. Fox, one of the messengers at the White House, to proceed with Mr. Kitts to the Capitol, and to remain with him while he staid there.

Upon reaching the Capitol he was taken on the floor of the House, General Banks stating who he was and asking that the privilege of the floor be granted him. He occupied Horace Maynard‘s seat, immediately in front of the Speaker’s desk, and received the congratulations of the members, who flocked around him in large numbers and questioned him about his age and the leading events of his life.

Mr. Kitts was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1762, and is therefore in his 108th year. He served in the American army during the Revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. In the battle preceding the surrender Mr. Kitts was struck in the back of the head with a spent musket ball, and the indentation which it made is still visible. The old man points this scar with considerable pride, and is quite garrulous about the circumstances under which he received the wound.

When the was of 1812 broke out he was considered too old to enter the service as a soldier, but he went in as a messenger to carry the mails. He relates many interesting stories of the narrow escapes he had from being taken prisoner by the enemy’s scouts. On one occasion he was forced to leave his horses and take to the woods, so closely was he pursued. He was the bearer of important despatches, which he succeeded in carrying safely through. On being asked if he could read Mr. Kitts replied that he could not. When he was a boy, he said, there was very little reading done, and even if he had learned to read it would be of no use to him now. He had never found time to read until his eyesight failed him.

Although entitled to a pension both as a soldier of the Revolution and of 1812, he has never applied to Congress for it. He says until about seven years ago he had no occasion to seek aid from the government, because he was able to take care of himself. He thought the government had enough soldiers who fought in the rebellion to pension without giving anything to the “boys” who fought under Washington now. The old man is unable to do anything, and he asks a pension. He said he didn’t expect to remain long upon the rolls, and all he would draw out of the treasury would not be much. He has neither children nor grandchildren living, and when asked if he had any relatives he replied, “No; I am the last of the stock.”

General Banks and Mr. Ingersoll, of Illinois, started an impromptu subscription for the old man among the members of the House. The entire amount realized was eighty dollars, twenty of which General Banks gave himself. This is rather a small contribution among so many men, but some allowance must be made for the economic fit under which the House is just now laboring. General Banks will look after the old man’s petition for a pension, and there is reason to believe he will get it.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Feb 11, 1870


JOHN KITTS. — We do not know how often the last Revolutionary soldier has died. On the average we think he has died twice a year for the last ten years. But it makes no difference. We are glad to see him alive and in full possession of his faculties once more. John Kitts is the prevailing representative of that former generation, and we think that John is a bona fide representative. He is one hundred and eight years old, and has a scar on the back of his head. Besides, he only claims to have helped to capture Cornwallis at Yorktown. He does not appear to have nursed Washington or to have shaken his hand and received his benediction in the true Washington style, which all the old negroes in the country claim to have done, and which at one time must consequently have been a very empty honor. On the contrary, old John Kitts seems to be a very worthy old soldier, and, although he never nursed Washington, he is fully deserving of a large pension.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Feb 14, 1870

Died at the Age of 108.
BALTIMORE, Sept. 19. — John Kitts, aged 108 years, the oldest citizen died last evening.

Chicago Tribune, IL Sep 20, 1870

— JOHN KITTS, aged one hundred eight years, died at Baltimore on Monday.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 24 1870

–The venerable John Kitts, of Baltimore, is dead. He was born May 7, 1762, and was 108 years, 4 months and 11 days old at the time of his death. Last winter he visited Washington, and was granted the privilege of the floor of the House of Representatives.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Oct 6, 1870