Friday, June 21, 2013

Friend of Friends Friday: Jesse Bates and John Douglas

Alexandria Gazette – November 19, 1839

On Friday last, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, as two colored boatmen, the one a free man named Jesse Bates, the other a slave named John Douglas, belonging to Mrs. Cannon, of Prince William county, Virginia, were quarreling on the south bank of the Washington Canal, near Messrs King and Hill's wood yard, Bates, the free man, seized a gun, which was loaded with shot, and discharged its contents into the right leg of Douglas.  The entire load of the gun lodged a little below the knee, in the leg of the unfortunate man, shattering the bone and mangling the flesh in a shocking manner.  On examining the wound it was ascertained by Dr. Lindsly and Dr. Hall that immediate amputation was necessary; and the poor fellow's leg was taken off by Dr. Lindsly, attended by Drs. Hall and Dawes; in a short time after the negro was removed to a convenient house in the neighborhood.  In the mean time, Bates has been arrested and taken before Justice Mosell, who, after examining such witnesses as appeared at his office, committed the prisoner to the county jail.

From the examining magistrate we learn that it appeared, by the testimony, that the wounded man was the assailant, and that when Bates fired at him, the former was going at him with a billet of wood for the purpose of striking him.


Since writing the foregoing notice, we learn that the unfortunate negro died about 11 o'clock, on Friday night, in six hours after his leg was amputated.  It appeared from the testimony of Dr. Dawes, who was examined before the Coroner's inquest, held on the following day, that about two hours after the operation the poor man appeared to be doing well; but, in three hours afterwards he became restless, and gradually sunk until 11 o'clock, when he died.  – Nat. Int.

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